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How does your understanding of social science perspectives enable you to explain the difficulties and problems of individuals that access your chosen service or agency?
How might these perspectives provide some way of working towards positive outcomes?
The term sociology was coined by the French philosopher Augustus Comte. It was developed to an immediate need to study about the society. It is also basically considered one form of science which deals with societal behavior. Psychology is an applied discipline which deals with the interactions of human behavior. It is universally accepted that man is a social being and that his interaction to the society is considered highly evaluative. In the olden days when people used the sign language to communicate it was not possible to segregate the society in to different layers, but with the evolution of language man started creating imaginary social distinctions among themselves in the society. Society and societal beings can be viewed from different perspectives from a Functionalist Marxist perspective, from an Interactionist perspective and from a psychological perspective. Psychology tries to understand why individuals behave in varied or may be weird ways in certain situations. With the advancement of psychology as a genre there has been a plethora of innovations into this field of understanding the complex, composite and multiplexed being- the human. This assignment will look further into the sociological and psychological perspectives and man’s essential role in the society.
Society influences the human being leaving a tremendous impact on his/her social life; individuals are shaped according to their social circumstances. From a Functionalist Marxist perspective society is differentiated into different classes the capitalist or the bourgeoisie and the proletariat or the working class. It has always been a tensed relationship. In such a society the capitalist seem to be better privileged than the working class, this indeed affects their roles in the society. According to the theories of Social Role Valorisation “The application of empirical knowledge to the shaping of the current or potential social roles of a party (i.e., person, group, or class) -- primarily by means of enhancement of the party’s competencies & image -- so that these are, as much as possible, positively valued in the eyes of the perceivers”(Wolfensberger & Thomas, 2005). Social Role Valorisation (SRV) was a concept that was formulated by Wolf Wolfensberger, Ph.D. (Lemay, 1995; Wolfensberger, 1972) which deals with mainly human relationships and their impact on the society. SRV basically gives the view that “all good things in life” (Wolfensberger, Thomas, & Caruso, 1996) are available to those who are only valued in the society. It demands that it is applicable in such situations where there are people who are already societally devalued and those who are at risk of being devalued (Osburn, 2006). The society is discriminated within itself through imaginary constructs. Those who are born into a so called higher class, tend to dominate the lower class thus resulting in a class struggle. People in higher class enjoy more beneficiaries than the less privileged. The higher class seems to view the lower class with a significant amount of contempt. The elite classes are enclosed in their own ivory towers which have been created by the society. According to Bergson"Each member [of society] must be ever attentive to his social surroundings - he must avoid shutting himself up in his own peculiar character as a philosopher in his ivory tower"(Bergson, 1911).
In this instance it is appropriate to understand that society has conferred roles on the individual even before he is born and which is hard to amend. Louis Althusser works further on Jacques Lacan to understand how ideology shapes individual in a society he demands that “individuals are always already subjects” (Althusser, 2001). Thus an individual is highly reliant on his social circumstances. Society confers upon him/her certain roles and if they act deviantly from the set pattern they become stigmatized in the society. Being stigmatized means being socially criticized, devalued, carrying a sense of shame and a feeling of standing alone in the crowd. It affects the person mentally as well; it takes its shape from rejection, preferences on physical features, isolation.
To give further evidences on these circumstantial effects we shall look upon a child and his family who suffered much torment only because he was a dyslexic. Dyslexia is a complex neurological condition, occurring in approximately four percent of the population (The National Working Party, 1999). Although the manifestations of the disorder will change throughout an individual’s lifetime, its effects are thought to be life‐long (Bruck, 1989). Dyslexics are people who have difficulty in learning and writing, basically known as a learning disorder. There are quite a number researches founded on the basis of dyslexia. It can be defined as “a specific learning disorder that is neurobiological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding activities” (Lyon, 2003).
