Assignment 2 : Psychology and Sociology
HNC Social Care
In this assignment I will consider a case study that I have been provided with. I will analyse Spike Milligan's life from 1918-2002. Through this analysis I will look at different stages of lifespan development and apply psychological theoretical perspectives that I feel would best relate to Spike’s life experiences. I will also use sociological perspectives to explain how family structures and experiences have affected Spike’s behaviour and life chances in later years.
When it was time for Spike to be enrolled in school his mother chose an `all-girls’ convent school. Given my knowledge of psychology, I believe that this did not meet the developmental needs that Spike required. Spike by this stage would already see himself as a ‘boy’ in his own right and at this time would be experiencing significant body changes for example, puberty including the development of the reproductive system and sex characteristics. At this time his emotional needs were not met, as this is a difficult and confusing time in childhood. Further confusion would have been caused as Spike would be ‘different’ from all his peers due to him being the only male in the school. Therefore, here was a great lack of emotional support.
As it was an all female school in all probability the structures would be gender specific rather than person centred. This would then affect the social needs of Spike, due to this being an ‘alien’ environment to him. It was extremely difficult for Spike to socialise with his peers and make new friends, resulting in a form of isolation and loneliness.
Spike’s cognitive needs were somewhat neglected as well, due to his inability to form understanding and positive relationships with his peers. This resulting in his early years in school being very unhappy, which in turn affected his education and learning ability.
Bowlby (1907-1990) pioneered attachment research. This was researched in order to evaluate the impact of being raised in institutionalised care. His report was called `Maternal Care and Mental Health’ Bowlby (1951, cited in, Bingham et al, 2009). The main focus of the report was maternal deprivation. The term is broadly thought of today as the absence of mother and/or family. Although Bowlby has much more to say than the term implies. Bowlby (ibid) suggests that attachment is a very strong and close emotional bond between two people, and that long periods of separation will cause great upset and distress to the person attached. He believes in terms of the relationship between mother and child, the mother has a bond with the child but the child is attached to the mother. Attachment and Bond are distinct concepts as attachment has a whole set of complexities distinct from those of an emotional bond.
There are four main stages of attachment states Bowlby (1951, cited in, Bingham et al, 2009). These are, Pre-attachment which is from 0-2 months. This stage is where the infant is responding to people and objects, the child can be comforted by a stranger but by the end of the stage the infant has a preference for familiar faces and voices e.g they favour the mother and prefer people to objects. Indiscriminate attachment is from 3-7 months, where they thrive on people’s company and recognise familiar faces whom they prefer when in need of comfort but they do not get anxious with strangers. Discriminate attachment from 7-9 months is when attachment begins to develop and the infant can experience distress when separated from the primary care giver. The infant will display signs of pleasure when being reunited with the main care giver and show distress when approached or handled by a stranger. The final stage is Multiple attachment from 9+ months where the infant grows more independent and can form additional bonds and attachment. However, it is unknown whether these will be as strong as with...
Cited: Zaretsky (1976, cited in, Bingham, et al, 2009) described the nuclear family as a social system which props up and promotes capitalism.
Parsons, T. (1951) http:sociologyblog-parsons.blogspot.co.uk. Date accessed: 10/11/2013.
Reddick, J. (2011). Beyond The Pleasure Principle and Other Writings. London: Penguin Books.
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