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Ecological Perspectives
Another approach that emphasizes cultural or environmental influences on human development is the ecological perspective. One of the best-known ecological approaches is developmental psychologist Urie Brenner's (1989) ecological systems theory. ecological systems in this theory are the interactions a child has with other people, and how those interactions are affected by other people and situations. The four ecological systems are as follows. starting with the one closest to the child: the micro system. the mesosystem. the exp system, and the macro system. In the micro system, a child Is.engaged in immediate face- ice interaction with the child's parents. siblings. and other immediate family members. By contrast. in the mesosystem, the child's interactions with family members are influenced by the interactions of those family members. For example. how the mother reacts to her son is influenced by how she is getting along with the father. exosystem relates to how the immediate family members are influenced by another setting. such as the mother's job. Finally. the macrosystem involves
how interaction with the child is affected by all the components of the larger society. including public policy. such as child-care legislation. Bronfenbrenner's ecological perspective provides interesting insights on the overall context in which child development occurs.

However. research using this approach is somewhat difficult because of the complex nature of the systems approach that he suggests. 'As a result. many sociological studies have focused on specific agents of socialization rather than the larger societal context in which child development occurs.

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