Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Theory
Bronfenbrenner’s theory is commonly known as the Human Ecology Theory. The gist of this theory is that it suggests that the overall development of the human being is vividly and greatly affected by the surrounding environmental systems. Through his theory Bronfenbrenner explains or attempts to explain the various reasons a certain human being responds in one and another in a different manner. He states that the environment is hugely responsible for identifying the various modes of behavior.
What Is Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Systems Theory?
He answers the many ways in which even a child’s psychology can be greatly influenced just by observing the features and key elements of the environment he is being raised in. He tries to explain through his theory, his own belief that the fay to day response actions and behaviors aspects of a person are all the direct result of the environment that surrounds him. In order to do so he came up with the five systems namely:
- The microsystem,
- The mesosystem,
- The exosystem,
- The macrosystem, and
- The chronosystem.
Over the years of an individual’s life; from being a toddler to elderly, Bronfenbrenner identifies the role the above five play in establishing certain traits of his behavior and personality.
- The Micro System
- The Mesosystem
- The Exosystem
- The Macrosystem
- The Chronosystem
This is the first phase and this is when the early external individuals begin to influence a person’s life. These external individuals can be teachers, friends, peers and most importantly the family. These are people that this newly formed individual is establishing relationships with and s in constant contact with. Hence, the above listed individuals begin to play a vital role in shaping the person up. Without even knowing it, they constitute a great deal into the life of the individual.
This is the next phase. This is when the relationship of one microsystem begins to make sense in reference to another. To simplify it further, this is when an experience that was within the friend’s microsystem has some sort of a relationship with the family microsystem. To exemplify it further, a child ignored by family might not respond well at school. This is because of the interconnection between two microsystems.
This is the third phase. This is when there is an underlying connection a person has with another, but it comes to surface in the absence of another more active individual. An example of this can be seen in the conflict that arises between a child and a father when the mother is physically absent from the scene for an extended period of time. This particular type of a relationship can take one of two turns; either the child is completely repulsed by the father or develops an extra close bond with him.
This is the fourth and second last phase. This is when the culture begins to play a vital role in the development of the child. This is when the morals and ethical values begin to prevail and come to surface.
This is the fifth and the last phase. This is when the socio-historical contexts begin to influence a person. This means something that happens in one stage of the person’s life determines how he might respond in a situation in the future. This might be understood if we look at a couple that gets divorced and subconsciously teaches the children to struggle when trying to develop a similar close relationship with anyone in the future.
Hence, according to Bronfenbrenner’s theory, this is how the environment influences the growth of a person.