Ecological system theory was proposed by a US psychologist Urie Bronfenbrenner to discuss the impact of inherent qualities of a person and the influence of the environment on the growth and development of that person. It describes the relationships of a person within the community and the wider society. It is also referred to as the ecological framework. According to the author of this theory development of a person is widely affected by its external surrounding. Bronfenbrenner divided the environment into five various levels such as microsystem, mesosystem, exosystem, macrosystem, and chronosystem. The microsystem is the primary level, and closest to the person to which a person has direct contact. Home is the best example of the microsystem, further examples are school, daycare and office. Relationships are made in these microsystem includes family, caregivers, peer, and colleagues.
Mesosystem is the second level which includes the interactions between various Microsystems. For instance the relationship of parents and their role in the school system. It is essential and having a strong positive impact on the development and brought up a person. Exosystem is the third level which refers to the external environment in which a person is not actively participating however that can affect a person. For instance, in The Glass Castle Walls was affected by frequently displacement from one place to another, and the behaviour of her parents. It can change the neighbourhood, peer, school, and all the microsystem, and mesosystem of a person. Macrosystem is the broader and most distant collection of places and people that can influence children’s brought up and development. It includes cultural values, beliefs, and ideas. Moreover, it includes the political and economic system as well, and how these systems can affect a child for instance in war-torn areas, flood-affected areas, refugees, economically weak states and countries. In the case of the story of The Glass Castle, the problems and challenges Walls and her family faced were all due to the microsystem. Her family was facing poverty, dysfunctional family system, and the macrosystem also applied to this story because of the sexual abuse, ignorance, and other values and beliefs. Chronesystem refers to the time dimension which can influence the changes and consistency in the environment.
It may include a change in various aspects such as an address, employment status of the parents, family structure, and economic cycle and wars. Jeanette’s chronosystem is the immediately changing address and homelessness, which had affected her adversely. All these levels of the ecological model have greater impacts on the life of children during their development stages.
This story has grabbed the attention of the readers de to its many emotional events and extreme situations. This story is applied to the ecological system approach, and they are so many characters facing many layers to the lives of its central character Jannette Walls. Her life has some unique characters and aspects which is how it works. All five systems of the theory of ecological systems can be applied to this character. First, we have to review the childhood of Jeanette who is the central character, her life was full of extremes and no one can believe it. She wrote this story to unveil the secrets of her life to the public.
She faced a hard time in her childhood and her adulthood, then she escaped from her family and worked hard along with her sister to change her lifestyle (Walls, 2017). She successfully achieves her goal, however, when she was bringing up her kids and educating them, there was a glimpse of her past and childhood. Jeanette is a strong, wise, and resilient woman and had many ups and downs in her life. During her childhood, her parents didn’t take her care, in this way she thought that she was assisting her parents. She proudly quoted that she can do things for herself and she had grown fast. She had some good traits such as constancy, flexibility, and positivity. She had a dream to make her life better and she had fulfilled her dreams. Jeanette had mainly faced issues from her microsystem that is her immediate and closet interaction, the family includes parents and siblings. The microsystem is considered the most important part of the system in which a child grows. A negative and dysfunctional family system can consequently cause many psychological and behavioural issues which leave a spot on the personality of a person throughout his or her life.
Walls, J. (2017). The glass castle: A memoir. Simon and Schuster.