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One of the main qualitative aspects of Ecological Systems Model ESM (developed by Urie Bronfenbrenner), is that it stresses out the importance of the environmental factors of influence, within the context of how people go about constructing their sense of self-identity and choosing in favor of one or another behavioral pattern. As Duerden and Witt noted, “ESM proposes that individuals exist within a variety of settings, starting at the individual level and extending outward (e.g., family, work, society, etc.)… (deems) development as a process that involves interactions both within and across contexts” (2010, p. 109). In my opinion, the mentioned provision can be referred to as the proof that ESM is indeed discursively legitimate. After all, the sub-sequential phases of my development, as an individual, do illustrate the soundness of the idea that the process of one’s upbringing can be conceptualized in terms of a tree, the parts of which (such as roots, trunk, and branches) allegorize the interactive subtleties of how people seek self-actualization (McWhirter et al., 2013). In my paper, I will aim to substantiate the validity of this suggestion at length, while specifying what were the micro-systemic, meso-systemic, and macro-systemic (as defined by Bronfenbrenner) aspects of my endowment with the personality that I happened to possess.
As of today, I consider myself a moderately bright individual, who has what it takes to be able to attain social prominence in the future. Among my strengths, as a person, can be listed:
I never hesitate to apply an additional effort, while striving to accomplish a particular educational or employment-related objective. This specific quality of my character is best explained, as such that derives out of the fact that I grew up in a family, closely associated with the so-called ‘traditional values’. In their turn, these values are based upon the assumption that, for one to be able to make life count, he or she must be capable of acting ‘as necessary’, as opposed to acting ‘as it feels like’. It is understood, of course, that this implies that the mentioned psychological quality, on my part, has a clearly defined micro-systemic sounding. The main reason why I happened to be a hardworking individual, is because just about every member of my family used to regard one’s willingness to work hard, as such that represent the value of a ‘thing in itself’.
As I was growing up, I learned to appreciate the importance of one’s willingness to think about its priorities, as such, that correlate with the interests of the predominantly Hispanic community, to which I belonged. In its turn, this could be explained by the fact that it represents a commonplace practice among the members of this community to exist in the highly interactive mode – something that taught me to regard my friends and relatives (who resided in the same neighborhood) in terms of an ‘extended family’. This particular quality of my character is best described as such that invokes the ESM’s provision about how people form their identity on a meso-systemic level. After all, I acquired it as a result of having interacted with other members of the community.
Ever since the time of my early childhood, I never ceased to feel positive about addressing life-challenges, which in turn helped me to attain the reputation of being a rather cheerful individual, quite immune to the strikes of depression. I believe that this quality of my character is reflective of what happened to be my ethnocultural background. The rationale behind this suggestion is that, throughout my upbringing, I used to be prompted to take pride in being affiliated with the Hispanic/Irish cultural heritage, known for the fact that its affiliates tend to enjoy life as it is while trying not to be preoccupied with too many self-reflective thoughts. It is understood, of course, that the mentioned strength, on my part, can be best discussed in conjunction with Bronfenbrenner’s provision, as to what are the macro-systemic factors of influence on one’s behavior (Neal & Neal, 2013).
Nevertheless, as an individual, I also happened to have several weaknesses, which appear to be of the ecological essence. Among them, can be listed:
A predisposition towards anger
Throughout the time of my childhood, I used to be exposed to emotionally charged quarrels, on the part of my parents. In its turn, this created the objective preconditions for me to be tempted to react in a strongly emotional manner towards the externally induced stimuli. For example, I cannot help experiencing the sensation of anger, whenever people express their disagreement with my opinions. Moreover, it often proves rather challengeable for me to be able to keep this sensation under control, which in turn causes many people to think of myself as an emotionally unstable individual (Clinton, Clark & Straub, 2010). This particular weakness is micro-systemic because it directly relates to what were the particulars of my early upbringing within the family.
The crime rate in the community where I grew up has always been rather high. Partially, this explains why I developed a certain tolerance for violence. What also contributed rather substantially, in this respect, is that, while socializing with my peers, I was often forced to indulge in fights – as the part of trying to prove to everybody that I am not the subject of bullying. This particular weakness, on my part, is meso-systemic, because there are many essentially communal undertones to it.
The lack of respect towards the authorities
As I continued to grow increasingly aware of what accounts for my self-identity, as a person, I could not help becoming rather skeptical of the authorities’ ability to act on behalf of the people. One of the reasons for this is that, during my formative years, I have been exposed to the instances of police officers acting in an implicitly racist manner. What it means is that the mentioned weakness, on my part, relates to what happened to be the most acute socio-political discourse in today’s America. This qualifies it to be considered macro-systemic (Lau & Ng, 2014). After all, the weakness in question can indeed be discussed in terms of a ‘social product’.
Thus, just as it was mentioned earlier, there is indeed a good reason to consider ESM, as such, that adequately describes the sub-sequential phases of how people go about forming their sense of self-identity while remaining socially integrated. This, of course, suggests that the factor of interactive socialization does play an important role in the ‘making’ of a person. I believe that this conclusion is fully consistent with the paper’s initial thesis.
Clinton, T., Clark, C. & Straub, J. (2010). The quick-reference guide to counseling teenagers. Grand Rapids: Baker Books.
Duerden, M. & Witt, P. (2010). An Ecological systems theory perspective on youth programming. Journal of Park & Recreation Administration, 28(2), 108-120.
Lau, J., & Ng, K. (2014). Conceptualizing the counseling training environment using Bronfenbrenner’s ecological theory. International Journal for the Advancement of Counseling, 36(4), 423-439.
McWhirter, J., McWhirter, B., McWhirter, E. & McWhirter, R. (2013). At-risk youth: A comprehensive response for counselors, teachers, psychologists and human service professionals (5th ed.). Belmont: Brooks/Cole Publishers.
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Neal, J. & Neal, Z. (2013). Nested or networked? Future directions for Ecological Systems Theory. Social Development, 22(4), 722-737.