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Footprints in the world of cybernetics and social construction


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Footprints in the world of cybernetics and social construction

  1. 1. FOOTPRINTS IN THE WORLD OF CYBERNETICS AND SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION THEORIES   1                   Footprints In The World Of Cybernetics and Social Construction Theories Rachelle Heath Capella University COUN 5220 Introduction to Marriage and Family Therapy December 12, 2014
  2. 2. FOOTPRINTS IN THE WORLD OF CYBERNETICS AND SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION THEORIES   2   Abstract Cybernetics, quite diverse from the Constructionists views, was originated from the Greek term Kybernetes, which means steersman (Guise, 2015). Cybernetics performs objectivity as an individual’s observation is placed outside of the system in an effort to determine what is inside the system. Immanuel Kant identified a philosophical advancement coextending frameworks within Second-Order Cybernetics. Velasquez (2010) reflects the views of Kant in which the world we see around us is what our own minds construct. This was elucidated through separation of the noumenal world, which is the world itself apart from our minds and the phenomenal world is a world our minds construct (Velasquez, 2015). Second- Order Cybernetics constitutes our interconnectedness with the universe while connecting our understanding as creations in our mind (Becvar & Becvar, 1994) Prior to elaborating on the lineage of Cybernetics and its prodigies it is paramount to consider the connection between Philosophy, Sociology and Psychology. The connection is a collective conscious and will be periodically reflected in connotation and noting within the dialogue to elaborate the methodological approach towards the usage of Cybernetics and Social Construction.
  3. 3. FOOTPRINTS IN THE WORLD OF CYBERNETICS AND SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION THEORIES   3   Footprints In The World Of Cybernetics And Social Construction Theories The essence of perspective is captured within a philosophical stance as psychology develops as an emergent into limitless theoretical concepts, perspectives, reasoning and realities. Intrapersonal sciences expose metaphysics singular implications as a nuance relative to the connection interpersonally. As theories evolve into context, framework evolves into models and models cohabit a new existence of complexities. The umbrella of complexities entwines spanning from experientialism viewed in the methodological thinking of Auguste Comte and John Locke while subjectivity is influenced in the methodological thinking of Immanuel Kant. The ideals of Comte, Locke and Kant represent knowledge initiated in the profound studies of psychology attributing to the contextual sciences that imply a diverse stance on the indications surrounding existence of realities (Velasques, 2010). In Velasquez (2010) Locke asserts that all knowledge originates in sense experience and that the physical objects only exist outside of us due to our perceptions that are independent of our perceptions of them. While this methodological view maintains skepticism the notion of objectivity in many of Locke’s views complement the ideals provided in Cybernetics. On another accord is the representation of a sociological nature held within the views of Auguste Comte. Comte, father of sociology, was known for altering social dynamics and the study of, to be based on observations, experiences and experiments versus ideology, religion or intuition (Benokraitis, 2010). The observational approach enmeshed with experiences is parallel to Cybernetics yet his views surrounding Social static diverge. Social static examines interconnectedness between structures within society similar to structuralism and akin to the beliefs of Constructionists. Social Constructivist maintain meaning within a social setting where associations collaboratively co-create realities through their social interactions and expressed culture (Hoffman, 1990).
  4. 4. FOOTPRINTS IN THE WORLD OF CYBERNETICS AND SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION THEORIES   4   Psychology’s Cybernetic Historical Framework The term Psychology derives from the Greek word “psyche” which means “breathe, mind and soul” and the Greek word “logia” which means the “study of something,” thus defining psychology as the study of behavior and the mind (Nordvist, 2014). The history of Psychology and its models initiated with Pierre Cabanis in 1802 translating the mind in correspondence to biology believing the neurological system included the soul and emotion. Sigmund Freud was documented during 1856-1909 as constructing Psychoanalysis and was succeeded by William Wundt who founded psychology as its own entity in 1879 (Nordvist, 2014). Nordvist (2014) elaborates studies from 1909-1970 to suffuse dynamics concerning structuralism versus functionalism, behaviorism, humanism, and the cognitive theory. It wasn’t until the 1930’s that theoretical foundations ascended into the configurations used today in Marriage and Family Therapy. General Systems Theory and Cybernetics Ludwig Von Bertalanffy is identified as originating general systems theory through the connections of biology, information theory and cybernetics to create a unification of characteristics representing the idea that the entire system is more then the sum of its parts (Guise, 2015). This concept led to the belief that one must view a family in its entirety, as the knowledge of a system could not be based on a fraction of its whole. In the 1940’s Gregory Bateson established cybernetics and commenced the notion of positive and negative feedback loops (Guise, 2015). Guise (2015) associates cybernetics to general systems theory through its shared stance in determining an endogenous system through external observation. In 1954 the Palo Alto Group deliberated concepts in connection to patterns of communication (2015). These concepts formulated the paradoxical experiences within families called double bind.
