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The concept 6


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The concept 6

  1. 1. SOCIAL POLICY ASSIGNMENT 3This essay will firstly discuss how individuals learn their behaviour and attitude throughsocial factors and proceed to propose several sociology and political factors which mayinfluence behaviours and attitudes. Subsequent models that incorporate discretionary factorswill also be presented as each is discussed. The essay will conclude by summarising theillustrated factors, and their relevant roles within behaviour choice models, lastly proposingessential factor influencing behaviour in relation to a specific case of Christopher Clunis,(1992)..However, the social learning theory of Bandura, (1977) emphasizes the importance ofobserving and modelling the behaviours, attitudes and emotional reactions of others,Bandura, analysed that individually learn their attitude and behaviour by watching someoneelse doing something, which then provides the learner with an image of the desiredbehaviour, which would act as a guide to the learner. The social learning theory suggests thatan individual must acquire a new behaviour by imitating a model. Bandura, (1977)emphasizes that there are four processes that are involved in how individual learn theirattitude and behaviour these are; observational learning attention (paying attention to themodel), retention (retaining memory), reproduction (capability to perform observed action)and motivation (motivated to learn the behaviour in return for an award).In contrast, the concept of how individuals learn behaviour and attitude could be arguedfrom a psychodynamic perspective, Freud’s (1939) states that; individual learn attitudeand behaviour through childhood experiences. Since all behaviour is goal determined, theimmediate goal of the ego defence mechanisms is to avoid and/ or reduce anxiety, Forexample, if an individual has not successfully resolved conflicts in childhood, through the– largely unconscious – early internalisation of childhood experiences, this will lead totrauma or distress in later life. Experiencing this, the individual becomes dissociatedthrough the depression of their emotional feelings, leading to alienation from widersociety.Christianah Akpojivi Social Policy
  2. 2. Freud’s suggests that as individuals are essentially anti-social beings, behavioural can be learned through biologically endowed with egocentric desires and destructive impulses, which could facilitates conflict with the demands of society. In order to function within a social environment these impulses must be controlled or channelled by the individual. Therefore, the immediate desire of the ‘id’ must be suppressed by the emergence of the ‘ego’, guided by the reality principle. Freud’s (1939) emphasised that behaviour is governed by unconsciousness as well as conscious motives and that the personality develops in steps, the id, then the ego and then the super ego. Freud’s also proposed a set of five psychosexual stages on how individual learn behaviour and attitude which are: oral, anal, phallic, latency and genital. Whilst Freud’s theories overemphasized the unconscious mind, sex, aggression and childhood experiences on how individual learn their attitude and behaviour, it fails to analyses the challenges of life events influencing behaviour in later development.However, In Goffman’s view (1959, cited in Hayes, 1993) individual’s behaviour can beinfluenced through the self-comprises of a number of different aspects which are adoptedduring the course of brief ‘episodes’, thus meaning that, for example, the role of a passengeron a bus is as much a part of the self as the role of a student in lectures. As the individual takestheir place in society, Goffman, (1959) suggests that the range of roles available to themdevelops and the different aspects of their self’ which they present in everyday living becomemore highly developed and more sophisticated.Furthermore, the sociologist concept of Dukheim, (1910) emphases on socialisation as theterm used for the process by which individuals shape and perform behaviour expected of themby society or to become a contributing citizen. In order to survive and work together, peoplehave to agree on certain common values, and conduct themselves accordingly. Individuallearn most of this from other people, as people interact with each ot-her; all involved areaffected and in varying degrees influence their attitudes and behaviour. Durkheim, analysethat habits, ideologies/beliefs, attitudes, traditions, motives, social roles, language and moralvalues are developed through this socialisation process and through the transmission oflanguage individual influence the development of their behaviour, as cited by, Robinson,(1981, P:47). Durkheim, (1923) concept is useful to analyse how individual behaviour can beshaped through consensus and harmony in society, it fails to see how society is constructed tobenefit the most powerful social classes. Christianah Akpojivi Social Policy
  3. 3. In contrast, the Conflict/Marxist sociologist concept of Marx, (1844) see society as beingmade up of very large social groups called social classes where each individual has differentexperiences and interests. Marx, (1844) analyse that every society contains class, ethnic,gender and other influences that can shape individual behaviour with evidence that people inthe lower class smoked more and drank heavily, were more likely to eat junk food and notexercise, the poor life style were linked to a range of illnesses including mental health, whicharise various kinds of conflict. Marx, (1844) concept states that power and class is inheritedby conflict between individuals and groups. A persons up bring can have an influence ontheir self-concept and how they view both society and life. People often see a differencewithin the values of service users’ that have come from privileged backgrounds to those whohave experienced social disadvantages such as their perception of prospects and status.Marx’s concept, call for revolutionary change, in order for individual’s behaviour to beshaped to contribute and receives according to their ability and needs.For instance, Class is seen as one of the factors that shaped Christopher Clunis life andbehaviour. The concept of Class plays a role in the ways the professionals involved inChristopher’s care extend regards to Christopher’s opinion and value which representlegitimate concern over the constantly transferred of responsibility for Christopher Cluniswith little to no co-ordination between geographical areas, this have negative influence in theway Christopher