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Naturally Constrained Social Systems
 
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Code: DJ 4.1 (2) Comella
Price: $9.50
 
 
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Patricia A. Comella, JD

In both human and nonhuman relationship systems, members automatically and continually respond to their environment and to each other. This automatic responsiveness operates at a level of intensity which varies from individual to individual, and over time as conditions change. The responsiveness, called emotional process in Bowen family systems theory, acts as a natural constraint on flexibility to function across the full spectrum of potential in the members of the system and the system itself. Naturally constrained social systems abound in nature and there is a wealth of theoretical and factual information available and potentially useful to understanding the constraints on behavior and functioning in both human and nonhuman relationship systems. Researchers studying behavior in nonhuman social systems have observed patterns of behavior which appear related to members' managing external relationships, particularly with predators, and internal relationships with other members, particularly about distribution of resources and dealing with the stresses of living in groups. Researchers applying Bowen family systems theory have observed the operation of multigenerational emotional process in human relationship systems and how it constrains the flexibility of members of these systems to adapt to changing circumstances. Drawing upon research across a broad spectrum of species, this paper examines how emotional process, especially anxiety and its sources, naturally constrains the behavior and functioning of members of social systems, and then applies this to a brief examination of one kind of human social system, the work system.


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