  5. 5. FOOTPRINTS IN THE WORLD OF CYBERNETICS AND SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION THEORIES   5   Bateson, Jay Haley, John Weakland, William Fry and Don Jackson illustrate double bind as a repeated pattern of communication between emotionally involved individuals where an unfavorable command is inert coinciding with disciplinary coercion followed by a secondary command under threat of sanction by which completely contradicts the initial command (Guise, 2015). The third decree demands a reply and prohibits abdication, which conclusively binds the recipient of the command. Milton Erickson proposed double bind and paradoxical symptoms were curative through an approach known as reverse psychology. Erickson’s ideals focused on communicative patterns, rapid change and resistive strategies (Guise, 2015). The Palo Alto Group and Mental Health Institute The originating model founded by the Palo Alto Group was based on strategic therapies surrounding inadequate sequences of interaction. The Mental Health Institute (MRI) observed repetitious patterns focusing on first and second order changes through techniques such as reframing and paradoxical interventions. In 1967 Haley left the MRI group collaborating structure and strategy after incorporating ideals provided by Salvador Minuchin and Cloe Madanes (Guise, 2015). Haley’s and Madanes focuses targeted behavior and communicative patterns resulting in emerging concepts regarding hierarchy, coalition and triangulation (Mackinnon and Miller, 1983). The Milan System Mara Selvini Palazzoli, Luigi Boscolo, Gianfranco Cecchin, and Guiliana Prata commenced systemic therapies influenced from Bateson’s studies on cybernetics yet held a non-normative stance similar to the MRI group. The theories and practices of the Milan system formed a process-oriented coalition focused on hypothesizing, circularity and neutrality (Guise, 2015). In 1979 the Milan Team separated with Palazzoli and Prata progressing studies of family preservation through methods such as familial superiority and invariant prescription (Guise, 2015) Boscolo and Cecchin emphasized focus on
  6. 6. FOOTPRINTS IN THE WORLD OF CYBERNETICS AND SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION THEORIES   6   the interviewer process through exploration of concepts in regards to hypothesis, circularity, circularity questioning and neutrality (Mackinnon et al., 1983; Guise, 2015). Similarities and Diversities within Psychology’s Framework The similarities within the theories and models developed from Bateson’s original First-order cybernetics system. The correlation outlines attention on the presenting problem, patterns of behavior and paradoxical methodology (Mackinnon et al., 1983). First-order cybernetics, although primitive, strategized the conceptual framework for the emergence of second-order cybernetics. First-order cybernetics viewed the family as an external entity where insertion of authority as an outside observant was used to alter, appropriate and adjust (Keeney and Ross, 1983). Societies evolutionary changes inhabited different approaches as time necessitated an alternative stance. The History of Second-Order Cybernetics and Social Construction Emergence of second-order cybernetics maintained pathology of systems as a whole versus singular with an outlook similar to the interwoven universe (Becvar and Becvar, 1994). The 1980’s postmodern era took a more Immanuel Kant approach distinguishing objectivity as an imprecise view. The manifestation of mental construction is subjective holding truths similar to quantum physics in which ones reality is one they construe (Becvar and Becvar, 1994). The shift from a systemic view to a constructivist view altered the paradigm within family therapy. Influences in therapy redirected approaches distinguished by language, culture and family versus a diagrammatic opinion (Hoffman, 1990). Ernst Von Glasersfeld, Heinz Von Foerster, Maturana and Varela amalgamated explorations intrigued in the dynamics of intercommunications (Guise, 2015).
  7. 7. FOOTPRINTS IN THE WORLD OF CYBERNETICS AND SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION THEORIES   7   Social constructivism Lynn Hoffman, captivated by social interpretations, rejected the systemic approach asserting validity in co-constructing change. Social constructivism influenced the formation of five models from 1970 to the late 1980’s. Insoo Berg and Steve De Shazer initiated a solution-focused paradigm concentrating on timeframes in which the problem did not exist. Solution focused reframing the context of therapy in the belief that the client themselves could solve their problems with minute changes behaviorally or perceptively (Guise, 2015). Guise (2015) appropriates De Shazer’s view as he expatiated language through the meaning confounded in his statement, “nothing exists outside of language.” The divergence of constructivism sought a broader understanding then that of linguistics and perspective revision. De Shazer, Berg, Lipchik, Nunnally, Molnar, Gingerich and Weiner-Davis affected positivism associated with the redirected thought processes (Guise, 2015). Additionally, goal objectives were maximized through kinesthetic, linguistic and aural reasoning. Narrative Therapy Narrative therapy was a collaboration of copiousness Influenced by Michel White and David Epson. The foundation of constructed meanings endeavored reciprocity experientially allowing the therapist to co-construct a contrasting affiliation aligned with their cognitive methodology. The optimistic identification of solution desired ideals were appropriated through relative influence questions, externalization and unique outcomes (Flaskas, 2011). The Reflecting Team Tom Anderson discarded strategic components under notions regarding therapeutic positioning and its resemblance to a pathological nature (Guise, 2015). The Reflecting Team substantiated a more obscure viewpoint while communicative patterns were super-imposed. The structural development was based on a moderate hierarchic terrain (Guise, 2015).
