It is safe to assume that several explanations can be given in order to define theories and concepts. In this summary, I will use reliable sources to define these terms as well as create a definition of my own that I feel will best explain theories and concepts.
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines theory as “an ideal or hypothetical set of facts, principles, or circumstances” (Merriam-Webster, n.d.). E-Source Research, a behavioral and social sciences research website, states that theories are not specific to each topic and can apply to many different circumstances (E-Source, n.d.).
Concepts are thoughts or explanations of specific experiences, observations, or occurrences (Forte, 2014).
Theories vs. Concepts
Multiple reliable sources suggest that concepts are the smaller aspects that make up a theory. “Concepts are the building blocks of theory” (Shoemaker, 2004) and “concepts are organized within and around theories” (Weiskopf, n.d.).
I believe that a theory can be applied to any topic in which it relates to find meaning in why any certain thing happens. A concept, while similar to a theory, is more topic-specific and therefore cannot be used on such broad terms as a theory. This means that many different concepts can be combined in order to create a theory. Theory and concepts are similar in the fact that they are both used as tools to explain, create meaning, and help people to understand different topics.
Perspectives in the Social Work Field
Perspectives assist social workers in explaining, providing viewpoints, and resolving issues. Each perspective focuses on different aspects of life in order to be successful.
The strengths pers...
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...e studies relationships between individuals and the systems they are a part of. Immediate family, smaller groups, communities, and societies make up a variety of environments that individuals make up. Individuals have an effect on their environment and environments impact individuals. According to the ecological perspective, the positions that individuals take in their society plays a large role in understanding that individual. “From an ecological perspective, social roles determine not only how a person in a particular position behaves, but also how others behave toward that person” (Lesser & Pope, 2011).
It has become clear to me that just because a perspective’s goal is to understand an individual, it doesn’t look solely at the individual. It considers external factors as well. These external environments explain individuals internally.
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