Farmingville/ Social work
The world is evolving economically and socially as people try to adjust to the increase population and cultural changes. Farmingville is an example of the areas that give a proper reflection of the situation the world is undergoing. The community is undergoing constant change and the dynamic society has to adjust to these changes. Many people in the society are trying to make ends meet in tough situations. The situation at Farmingville can be explained using the human behaviour theories. The theories can be directly linked to the day to day problems and experiences of the people of Farmingville. The use of these theories can also be helpful to social workers who want to help solve some of the problems facing the Farmingville community. There are several human behaviour theories that can be employed in examining the situation at Farmingville. However, some of these theories do not capture the reality of the situation hence; they may not be effective if used by social workers. The three most effective theories to be used in this quest include; classical conditioning, realistic conflict and the operant conditioning theory.
The human behaviour theories argue that the behaviour displayed by individuals is usually acquired through a conditioning process. One’s behaviour is as a result of or a reaction to something else. These behavioural theories are used by psychologists and other specialists when dealing with people who face different problems such as the people of Farmingville. Social workers utilize these theories when trying to intervene and assist the poor people of Farmingville as well as provide for those who need mental or health care.
Classical conditioning theory
This theory of human behaviour argues that human behaviour is an emotional reaction to a certain stimulus. The stimulus is believed to affect the behaviour of individuals even when another stimulus, which does not arouse an emotional response, occurs. Therefore, this theory is based on the belief that human behaviour is based on learning by association. The theory can be used to explain the behaviour of the people of Farmingville. The people of Farmingville live in a society with a lot of social and economic hardships.
The economic and social problems of the Farmingville people have made these people aggressive. Everyone thinks they need to be aggressive so as to survive in the harsh society. People focus on earning a living from the slightest opportunity they can get. People search for small and poor paying jobs to earn extra income. Some people even work for as long as 20 hours each day to get enough money to support their families. The social hardships are also extremely evident in the community. There are high rates of criminal activity as the poor people in society resort to crime to earn a living.
This situation can be explained using the classical conditioning theory. The economic and social hardships can be referred to as the main stimulus in this community. The other stimulus such as unemployment does not affect the society in a different way. The actions of the community residents are based on the economic and social hardship stimulus. The people are conditioned in that they anticipate the potential opportunities that would solve their problems. For instance, there are those who always look forward to relief help from donors. Additionally, there are those who have resorted to the belief that crime and aggression are the solutions to their problems. Therefore, the behaviour of the Farmingville people is based on the conditioning of the problems they face. The problems have made the people to react in a particular way because they feel it is the best solution to the existing problems.
Realistic conflict theory
The Farmingville society is one faced with a myriad of problems. The economic and social problems can be best summed up as a conflict. Based on the realistic conflict theory, it is possible to link the problems of the community to limited resources. The few resources such as job opportunities, access to social amenities and high poverty levels have led to a conflict. The different social structures have resulted in discrimination and prejudice. The poor believe the rich are responsible for their problems while the rich discriminate against the poor. There is also prejudice based on the manner in which people live. The poor assume that every rich person is mean and hates the poor. The high population in the society has also resulted in a conflict in the struggle for resources.
Groups seeking to access the same commodities are in constant struggle to outdo one another. This has resulted in a polarized society where hostility among residents causes insecurity and tension. Different groups of people such as the poor and the rich, the youth and the elderly, and the employed and unemployed are in a constant power struggles. This makes it almost impossible for the Farmingville society to return to normalcy. The people are focused on their interests and cannot abandon the struggle because it will cause them to miss out on the resources while the other group gains. Therefore, the community remains in a vicious cycle of negative behaviour such as prejudice, conflict and discrimination.
Based on this theory, people of Farmingville’s behaviour are based on punishment and positive reinforcement. The society is a complex one where there are different groups of people. There are criminals, poor, rich, elites, and the less educated people. These people learn new behaviour based on the prevailing conditions and rules. For example, the high rate of crime in the community will decrease if punishment is used to discipline the law breakers. Individuals who break the law will learn and change their behaviour so that they do not participate in criminal activities. This theory argues that there is only one stimulus and its response. It is also called instrumental conditioning.
On the other hand, the Farmingville community can be transformed positively by the use of positive reinforcement. For example, if the community members are given incentives to improve their lives economically, there will be an increase in the number of people working to improve their livelihood. The community’s social prejudice and discrimination will reduce if the people are taught the importance of peaceful coexistence. The people learn from the consequences of the experiences they go through. This theory best suits the Farmingville community because there have been instances where punishment and positive reinforcement have been applied to alter the behaviour of the resident to desirable levels.
Usefulness of the theories
The three theories of human behaviour are useful to social workers because they provide workers with a way of understanding the community. The theories have different approaches to explaining how the problems of the economy come about, how they can be solved and which methods can be used to solve problems. Therefore, the theories are roadmaps towards understanding and solving the problems of the Farmingville community. The different theories give the social workers different ideas and perspectives on the problems of the community. The use of more than one theory to help the community improves the effectiveness of the social work efforts.
Concerning issues and the importance of social workers to Farmingville
The concerning issues about Farmingville include the constant social and economic problems facing the residents. People are highly polarized because of the social structures. The gap between the elite rich and the poor people is high. The economic problems are also a huge concern because many people are not able to make ends meet due to unemployment and shortage of resources. The values and ethics of social workers are instrumental in helping them analyse these problems facing the Farmingville community and approach the use when solving. A social worker’s responsibility in the case of Farmingville is to cover three responsibilities. The social worker first helps the residents identify the problems they are facing. Next is to advise the residents on the best way to solve these problems and provide resources that could be necessary in transforming the community. Lastly, the social worker evaluates the success of the process from the time it was initiated to determine whether it was successful. If it was not successful, the social worker can use another approach (behavioural theory) to help the community solve its problems.
The Farmingville community is one experiencing tough social and economic problems. The residents are suffering, which influences them to behave in undesirable ways. These problems and situation in Farmingville can be explained using human behaviour theories such as the operant conditioning, classical conditioning and the realistic conflict theory. These theories help the social workers identify and explain the problems facing the residents. They also give the social worker direction on how to solve the problems and which material or resources to use. The social and economic condition in the community is the major worry because it is the cause of all the problems facing the community. The social workers are responsible for analysing, identifying helping solve the social and economic problems in Farmingville.
Greene, R. R. (2011). Human Behavior Theory and Social Work Practice (3 ed.). New York: Transaction Publishers.
Robbins, S. P., Chatterjee, P., & Canda, E. R. (2011). Contemporary Human Behavior Theory: A Critical Perspective for Social Work (3, illustrated ed.). New York: Allyn & Bacon/Pearson.
Thyer, B. A., & Dulmus, C. N. (2012). Human Behavior in the Social Environment: Theories for Social Work Practice (illustrated ed.). New York: John Wiley & Sons.