  8. 8. FOOTPRINTS IN THE WORLD OF CYBERNETICS AND SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION THEORIES   8   The Umbrella of Concepts and Models In exploration of many concepts and models the ideals captivated the necessity to expand on the ways comprehensive technique would elaborate potentiality. Initially studies of Locke, Kant and the Piaget theory investigated obscurity relative to a multitude of platforms mounted on stages. Clarity between objectivity and the relation to autonomous perception sustained a sense of perplexity. Contradictory thoughts rummaged until transcendental idealism clarified the belief that “we are interdependent with the universe” (Becvar and Becvar, 1994; Velasquez, 2010). The universal symbolic means of mathematical equations, relativity, physicality, spirituality and unanimity aligned with much more certainty. That led consecutively to First-order Cybernetics in its strategic based, mathematical assumptions. Strategic and Structural Systems. The original core of pathology was singular and displaced in the context of family however attributed to placement once developed within cybernetics in its communicative approaches, specifically feedback loops and double bind (Guise, 2015). The “aha” moments parasailed around communicative patterns, cycles and reframing. The context was misplaced in its entirety however fundamentally grounded. Cybernetics notions solicited ideals around repetitive behaviors, dysfunctional cycles and altering perspectives, which is fragmented within constructivism. Familial objects based on goal specifications and current demographics may petition a more authoritative role. The paradoxical regimens hesitated assuming positions with an unorthodox approach due to the constrained nature of approach. The selective additions in First-order cybernetics, although reflecting limitations, include the belief that systems try to sustain homeostasis. When a symptom evolves it mirrors mannerisms parallel to natural selection. The system pursues verifiable methods in which homeostasis can be achieved. The nature of this attributed guidance towards a potential precursor although true imminence is not attainable. One must not be misguided fractionally in pursuit of integrity.
  9. 9. FOOTPRINTS IN THE WORLD OF CYBERNETICS AND SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION THEORIES   9   Social Construction. As constructivism and society intertwined linguistics, communication, subjectivity, inclusion, creativity and exclusivity, one became enchanted. The incorporation of “self” was undeniable in a sense that methodology and individuality transpired. The newness of concepts that placed attention on plausibility conjoined efforts. First-Order Cybernetics fundamentally climaxed symptoms however the opportunity to co-create a solution culminated resolutions. The Milan-Systemic principles of neutrality and circularity were promoted to include curiosity and lineal expansions (Flaskas, 2011). The “not-knowing” concept suggested a more unbiased compassionate endeavor then a more invasive technique. The preeminent selection of therapy integrated a heterogeneous selection by comingling dialectical and experiential creations. The intellectual significance of understanding families, functionality, cognizance and their influential varieties defined the relationships with the world (Becvar and Becvar, 1994). Diversity and Cultural Norms. Diversity has a multitude of meanings found in various publications highlighting expanded comprehension. Diversity is explained as the state of being diverse, variety and a range of things (Seedall, Holtrop and Parra-Cardon, 2014). In psychological examinations diversity in a broad sense encompasses nationality, culture, gender, ethnicity, spirituality, sexual orientation and socioeconomic status (Seedall et al., 2014). This dialogue may contribute to both controversial and beneficial concepts that have an ambiguous disposition related to diversity within cybernetics and social construction models. Social Justice and Injustice. Social injustice is defined as the unfair treatment in which the rights of a person or group of people are ignored (Merriam-Webster Dictionary, 2014). Social justice, oppositional to injustice, is the distribution of advantages and disadvantages within a society (, 2014). Critiquing both justice and injustice leaves one with an equivocal assessment. While Cybernetics and Social Construction approaches methodology towards pursuance of justice, the models ascended at the expense of one another, which could be considered inequitable (Seedall et al.,
