Role theory tries to examine the interactions between people with a social structure such as an organization or family by majoring on the roles they play. However, role theory is not a just a single theory but a group of interrelated theories and concepts that are founded upon anthropologic and sociocultural research focusing on how individuals' behavior is affected by the various social positions they hold and how what is expected of them when they occupy such positions. In short, an individual's social position influences his or her behavior. However, other social statuses such as ethnicity, gender, the socioeconomic class may shape social roles. The best example is in the family where a mother is expected put her children's' care and well-being above anything.
This presentation is of the application of Role theory to the case study on Levey Family. Levy family as a family of four, the father Jake Levy is a 31-year-old war veteran and the mother Sheri is a 28-year-old special education teacher. They have two sons Myles who is ten and Levi eight. The presenting problem in this family is that jack has been having a drinking problem ever since he returned home from the war in Iraq. This has been affecting him both at work and home as he is not able to wake up in the morning to go to work and does not believe he can provide for his family.
Jake has been socially distant and means to his wife leading to fighting between the two of them. For this reason, Jake fears he might lose his job and family and is in need of help. He also believes that as a father and husband it is his sole duty to provide for his family. It is therefore expected of Jake to go to work and interact with her wife and children to give them support in all ways possible. Jake himself believes that real men do not show weakness and must step up to be the head of the family. Jake is also required to be a mentor to his two sons Myles and Levi.
The role of the social worker in this case study is to help Jake and his family overcome their social circumstances. He or she, therefore, take the position of a mentored or adviser. However, this role and position will affect their relationship with Jake in that they will get closer and Jake will confide in him or her, call whenever he needs help. The three central assessment questions that I asked Jake were - (1) briefly describe your social history? Regarding how they interact with other people and friends. (2) Do you have any history of mental health in your family? Whether or not the behaviors of Jake are affected by a genetic trait. (3) Is there any history of drug abuse? If Jake or his wife, Sheri, abused any drug before and to what extent.
To reduce Jake's post-traumatic stress disorder his psychiatrist before, Dr. Zoe, prescribed him Pixels to help in reducing his symptoms of anxiety and depress and also gave him the suggestion he should see a counselor. Also, Sheri reduces their social isolation by interacting with other moms in their sons' school. On evaluating the intervention where Jake was prescribing Pixel the outcome will be that the depression and anxiety posed by post-traumatic stress disorder will just be suppressed temporarily. In that, once he does not or stops taking the medication, he will start experiencing the anxiety and depression again.This intervention is not very efficient as it only focuses on the short-term benefits whereas in the long-term it might even increase the levels of anxiety and depression in Jake. One limitation of using the role theory in understanding the case study on Levy's family is role conflict. In that, traditionally it is believed that only the male gender can be the provider of the family and this stresses Jakes out since he works and tries so hard to achieve this role. He does not understand that what is important is family and happiness; his wife is a special needs teacher can also step in and assist him at times. However, the advantage of using the role theory in this study is that a family is a structure social institution in where everyone has a specific role to play.
In conclusion, role theory is applicable in structures social setting where norms and traditions have the roles of every individual within that setting outlined. Everyone has to embrace his or her role for the betterment of the whole social context. Like in the case study, Sheri wants Jake to stop drinking and start behaving like a father and provider. Jake also is in fear that he is a failure in his quest to become a better husband and father by providing for his family.
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