Given my knowledge of psychology, I believe that this did not meet the developmental needs that Spike required. Spike by this stage would already see himself as a ‘boy’ in his own right and at this time would be experiencing significant body changes for example, puberty including the development of the reproductive system and sex characteristics. At this time his emotional needs were not met, as this is a difficult and confusing time in childhood. Further confusion would have been caused as Spike would be ‘different’ from all his peers due to him being the only male in the school.
Therefore, here was a great lack of emotional support. As it was an all female school in all probability the structures would be gender specific rather than person centered. This would then affect the social needs of Spike, due to this being an ‘alien’ environment to him. It was extremely difficult for Spike to socialism with his peers and make new friends, resulting in a form of isolation and loneliness. Spike’s cognitive needs were somewhat neglected as well, due to his inability to form understanding and positive relationships with his peers.
This resulting in is early years in school being very unhappy, which in turn affected his education and learning ability. Bowl (1907-1990) pioneered attachment research. This was researched in order to evaluate the impact of being raised in institutionalized care. His report was called Maternal Care and Mental Health’ Bowl (1951, cited in, Bingham et al, 2009). The main focus of the report was maternal deprivation. The term is broadly thought of today as the absence of mother and/or family. Although Bowl has much more to say than the term implies.
Bowl (ibid) suggests that attachment is a very strong and close emotional bond between two people, and hat long periods of separation will cause great upset and distress to the person attached. He believes in terms of the relationship between mother and child, the mother has a bond with the child but the child is attached to the mother. Attachment and Bond are distinct concepts as attachment has a whole set of complexities distinct from those of an emotional bond. There are four main stages of attachment states Bowl (1951, cited in, Bingham et al, 2009). These are, Pre-attachment which is from 0-2 months.
This stage is where the infant is responding to people and objects, the child can be informed by a stranger but by the end of the stage the infant has a preference for familiar faces and voices e. G they favor the mother and prefer people to objects. Indiscriminate attachment is from 3-7 months, where they thrive on people’s company and recognize familiar faces whom they prefer when in need of comfort but they do not get anxious with strangers. Discriminate attachment from 7-9 months is when attachment begins to develop and the infant can experience distress when separated from the primary care giver.
The infant will display signs of pleasure when being reunited with the main care giver and show sisters when approached or handled by a stranger. The final stage is Multiple attachment from 9+ months where the infant grows more independent and can form additional bonds and attachment. However, it is unknown whether these will be as strong as with the primary care giver. According to Bowl (1951, cited in, Bingham et al, 2009) a negative attachment experience can lead to psychological and relationship issues later in life.
He (ibid) believes that this cannot be reversed due to a sensitive attachment period which is formed within the first two and a half years off child’s life. He states that this could have permanent consequences for example an increase in aggression in later years as well as mental illness e. G. Depression. I feel that this theory applies to Spike well, as due to his mothers difficult labor and being ill for many months after Spike’s birth, this affected her ability to look after him on her own so he was therefore, removed from his familiar surroundings and looked after by his aunt.
Whom described Spike as inconsolable throughout this period, refusing to eat and drink which made him ill. This was the case until Spike was over two and a half years old. So the consequences of this were that in later years, Spike displayed signs of aggression when he felt under any threat and was diagnosed with Bi-polar disorder, which is a form of depression. This resulted in Spike struggling to form positive attachments in adulthood. According to Freud (Cited in, Reedier, 2011) everyone is born with an id. He believes this is very important because as newborns it allows us to have our basic needs met.
Freud refers to this as the ‘pleasure principle’ as the ‘id’ wants whatever feels good at the time with no consideration of reality or consequence. For example, if a baby is hungry, then the ‘id’ wants food so the baby cries until it’s needs are satisfied. The ‘id’ does not care about anyone else just its own satisfaction. Like a baby doesn’t care whether it’s parents are sleeping, eating or needing a break because when the baby needs fed or changed, nothing else is important. However, over the next three years of a child’s life, as it starts to interact more and more with the world, the second part of the personality begins to develop.
Freud called this part the ‘ego’, which he called the reality principle. It is the ‘ego’ that takes into consideration that other people have needs and series as well and that being selfish can have a negative effect in the long run. The ‘ego’ tries to satisfy the needs of the ‘id’ whilst considering the reality of the situation. By the age of five the ‘superego’ starts to develop. This as Freud (ibid) believes is the moral part of our personality, which is taught to us by our care giver e. G. Mother.
This has also been related to the conscience as it dictates our belief on what is right and wrong. Freud believed that if a person is healthy then the ego is the strongest as it will satisfy the needs of the id without upsetting the superego. If the id is the strongest then the person will be selfish and full of self-gratification and do anything to satisfy their own needs without considering the consequences for anyone else, and if the superego is the strongest then the individual could be driven to stringent morals and be very judgmental.
According to Freud we have two drives, sex which enables our drive to live, prosper and produce offspring, and aggression which represents our need to stay alive and fight off threats to our existence and power. Feel that Fraud’s theory on the dominant ‘id’ fits in well with Spike’s personality, s in the case study it states that Spike had a son ‘James’ during an affair whilst he was married. Although Spike was willing to provide for his son financially, he had made it clear that that would be as much as he would do, as in a letter to James’ mother he said that if the newspapers found out about James, it would destroy Spike’s life.
