Final project

This is the link to my final project

Here are the individual links for every participant page of this project. You can find these links inside of the final project as well:

  1. K.I.:
  2. B.H.:
  3. L.Z.:
  4. J.C.:
  5. Z.L:

Week 12 Dialogue

As we know, social worker values are service, social justice, dignity and worth of the person, the importance of the human relationship, and integrity. When we are talking about dialogue, all of these values are fitted with dialogue consistent. The services of social work are empowering the clients to change their own lives. We, as social workers, cannot change someone directly. However, we could encourage themselves to find out what the problems are and give them some suggestions to make some changes on their own. It fits the dialogue consistent perfectly because dialogue admits that other’s thinking can improve one’s own. During the service time, we are searching for strengths and values in other’s position. We are not the people who are defending one’s views against those of others and force the clients to follow our steps because we know that will not work.  Our services also fit with the principles of dialogue that listen without judgment and observe self. Our mistakes, biases, and shortsightedness can sometimes be the most important thing we have to offer to the process of bringing about personal and social change during the dialogue or during our services.

During my social work practice, many of the principles of dialogue are always used. For example, acting as colleagues in the talking structural. There are many times that the atmosphere is not right during people’s talks. Because of many kinds of reasons, the people who are talking are not always on the same level. One or more groups of people may always have some power that allowed them to look down on others. Because of this level and power differences, dialogues are usually to happen. However, for the social work career, you have to set your standard down till it can reach to the clients or others level. When we all stay on the same level, then we can have the trust from each other and ack as colleagues. Another example could be that we should observe self. We are living in a busy world at a busy time. Everyone is too busy to care about themselves internally. We are always focusing on the physical awards that we got, such as money, rewards, reputation. However, because of these physical awards, people usually lose their goals of psychological achievements.

For my own daily life, the principles of dialogue are quite useful as well. The principle said we should focus on learning for interpersonal communication. We all are teachers and learners at the same time. As the Master, Confucius, said, “When I walk along with two others, they may serve me as my teachers. I will select their good qualities and follow them, their bad qualities and avoid them.” Everyone’s time and attention are limited, we could never learn everything in the world before we die. Because everyone has different experiences, there is always something that we could learn from each other. For me, there are too many things that I can learn from others and I can teach others. I shouldn’t limited myself on learn something from such as people who are younger than me or teach something to people who are orlder than me. In that way, we can have more ideas about the world.

Week 8 Blogging

Education is considered as the most powerful weapon which people could use to change the world. However, eduction usually related to a specific age range, typically young people. Also, education is often a passive acceptance. That is why personally I prefer the word “learning” (self-education), which is more active, voluntary and considered as a life-long work. Taling about passive and active learning, differ from the U.S., students can pick whatever subjects they like and learn about them, but in Chinese, we all be educated on the same subjects with almost same context textbooks in the entire country. We call it “stuffing the duck” or “teaching to the test” in China. Historically, it is an educational method which was created by a Soviet Union educator. When the People’s Republic of China was established, China did not have a well-developed educational system, so the government adopts the duck-stuffing educational method to China, and this system is still using until nowadays. Another educational method, which was used in China, is elicitation method. The elicitation method was created by Confucius because he thinks every student has their own interests and talent. Educator should find out the best teaching way to educate different individuals. However, because of the population issue in China, the elicitation method is hard to be used for millions of students, it is easier for everyone to have the same education context. When I was in Chinese schools, we have to go to school before 7 a.m. When I was in high-school, we went home around 10 p.m., because of the tons of homework and tests. The goal of K-12 education is getting a high score in the college-entrance test, which is similar to SAT or ACT, but usually, you can only take it once in your life, so nobody wants to screw it up. This is how I learned when I was a student in China, Most of the knowledge came from the textbooks, and you do not really have time to explore other kinds of stuff. To be honest, this duck-stuffing method is not totally bad. Because of this method, we have many good scientists and engineers now and helped the infrastructure development, such as high-speed train, great online shopping system, aerospace technologies, agriculture technologies, etc. However, besides of these natural sciences, the social sciences were not developed very well because people are always focusing on the physical living.

