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HHS4M Theoretical Perspectives for Studying Individuals & Families.

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Presentation on theme: "HHS4M Theoretical Perspectives for Studying Individuals & Families."— Presentation transcript:

1 HHS4M Theoretical Perspectives for Studying Individuals & Families

2 Learning Goals By the end of this lesson you will understand eight theoretical perspectives. By the end of this lesson you will understand eight theoretical perspectives. You will be able to compare the theories to each other. You will be able to compare the theories to each other. You will be able to evaluate the usefulness of each theory. You will be able to evaluate the usefulness of each theory.

3 Theories When scientists explain their observations, their answers reflect their theories When scientists explain their observations, their answers reflect their theories Some theories have been used to explain human behaviour for many years Some theories have been used to explain human behaviour for many years Other theories have been revised and replaced Other theories have been revised and replaced Theories are NOT FACTS, just attempts to explain evidence Theories are NOT FACTS, just attempts to explain evidence

4 MICRO vs MACRO Perspectives MACRO theories study the interaction between society and institutions such as the law, family, politics, etc. MACRO theories study the interaction between society and institutions such as the law, family, politics, etc. MICRO theories emphasize the relationships within individual families MICRO theories emphasize the relationships within individual families

5 Theoretical Perspectives Functionalism Functionalism Systems Theory Systems Theory Symbolic Interactionism Symbolic Interactionism Social Exchange Theory Social Exchange Theory Developmental Theories Developmental Theories Conflict Theory Conflict Theory Feminist Theory Feminist Theory Ecological Perspectives Theory Ecological Perspectives Theory

6 Structural Functionalism MACRO Approach MACRO Approach Attempts to explain how society is organized to perform required functions Attempts to explain how society is organized to perform required functions Focuses on how institutions, such as the law, political system, and the family function Focuses on how institutions, such as the law, political system, and the family function Assumes societies are stable when structures function to benefit society Assumes societies are stable when structures function to benefit society 8QuBDkkw 8QuBDkkw

7 Structural Functionalism Examine the ROLES individuals play to contribute to the bigger picture Examine the ROLES individuals play to contribute to the bigger picture –Status = a specific position within a social group –Role = the set of behaviours an individual is expected to demonstrate within a status –Norm = most prevalent behaviours in that role Example: An individual with a “father” status is expected to take on behaviours such as working, child care and providing to fulfill his role. It is the norm for a father to work outside the household.

8 Structural Functionalism Strengths of Approach: Strengths of Approach: –Explains how family interacts with society –Emphasizes family strengths rather than weaknesses Weaknesses/Criticisms of Approach: Weaknesses/Criticisms of Approach: -Does not explain why societies or families change -Does not explain why societies or families change -Change and individual differences are seen as disruptions -Change and individual differences are seen as disruptions -Only one acceptable form of family rather than many variations -Only one acceptable form of family rather than many variations -Doesn’t deal with interpersonal relationships -Doesn’t deal with interpersonal relationships

9 Systems Theory MICRO AND MACRO MICRO AND MACRO Attempts to explain how groups of individuals interact as a system and influence each other Attempts to explain how groups of individuals interact as a system and influence each other A system is a set of interrelated parts A system is a set of interrelated parts Family systems have a complex organization Family systems have a complex organization Individuals within the system influence each other in a reciprocal way Individuals within the system influence each other in a reciprocal way

10 Systems Theory The family system changes when a change in one person’s behaviour causes the behaviour of another to evolve The family system changes when a change in one person’s behaviour causes the behaviour of another to evolve The larger family system contains subsystems (father-child, mother-father) The larger family system contains subsystems (father-child, mother-father) A genogram diagram depicts the relationships within a family system A genogram diagram depicts the relationships within a family system

11 Genogram Below is a genorgram of disaese patterns within a family

12 Systems Theory Advantages: Advantages: –Explains the behaviour of individuals as inseparable from the group –Explains why behaviour continues in destructive patterns even through generations Disadvantages: Disadvantages: –Can be difficult to determine how others within the family are influencing an individuals behaviour –Overlooks experience of individuals –Social/Structural factors, such as unemployment are not taken into consideration

13 Symbolic Interactionism MICRO Approach MICRO Approach A psychological theory that attempts to explain how individual choose how they will act based on their perceptions of themselves and of others A psychological theory that attempts to explain how individual choose how they will act based on their perceptions of themselves and of others People define and interpret their experiences and give meaning to them People define and interpret their experiences and give meaning to them Couples Retreat: Couples Retreat: c9Y&feature=related c9Y&feature=related

14 Symbolic Interactionism “Me” =objective qualities (tall, male, student) “Me” =objective qualities (tall, male, student) “I” = subjective self (good student, shy, lonely) “I” = subjective self (good student, shy, lonely) Role taking = being able to anticipate how other’s will respond Role taking = being able to anticipate how other’s will respond Communication requires common language and use of shared symbols Communication requires common language and use of shared symbols

