SOCIAL SCIENCE THEORY ESSAY Most of the things we know about human? s behaviour has come out because of the different psychological theories. We may question why there are so many different psychological perspectives, which one is right and which one is wrong. Most Psychologists nowadays would say that none of the theories are correct. However, in the early days, the Psychologists would agree that all the theories were the only truly scientific one. Psychology is a science dedicated to the study of our mind and behaviour. There are different ways of understanding the human mind and behaviour, those ways are called perspectives.
A perspective is basically a point of view or a way of considering how some things are linked together and their importance. Sigmund Freud known as the father of psychoanalysis was a famous physiologist, medical doctor and an influential thinker of the early twenties. Freud was the one who created a new method to understand the human personality. He had one of the most provocative minds of the last century. Freud was the one that improved the theory of psychodynamic psychology and the famous treatment known as psychoanalysis.
Freud was one of the most brilliant thinkers in the last century, he brought public attention by his ideas of we usually are not conscious of the aspects of ourselves. He believed that what people are conscious of is symbolized in our minds, memories and feelings. Freud believed that the things we experienced in the past are part of our mind that he called the unconscious. However, we are not able to access the contents in our unconscious, they often appear in our dreams. Freud described the unconscious mind has an iceberg where only a very small part of it is accessible to awareness.
The part of the unconscious that he believed it can be accessed very easily he named the pre-conscious. The importance of an early experience is evidently illustrated by Freud’s development theory of psychosexual development. He described that each stage of our life concentrates on a part of the body that is relevant at that stage. If the needs of the individual are achieved on that stage, the he or she was ready to go into the next stage. However, if the individual struggles to achieve that stage then he or she becomes stuck in this stage.
Freud believed that these results are the ones that we carry through into the adulthood and it can possibly explain our behaviours later in life. Stretch and Whitehouse (2010) The early stage of an individual is called the oral stage. The focus on this stage is on the mouth and activities like, sucking, licking and biting. Freud believes that there could be two reasons for fixation. If the infant was discouraged two early, It could make the infant feels unsatisfied and the infant could become a negative, sarcastic person.
If, in the other hand, the infant was over-gratified, the infant could develop a gullible personality, easily trusting in others and with a tendency of swallow anything. The early stage lasts from birth to approximately 18 months. Stretch and Whitehouse (2010) If the infant gets through the stage with no problems, the next stage is called the anal stage, where the infant focuses on aspects to do with potty training. If there is a fight between the parents and the child during the potty training or if the child does not feel comfortable while potty training, they may rebel by retaining their faeces.
This type of fixation is called anally retentive. The child is not given the opportunity to enjoy potty training so the child can become a very disorganised person. During the ages of four and five, the child passes through the phallic stage. Freud believed that this stage is associated with nervousness and guilt feelings about sex and fear of castration for males. If this stage is not passes successfully, this theory suggests that a boy could become homosexual and a girl could become a lesbian. Freud thought these were abnormal fixations but nowadays most people would not view them in the way Freud did.
When the child reaches the age of five until the age of seven, the child gets into the latency stage where he or she focuses on the social environment and the development of friendships. The final psychosexual stage is the genital stage in which the puberty begins. Freud believed that the less fixated the individual has become during the earlier stages, the more easily this stage will be negotiated, resulting in the ability to form strongest heterosexual relationships with an ability to be warm and loving as well as to receive love in a new, mature fashion.
Overall, Psychoanalysis is usually used to cure depression and any type of mental illness. Psychologists also believed that their therapy would release repressed emotions, it would make the unconscious conscious. Functionalism is known as a sociological aspect that sees the society working in peace and harmony with each other, making an enormous contribution to the smooth running of the society. The society works together using social methods to control and deal with deviant members of groups, to make sure the society functions smoothly.
Talcott Parsons was an American sociologist who helped in the development of functionalism and sociological aspects. He believed that society was a system made of interrelated institutions and for that reason, the society would run smooth. He also believed that the main role of an institution was to socialise individuals and make sure they were able to understand the values of the society and behave in an acceptable way. Functionalism says that everything and everyone in the society serves a purpose, no matter how strange it may seem. For example, crime is viewed universally as trouble.
Functionalists, however says that crime serves several purposes. They believed that crime is needed for the employment of criminal investigators, police officers and other people related fields to work. If at any moment crime disappear from the planet, thousands of jobs related with crime would no longer be necessary. Stretch and Whitehouse (2010) Functionalism received some criticism for forgetting the negative aspects in events such as divorce. Critics also declare that the perspective of functionalism justifies the statues of quo and complacency on the part of society members.
