A Woman of Substance

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QUESTION 1: How would you describe Tania Major in terms of locus of control? Why? Locus of control refers to the generalized belief about the amount of control people have over their own lives (McShane & VonGlinow, 2000, p.191). This concept was originally developed by Julian Rotters in 1954 and is known to be a psychological term. In simpler terms, locus of control refers to an individual's perception about the underlying main causes of events in his/her life (Neill, 2006). It can be divided into two: Internal locus of control and external locus of control. When an individual feels that they are in charge of their own destiny, they are said to have internal locus of control. Those who believe that their destiny is controlled by fate or luck are said to have external locus of control. In this case, the case of Tania Major, she has an internal locus of control and the case study provides this evidence. Instead of “blaming” it on fate or luck, Tania has linked the cause and effect of every phenomenon. She believes that the occurrence of an event has a reason underlying and does not just come about because of luck or fate; instead, an individual can control it. For example, the case study has the following words: “Tania’s view is that education and health are pivotal in turning around disastrous experience for young people growing up in these communities.” Here Tania has linked the disasters (violence, drug and alcohol abuse) with a reason as to why they have taken place. She believes that the fact that young people did not get education is the reason to why they are involved in such practices. In addition, as far as her education is concerned, she is still an internal (has internal locus of control). When she was in the community curriculum she received straight As and later when she went to Kowanyama she got Cs and Ds. She does not say this was her luck, but instead considers the fact that the community curriculum had a lower standard. In addition, the teachers are regarded as another reason; they were just out of training being sent to remote communities who lacked commitment, didn’t care and accepted the truth to be that white children as smarter than Aboriginals. Tania thinks that the aim of education should be deliver self confidence and drive which motivates students with the credence to make a difference. Furthermore Tania exhibits that she has an internal locus of control when it comes to the link between health and education. She says in the case study: “People whose self esteem and pride have been decimated by substandard education system and a social system that creates an addiction to passive welfare have little reason to live healthy lives.” She reckons that the health of Aboriginals is getting worse and the cause of this is that health care is too confined just until the clinic but instead its meaning should reach to people’s lives and homes. Once again, Tania has associated the poor health with poor education and not criticized fate as a reason behind it. Besides this, Tania also highlights that young people should be responsible of their own lives. In other words, young people should be in charge of their own destiny which shows a major characteristic of internals. She says that, in her community, young people work with their elders to overcome the disasters (violence, drug and alcohol abuse). Her belief is that there is need to create an opportunistic environment for the Aboriginals through economic and training opportunities which will lead to employment. Here again she emphasizes the relationship between employment and working with elders. This is evidence that she has an internal locus of control. Instead if she were an external, she would have believed that employment opportunities come only with one’s luck. Finally Tania considers that the early experiences in one’s life, personalities and emotions control behaviour as well as capacity to learn. If she had an external...
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