Compare with Asian culture (we actually call our own culture as the eastern culture), western culture (we usually consider as the European and American cultures as Asian people) and western education is more open-mind and allow students to choose what they want to learn about. However, in somehow, it leads the basic natural science education lacker than Chinese education nowadays. For example, the American students do not have better calculating skills because of the usage of the calculators. Not every high school students need to deeply learn about physics, chemistry, and biology, but instead, they have their opportunity to learn psychology, sociology, and so on. Since I did my undergrad at an American university, I got much more chance to study a little bit of everything, not just natural science. Because of this, I realized how lacking the social science study and education back in China. I won’t even know there is a profession called social work in the world. So, I would say that the western education helped me open the door of a broader knowledge widely. However in somehow, because I want to explore more subjects, it makes me do not have enough time or I should say I can deep dive into every one of them as what we did in Chinese education.

As what Dr. Meyer talked in her speech, the difference between ho’olohe (to listen) and ho’olono (to hear) is ho’olono is using every part of your body to discover what you hear, not just what you listened by your ear, same as nana (to look) and – ‘ike (to see *). Chinese education is more about listening, and use the knowledge you listened to make things happened, like build up a house with using engineering calculating. Western education is more about hear and then think about it deeply, like the several movements about human rights, women’s rights, etc. One of my non-western ways, duck-stuffing way, lets me think more physically, and materially. But of course, the duck-stuffing way is not the only educational method in Chinese history. As I talked about Confucius’s teaching method, personalized education is more helpful for the long-term personal development. I always trying to find out what is my interest at the certain time. The interest doesn’t have to stay at the same all the time, it may change because of the experience. At the beginning, I studied biomedical science because I want to save lives. However, I changed my mind to help the community and save lives by changing minds and thoughts, so I switched to communication. After then, I find out social work is more hands-on these helps, so I turned into social work profession. I gained a lot of knowledge and thoughts from my life experiences. These experiences are really personalized for me.

Place-based knowledge is important for the practice of social work because things get changed in different places. They do not stay at the same in different place. Common sense may not be really common and may not stay right in different places. For example, August is summer time will be wrong in the Southern Hemisphere; men are always more powerful will be wrong in Matrilineality. Furthermore, not all women can cook; not every black man is good at Rap; not every Chinese can practice Kong-fu. Banking system may not help some people because they do not save money in the bank, or some area on the earth, people do not have a bank. It is more important to learn the specific place deeply about its own culture, population, and natural facts to have better place-back knowledge. Then you can have a more clear idea about what the problems this place have and how can social workers to help.

(Sorry, I thought someone post the Chapter 6 on their blog, but I haven’t found it. the last question needs to be answerd later.)

Apologies on Issue of Comments

Sorry to you all who commented on my posts. I did set everyone could comment directly, but I didn’t realize that I still need to approve all the comments to let them show up. I will keep my eyes on it at the later time when anyone comments on my posts. Thank you all for replying! I do enjoy your feedbacks!

Lin Zhu

Week 3 Oppression

In my mind, oppression is an unfair treatment from a person or a group of people to another person or another group of people. It comes out because of the differences among people, such as gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, age, (dis)ability, and so on. Furthermore, because of the power of some groups of people, all kinds of social justice issue occurs, no matter they are majority or minority. Oppression usually starts from prejudice, stereotypes, and discrimination. It helped to build up an unfair and unsafe world for some people to live. Some people may use survive rather than live to describe their situation of life.

First of all, I think there is no absolute right or absolute wrong in the world. Everything happened could be good for that moment but bad for this moment. For example, years ago, homosexuality was considered as mental problems and many people died because of this. But now, homosexuality is treated as a part of nature. I think it is a success of history of human development. However, even though we have legal rights to live as homosexuality and get same-sex marriage, some people are still trying to punish or censure homosexuality because of prejudice, stereotypes, and discrimination. From my point, unless there is no difference or no relative unequal power among people, oppression could be an issue forever. Here are some oppression examples from my experiences:

  • Exploitation:

In the long patrilineal history of China, women were belongings of families. Women didn’t have rights to go to school and be educated. They all need to stay and home and learn about housing, cooking, clothing work. They cannot even get out from the house without a male from the family stay with them, otherwise, they will be considered as bimbos. Things get even worse in South Africa, young men will not marry with women who did not do female genital mutilation (FGM) because those men think women without FGM are dirty. I am super glad that many of these stereotypes are changed because of the development of the world. Back to several decades ago, nobody will consider these bad habits as oppression because people thought that was the way the world works.

