The Ecological Systems Theory was an idea that was forwarded Urie Bronfenbrenner, who argued that social contexts are the apt starting points for the analysis of development The theory of ecological systems identifies and elaborates on the four major levels of the environment: microsystem, mesosystem, exosystem, and macro system. The microsystem refers to the immediate and present surroundings or environment of the individual. The mesosystem meanwhile refers to how the things in the microsystem are connected.
The social systems like school, media, and parents where the individual is not contained are the exosystem. And lastly, the macrosystem refers to the broader social context that includes religion, culture, values, among others. A fifth system was added, the chronosystem, which referes to the transitions encountered by the individual. Each of the identified systems is a strong determinant of the development of the individual, as it contains socialization variables that affect the molding of the character of the person. Each system contains norms and rules that directly influences individual development.A clear example would be how an individual of a certain socio-economic stature may be very different from an underprivileged person.
The underprivileged person who grew up and was exposed in a violent environment would have difference attitudes and behaviors from a person who has resided in a relatively peaceful and affluent community. The ecological systems theory and the non-biological theory can be made coherent, as non-biological theory in social sciences would refer to the explanation of development based on social contexts and interaction.In the study of the family, particularly violence in some families, it can be argued that non-biological factors accounts for such occurrences, as it is shaped and determined by the socialization process of the family members. The influence of the family is the greatest factor in the development of a child, because they determine the health, language, and other development characteristics.
In the analysis of family violence, it can be thus explained by the child’s exposure to the occurrences taking place in his/her own home.The events that happen within the family, like say constant abuse from a parent, can shape the attitude of the child, who might inherit such value from the parent. The child goes to school and grows up with the acquired attitude, which in turn affects the society. The occurrence of violence in the family can have profound impacts on the child’s development, in the extreme even encouraging replication in the future. This can be tolerated by the society, at least indirectly, because of the tolerance of violence in the media which can contribute to the socialization and development process.
The argument of the theory in relation to family violence is that such social context is transmitted to the family members, especially children, who in turn presents oneself to the society with the acquired value, and may in the future, if there is absence of other strong counter-socialization, can perpetuate a family violence cycle. Various conclusions can be derived from the theory of ecological systems, as was discussed by Bronfenbrenner in his focus on issues of the person’s development.For instance, the debate of nurture and nature is in fact flawed and may be futile, as at the end of the day, both would determine how the person would develop. Also, the person and his/her environment is in a constant dynamic relationship and state of flux. The individual is indeed one of the key players in his/her self-development, as with the environment that s/he is exposed to. Also, the environment is filled with numerous social contexts like culture and values hat would eventually and definitely determine the development of the individual.