Functionalism does not persuade people to try to change their social environment, even if those changes could benefit them. Functionalism is also criticised for its lack of testability. Functionalism is described as the most generalized and unproductive of the sociological schools. It is not logically sync with variability between cultures and it does not explain the changes in the society. Marxism was first developed by a German Philosopher called Karl Marx. He considered that individual behaviour was shaped by society but he believed that the economic system defined society and people? place within it. Marx held the views that the industrial society of his time there were two social classes: The bourgeoisie or capitalist that were described as a small powerful group who owned all the factors, offices and the other places of employment and the Proletariat that were a much larger and poorer group that were employed by the capitalists. Stretch and Whitehouse (2010) Marx’s view was that those two social groups would always get into conflict as the capitalists were the ones that owned the offices and they would want higher profits.
In the other side the employees, the ones on the proletariat group, would ask for higher salaries. That is the reason that Marxism is usually called the conflict model. Marx believed that those conflicts between the capitalists and the proletariat could cause a revolution. Feminism is often seen as an example of a conflict model. Abbot and Claire Wallace (1990) were two women who argued about the male domination in the society. They said the society did not pay enough attention to the issues of the women and their place in the society.
There are three different types of feminism: Marxism feminism, Radical feminism and Liberal feminism Marxism Feminists see women as a working-class. They believed that women meet the social, emotional and physical needs of their children and they are ready to work for their family and children on the future. Women know how to maintain their husbands or partners, they are good at cooking meals and they take care of their children properly without being paid. Stretch and Whitehouse (2010) Radical feminism believes that it is not the capitalism or social life that dominates women, but men.
They say that women are housewives and mothers. They believe there is not equality between the sexes and women are only needed to take care of the children and do house work Liberal Feminism agree that the changes happening now and the one that will probably happen in the future such as the changes of attitudes, equal pay and sex discrimination brought more equality between the two sexes. Marxism claims that the health problems people have are closely related to the unhealthy and stressful work environments.
Marx believed that health problems are not the result of individual weakness, but the unequal social structure and class disadvantages that are reproduced under capitalism. Marx believed that the patterns of mortality and illness are probably related to occupation, especially in the case of industrial working class. Marxism argues that medicine is not an independent discipline, but a sector of economic production which respond to the political needs of the capitalist system as a whole. Some Marxists argue that the NHS benefits the bourgeoisie by ensuring that their workers remain well enough to work.
Most of those workers understood their inequality but believed that the system was fair. Marxism discussed that the free health service was a victory for the proletariat, the working class, as the bourgeoisie used to get the best care first. Marxism received some critics for not paying attention to the dynamics of the medical process, the experience of illness and the state of being a patient. Turner (1987) believed that the Marxist political economy of health needed to address how the diversity of capitalist societies was related to medicine, health and illness.
The knowledge of the medical practitioners plays a very important role in providing health care. However, the primary purpose is to regulate the working classes and the popular masses. Navarro (1986) Emile Durkheim was a French sociologist who focused on different types of suicides. Durkheim believed that there is not any society in which suicide does not exist. Durkheim’s theory of suicide adds a lot for the understanding of the phenomenon. However, he has laid too much stress on one factor which is suicide. He has undermined other factors.
Durkheim believed that suicide is not something individual or private, it happens because of something powerful that stays over and above the individual. Durkheim viewed that: “all classes of deaths resulting directly or indirectly from the positive or negative acts of the victim itself who knows the result they produce”. Nowadays loads of doctors and psychologists believe that the majority of people who commit suicide are in a pathological state. However Durkheim believed that people take their own life because of social reasons.
Emile Durkheim categorized different types of suicides basing on the different relationships between the individual and the society. Egoistic Suicide is when an individual isolate himself from the society. The individual usually feels that there is no place for him or her in the society. In many cases the individual has lack of altruistic feelings. Altruistic suicide happens to people who are too close and intimidate to the society group. This type of suicide often results from the over incorporation of the individual into social proof.
According to Durkheim Anomic suicide happens when there is a breakdown of social equilibrium. For example if someone is really rich and goes bankrupt. Fatalistic suicide happens when there is an overregulation in the society. For example if a slave commits suicide, it is called a fatalistic suicide. Conclusion To conclude my essay is clear that Marx, Freud and Durkheim had a big impact in our society. I believe that without their theories our society would not be the way it is now. References “Health and social care level 3, M. Stretch and M. Whitehouse, First published 2010”
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