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ERIC Number: ED141193
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1976-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Energy and the Structure of Social System: Significance for Families.
Keefe, Dennis R.
The purpose of the paper is to present a model and suggest hypotheses relating the family as a social system to the concepts of human and natural energy. Human energy is interpreted as the capacity of humans, in this case, family members, for doing work and natural energy as resources such as natural gas, carbon dioxide, and heat. A behavioral model of social systems based upon 1975 research by sociologists Frederick L. Bates and Clyde C. Harvey (Batesian Model), is used to describe the mutual responsiveness of family behavior to culture, personality, interaction, and situation. Characteristics of a role in the Batesian model are: (1) behavior performed by one actor; (2) interaction with another actor or with a unit such as the family; (3) acts organized around the performance of a function; and (4) occurrence within a physical setting. Human energy and natural energy resources are important factors in many phases of family life. For example, families export energy outputs to other parts of society by working and attending school; import energy by hiring workmen within the home; and release nonhuman energy waste flows such as carbon dioxide, heat, and waste matter. Families also export and import information when family members interact and exchange information with social groups and organizations other than the nuclear family. Twenty-three hypotheses generated by the Batesian model of family and energy information conclude the paper. (Author/DB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at annual meeting of the Rural Sociological Society (New York, New York, August 26-29, 1976)