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McGill University
Social Work
SWRK 224
Ilju Kim

May 8, 2012—Conception, Pregnancy, & Childbirth Kohlberg (Moral development)  Kohlberg has focused on moral development and has proposed a stage theory of moral thinking which goes well beyond Piaget’s initial formulations  According to Kohlberg, moral development is… o Not due to maturation: That is, the stage structures and sequences do not simply unfold according to a genetic blueprint  Not b/c over time that we become more moral o Not the product of socialization: That is, socializing agents (e.g., parents and teachers) do not directly teach new forms of thinking  Instead, as we get into discussions and debates with others, we find our views questioned and challenged and are therefore motivated to come up with new, more comprehensive positions o Conscious process and deciding for ourselves what our moral is Kohlberg (Moral experiment)  Presented this moral dilemma to his participants: o Heinz Steals the Drug situation: In Europe, a woman was near death from a special kind of cancer. There was one drug that the doctor’s thought might save her. It was a form of radium that a druggist in the same town had recently discovered. The drug was expensive to make, but the druggist was charging ten times what the drug cost him to make. He paid $200 for the radium and charged $2,000 for a small dose of the drug. The sick woman's husband, Heinz, went to everyone he knew to borrow the money, but he could only get together about $ 1,000 which is half of what it cost. He told the druggist that his wife was dying and asked him to sell it cheaper or let him pay later. But the druggist said: "No, I discovered the drug and I'm going to make money from it." So Heinz got desperate and broke into the man's store to steal the drug-for his wife. Should the husband have done that? (Kohlberg, 1963, p. 19) Kohlberg (Social Perspective Levels)  1: preconventional = serves the individual's own needs and interests (morality is based on how we judge the consequence of the action); solely concerned with the self in an egocentric manner, not able to adopt external society conventions - Obedience and punishment driven - Individual concentrates on consequences reflected on the self ("I will get punished if I do this" - No View of Other Person (VOP)  2: self-interest driven ("what's in it for me?") = right behavior is defined by what's in the individual best interest; limited interest in needs of others ("you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours"  3/4: conventional (common in adolescents/adults) = judge morality of actions in comparison to society's views and actions, acceptance of society's conventions of right and wrong; there are laws and rules that need to be followed b/c society says so - Self enters society based on social roles - Stage 3 reasoning: respect, golden rule, consider intent of actions ("they meant well") - Stage 4: social order, important to obey laws b/c of social convention, society must transcend individual's needs  Level 3: post conventional = have more agency to how the individual behaves (may take precedence over society's rules) Gender Influence  Gilligan (Harvard) would go on to criticize Kohlberg’s work o First, he only studied privileged, white men and boys. She felt that this caused a biased opinion against women o Secondly, in his stage theory of moral development, the male view of individual rights and rules was considered a higher stage than women’s point of view of development in terms of its caring effect on human relationships o She was criticized because found out there were no differences between men and women Ecological Viewpoint Bronfenbrenner  Founder of one of the best known ecological theories  He proposed that the developing person is embedded in a series of complex and interactive systems  Pretty significant because he named different levels that influence the individual, starting with the individual o Micro-level = individual o Meso-level = school, community, religious communities o Macro-level = society, norms, cultural beliefs, politics o There are 5 different levels, but for this class only  Developmental Issues o We are born with NEITHER negative or positive tendencies o We are actively involved in self-dev & the environment o Person & environment are BOTH in a state of flux o Nature & nurture are BOTH influential o Both qualitative and quantitative changes can happen o Most development is NOT universal o There are many dynamic contexts, social, historical, and cultural Bronfenbrenner: The multiple environments that influence a child’s development  Micro = face-to-face everyday environment: home, family, peers, school, playground, religious institutions, etc.  Meso = linkages between parts of Microsystems  Exo = broad influences of social institutions or indirect linkages of settings: mass media, parents’ workplace, extended family, etc.  Macro = larger cultural influences: politics, economics, ideologies, etc Bronfenbrenner (contributions)  Contributions: o His theory has provided a much richer description of environment than what had been previously done o His detailed analyses of environmental influences has suggested many ways in which the development of humans might be optimized  Critics: o Theory has little to say about specific biological contributors to the development o Doesn’t offer cues on how humans process environmental experiences o More of an understanding than a how to or a what-if Glen Elder Jr.  A sociologist who has been working in the US since the 60s, is one of the founders of the life course perspective  Main contribution is that he brings in time into development  Research focused on the Depression Era, realized how it had an enormous impact on individual and family pathways  For example, many men committed suicide, so their wives and children had to struggle with this dramatic loss Life Course Perspective – Characteristics  Takes into account the relationship of person, environment, and time  Major Themes: o Interplay of human lives and historical time  Individual and family development must be understood in historical context o Timing of lives  Particular roles and behaviors are associated with particular age groups o Linked or interdependent lives  Human lives are interdependent, and the family is the primary arena for experiencing and interpreting wider historical, cultural, and social phenomena Focus on Genetics  Two scientific approaches to understanding the role of genetics in behavior 1. Molecular Genetics (= interested in the location and function of genes)  Many genes come into play to produce a behavior  Some disorders are caused by gene alleles, either dominant (Huntington disease) or recessive (Cystic fibrosis) or by chromosomal abnormalities (Down’s Syndrome) 2. Behavioral Genetics (= interested in understanding to what extent genes explain variations in people’s characteristics)  Even identical twins, who share 100% of their genes, will not behave the same  Heritability: how much genes can explain variation in peoples’ characteristics Focus on Genetics  Two critics of behavior genetics theory: o Still underestimates the role of environmental factors  Being raised in the same family does not mean being raised the same way (Non-share environment: role of different environmental input in predicting behaviors across different families, or within one single family)  Does not take into consideration prenatal influences o Oversimplifies the process by which the different factors are added-up  Dynamic mutual process that is neither linear or static  E.g. Environment can impact on the production of hormones which in turn will affect regulator genes Coaction of Genes & Environment  Epigenetic model (Gottlieb): development is the result of complex interacting genetic and environmental elements, that occur at multiple levels of functioning 1. Genetic 2. Neural 3. Behavioral 4. Environmental Teen Pregnancies  During the last quarter century, there has been
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