  • Marginalization:

International students are a group of people in the minority of the minority. We are paying the highest tuition but have the lowest chance to earn back from scholarship or job opportunities. It is somehow understandable because most of the funds are coming from federal level towards citizenship, include citizens and green card holder. However, there are some unfair occurs because of the system. From school level, there is a program called Federal Financial Aid. This financial aid allows schools to get funds from the federal level and support some students as a work-study program. However, because this fund is coming from the federal level, international students are not included for applying. For schools, it is a good program because they can have job opportunities for students without pay by the school itself. However, it made many campus-work opportunities become international student unfriendly. Nevertheless, because of the language barriers, most of the international student will only be considered for handworks, such as cafeteria works.

  • Powerlessness:

Chinese labors are cheap labors. As we can see, many American goods are made in China. Decades ago, many factories were moved out from U.S.A to China because both the lands and the labors are cheap. Chinese labors worked very hard with low-paid just because they have no decision-making power. In 2010, at least 14 labors suicided themselves from the high factory building in a company called Foxconn, which is a manufacturing company for Apple, BlackBerry, Sony, Nokia, etc. The reasons for suicides are varied, but they all considered by working issues, such as salary, working hours. In 2012, Apple company audited Foxconn because Foxconn violated the rule of salary and overtime working.

From Imani Perry’s talks, I think, as individuals, what we can do to prepare for and precipitate them is building up self-awareness. It is important for the oppressed to have self-esteem. During the talk, Dr. Perry said: “There’s this image that, um, black youth believe that doing well in school is acting white.” (The Fabric of Our Identity, Imani Peppy, First of all, doing well in school is a part of self-esteem. The knowledge and ideas that students gain from the school are the honor of themselves. It is a stereotype to think schools are for the white children because we all should have the rights to be educated. These kids who think they should not do well in school have not self-esteem to study. Then, self-confidence is also important for those students. If you do not believe you can do it, none of the others will believe you. Students who think they shouldn’t do it well at school usually are the students who did do well at school. They do not have enough confidence to believe they can do it well. Some of the racial equality issues are not been given to the people. They are generated from the original group because of the lack of self-awareness, self-esteem, and self-confidence. For these issues, we should learn more and learn better about the world, speak out for ourselves, let other people see you can do it. If people keep blaming on how the world treats them unfair, there will be no development for this world. In the other hand, from the opposite group of people, they should look on people equally and do not look down on people’s weakness, because none of us is perfect. Discrimination is the source of most of the social issues, include oppression.

Week1 Where I’m From (mo’olelo) & Introduction

I am from green tea, from Compass, and gunpowder.
I am from the closed door in the twenty-floor apartment. (Anti-theft, anti-neighbor, and no idea about who is living in the next door)
I am from Bamboo what’s the favorite of pandas.
I am from firecrackers set-off and big family tree, from my mama and baba.
I am from single-child family and filial piety.
I am from Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism.
I am from Jiangsu Province and descendant of the Yan and Huang emperors,
I am from steamed rice and braised pork.
I am from the hoe that my grandfather uses to farm, the vehicle that my dad drives between the construction sites and the wok that my mom uses to cook.
I am a Chinese with 5,000 years of history behind me.

In my cabinet was my album of traveling photos, a bunch of callow faces showed my grow-up. I am from those moments — caught up dragonflies in the farmland — cook meal for the families.

What you hope to learn from this class?
I hope I can learn more about everyone because everyone is different and that is what we called diversity.

What you think you might contribute to this class?
The thing that I will contribute to this class is the more international vision as an international student than some other classmates.

What your understanding of diversity and social justice is (no right or wrong answers)?
I think diversity is the difference between every person. It does need to be a group of people because we can see diversity from every individual when we are compared with others. Social justice is the equity of human rights and civil rights.

How do you think diversity and social justice and social work might be connected?
We all are different but we all need equity of everything, which means we need to find out the social justice with considering diversity.

How will you work on developing a critical consciousness toward issues of diversity and social justice in this class?
There are many lacks of supplies and different treatments among different people because of race, belief, gender, and all other kinds of labels. From all these labels, we can develop the critical consciousness.


This is a personal and organizational website. It is using the WordPress function, but the database of users is separated from If you want to log in, please register an account below. Keep in mind, you can reply to any posts directly, registration is not required. Feel free to do the way you like.