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Urie Bronfenbrenner's Ecological Theory

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The Urie Bronfenbrenner's Ecological Theory of Systems consists of an environmental focus on the development of the individual through the different environments in which they operate and that influence change and their cognitive, moral and relational.

This theory can be applied in all areas of Psychology and other sciences, since we start from the basis that human development occurs in interaction with the genetic variables and the environment, and clearly exposes the different systems that make up personal relationships depending on the context in which they are find.

Bronfenbrenner systems

From lowest to highest globality, Urie bronfenbrenner name four systems that surround the primary nucleus understood as the same individual. The systems are the following: microsystem, mesosystem, exosystem and macrosystem.

1. Microsystem

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

2. Mesosystem

It includes the interrelation of two or more environments in which the person participates actively. 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.

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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 is made up, for example, by the nature of the parents' work, the relationships that a teacher maintains with the rest of the faculty, etc.

4. Macrosystem

Referring to the social, cultural and structural conditions that determine in each culture the general features of the institutions, the contexts, etc. in which the person and the individuals of their society develop. It is constituted by the values ​​of a culture, customs, etc.

To these spatial areas must be added the chronosystem, which introduces the time dimension in the schema. The cultural evolution and living conditions of the environment are included here.

Criticisms of this theory

The main criticism of this environmental vision that we can find is that it pays little attention to the biological and cognitive factors development at its core. Besides that it does not provide a sequence of change in development as, for example, the theories of Jean piaget Y Erik erikson. However, by placing so much emphasis on the contextual aspect of human development, which is a space in which one can directly intervene, this theory is often used when talking about network education and shared responsibility for education.

As social beings and immersed in an environment with a specific culture and context, and at the same time, in constant transformation by the globalized framework in which the zeitgeist, we can think that personal development is created from cultural intermediaries and the interrelation of the systems mentioned in Bronfenbrenner's Ecological Theory.

Not only should we mention development through theoretical interactions, but to address existing criticisms of the model, the interaction between the personality variables and the environment must be taken into account, since the sum of the systems is both a socializing and individualizing agent, and serves to understand the development of the individual in different contexts.
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