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Sociological Ideas And Service Users Situations Community Work Essay

In taking the time to observe how sociological and emotional influences may impact on a service customer or client group, the sociable worker can continue to be mindful of the wider framework of a situation and not merely take what she sees at face value. This knowledge allows the communal worker to remain objective and to make prepared decisions in order to maintain professionalism in her work. By applying Sociological and Psychological theory to the 'Bertram's' case study I aim to explore the wider interpersonal context, outside affect and mental health implications from days gone by and present. Through this exploration I'll uncover the varying viewpoints and sometimes contradictory mother nature of these ideas. To get a Sociological point of view on the research study I am making use of Functionalist and Feminist theories. I will be able to scrutinise the Bertram's current situation and apply the theory in order to get a wider understanding of the social framework. To be able to maintain a well-balanced viewpoint, Psychodynamic theory and Maslow's hierarchy will enable me to consider the emotional impact with a concentrate on human and psychological development.

By examining a situation from a Sociological perspective we may take into consideration how various aspects such as category, social structure, religious beliefs, impairment can impact folks from a wider social context. This is essential in gaining a holistic picture the problem.


By making use of a Macro theory to the truth scenario it we can go through the large scale top features of society and how individual actions have an impact on society all together and vice versa. Functionalism will allow me to contemplate the structure of modern culture and the way the Bertram's fit within that framework. Functionalist theorists regard society as something with interlocking parts. It really is believed that each part must function effectively for society, as something, to are a whole. It is often rationalised using biological analogy. The social role of people is an crucial part of the theory. Each person is thought to have their specific role to experiment with within world. From a functionalist perspective it's very clear that Mrs Bertram is not fulfilling her role as a partner. Because of her alzemers she is unable to perform the duties that would have been expected of her. Durkheim believed that everyone possessed their place, and a woman's place was in the house. In the framework of the 40's, 50's when Functionalism was at its optimum, this viewpoint wouldn't normally have been unusual, if a little out-dated by today's expectations. None the less, it is not through choice that she has become dysfunctional within culture. She has reliable promise for not having the ability to carry out her societal role and Functionalism would automatically see her undertake the 'sick and tired role'. This might enable her to function again within the machine under a different guise.

It may be seen that Mr Bertram is a dysfunctional member of society. With his reckless behaviour, his outrageous spending, and having less care for his wife's basic needs he's no longer satisfying his role of husband. A primary proponent of Functionalism was Emile Durkheim (1858-1917). He saw marital vows as obligations. "AFTER I perform my obligations as a sibling, a spouse or a citizen and perform the commitments I've came into into, I fulfil obligations which are described in rules and custom which are exterior to myself and my activities" (Durkheim, 1982). He thought that if a member of society was considered as dysfunctional, then he was regarded as a deviant member of world. Deviance occurs when people aren't functioning correctly, based on the 'norm'. This could be through criminal offense, or anything which influences their ability to handle their societal role. Deviance needs to be handled or supervised. If it was founded that Mr Bertram was in simple fact deviant then he might need some persuading that by giving the attention and attention that his better half needs his partner wouldn't normally be taken off the problem. Through this image resolution, therefore, they would both have the ability to function correctly.

It could be observed that Mr Bertram experienced an liquor dependency. If this is set up then Mr Bertram too might take on the 'tired role'. In which particular case a different method for resolving the issues within the home would have to be followed. Talcott Parsons (1902-1979) assumed that sickness was a public concept rather than biological concept. So being ill intended acting in various, deviant ways to the norm. Being ill was therefore a kind of sociable role (Haralambos and Holborn, 2004). Parsons thought the rights of an sick person to be exemption from normal social obligations, the to be taken care of and blamed for their social deviance so long as they were genuinely sick. Obligations of any person playing the 'tired role' would be to understand that they have to 'get well' immediately in order to continue their normal function and to carry out this they must receive professional help. Mr Bertram's condition would need to be cared for or managed to be able to allow him to function again. If so Mr and Mrs Bertram would be able to stay at home under treatment and the issues about attention could be dealt with accordingly. He would no longer be looked at deviant member of population. A criticism of the 'ill role' would be that it's very difficult to use to long-term illness like that of Mrs Bertram. It is built on the assumption that the individual gain help in order to get function. This would not be easy for Mrs Bertram.


From a Radical Feminist point of view maybe it's detected that Mrs Bertram has been oppressed by her man. Through her devotion and his dominance she has succumb to subordination. Radical Feminists use the patriarchal interpersonal system as a concept to describe gender inequality. Patriarchy is the dominance of men over women in world. They view men as accountable for the exploitation of women from which they benefit greatly, through free local labour, sexual responsibilities and so forth. The case study explains how Mrs Bertram was swept off of her ft and totally specialized in Mr Bertram. Within their current situation, Mrs Bertram reaches home in squalled conditions and frantically looking for help. Mr Bertram is avoiding the situation by using diversionary strategy, selfishly seeking communal activity and pleasure through drink. This further rises her oppression as she is fully reliant on her partner to provide the care and attention which she is desperately in need of.

