On the other hand however, the social theories, which would form the crux of this paper, explain how factors such as the prevailing circumstances, available resources, caste systems, social accelerators, etc can either speed up or slow down the process of ageing Troll Over the years, the influence of the society on the ageing phenomena has been obvious, especially as regards the increased number of old people and longer lifespans in developed societies like the United States US , United Kingdom UK , and others.
The relationship between quality of life and its effects on successful ageing is still under extensive study. There have been several theories propounded to explain the concept of ageing, each drawing from a general assumption that late-life changes in particular socio-emotional purviews follow the same downward trend as cognitive development as individuals grow older Troll Six social theories would be examined here, with the first three — continuity, disengagement, and activity — presenting a different pattern of ageing, while the other three emphasize more on the developmental processes that occur in ageing.
Internal continuity connotes the process of forming linkages between new circumstances and the memories left by previous ones Atchley External continuity on the other hand refers to the interaction with familiar people and familiar environments Atchley It focuses on the idea that elderly people tend to ensure familiarity — with their environments, their families, and other situations — as this helps them to continue to be independent. According to Atchley and Barusch , this continuity in their environments and activities helps the ageing person to concentrate energies on familiar situations, which in the long run helps to minimize and offset the effects of ageing.
The continuity theory does not mean that the individual experiences no change at all, but that the individual adapts to changes with persistent, consistent and familiar attributes and processes that produce less stress Menec The disengagement theory explains that elderly individuals reduce their levels of activity or involvement by withdrawing from previous roles and activities they have been undertaking Atchley This was drawn from an observation that these elderly people hold on to age as being their rationale for withdrawal from activities that were previously found meaningful.
This theory, as shown by Cummings and Henry , assumes that the inward turning typical of ageing individuals leads to a normal and natural withdrawal for social activities, reduction of involvement with other people, and an increasing self-preoccupation. On the other hand, the activity theory seems to be an alternative view or a direct opposite of the disengagement theory, propounded to explain the psychosocial processes in ageing. One side may argue that the clinical practices are not backed by empirical evidence and the other side may argue that experiments are done in controlled environments which are not the same as the real world situations.
There is also concern that the scientific theories of psychology are miles apart from the actual application of psychology. It is more like going to school to study something then not applying the same thing in the profession one studied for. By the fact that the word critical psychology has the word psychology at the very end than this means that it is a branch of psychology.
Just the same way you would have people that bear the last name in a family setting, this would tell you that the two children belong to the same father. The word critical is used as it in itself is critical as it tries to bring out the aspects that mainstream psychology has continually ignored or not considered. Its main aim is to criticize mainstream psychology and this was the premise on which this branch called critical psychology came into existence.
It points out other factors that may also explain the reason as to why some people think the way they think as well as make us understand the reason as to why some people are not mentally well and why some people are not physically well. Even before getting into the details of critical psychology, it is already clear that the role of critical psychology in mainstream psychology is very important.
The Social Theories of Ageing
The fact that critical psychology provides some kind of checks and balances in the psychology body of knowledge is a very big reason for one to argue that for sure critical psychology plays a major role in mainstream psychology because it acts as a push to mainstream psychology for it to grow and for it to incorporate some of the things that have been hidden from it or may have not been in existence when the body of knowledge was established meaning critical psychology gives life to mainstream psychology. Freie Universitat Berlin is the institution in which critical psychology was started in the s.
It is largely based on the existing knowledge that psychology as a whole had accumulated by then but it also at the same time came up with its own theories and explanations as it sees the world at one particular moment. By the beginning of May , there were very few words that had been translated into English. The main spark of the student revolt was the criticism of the political economy by Marx. Berlin was the best spot for the student revolt as it was a free city which was circumference by East Germany.
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East Germany was socialist. This led to the sociological foundations upon which critical psychology is built to be Marxist. They have not gotten a listening ear from the many figures found in Critical Psychology. Klaus Holzkamp is a very important author in this field as he wrote the book Grundlegung der Psychologie. If the title of the book was to be translated in English then it would read Foundations of Psychology.
This book is very sophisticated in the Critical Psychology field. Klaus Holzkamp might just be the man to be stamped the founder of Critical Psychology as far as the theories are concerned. Klaus had already two books which talked majorly about the theory of science as well as the sensory perception. He felt that the book on the foundations of psychology gave psychologists a reason to research as the book explains the solid paradigm upon which psychological research can be done.
