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Sociology Research Papers: Sociology Thesis: Sociology Essays Writing
The Formation of Social Relationships

A 'Social Network' is a type of social organization between sets of people, and also between groups of organizations. It represents varied and several means by which individuals and groups are interconnected that might stem from either social proximity, or close attachments within family members. (Social Network). It is important to be pointed here that the initiation of the development and the shaping of a social relationship begins from the home and it is the parents of a child who must take charge of the same. Indeed, according to experts in this line, the control of a parent or parents on a child and his social behavior persists during childhood, and also later in his adolescent years. (Engels; Dekovic; Meeus, 2002).

Nevertheless, side by side, not much is intelligible today regarding the means that connect steadfastly the adolescent functioning in families as also in peer group systems, although a lot of studies on the structure of social relationships in a child, and the relationship which it has with the child's parents have been undertaken of late. Figures obtained in this line from a research of about 500 adolescents aged from 12 to 18 years was collected and analyzed. The conclusions showed that the social skills of the adolescent undertaken in the research arbitrated the impact of some popular parental dictates like responsiveness, receptiveness, independence, etc when these children involved in the routine activities wherein they had to tackle with their peer groups. (Engels; Dekvoc; Meeus, 2002).

But, direct parental impact on peer relations displayed a level of constancy after the levels were evaluated for social skills. The broad scenario revealed that the different social skills of adolescents and parental factors, the bonding of the child to the parent, and the overall environment within the family settings which were regarded to be strongly linked with the social relationships which the study group of adolescent appeared to be having with that of the peers. It can also be mentioned that the manner in which these youths enter into or breakup their friendships and bridge different social associations with that of their peers, at this point in their lives, is strongly linked and is impacted by come vital aspects within the child-parent relationship angle. (Engels; Dekovic; Meeus, 2002).

Even today surgery continues to be very traumatic and comes with the baggage of nervousness. Science has exposed the reality that stress continues to contribute significantly in the recovery as well as the immune system of the patient post surgery. Certain studies have brought forward that the stress hormone 'cortisol' would be released by the patient during shaving and administering enema, during the pre-surgery preparation. In a study conducted on 126 patients operated for back problems, the results showed that those showing high stress levels during the pre-surgery and post-surgery stages were found to be more tired and run down compared to those suffering from lesser degree of stress. (Facts of Life: Issue Briefings for Health Reporters, 1999).

But, currently, a lot of stress reduction therapies are available, which would radically lower the amount of stress and anxiety which an individual experiences prior to and after surgery, and thus help him to cure in a better manner and cope in a better manner with the stress. Some stress busting techniques have been created by Kulik and Mahler who are a team of psychologists and some of the more renowned techniques which are employed are guided imagery wherein the patients are precisely disclosed what they can hope, keeping the patient with a roommate who has experienced the method earlier himself, and even lending the patient a room having a view. These methods and others would surely facilitate the said patient to turnaround faster and thus help him to discharge sooner. (Facts of Life: Issue Briefings for Health Reporters).

In the opinion of Kulik and Mahler, thus the application of certain 'educational videotapes' on patients prior to surgery would help in spending less time in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) following the operation compared to others who have not viewed the tapes, wherein would assume the role of a narrator, and undertake interviews with patients experiencing the same procedure prior to that. This reveals that the formation of social relationships and the presence of social support from others is a crucial factor, particularly when an individual is required to address with some stress aggravating and anxious stages in his life. (Facts of Life: Issue Briefings for Health Reporters).

A lot of theories abound addressing the doctrine of consistency and Heider's Theory of Balance is one of the more renowned one. The formation and maintenance of social relationships between a collection of people and individuals was Heider's field of interest. The model comprised of three essential elements: two individuals named P &O and one non-individual or non-human entity named X. Heider held the opinion that some recurrent and systematic propensities would be present in the relationships which P would have built with O & X. In case of formation of a social relationship, where there is mutual likeness among P & O and also like X, then it would imply presence of a good harmony in the relationship. A balance would only occur when one of them is positive while the other two is negative whereas in case of any other type of relationship, there would never be any element of balance whatsoever. In case of an unbalanced state, then it would imply that different types of instabilities and nerve-racking anxieties would automatically be produced within a person. (Cognitive Consistency, Theory of Balance).

