• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Biological and psychological explanations of human behavior are inadequate to sociologists

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Biological and psychological explanations of human behavior are inadequate to sociologists This essay will discuss the reasons why sociologists argue that biological as well as psychological explanations of human behavior are inadequate. It will take a close look at how society is an inseparable part of an individual, examine the work of French sociologist Emile Durkheim and conclude with a suggested holistic way of looking at the origins of human behavior. Sociology is the discipline that focuses on the analysis of society. But what is society, and what is it made of? Couldn't society be defined as a group of individuals who are involved in a social activity? If this statement were to capture the essence of the term "society", biological explanations about genetic predispositions of individuals, (including their temperament), together with psychological explanations about their behaviors would be sufficient to explain human behavior. ...read more.

Middle

Societal interaction is a two-way street. It is individuals who in their behavior, values and way of thinking shape society, but it is the whole of individuals, the group, which shapes how these individuals socialize. French sociologist, Emile Durkheim said that society is "external and coercive" (1964:2). In external, Durkheim was referring to the great influence society has over individuals, and argued that it is something larger than the individuals who compose it, a whole bigger than the sum of his parts, so to speak. According to Durkheim, society shapes individuals' entire experience of life. The coerciveness of society, by Durkheim, comes from outside as well as from within. Each society constitutes a set of norms (rules of behavior appropriate in different situations) (Parkinson& Drislane, 1992) and values (broad principles of behavior and moral standards) ...read more.

Conclusion

In examining how human behavior is affected by biological, psychological and sociological influences, let us look at the example of an elementary school child with learning disabilities. A biological perspective would emphasize a genetic predisposition for the disability, e.g. minimal brain damage. Psychologists may suggest that the child's only way of receiving attention from his parents is by being a "problematic child" who needs help with his homework, and therefore his disabilities are reinforced. A sociologist would look at the child's place in society, how does his society treat children with learning disabilities? Should he be shameful? Is he encouraged by others? The particular social structure of the child's society- the way individuals within his group relate to each other, together with his culture - predominately its values and perhaps religion are a great influence on how this child will confront his problems and succeed or fail in minimizing his learning disabilities. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Sociology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Sociology essays

  1. What do sociologists mean by culture? What functions does it perform in society? How, ...

    Things such as trust, honesty, monogamy and caring for human life are seen as being an important and essential part of the majority of western society. Giddens (1997) also says that norms are expectations of what others in a particular society will do.

  2. Consumer Behavior - Consumer Influences.

    Assael (1998, p.495) supports the importance of culture and social acceptance, "In many Asian countries it is more important to have social acceptance than individual choice." However different the culture may be, certain values may be similar throughout. Values such as desire for beauty, respect from peers, success and nurturing of children allow marketers to homogenize strategies.

  1. Hypothesis: Children are born to succeed or fail

    of eyes and nose, which are related to the geographical origins of a particular group. It is often these characteristics that pose a judgmental imposition on the reliability of that individual and thus affecting his chances of success or failure.

  2. "Are Children Born to Succeed or Fail".

    Over 8 years both genders have risen percentage wise in GCSE's. Also females are consistently performing better than males at GCSE level. They are beating males every year at attaining 5 A* - C GCSE grades. Furthermore and more staggeringly it's not getting any better for males.

  1. Organizational Perspectives on Stratification.

    The operational criterion is that the greater the average status distance between all pairs of persons relative to their average status, the greater the inequality. Status-diversity is the graduated-parameter equivalent of heterogeneity. The operational criterion of status-diversity is the probability that two randomly chosen persons do not belong to the same stratum.

  2. Multiculturalism in Canada.

    (Stotsky 1992:64) While it is common sense that one could not have a true understanding of a subject by only possessing knowledge of one side of it, this brings up the fact that there would never be enough time in our current school year to equally cover the contributions of each individual nationality.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work