The paper "Commonsense Framework, Community Development Framework and Social Imagination" is an outstanding example of management coursework. Community development remains a contentious topic in terms of activities, practice, and the ideological part. Nonetheless, in attempting to understand social and community development, numerous principles or values have to be established. These values or principles reinforce the daily activities, commitments, and assumptions of community or social development. For community and social workers to succeed in their capacity, they should endeavor to understand how the values of social development determine practices and attitudes towards community development.
According to Kenny (2006, p. 21), “ The community development approach to the problem of disadvantage in our society [also] challenges the common-sense framework in which the social problems are often conceptualized” . The following essay attempts to critically analyze the meaning of this statement in terms of the “ commonsense framework” , “ community development framework” , and “ social imagination” . Kenny’ s statement simply refers to the dominant notion or principle that underpins the idea of community development. This means that society has its preset conditions where each individual is tasked with taking control of their resources to enable them to become successful or integrated into the community.
The statement specifically refers to the idea that the disadvantage people in society require a kind of assistance in terms of changing social institutions and structures to benefit such people. Moreover, there is a commonsense or dominant way of evaluating social problems, where the typical response to social problems is reforming society. Social problems are responded by specifically addressing individuals facing the social challenges to ensure that they adapt to their situations. This means that society as a whole has not social problems, but it is the individuals in society that face numerous problems.
According to Mendes (2008), this follows the ideology or concept of social justice. The social justice theory is based on three main principles including fairness in basic freedoms, equality for the opportunity for progress, and positive judgment for the underprivileged for the guarantee of equality. These principles of the social justice policy have an element of the individual. Social problems are not generalized but focused on an individual in society. However, Kenny challenges this notion of the commonsense framework based on the contemporary approach of community development. Moreover, the “ commonsense framework” is the overriding notion that social problems arise due to individual causes or determinants rather than causes from society.
Kenny, (2006), attributes the commonsense framework as ‘ blaming the victim’ where the disadvantage is caused by the individuals facing social problems. This has been the customary approach of dealing with the disadvantaged such as the Aboriginal problems, poverty, and domestic violence (Jamrozik, 2009). The commonsense framework is founded on the belief that each individual has an unlimited number of choices to make to determine their advancement or advantages.
These choices are preset conditions in society and only require the effort of the individual to avoid social problems. For instance, most modern societies blame poverty on the inability of the poor to work and hard and use their skills to elevate their poverty. The issue of poverty is not justified by external forces or the lack of opportunity, but the sole failure of individuals facing poverty. Again, the commonsense framework is deeply rooted in the theory or concept of individualism.
Advanced societies such as Australia are highly individualistic meaning that people tend to limit their overall relationships in society. This is where people tend to mind their own business as an accepted and practised norm. There is reduced communication or interaction between individuals in society. The highly individualistic culture thus tends to justify social problems by blaming the victim. The common sources of problems facing the individual include psychological, pathology, moral defect, and biological issues. As such, society has sought numerous remedies including therapy, behavior modification, control, medical treatment, and moral exhortation.
Carson, Ed & Kerr, L., (2014). Australian Social Policy and the Human Services. Port Melbourne, Victoria: Cambridge University Press.
Ife, J. (2013). Community Development in an Uncertain World: Vision, Analysis and Practice. Port Melbourne, Vic: Cambridge University Press
Jamrozik, A., (2009). Social Policy in the Post-Welfare State. 3rd Edition. Frenchs Forest, NSW: Pearson.
Kenny, S., (2011). Developing Communities for the Future. 4th Edition. South Melbourne, Victoria: Cengage Learning. [307.14 K36d.4]
Mendes, P., (2008). Australia’s Welfare Wars Revisited. Sydney: UNSW Press.