In the year 1966, the theory of Matching Hypothesis conceived by Walster et al addressed the reason behind people finding themselves attracted to their partners. He believed that two persons who are equally attractive on the physical front have increased chances of building a long-lasting relationship with one another. To put the facts straight, when Walster desired to test his theory, he gave an advertisement of a 'Computer Dance' which saw as many as 752 responses. It was revealed that individually who were more physically attractive had greater chances of being selected compared to less attractive people, and even among the respondents, physical charm weighed more than other attributes like intelligence and personality. In a comparable research undertaken by Murstein during 1972, he could discover proof which supported the Matching Hypothesis Theory of Walster. He did a ranking of a lot of photos of dating couples as regards charisma, and the solution was that a charismatic person would routinely zero in on another, of comparable charm. And these would be the couples who in maximum situations would enjoy long lasting social relationships. (Matching Hypothesis).

The Proximity Theory of Festinger propounds that one of the vital factors in the built-up of a social relationship is when people stay close to one another (Forming Relationships, 2003). He also notes regarding changes in attitude which can stem from a fundamental clash of beliefs. The follow-on dissension may be established through a number of factors, and this would conclude the strength of the endeavors required in order to address the variation in the attitudes, and the manner in which to deal with them. The research forwarded by Festigner would demonstrate that majority of individuals who forge a relationship with one another, would certainly do so with those people residing in a similar geographical location, or who mutually reside very closely. (Chapter 1, Literature Review).

Under a social relationship, a type of similarity of attitude should be present, in order for two people to get attracted to one another, and this is one of the crucial theories of Bryne. In a study completed by the British Psychological Society, similarities and dissimilarities among groups of people posing as participants were maneuvered across two different sets of issues. This was deliberately made such that the effectiveness and the genuineness of the above stated theory of attraction, repulsion and the Bryne similarity-dissimilarity hypothesis among groups of people could be experimented. The participants were thus made mandatory to assess the social magnetism and it was revealed that there was truly a resemblance in the first set of attitudes and the similarity in the second set of attitudes was for social attraction, but never for intellectual attraction between strangers. (Singh: Ho, 2000).

Basically, thus, it was found out that dissimilarity contributed in a much bigger way compared to similarities in a relationship, especially when it related to the development of social relationships. Nevertheless, simultaneously, dissimilarity had the same influence in intellectual attraction among the partners, and thus, the notion which could be established beyond a reasonable uncertainty was that there is interplay of immense asymmetry in a similarity-dissimilarity theory, which implied that rejections in dissimilarity would be rather far powerful compared to attraction of similarity. The conjecture and supposition that similarity & dissimilarity spawn equal & also conflicting effects on social attraction among groups of people and individuals, would thus be shunned, and the overall repulsion hypothesis which avowed that exclusively divergent attitudes would impact social attraction would indeed lead to the path of repulsion would be rejected as well. (Singh; Ho, 2000).

The core concept of 'equity' appears to be compared with logic of fairness and justice, and also with a person who might consider that he is fundamentally getting a reasonable quantity of what he deserves to get, particularly in comparison with others like himself. Adams during the year 1963 presented with the idea that everyone of us while satisfying our self needs, are invariably evaluating the impartiality or the fairness of the alleged end result, in our opinion, and this implies that indeed we are relentlessly attempting to determine if what we have received was truly due or otherwise, within the perspective of a social relationship. It has also been stated that an individual invariably evaluates the result with the hopes of how precisely one believes that he must be treated, with how other people have been treated, in comparison to his self. While a person relates this notion to his social relationship, then it would imply that an individual assesses one's relationship by weighing the comparisons of what one contributes to the relationship vis-a-vis what one is profiting from the same. (Motivation, Equity and Awards).

It is to be considered that in every social relationship comprises of a basic element of 'give and take' policy, and the balance in any relationship might not necessarily be equal. The Social Exchange Theory underlying a relationship clarifies vividly the mutual feeling among individuals within a relationship, depending on various perceptions, like for instance, the balance between what a person contributes to a relationship, and the return obtained from the relationship, the type of relationship one feels that he or she is entitled to and the odds of having a better nature of relationship with other people. Thus when an individual undertakes a decision of what is 'just', then one would in all probability develop an evaluation level with which to compare and of course the exchange element i.e. give and take of the relationship. It must be pondered that this level will in all fitness differ with various relationships and also between what is being got and given away. This might be the cause that a social exchange done at home would seemingly be radically dissimilar in balance, as also in comfort from others. There is also a comparison level for alternating relationships and this might be the cause behind nursing an affectionate hope that there might be a lot of other people in the world waiting for us. But when the level of comparison is low, then maybe the person would choose to remain on a high cost relationship, for the simple reason he might feel that he might not really get anybody superior outside the realm of the relationship. (Social Exchange Theory).

To sum up, social relationships are very crucial in the world and in its absence, humans would be worse than a beast, and if an individual would like to strive towards the formation of a social relationship and also in maintaining the same, then the world would be a much better platform for the endeavour.


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