The book views psychology as a scientific discipline that is pre-paradigmatic. Aleksey Leontyev provides a unique approach to historical psychology as well as activity theory. According to him, the actions of human beings are as a result of the evolution of culture as well as the biological evolution. He emphasized that the cognition of an individual is a subset of social action and social action is mediated by tools which are man-made such as cultural artifacts, social action is also mediated by language as well as systems and symbols that are made by man.
Leontyev viewed this as something that provides a clear distinction between human cognition and human culture.
Holzcamp in his attempt to give a comprehensive as well as integrated set of categories that were researched by Aleksey Leontyev, he did come up with this sophisticated book. The book was based on the research that Aleksey Leontyev had done as explained. One other theory we see Holzcamp using in his book in the field of Critical Psychology is one that was developed by Lucien Steve; theory of personality. The matrices are seen as the structure of mediation between individual reproduction as well as social reproduction.
With the various theories Klaus Holzkamp is seen to use, he does not forget the works that were done at the institution in which Critical Psychology was born; Free University of Berlin. The works that were done at Free University of Berlin was done by critical psychologists and their works was greatly influenced by Mark, Steve and Leontyev.
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The materials he used included books that were written on sensory perception, animal behavior or ethology, cognition and motivation. Holzcamp did a lot of comparative as well as historical analysis of perception, the human reproductive action as well as cognition. The core finding that he identified the symbolic meaning whether constructed culturally or historically to be structures that are conceptual and specifically useful to be structures that the human being will create in relationships that are close so as to make culture material.
They also create the structures in close relationship in a culture that is material within the context of social reproduction that have been formed specifically in history. With this in mind, Klaus Holzkamp had a problem with behaviorism which he referred to as stimulus-response psychology or in short, S-R psychology. Klaus Holzkamp came up with his own approach that he drew a lot of ideas from a man that goes by the name Kurt Lewin and this he does in Chapter nine of his book titled Foundations of Psychology.
This approach was to objectivity as well as generalization. Before Klaus Holzkamp died in the year , he wrote on learning. His work was out in and he looked at learning from the object side and not the learner. Holzkamp was out to reinterpret the theories that were developed by psychology that was conventional. This means that he looked at the theories from the view of a critical psychologist and the paradigms of critical psychology.
The useful insights that were found in conventional psychology were integrated into critical psychology but at the same time picking out and criticizing their implications that were limiting. In S-R psychology, the intentional action and the subject were eliminated. In cognitive psychology, the intentional action as well as the subject was taken into account. In the first part of the book, Holzkamp looks into the theories that were there in conventional psychology. The theories he focuses on most are those of learning.
He then reinterprets the theories from a critical psychologist point of view. In the second part of the book, Holzkamp looks at the modern world and the concept of classroom learning as something that is cultural and historical yet has an influence in socialization as well as learning.
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According to Holzcamp, the historical way we know classroom learning is limiting to the student in that the ability of a student to learn is constrained to some finite teaching strategies. In his approaches, he strived to look for a way of learning that would make full use of the potential of the learner.
Holzkamp explains expansive learning in the last part of the book which aims at overcoming the limitations that classroom learning presents. The period s through to s, critical psychology was known as radical psychology but the main reason it went by this term is to discourage the focus on the individual as the main object of analysis.
It was also to discourage psychologists not to use the individual only as the only source of psychopathology. The close inspection of the role inspection plays was considered in radical psychology. The role of the society was looked at in the light that it causes and treats problems. Radical psychology looked at the change in society as an alternative therapy skill to treat illnesses of the mind as well as deal with the prevention of psychopathology.
Anti-psychiatry was a term that was so common within psychiatry and so the British preferred the use of the term Critical Psychiatry. Up to today, the term Critical Psychology is still used to refer to the branch of psychology that seeks alternative methods of therapy to the conventional methods or forms of therapy that exist in the discipline of psychology. It is also against the idea of focusing so much on the individual that the influence the society has in the individual is not considered. In the s, there were more authors writing about Critical Psychology.
The one that caused a biggest shake and was most famous for its writings was an edited book and its title was Critical Psychology.
This was a book written by Dennis Fox and Isaac Prilleltensky. Many different introductory texts that were written in the United Kingdom and were focused on critical psychology have a particular interest in the discourse. This was argued by different people in critical psychology as being as dangerous as mainstream psychology as it heavily relies on something; language. Heavily relying on one thing in a dynamic world is dangerous when you are supposed to explain something that interacts with so many things and in different ways. In the year , Ian Parker came up with a manifesto that was very influential.
In the manifesto, Ian says that Critical Psychology should have the following components;.
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