Structural and role functioning of the family and its violations (part 1)
The family, as a system, on the one hand has a physical structure represented by specific members, and, on the other hand, there is a structure of relations in the family-connections between family members. Each family member has a role to play. Family relationships are relationships between roles.
What is a role? The role arises because of certain expectations of the external environment. Accordingly, each role includes a normatively approved form of behavior that is expected from a person who occupies a certain position in the system of relations, including family ones. The concept of a role includes desires and goals, beliefs and feelings, attitudes, actions, and values that are attributed to a person who occupies a certain position in the relationship system. This also applies to family roles. If we are talking about the mother, then everyone immediately has a certain list of expectations, which is important for the mother to implement. According to how it performs its role functions, it is evaluated as good or bad.
In addition to all these points, the concept of role also includes norms, inherent roles, and sanctions. Norms are established rules that must be fulfilled by the corresponding role. If these rules are not met, the family imposes sanctions on the role bearer. A sanction is a reaction to the performance or non-performance of a role. They are positive, associated with the successful implementation of the role of the carrier of obligations and behaviors. Positive sanctions in the family are manifested in encouragement. Negative sanctions follow a failure to comply with the norms of a particular role. This punishment and the prosecution and pristegivaniem and deprivation of important and stuff.
In addition to positive and negative sanctions are external (imposed by someone else) and internal, which arise within the person at a certain stage of development. The torment of conscience is a system of internal sanctions. As we grow older, external sanctions are increasingly moving into internal ones.
When taking a role, you need to know the expected standards and penalties for violating them. All roles can be divided into 2 groups:
1. Conventional roles – created by agreement. This is a role that is determined by law, morality, and tradition for any bearer of this role. Example-the role of a mother, father, husband, child, etc. human Activity in these roles is defined and protected by law. Such roles are also supported by morality, law, tradition, and religion. The conventional role includes the most General requirements, regardless of the characteristics, aptitudes, and abilities of the role bearer. It is impersonal, standardized (regardless of who performs it and how). They exist as long as the family.
2. Interpersonal roles or family roles. They are very specific, specific to a particular family. They depend on the personal characteristics, inclinations and abilities of a particular person, are much more mobile, are not determined by the foundations and are designed to adequately and effectively perform the basic functions of the family. In turn these interpersonal roles are also divided into 2 subgroups:
1). Normative family (interpersonal) roles. They are primarily characteristic of a functional family
2). Pathological interpersonal roles that arise in dysfunctional families.
Normative roles contribute to the growth and development of the family as a system. They obey the law of homeostasis and are highly variable.
Pathological roles hinder the development of the family and are a brake. Rigid (stable), can exist in the family regardless of external circumstances, making a serious problem.
Each of the roles within each family is filled with a purely individual mental content. The same names for each role can mean different content. The role of “honey” or “fish” – either affectionate or abusive. Roles are variable and can change under the influence of different circumstances. In a family, the established role or the entire system of roles must meet certain requirements, because it is intended for the survival of the system. These requirements are as follows:
1. The role or set of roles in the family should create a fairly complete system. If there are conflicting roles, there are serious difficulties in performing the role. Or, when a family member does not cope with two roles, each of which is in conflict with the other. A wife and a mother and father. Contradictions within one role or two roles lead not only to family crises, up to the collapse of the family. They cause a wide range of disorders both at the individual level or the occurrence of various variants of pathology that occur at the family level. If there is a neurosis, there is a violation of family functioning.
2. The set of roles that an individual performs in the family must ensure that their basic needs in the family are met. This is a need for respect, recognition, and sympathy. A husband is not only a duty, but also a right. While performing his duties, he has the right to expect satisfaction of needs. If this is violated, the violation of needs causes a violation of functions, which turns the family into a dysfunctional one.
3. The roles that a person performs in the family must correspond to their abilities and capabilities. Any family role assumes that its bearer has the appropriate abilities and capabilities. If the demand is too much, then the state of excessive stress is inevitable. It is the result of exhaustion. Or it is a strong anxiety, which is the result of a person’s uncertainty that he is correctly and adequately performing his role. In this situation, the effective life of a person in this role is very limited, for example, if a child in the family has increased requirements, there may be a situation when he will put a lot of effort to cope with the task, to fulfill it and on the return of parents, there may be a breakdown in the form of stuttering, insomnia, etc. Assigning a person unusual roles can lead to serious both family and personal violations. Family violations may consist of the emergence of a coalition. Any vertical coalition is dysfunctional. These behavioral patterns are passed down from generation to generation. And just as the mother snapped her daughter, the daughter will start snapping her husband. This will lead to family pathology. Giftedness creates increased demands on the child, he begins to look for ways to get rid of the role of “family hope”. This can be expressed in the desire to get sick or fall into dependence, so that they can get rid of it.
4. The system of family roles that an individual performs must be such as to meet not only their needs, but also the needs of other family members. If in a family, the rest of one family member is provided at the expense of the tension of another or the discharge of emotional tension is achieved by venting anger on another, it is clear that such a role structure seriously violates the family function.
The main task of a social worker with a family is to identify and diagnose pathological roles in the family and determine the significance that these roles play in the family state. The role of the family scapegoat or family Martyr who sacrifices all of himself in the name of the family or the role of a sick family member is described in detail in the book “Games played by people”by Eric Byrne.
The pathological role is characterized by:
1. One of the family members may play an interpersonal role that is traumatic for them, but is psychologically beneficial for others. They assign it to him.
2. Family members directly or indirectly encourage other family members to take on a pathological role. It can be traumatic for others and beneficial for the role holder. An example is a sick family member.
3. Both types of roles are combined. In this case, one family member performs a pathological role that traumatizes him, and the other performs a role that is traumatic for others. The pathological role is a vivid example of when an individual’s disorders are caused by a violation of the whole family. Pathological roles, as violations of the system explain the occurrence of mental diseases in the family. Each interpersonal role is not part of the person’s personality. It is comparable to a cancer and this is its danger. The pathological role is eaten into the structure of a person’s personality. He has no other roles left. It becomes maladaptive, sooner or later, you have to pay a price for it.
Families where violence exists also have 2 pathological roles-the role of the abuser and the role of the victim. The cycle of violence can be repeated for a long time and exists only because this game is carried out because the abuser is allowed to show violence, and the victim of violence does everything to make the violence take place. Since everyone in this role gets both discomfort and benefits, the game can continue indefinitely. Hartmann’s triangle – at the top of the pursuer in the other corner of the pursued, in the 3rd victim. When can it be? In the family, the husband and wife have unresolved competitive relations – it is unproductive to solve the question-who is the owner? The husband acts as a Stalker, the wife also tries to prove that she is worth something. This leads to a chronic conflict that is taken out on children as victims. There is always a lot of negative destructive energy and centripetal forces in this triangle. Each of the elements of the triangle may have certain forms of pathology that the family members are trying to restore. Sexual frustration gives rise to mutual accusations, the tension increases, a necessary sacrifice to discharge. The child reduces the intensity of tension at the cost of his enuresis.