Gift Guide

The Human Experience: Description, Explanation and Judgment

Paperback (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from
Buy Used
Buy Used from
(Save 28%)
Item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging.
Condition: Used – Good details
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $1.99
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 96%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (13) from $1.99   
  • New (5) from $1.99   
  • Used (8) from $1.99   


The Human Experience is a comprehensive text that examines, analyzes and applies theories of humans, environments and human-environment interaction to professional thinking and action. Through the lens of their original theory, Explanatory Legitimacy, the authors differentiate descriptive from explanatory theories, and analyze the purposive, epistemological, and value base of theory in six major theoretical domains: longitudinal theories or those concerned with passages over time, environmental theories or those concerned with sets of conditions both interior and exterior to the body, categorical theories or those that parse populations into groups, systems theories which look at relationships among parts of wholes, and contemporary and emerging theories that advance pluralism as desirable and relevant to the 21st century. The authors highlight the previously unexamined values and assumptions that underlie theory, its generation and its use in professional practice and challenge the reader to answer two questions throughout the book: how do we know, and what do we do with our knowledge? Significant critical emphasis is devoted to diversity of humans and environments and the value-perimeter in which professionals create, analyze and use theory for decisions and activity.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

...a stimulating work...
Lucille A. Zeph
Depoy and Gilson present a thoughtful and thought-provoking analysis of theory and related assumptions and values that moves theory from the sidelines to its central role in human services practice across the disciplines. The Human Experience is an exceptional text that should be required pre-service reading for all disciplines in the human services-and will surely find its way to the bookshelf of thinking human services professionals everywhere.
Tina Passman
The importance of The Human Experience cannot be overestimated. It is a clarion call, an invitation for the Allied Health Professions, and, particularly, for Social Work, to enter the 21st century. The Human Experience takes social theory, makes it accessible and attractive, and points the way to a better way of analyzing human situations, which will lead to a better way of achieving social justice and alleviating suffering.
Elizabeth P. Cramer
In this textbook, authors DePoy and Gilson introduce the social work field to an innovative, postmodernist conceptual approach for understanding human behavior, appearance, and experience. This text will revolutionize the way instructors think about and teach their human behavior courses, and will challenge students to examine how values influence which human behaviors are considered legitimate for social work services and which types of professional responses should be provided. The text includes numerous interesting case examples and thinking points, which encourage the students to engage in critical reflection about the material. DePoy and Gilson incorporate recent postmodern thinking in the chapters on emergent and contemporary approaches to theory, including an inventive section on visual culture.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780742559394
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 2/15/2007
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 312
  • Product dimensions: 7.09 (w) x 10.09 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Meet the Author

Elizabeth DePoy is jointly appointed as professor in the School of Social work and professor and coordinator for interdisciplinary disability education at the Center for Community Inclusion and Disability Studies. She is a nationally and internationally recognized scholar for her work in developing Explanatory Legitimacy theory with Dr. Gilson, and for her substantive foci in research and evaluation methods, theory of human diversity, and geostatistical and mixed methohds of inquiry. She received a Fulbright Scholarship in 2003, has authored and co-authored seven books combined, has contributed chapters to numerous edited collections, and has published over 50 peer reviewed articles. Stephen Gilson, Ph.D. is professor in the school of social work, and professor and co-coordinator for interdisciplinary disability studies at the Center for Community Inclusion and Disability Studies, University of Maine.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Introduction and Theory Overview: And There Was Theory Chapter 2 Introduction to Explanatory Legitimacy Theory Chapter 3 Scope of Human Description Chapter 4 Explanations Chapter 5 What is Legitimacy? Chapter 6 Longitudinal Foundations Chapter 7 Longitudinal - Grand Longitudinal Approaches Chapter 8 Longitudinal - Specific Longitudinal Descriptions and Explanations Chapter 9 Foundations of Environmental Theories Chapter 10 Interior Environment Chapter 11 Exterior - Environment Chapter 12 Categorical Foundations Chapter 13 Interior Category Chapter 14 Exterior Category Chapter 15 Systems Descriptions and Explanations Chapter 16 Contemporary and Emerging Theories Chapter 17 Longitudinal - Legitimacy Chapter 18 Environmental Legitimacy Chapter 19 Category Legitimacy Chapter 20 Systems Legitimacy Chapter 21 Contemporary and Emerging Legitimacy Chapter 22 Putting ELT to Work 23 References

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)