"Shulamith Firestone, an early radical feminist article writer argues that men control women's functions in re-production and child bearing. Because women are biologically able to give beginning to children, they are more based mostly materially on men for security and livelihood" (Giddens, 2006). Feminists could argue that because of this Mrs Bertram has become susceptible within her environment and just accepts this way of life. Jessie Bernard argued that "Men need marriage more than women" (pg 208 Gender). Perhaps this reliance on the domestic labour, comfort and intimate duties of an wife, which includes been lost my Mr Bertram through his wife's condition is attributing to his behavior. Mrs Bertram is no longer fulfilling her responsibilities as a wife which could be disrupting his workout. Any difficulty. Mr Bertram has never had to control the household, take care of his wife or finances, and may lack the power or may simply contemplate it beneath him. It could have an impact on his masculinity to obtain to carry out such tasks and duties thought to be part of a woman's role. This might also be the reason why he is unwilling to accept benefit the situation. He may feel he's being barraged and dictated to by his step daughters which may be resulting in a greater defiance. It is not clear from the research study, the nature of their relationship either. He might feel that family and experts are undermining his specialist as mind of family members. Mr Bertram may be compensating for his lack of masculinity at home, by using his cultural appearance, bravado, drinking and defiance. This time around away from the home for him may reaffirm his role as a dominating male within world whilst his dominant role as a man disappears at home. He no more has order over his wife, no more gets respect, adoration that he was once used to. Men are considered to have more influence within culture; Mr Bertram does not have any influence over this situation or higher his better half.

Part 2: Using the scenario summarize two psychological theories you can use to help your knowledge of the service users' situation

Humanistic theory - Maslow's hierarchy of needs

Humanistic psychologist Abraham Maslow (1908 - 1970) argued that humans throughout life not only want to have their basic survival needs found they strive for more in conditions of personal expansion. He believed that once basic needs for survival had been fulfilled that individuals development progressed toward higher internal needs. He argued that "people are motivated by the conscious desire for personal growth" (Rathus, 2004). Maslow assumed what segregated us from our so-called lower animals was our convenience of self-actualisation (Rathus, 2004). He assumed that this do it yourself- actualisation was as important as basic needs but cannot be attained unless other phases of human needs were completed. He organised these levels in to the hierarchy of needs, often presented in pyramid format. Each level must be satisfied in order to progress to another. At the bottom of the hierarchy are physiological needs. These are the basic people needs we all have in order to survive, like food, drinking water, shelter, oxygen. After the first basic need has been satisfied, the following stage is protection needs, the need for security. The next level in the hierarchy is love and belonging; the necessity to give and obtain love, to defeat loneliness and achieve a feeling of owed in life. The fourth level is 'Esteem needs'; to feel self-confident, respectable rather than to feel poor. Self-actualisation is the ultimate stage in the hierarchy and can only be come to when all foregoing needs are satisfied and the person seems he has achieved everything he wants to in life which is the best that they can be.

In the truth of the Bertram's it is clear that Mrs Bertram happens to be not even achieving underneath of Maslow's hierarchy of needs. It really is known that their toned is within an appalling state, she is unable to give food to herself and left on her own for the majority of the day. You'll expect almost all of her must be achieved within the framework of her relationship to Mr Bertram; however, since he has neglected his role as a partner, he has placed her in a position of significant danger. Since not her basic physiological needs are being found in the current situation then at the moment there would not be an possibility to improve through the hierarchy of needs.

If Mrs Bertram was positioned in residential health care then her physiological needs would be attained. She'd have food, drinking water and care and attention of her basic needs. She could then perhaps improvement to the following stage of protection. She would no more be vulnerable to hurting herself and she'd be in a more secure environment. Although it could be argued that for an move forward Alzheimer's sufferer, the unfamiliar environment would disorientate her and she might not actually feel secure there. Because of her prognosis, Mrs Bertram is improbable to meet the third level of 'love and belongingness'. Her advanced Alzheimer's may mean that she fails to recognise her hubby, family members and have a declining capacity to converse. Mrs Bertram would never reach self-actualisation. The very best that could be achieved would be basic success and basic safety needs, whether this is achieved at home with the conformity of her husband, or in personal care. Although it could be debated that residential care would not be the best option. As the GP states in the event scenario, "a move to residential care may destroy Mrs Bertram".

It would appear from the case scenario that Mr Bertram's basic needs are being satisfied. Nonetheless it is uncertain as to whether his s safety and security needs are being achieved. He certainly would not get a sense of love and belonging from his wife, in the last mentioned stages of sever dementia. I would observe, however, you can find some make an effort from Mr Bertram to accomplish a feeling of self-esteem, since he spends the majority of his time along with his compatriots at the golf club. It is clear that in this relationship and the current situation faced by the Bertram's that he too does not have any way of reaching self-actualisation. Maslow observes that it's mainly social factors that impede the personal development of humans. Potentially at least the first two stages of Maslow's hierarchy could be come to within the framework of their marriage, with the right services set up.

Psychodynamic theory

Through the Psychodynamic theory of personality we could speculate about Mr Bertram's former and exactly how that has effect on his behavior in the present. It might be difficult to accomplish a comprehensive result in respect to Mrs Bertram because of her Alzheimer's. Since her behaviour is wholly related to her condition.

