Mechanistic, Organismic, And Contextualist Essay, Research Paper
1) Mechanistic, Organismic, and Contextualist, world views all approach understanding lives differently. Explain.
Theories that share worldviews may differ on the particulars and may even be in opposition on some points, but they still share a set of basic assumptions or building blocks that each has used in arriving at it’s conclusions (Goldhaber, 9). The three developmental worldviews that are most relevant to developmentalists are Mechanistic, Organisic, and Contextualistic. Mechanistic worldview defines humans, as passive individuals functioning like machines by some external force. The Organismic worldview defines individuals as living organism making choices that are oriented towards the future. Contextual worldview defines individuals in contrast to both Mechanists and Organicists worldviews functioning on particular events that form our everyday experiences (Goldhaber, 9).
In the Mechanistic worldview, individuals are merely functioning like machines to the world around them, “they do not create this world they respond to it” (Shoemaker). Is not that humans are machines but it is that their behavior functions like machines (Goldhaber, 9). In Translated Woman by Ruth Behar Esperanza’s endured violence and abuse at the hands of her father. As a result of her environment she entered marriage with the same abuse she endured from her father. Esperanza’s life is an example of how life was created for her; she did not create her life, but rather reacted to the world around her. She responded to her world as machine by her environment operating and controlling versus her taking control of her life.
The Organismic worldview differs from the mechanistic worldview in that it defines individuals, as active agents making choices that are oriented towards the future (Shoemaker). Individuals control of their lives, rather than the environment controls their lives. In Translated Woman by Ruth Behar later in Esperanza’s life she becomes an active agent by taking control of her life when she decides to leave her abusive husband and associate with a group of women who were not socially accepted. This shows that Esperanza made her own choices regardless of environmental influences.
The Contextualist worldview defines individuals in contrast to both mechanists and Organicists worldview functioning on particular events that form our everyday experiences (Goldhaber, 8). This worldview allows us to see lives from both perspectives in that the individual is an active agent both taking and responding in ways that are internal and external. Due the taking in and responding to the individual is always making meaning of the environment (Shoemaker). The everyday experiences provide new influences and opportunity for growth that allows the individual to change over time making meaning of their lives (Xeno).
The three worldviews Mechanistic, Organismic, and Contextualist differ not only in terms of their basic assumptions but also, to a large degree, in terms of the nature of the methods. Rather, each continues to function on it’s own, trying to answer its particular questions on development across the life span (Goldhaber, 11).