maintain a function of social control to integrate in the community.Whilst Marxist’s theory tends to assume that social classes is the basis of socialisation andthat other sources of inequality and influences that shaped individual behaviours are notimportant. However, Goffman, (1959) concept is most useful as itexamines how individualsperform their reality, and individualism action in evaluating their behaviour through backstage and front stage in society. Goffman’s (1959) also emphasize on how individualexperience political socialization where they acquire political norms and values based ongovernment ideologies and legislation, as people’s roles change their behaviour must beshaped to the new requirements. This is the process of anticipatory socialization.In contrast, social psychologist Baltes, (1987) describe three influences that shape individualsbehaviour these being normative age graded, normative history graded and non- normative.Normative age graded could be starting school, the advent of puberty and physical changesassociated with aging. Normative history graded that influences individual behaviourincludes wars, depressions or other significant events. Non normative includes such things asChristianah Akpojivi Social Policy
  4. 4. divorce, illness, career change or political legislative that can shape individuals behaviour.Inthe case of Christopher Clunis, a legal loophole in the political legislation of the (1983)Mental Health Act, allowing people with untreated disorder to live in the community causedpublic outrage and high profile media campaign for a public inquiry in to the care andtreatment of Christopher, which influence Christopher Clunis, antisocial behaviour and thesevere personality disorder that led to the killing of Jonathan Zito, (1992).In contrast, the social psychologist theory of Harari and David, (1973) stressed that race andgender stereotyping influences individual behaviour. Harari’s theory provide some of theclearest example and analyse that stereotyping can take a number of different forms to shapeindividual behaviour. For example; teachers stereotyped children on the basis of their firstnames, they had different expectations of what a ‘Karen or Adele’ would be like this affectedtheir marking. Higher grades were given to students with positive names than those withnames associated with negative stereotype. For instance:In the case of Christopher Clunis,(1992) Race related stereotypes have influenced the poor practice and judgemental attitudesthat shape Christopher’s behaviour. The inquiry into the death of Jonathon Zitto byChristopher Clunis highlighted that social workers and the professionals in Christopher careheld assumptions and stereotypical views that contributed to the incorrect intervention thatthen led to this tragedy. A life span perspective would have indicated that Christopher Clunispast behaviour and cultural background could have been considered and used to predictfuture behaviours. Clinical Risk, (2002) suggests that the inquiry into his death showed a‘catalogue of failure and misinterpretation of backgrounds.In conclusion, a life stages perspective takes a holistic view of the life course as offeringopportunities for growth, behaviour and attitude, individual will have their own uniqueaccount of their lives and what events have been significant or influential to them. This essayhas proposed several factors that may influence the attitude and behaviour relationship,including attitude learned (cognitive and effective components), internal (knowledge,commitment, morals) and external (alternatives choices, information) influences. These havebeen discussed as having been identified in one or several models including; the sociallearning theory. Through transition, attitudes are shown to be connected to intentions, whichin turn are good predictors of behaviour. In addition, it is sometime hard to extend a positiveregard to someone if you do not understand the underpinning influences imposed on themfrom birth by society and groups in society. (Crawford and Walker).Christianah Akpojivi Social Policy
  5. 5. REFERENCESAjzen., I. and Fishbein., M. (1969). The prediction of behavioural intentions in a choicesituation.Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.Bagozzi, (1992) cited inLeone L.,Perugini M., and Ercolani A.P. (1999) A Comparison of Three Models of Attitude-BehaviourRelationships in the Studying Behaviour Domain.European Journal of Social Psychology,29, 161-189.Bandura, (1977) cited in Esysenck., M. (2000) Psychology: A studentshandbook. UK: Psychology Press Ltd.Bentler and Speckart (1979) Attitude cause behaviour. Journal of personality and socialpsychology.37, 1364-13376Cohen, (1964); Festinger, (1964); Abelson, (1972) cited in Reid, B., and Adcock, C. (1982)Values, attitudes and behaviour change. USA: Methuen & Co.Eiser and Pligt, (1988) Attitudes and Decisions. London and New York: Routledge.Esysenck., M. (2000) Psychology: A students handbook. UK: Psychology Press Ltd.Fazio and Zanna, (1981) cited in Hauston M., Stoebe W., and Stephenson G.M..(1996).Introduction to Social Psychology. Oxford: BlackwellFrey, Stahlberg and Gollwitzer, (1993) cited in Hauston M., Stoebe W., and StephensonG.M..(1996). Introduction to Social Psychology. Oxford: BlackwellChristianah Akpojivi Social Policy
  6. 6. Haralambos and Holborn, (2004), Sociology Themes and Perspectives, Collins, London.Heider, (1958) cited in Hogg, M.A., and Vanghan, G.M., (1998) Social Psychology. Bath:Prentice Hall Europe.Himmelfarb and Eagly (1974) cited in Hogg, M.A., and Vanghan, G.M., (1998) SocialPsychology. Bath: PrenticeHogg, M.A., and Vanghan, G.M., (1998) Social Psychology. Bath: Prentice Hall Europe.Leone L., Perugini M., and Ercolani A.P. (1999) A Comparison of Three Models of Attitude-Behaviour Relationships in the Studying Behaviour Domain.European Journal of SocialPsychology, 29, 161-189.Matheson, K., Holmes, J.G., and G.M. Kristiasen. (1999). Observational Goals and Integrationof trait perceptions and behaviour: Behaviour prediction versus Impression formation.Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.27, 138-160Millar and Tesser, (1989) cited in Hauston M., Stoebe W., and Stephenson G.M.(1996).Introduction to Social Psychology. Oxford: BlackwellMitchell. G, (1981), A new Dictionary of Sociology, Routledge and KeganMoghaddam F.M. (1998). Social psychology: Exploring Universals Across Cultures: USA.W.H.Freeman and company.Myers D.G., (1999) Social Psychology. USA: McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.O’ Donnel, M, (1997), Introduction to Sociology, Nelson, Surrey.Paul, London.Christianah Akpojivi Social Policy