So a dyslexic would be a person who has difficulty in meeting set requirements which a child of the same age can accomplish almost very easily. This enigmatic situation puts the person in a pathetic scenario where our case study begins. Let’s name the child as Master. X. We shall look upon him from his childhood days. He was born as a happy boy but developed the speaking skills quite later compared to children of his age group. He was a very active boy and the teachers of his nursery always used to have good opinion about him. But problems arose when it was time for him to start learning alphabets. He found it difficult to understand the co relation between sounds and letters and thus he found it extremely difficult to cope with the lessons. He was terribly scared to err as he thought it caused him shame so he started becoming mischievous against other kids, hurting them and not concentrating. His parents were notified about the matter, and that the school authorities doubted whether he was a dyslexic. He seemed to be really short- tempered especially at his home. Tests were conducted and it confirmed that he suffered the learning disorder. At times he behaved so stupidly not knowing the exact reason of his actions but often mocked by his peer group. It is rather hard for a dyslexic to find out his role in the society because of his disorder, he thinks he cannot serve the society as a normal person would. He fears that people may look down upon him or even criticize him. As a result of this social rejection he does not do well at school which results in low grades and drop outs. As a student he will be constantly monitored by his peer group, whenever he is asked to read or write an extract, this manifests in himself as being worried, embarrassed and over anxious. They are constantly baffled about their role in the society. Even the society may be well informed about the disorder, but at times it may be not possible that everyone would view the child in the same perspective. Due to this the dyslexics may be less inclined to think about secondary education or even plan for their future (Goldston, 2007). They feel to be stigmatized and discriminated from the society and ultimately they develop a pessimistic attitude to life in total. They constantly believe that they are a failure in the community and are quite apprehensive about their future too. According to the clinical observations of Michael Ryan, (2004) he has clearly explained that the dyslexics often do not understand the correct sequence of events and has memory problems too. When someone has asked him about an incident he narrates the story in a different manner which pictures him as a liar. This also has significant control over his social life as people would feel less reluctant to believe in him and thus it makes them feel that they are worthless. Hence, they develop a negative self-image. Freud has spoken about the three layers of a person’s subconscious mind the id, ego and the super ego (Pervin, Cervone and Oliver, 2005).
A person’s self-esteem lies in the super ego. Crocker and Wolfe (2001) summarizes that most of human behavior is motivated by the need to maintain high levels of self-esteem. A mind always needs positive comments to keep it healthy and the super ego is rooted in such positive moral image. When adequate or no appraisal is given to the individual they tend to look at themselves as people with low self-esteem. A low self –esteem is characterized by an imbalance of the id, ego or the super ego (Lowrance, 2009). Erik Ericson too was influenced by the learning’s of Freud but Erikson tries to understand the individual’s reactions with the immediate environment. Erikson was of the view that in the latency stage, children try to resolve crisis where they try to confront it and be productive. If they feel they have an incapacity to do certain tasks like the others they tend to regress themselves from the situation, thus creating a negative self-image. They feel inferior to others (Ryan, 2004). When the self –esteem is constructed to be low it is highly difficult for any person to motivate the individual to attain a positive image and they feel anxious and frustrated. Fear is a counter reaction to anxiety and frustration. They seem to be passive in certain situations but they are basically angry people. They do not show their anger in an unfamiliar situation but feel free to vent their anger on their mother where they think they are safe (Ryan, 2004). This has its roots in attachment theory of John Bowlby. He observed that the child behaves in a different way when the parent is not around like crying and being adamant (Fraley, 2010). It is because the child senses a feeling of insecurity. Similarly the dyslexic trusts the mother and understands that she will be there to support him and that is why the mothers are usually targeted in their most depressive and anxious period. Depression is again a common problem being witnessed by the dyslexics.
Keeping in mind all these confronted issues there are ways in which these can be resolved and providing them a positive pathway to life. It is believed that high expectations of life makes a person move a long way in his/her ambitions. The parents are the first and foremost people who should have a clear understanding about the disorder. They should be given training as how to tackle these children. It may be depressive for the parents especially when these children exhibit unacceptable behavior in the public. Constant support must be given to both the parents and the children to deal in this difficult situation. Dyslexic children are more prone to depression and frustration so appropriate measures can be taken by the psychologists. They always carry a sense of dejection and constantly are in low- spirits, these attitudes can be withdrawn when the child engages in talking therapies. These therapies are in a way helpful as they get to talk freely about how they feel about themselves and the society, but this may take a long period of time because of the dyslexic’s specific needs. Constant encouragement must be given by parents, teachers and even friends so that the child can achieve his goal. As they have developed a negative self- image from their early stages of childhood, proper strategies should be put in place so that they feel that their work and goal will be productive. It is understood that now people have good knowledge about the disorder and no longer understand it as a handicap. It is understood that when their goals are molded according to their specific needs they fare well. We can see this through examples of famous people who were actually dyslexics, there are lot to be named but a few of them need mentioning- scientists like Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison politicians like George Washington, John .F. Kennedy artists like Leonardo Da Vinci, Pablo Picasso and many more writers, journalists, entrepreneurs etc. Good maneuvering with pre- set objectives can lead the dyslexic child to a high level of accomplishment which the famous people themselves have proved.
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- Anila Ashok (Author), 2019, How does your understanding of social science perspectives enable you to explain the difficulties and problems of individuals that access your chosen service or agency?, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/456630