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16 Cooley’s Looking Glass Self “I am not what I think I am. I am not what you think I am. I am what I think you think I am” “I am not what I think I am. I am not what you think I am. I am what I think you think I am”

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18 Symbolic Interactionism Advantages Advantages –Emphasizes mental processes and takes individual perception and interpretations into consideration –Sense of individual control –Explains importance of shared symbols and communication Disadvantages Disadvantages –Observations of researchers may be influenced by the researchers interpretations –Pays little attention to the impact of wider society and does not explain society-wide changes in families

19 Social Exchange Theory MICRO approach MICRO approach A psychological theory that attempts to explain the social factors that influence reciprocal relationships A psychological theory that attempts to explain the social factors that influence reciprocal relationships People act to maximize the benefits and minimize costs to themselves People act to maximize the benefits and minimize costs to themselves Individuals interpret their experiences in terms of costs vs. benefits Individuals interpret their experiences in terms of costs vs. benefits

20 Social Exchange Theory Relationships are stable when the benefits that each person receives balance the costs of the relationships Relationships are stable when the benefits that each person receives balance the costs of the relationships This theory is used to explain how individuals make decisions to form and maintain relationships that may be seen as unacceptable to others This theory is used to explain how individuals make decisions to form and maintain relationships that may be seen as unacceptable to others

21 Social Exchange Theories Weaknesses Weaknesses -A limitation of this theory is that some people are offended by the cost/benefit analysis -Attempts to explain individual behaviour and needs and pays less attention to family dynamics

22 Developmental Theories An interdisciplinary MICRO approach to describe patterns to explain growth and change throughout the human life cycle An interdisciplinary MICRO approach to describe patterns to explain growth and change throughout the human life cycle –Developmental Tasks = role expectations that challenge people to develop –Erik Erikson – people develop individual identities separate from their parents to make the transition to adulthood

23 Developmental Theories Examine biological, psychological, social and cultural factors that influence development Examine biological, psychological, social and cultural factors that influence development Different factors at different ages Different factors at different ages Outline predictable stages marked by normative events Outline predictable stages marked by normative events At each stage there are developmental prerequisites At each stage there are developmental prerequisites One must complete on developmental task to move onto the next One must complete on developmental task to move onto the next

24 Developmental Theories Disadvantages Disadvantages –Not all stages will fit all families or individuals –Some families will experience non-normative events such as death of a child, etc –Stages make the theory restrictive because they do not always occur in order, or occur at all

25 Conflict Theory A MACRO interdisciplinary sociological and political theory A MACRO interdisciplinary sociological and political theory Explains how power (ability to control the behaviour of another) holds a society together Explains how power (ability to control the behaviour of another) holds a society together Conflict exists because of inequalities Conflict exists because of inequalities Groups compete with each other to meet their needs Groups compete with each other to meet their needs

26 Conflict Theory Describes the relationship of men and women within a family as one of exploitation and oppression, and is used for analyzing power and authority within the family Describes the relationship of men and women within a family as one of exploitation and oppression, and is used for analyzing power and authority within the family Developed in the 19 th century when there were large social inequalities in society Developed in the 19 th century when there were large social inequalities in society Disadvantage Disadvantage –Negative approach

27 Feminist Theories A branch of conflict theories A branch of conflict theories Developed in the second half of the 20 th century to explain the impact of sex and gender on behaviour Developed in the second half of the 20 th century to explain the impact of sex and gender on behaviour Considers issues from the point of view of women Considers issues from the point of view of women

28 Feminist Theories Argue that change is required so that the needs of all people are met Argue that change is required so that the needs of all people are met Attempts to explain social inequalities between men and women from a variety of female perpectives Attempts to explain social inequalities between men and women from a variety of female perpectives Socialist feminism is based on the assumption that the status of women is a social inequality rooted in the sexual division of paid vs. unpaid labour Socialist feminism is based on the assumption that the status of women is a social inequality rooted in the sexual division of paid vs. unpaid labour

29 Ecological Perspective A modern psychological theory that looks at individuals & families as interlocking systems within society that influence each other A modern psychological theory that looks at individuals & families as interlocking systems within society that influence each other Combines aspects of systems theory & developmental theories Combines aspects of systems theory & developmental theoriesAdvantages: -Explains diversity of developmental behaviour tha can’t be explained by develpmental theory alone -Recognizes the influence of others in relationships, but extends to influences outside family Disadvantages: -Less useful for investigating individual situations

30 Ecological Perspective Individuals & Familes are influenced on 4 levels: (1) Microsystem: An individual develops behaviour to meet own needs Individuals & Familes are influenced on 4 levels: (1) Microsystem: An individual develops behaviour to meet own needs (2) Mesosystem: Small groups to which individual belongs socials indviduals in ways influenced by society (2) Mesosystem: Small groups to which individual belongs socials indviduals in ways influenced by society (3) Exosystem: Socio-economic environment sets expectations and influences resources available (3) Exosystem: Socio-economic environment sets expectations and influences resources available (4) Macrosystem: Society in which person lives influences behaviour (4) Macrosystem: Society in which person lives influences behaviour

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