Urie Bronfenbrenner’s ecological theory

the Ecological theory of systems by Urie Bronfenbrenner it is an environmental approach to the development of the individual through the different environments in which he evolves and which influence change and his cognitive, moral and relational development.

This theory can be applied in all areas of psychology and other sciences, because we assume that human development occurs in interaction with genetic variables and the environment, and clearly defines the different systems that make up the relationships. personal depending on the context. in which they are located.

Bronfenbrenner systems

From the lowest to the highest globality, Urie Bronfenbrenner names four systems surrounding the primary nucleus understood as the same individual. The systems are: microsystem, mesosystem, exosystem and macrosystem.

1. Microsystem

It constitutes the most immediate or the closest level in which the individual develops. The scenarios encompassed in this system are family, parents or school.

2. Mesosystem

It includes the interrelation of two or more environments in which the person actively participates. It can also be understood as the link between microsystems. Clear examples can be the relationship between family and school, or between family and friends.

3. Exosystem

It refers to the forces that influence what happens in microsystems. In this case, the individual is not understood as an active subject. It now consists of the nature of the parents’ work, the relationships a teacher has with the rest of the faculty, etc.

4. Macrosystem

With reference to the social, cultural and structural conditions which determine in each culture the general characteristics of institutions, contexts, etc. in which the person and the individuals of their society thrive. It is made up of the values ​​of a culture, customs, etc.

To these spatial spheres, we must add the chronosystem, Which introduces the temporal dimension into the diagram. Included here is the cultural evolution and living conditions of the intono.

Criticisms of this theory

The main criticism of this environmentalist view that can be found is that it pays little attention to biological and cognitive factors development in its essence. On top of that, it doesn’t provide a sequence of developmental change like the theories of Jean Piaget and Erik Erikson. However, with so much emphasis on the contextual aspect of human development, which is a space in which one can intervene directly, this theory is often used to speak of education and responsibility in networks.

As social beings and immersed in an environment with a certain culture and context, and at the same time constantly changing by the globalized framework in which the zeitgeist places us, we may think that personal development is created from cultural intermediaries and the interrelation of the systems mentioned in Bronfenbrenner’s ecological theory.

It is not only necessary to evoke the development through the theoretical interactions, but to respond to the existing criticisms of the model, the interaction between personality variables and the environment must be taken into account, Since the sum of systems is both an agent of socialization and individualization, and serves to understand the development of the individual in different contexts.

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