I believe this is an indication of Spike’s selfishness, as at no time was he thinking about what was best for his son but simply what would be best for himself. It was also said that Spike had campaigned against over population, but he had six children. It appears that this was a case of satisfying his own needs but he was against other people doing so. Feel that Spike’s childhood experiences of his father having been said to have fathered other children due to affairs within the marriage, in turn the consequences of this were that Spike believed this to be acceptable. Therefore, went on to father additional children through affairs.
It was also said that Spike was a campaigner for living with depression and the stigma that came with the illness, as Spike had Bi-polar this was very understandable. However, it became clear that Spike only cared bout his own problems and took part in things for his own gratification. He had no desire to help anyone else or consider other peoples misfortunes. I think that due to an unhappy childhood and witnessing no happiness or love within his mother and father’s marriage, that this is why Spike appeared to have no compassion or thought for other people and found it very difficult to be affectionate towards others.
Also as his mother was so obsessed with her own image, I believe that Spike then grew to believe this was ‘normal’ and therefore at most times throughout his life this seemed to be of all importance to him. In theory functionalists believe that the family is a positive institution. Functionalists view of the ideal family is the ‘nuclear’ family, which consists of the mother whom is the career, the father, whom is the breadwinner and the children whom have to be cared for. Parsons (1959) claimed that the nuclear family was important for socializing and teaching children cultural values and disciplines as well as structuring personalities.
He regarded the ‘nuclear’ family as a unit that produced love and warmth, security and support. Parsons (ibid) claimed that marriage was essential for emotional security. According to Parsons (ibid) there are two main functions of the family. These are primary solicitation and stabilization of adult personality. As Spike was socialized and educated within the family, then this would indicate that the two main stages of primary colonization and stabilization of the adult personality were met. However, due to the dynamics of Spike’s family it would seem that there was a great lack of emotional support.
Although Spike’s family would come under ‘nuclear’, as his mother was at home in her role of ‘lady of the house’ and ‘mother’, in reality this was not a positive impact on Spike. As his mother was so obsessed with social status and social class divides, this then in turn became the views of Spike for example, he had been accused of racism and although he loved India and the people there he strongly disapproved of inter-racial / inter-cultural marriage. He continued to believe there was a divide and act superior to these people.
However, if he felt less superior to someone, for example, when he called Prince Charles “a groveling little bastard”, then he would verbally abuse them. I also feel that Parsons claim that the nuclear family shows love and warmth is not always the ease, because although Spike’s father was working away as an army officer, and providing for his family in means of materialism. When he did return home he was cold, authoritarian and unpredictable who did not seem to show any love or affection towards Spike. This in later years showed in how Spike was with his own children.
Although they described him as a loving and caring father he would at times of illness shut them out almost as though he would disconnect from them. Spike never witnessed love or affection in his parents marriage, so therefore, never experienced how to accept love and affection or how to return it. Conflict theorist’s believe that the ‘nuclear’ family is dominated and characterized by economic control and sexual division. Rather than it being a ‘natural’ social arrangement it is more like a privatized institution where men have legal and economic supremacy.
According to Engel’s (1894, cited in Bingham, et al, 2009) that what appears to be ‘free will’ is actually an agreement for both parties to expect and accept different and unequal roles, where the labor is guaranteed with the father being the main laborer being care for by the secondary laborer which is the mother/wife. Roles within the family are traditionally segregated with the male decision making and having authority due to higher earning power and female powerlessness due to economic weakness. Conflict theorists believe that social strategies are based on conflict amongst classes and blocked opportunities.
Stratification is a scheme which underpins of dominance and subordination where the elites are the ruling classes while the others get exploited and controlled. Caretakers (1976, cited in, Bingham, et al, 2009) described the nuclear family as a social system which props up and promotes capitalism. For men experiencing alienation (a sense of meaninglessness about the role they do and the role they play, working for the profits of others) within a capitalists economy, home is where this dissatisfaction is played out, via male power and control over women. 2009, IPPP) Caretakers (1976, cited in, Bingham, et al, This theory I feel relates well to Spike as his widow had said that he was a loving husband but a difficult man whom always had to be in control, as was clear throughout Spike’s life that this was how his father behaved and so Spike then believed that this was how a husband and father should behave. He also showed throughout his life to be aggressive and controlling towards work colleagues if he felt under threat and inferior to them.
This seems to be due to Spike’s experiences through childhood into adolescence, as his mother and father were very much supportive of social class divides and prided themselves on their social status. I believe that because of this, Spike then felt pressure to be ‘better’ than others. When Spike joined the army in 1940 he was under extreme pressure to conform to the norms, be masculine and follow through with what was expected of him. He was seriously wounded in 1944, and was said to have failed to breech enemy lines and was labeled a ‘coward’.
Spike felt shamed by this and self-esteem was shattered, he never received any support for the event and instead was ridiculed. This inequality caused further emotional difficulties. Spike was discharged from the forces with a verdict of ‘unsolder conduct’ when in actual fact spike was suffering from Post-Traumatic stress disorder as a result of his attack. Feel that the conflict theory regarding the ‘nuclear’ family would be the best tool to use in order to understand Spike’s behavior and attitudes with society. This theory explains about the negative impact family life had on Spike.