Studying Sigmund Freud's (1856 - 1939) theories, with a concentrate on psychosexual development, would be the most relevant to apply to the truth situation. Psychodynamic theory have been developed and progressed over the years. Freud's notion of Psychodynamic theory depicted humans as mainly motivated by unconscious motives and dreams. He proclaimed that humans come into turmoil when their basic instincts come up against communal pressure to check out, laws or moral rules. "At first this turmoil is external, but as we develop it becomes internalised" (Rathus, 2004). Freud explains the conflict of personality using psychic structures. The id, which Freud assumed exists at delivery and positioned in the unconscious brain, and revolves around our basic natural drives and instincts. It runs on what Freud called the 'pleasure principle'. It requires instant gratification irrespective of laws or moral guidelines. Another feature in the composition of personality is the ego. Shaped from the id, developed through learning and experience. This is actually the part where conscious thought takes place (Beckett and Taylor, 2010). The ego manages on the 'reality basic principle'. This takes into consideration what's practical and possible in gratifying needs (Rathus, 2004). When the ego senses improper impulses arsing it can sometimes deploy lots of defence mechanisms. The 3rd psychic composition is the superego. That is formed throughout early childhood and is developed through benchmarks, beliefs, parenting and moral requirements. "Psychodynamic theory emphasises how your brain stimulates action, and both head and behavior effect and are affected by the person's communal environment" (Payne, 2005)

Freud believed there were four levels in psychosexual development. The first level took place during the first year of a child's life. This is known as the 'oral' stage. Much of the child's development is explored by putting things into the oral cavity and sucking, biting chewing. Freud believed it was possible to acquire imprisoned development through injury. And be fixated on one of the periods. From the research study we're able to surmise that Mr Bertram is fixated on the dental stage of psychosexual development through his 'drinking alcohol'. We could speculate that he may have had a substantial stress at that level which has kept him with a possible alcoholic beverages dependency, thus fixated on the oral stage.

It could quite possibly be discovered that Mr Bertram is using subconscious defence mechanisms in order to avoid the situation that he's currently facing.

Part 3: Think about your own qualifications explain it and point out 1 sociological and 1 psychological theory that can be applied to you, giving examples

The relationship I've with my dad has often been fraught, difficult and anxious. As a patient of any severe mental disorder, my father has often shown irrational, delusional, paranoid and sometimes violent behaviour. Throughout his life he has already established frequent hospitalisation. For me personally this is something I've grown up with and am used to dealing with on the day to day basis. I am acutely aware of how our relationship differs compared to that of my friends for example. I've as close a romance as you can with him, and to that end I usually tolerate the brunt of his paranoia and hostility when he is unwell. I've observed first-hand the stigma mounted on mental illness. I think it is extremely difficult to trust anyone enough to inform them about the problem, and I firmly feel I shouldn't have to share everyone that fits him, this only brings about labelling him as emotionally unwell, thus changing how they treat him; which only compounds his paranoia.

Some Sociological theorists believe mental condition is a cultural construction to be able to rationalise bizarre or irrational behavior that can't be in any other way described. This is known as labelling theory. Scheff (1966) argued that people are labelled as psychologically ill because their behavior does not make sense to others. "Scheff points out that labelling of the person as psychologically ill is facilitated by stereotyped imagery learned in early child years and continually reaffirmed, inadvertently, in typical social connection and through the mass media. Thus, when a person's violation of social norms or deviance becomes a general public issue, the traditional stereotype of "crazy person" is commonly implemented both by those reacting to the deviant person and, often, by the deviant person as well" (Lamb. 2002). Erving Goffman suggests that when someone is labelled as mentally ill then they are treated in different ways. When an relationship occurs with that person it is with this knowledge of the mental condition, therefore creating what Goffman called a spurious connection (Haralambos and Holborn, 2004).

From a behaviourist view, Schizophrenia could be looked at as some sort of learned behavior. "Out of this perspective, people take part in schizophrenic behaviour when it's more likely to be strengthened than normal behaviour (Rathus, 2004). This could be the result of being raised in an unrewarding or punitive situation. It might also be observed that kind of behaviour is reinforced within a healthcare facility setting, where in fact the schizophrenic behavior is reinforced through attention from pros within that setting up. Cognitive theory argues that patterns is afflicted by belief or interpretation of the environment during the process of learning. "Apparently incorrect tendencies must therefore come up from misinterpretation. Therapy tries to improve the misunderstanding, so our behavior reacts appropriately to the surroundings" (Payne, 2006)

I imagine the experiences I've had with my father give me the capability to understand mental illness without stigmatising. It also helps me empathise with the victim and the family. An empathetic approach to a person who was reading voices for example, would be to recognize that to the person affect, they are extremely real. I grasp the importance of having the right services in place for see your face to thrive. My experience allows me to see the wider framework of a predicament and realise that it is not only the principal sufferer of the condition that is damaged. The wider family must be considered as they have a huge role that can be played in the well-being of the individual concerned.

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