  10. 10. FOOTPRINTS IN THE WORLD OF CYBERNETICS AND SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION THEORIES   10   2014). Alternatively, patterns of substantial growth, collaborated efforts and enhanced communications developed, which contributed to supporting those at a disadvantage (Seedall et al., 2014). Systemic Approach. Research reflected the systemic approach to be more inclined to address therapy in a pragmatic manner in an effort to assert power and control. This perspective is notated throughout dialogues fashioned towards gender-biased collectives. Structural models, similar to strategic, also represented hierarchy and linear concepts although requisition disseminates regarding domestic violence and abuse (Hoffman, 1990). Hoffman (1990) distinguishes the fundamental need to revert to linear models, which formulated exertion of power when felonious acts were present. Gender biases and injustices of all diversities, are regarded to subjection of social inequalities. Cybernetics systemic views manage a rational accession lending a historical and convoluted consideration while social construction integrates a social lens connecting communication, culture and awareness (Seedall et al., 2014). The alliance of frameworks provides a richness in cognizance leaving no place unnoted. Constructivist Approach. Humanity exists in social context generated by crossroads of power and oppression (Seedall et al., 2014). These dynamics are interchangeable of one another while completely separable as independent constraints. As society revolutionizes expanding cultural norms, the context within cybernetic and social construction may no longer appropriate dynamics for a rapidly altering society. As an example, benightedness has eventuated regarding sexual orientation and familial design. Assumptions and misinformation has utilization of ambivalent frameworks. Therapeutic necessities include awareness regarding nuances, linguistics, emotional structure and resilience to adversity (Guise, 2015) The emergence demographically and continued educational directives regarding social construction will re-align a broader format deviating potential barriers presented with evolution.
  11. 11. FOOTPRINTS IN THE WORLD OF CYBERNETICS AND SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION THEORIES   11   Individual Integration of Theories and Models A journey through historical transformation in models and theories has concluded a dynamically unique perspective. Intellectually, cybernetics mastery is more probable and connected to ones arrhythmic exhibition. The techniques provided by cybernetics homeostasis, functionalism, reframing, systemic interpretations, analogous mechanical systems and knowing position targets determinism. The erroneous practice of paradoxical interventions contradicts individual integrity in its irreverent disposition. Characteristically , social construction’s aureate propositioning connects to ones inner self- exploring the humanitarian lens within. Curiosity, compassion, co-creation, and not knowing enhance relations, bypasses considerable resistances, and positions one as a confidant. The strength-based description explores the law of attraction in which interrelated positive constructs more positives. Awareness has concluded means by which a limitless reality actualizes stories in which freedom is choosing the limits we dare to become (Velasquez, 2010) .
  12. 12. FOOTPRINTS IN THE WORLD OF CYBERNETICS AND SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION THEORIES   12   References References Becvar, R. J., & Becvar, D. S. (1994). The ecosystemic story: A story about stories. Journal Of Mental Health Counseling, 16(1), 22. Benokraitis, N. (2010). SOC (2009-2010 ed., student ed.). Belmont, CA: Cengage Learning. Flaskas, C. (2011). Frameworks for Practice in the Systemic Field: Part 2 — Contemporary Frameworks in Family Therapy. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy (ANZJFT), 32(2), 87-108. Retrieved December 12, 2014. Guise, R. (2015). Part II The Schools And Models of Family Therapy. In The Study Guide for the Marriage & Family Therapy National Licensing Examination. Jamaica Plain, MA: Family Solutions. Hoffman, L. (1990). Constructing Realities: An Art Of Lenses. Family Process, 29(1), 1-12 Injustice. (n.d.). Retrieved December 11, 2014, from http://www.merriam- Keenev, B., & Ross, J. (1983). Cybernetics Of Brief Family Therapy. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 9(4), 375-382 Mackinnon, L., & Miller, D. (1987). The new epistemology and the Milan Approach: Feminist and Sociopolitical Considerations. 13(2), 139-155. Nordqvist, C. (2014, September 1). What is Psychology; What are the branches of psychology? Retrieved December 12, 2014. Parra-Cardona, J., Holtrop, K., & Seedall, R. (2014). DIVERSITY, SOCIAL JUSTICE, AND
  13. 13. FOOTPRINTS IN THE WORLD OF CYBERNETICS AND SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION THEORIES   13   INTERSECTIONALITY TRENDS IN C/MFT: A CONTENT ANALYSIS OF THREE FAMILY THERAPY JOURNALS,. Journal of Marital & Family Therapy, 40(2), 139-151. social justice. (n.d.).'s 21st Century Lexicon. Retrieved December 11, 2014, from website: justice Velasquez, M. (2010). The Sources of Knowledge. In Philosophy (pp. 308-347). Mason, OH: Cengage Learning. .