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Attitudes And Values Essay

2518 words - 10 pages

For this assignment, I shall be looking at how attitudes and values are formed, how they are reinforced and how they are used with regard to oppressive behaviour to three social groups, Race, Sexual Orientation and Disability. I will also use y role as a social worker to explain how in my work I would use anti-oppressive practices and the importance of such work. I will be looking at various theories and my own life experiences for this work.In order to get an understanding I will define attitudes. Attitudes is a habitual way of responding to or thinking about people, groups and objects in a generally favourable or unfavourable manner (Pierson et al 2002). Attitudes influence both people's behaviour and the way they interact with the world around them. They are mental states that carry ready explanations for social events and assist in the management of anxiety. Attitudes help an individual make a rapid assessment on social events based on earlier experiences. Stored in memory they influence behaviour when you are in a particular situation.A person learns from peer group influences, direct experience, early learning (primary socialisation), membership of social groups, and the media and social interaction develop attitudes. Once an attitude is taken on via this route, attitudes interact with each other and with beliefs that are already part of a person's mental process. Attitudes can be seen to be more held when there are related experiences.People hold attitudes about such things as freedom, equality and the challenge of oppression. But unfortunately there are people that hold attitudes about certain social groups as well, which are negative attitudes. These attitudes can link a person to a particular social group and so can carry rewards or indeed punishment for an individual in terms of membership or expulsion from a social group.A value on the other hand is a belief that is good, desirable and determines what is good, something that is worth striving for. Values are the consistent bases of which we underpin our attitudes. They are connected with morality and desirability. We judge other people by their moral standards and their behaviour and so we use that as a base to have a specific attitude towards them. So attitudes and values are intertwined as values underlie our attitudes towards others (Fishbein at al 1975).There are a few theories that explain the development of our own attitudes and values. Thompson (1993) developed a "PCS model". The P level is our thoughts, feelings, actions and attitudes although an individual can also be shaped by the culture we live in. The C level is showing the interests and influence of society as reflected in the values and norms we receive during socialisation. Finally the S level is basically the structure of society we live in. Even though we have individual thoughts and attitudes, the people we share our lives with shape them and they in turn are shaped by the norms and values passed to them by...

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