How does the integration of behavioural systems analysis contribute to addressing abusive behavior in Australian patriarchy?
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Advancing the understanding of abusive behavior in systems upholding Australian patriarchy

How does the integration of behavioural systems analysis contribute to addressing abusive behavior in Australian patriarchy?

This study acknowledges and reflects upon the insights presented in the Guardian article by Jess Hill on March 8, 2020, titled “Patriarchy and Power: How Socialisation Underpins Abusive Behaviour.” The case of Hannah Clarke, whose family described her husband as controlling and coercive, highlights the recurring pattern of coercive control in cases of domestic abuse. The article underscores the urgency of understanding how patriarchal structures contribute to abusive behaviours in our society.

Being a victim of domestic violence often entails a sense of powerlessness, as emphasized in a recent Guardian article on domestic violence within Australia’s political system. This sentiment resonates with many women, emphasizing the need to comprehend the harmful effects of patriarchy perpetuating abusive behaviours. This study aims to investigate abusive behaviour within systems upholding Australian patriarchy, recognizing its critical impact on the well-being of individuals, especially women and marginalized communities.

Understanding abusive behaviour

Understanding abusive behavior within patriarchal systems is crucial for safeguarding well-being and dismantling oppressive structures. A new study introduces behavioral systems analysis, merging principles from Behavioral and systems analysis disciplines. It aims to enhance comprehension and foster improvement in individual and organizational performance by scrutinizing behavior within complex systems.

These systems consist of two key subsystems: social and technical. The social system pertains to human functions and behaviors in a maintenance setup, while the technical system involves technology functions serving the required purpose.

Examining abusive behavior within Australia’s societal and legal framework is pivotal amidst societal transformations and evolving gender roles. Despite progress, certain aspects persist in perpetuating abusive behaviors and control mechanisms.

How does the integration of behavioural systems analysis contribute to addressing abusive behavior in Australian patriarchy?
Credit. Midjourney

The study emphasizes two crucial points. Firstly, addressing abusive circumstances is vital for the well-being of individuals, especially women and marginalized groups. Abusive behavior within patriarchy takes various forms, posing challenges for victims seeking liberation.

Secondly, the research probes the mechanisms sustaining these systems, recognizing patriarchy as a lasting structure shaping social norms, institutions, and power dynamics. By meticulously examining abusive behavior within these systems, researchers aim to uncover underlying mechanisms enabling its persistence, contributing to a deeper understanding of this pervasive issue.

Behavioural systems analysis

Behavioural Systems Analysis is an interdisciplinary field blending Behavior Analysis and Systems Analysis. Its goal is to comprehend and enhance how individuals and organizations perform. It acknowledges that behavior is shaped by interactions with the environment—physical, social, and genetic factors all play a role.

Behavior Analysis spotlights the link between behavior and environmental elements, while Systems Analysis studies how components within complex systems interact. In organizational contexts, Behavioural Systems Analysis views behavior as a core aspect of social setups. It acknowledges that all social organizations, like businesses or institutions, consist of individual behaviors and their outcomes. These individual behaviors collectively impact how the system functions and performs.

Critical for Personal Welfare: Abuse within patriarchal structures encompasses emotional, psychological, financial, and physical forms. Seeking help becomes challenging for victims due to these manifestations’ hidden nature. Often suffering silently, understanding abusive behavior is crucial for the well-being of individuals, especially women and marginalized groups.

Key to patriarchy system destruction

Key to Deconstructing Systems Patriarchy is not a static relic but an evolving structure shaping social norms, institutions, and power dynamics. Understanding abusive behaviour within these systems is crucial for unveiling the underlying mechanisms that sustain and perpetuate such conduct. Abusive behaviour within systems that reinforce Australian patriarchy has received limited research attention, resulting in a dearth of data regarding both perpetrators and victims. Victims frequently endure their suffering in silence, fearing the consequences of speaking out or due to a lack of adequate support. Consequently, the full extent of system-based abuse and its consequences remains veiled in ambiguity.

All systems and institutions are patriarchal – health systems, legal systems, legislation, education systems, decision-making -political and government systems, welfare systems, and so on are all developed within patriarchal ideology. Behavioural Systems Analysis recognizes the influence of environmental factors on behaviour and the interconnectedness of components within social organizations. By studying orderly relationships between behaviour and the system, opportunities for improving individual and system performance arise.

Incorporating Behavioral Systems Analysis into legislative frameworks is pivotal for comprehensive solutions. Aligning with cybernetics principles, my research emphasizes achieving requisite variety, stressing the importance of both internal and external variety for optimal system performance in addressing abusive behavior within patriarchal systems.

Aleksandar Seizovic

Research gap

Limited research on abusive behaviour within systems reinforcing Australian patriarchy results in insufficient data on perpetrators and victims. Advocating for the recognition of this issue within the broader context of family violence and social justice is imperative. Victims often suffer in silence, fearing the consequences of speaking out or due to a lack of adequate support.

In addition, the behaviour systems and analysis were not considered. Advocating for the recognition of this issue within the broader context of family violence and social justice is imperative. As society’s understanding of family violence evolves, it is crucial not to overlook or dismiss coercive and controlling violence perpetuated by these systems. Such recognition can pave the way for legal and policy changes that provide protection and support to victims, ensuring their safety and well-being.

Legal and Policy Changes Recognition of coercive and controlling violence perpetuated by these systems is crucial for legal and policy changes. The Family Law Amendment Bill 2023 (Cth) addresses harmful proceedings orders and the overarching purpose of family law practice. This legislative effort aligns with the broader national goal of providing protection and support to victims, ensuring their safety and well-being.

Advocacy

Therefore, The Family Law Amendment Bill 2023 (Cth) is currently before Parliament. The Bill amends the Family Law Act 1975 to introduce ‘harmful proceedings orders’ and extend the ‘overarching purpose of family law practice and procedure’ and the accompanying duty to all proceedings instituted under the Family Law Act 1975. Alignment with National Plan and Legislative Framework The research aligns with the National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children 2022–2032, emphasizing collective responsibility across all segments of society. The National Plan outlines essential domains like Prevention, Early Intervention, Response, Recovery and Healing, providing a comprehensive policy framework to eliminate violence against women and children. 

Incorporating analysis into legislative frameworks enhances the potential for comprehensive solutions, a concept underscored by the crucial role of Behavioural Systems Analysis. This scientific discipline plays a pivotal role in addressing the imperative need to safeguard individuals’ well-being and dismantle mechanisms sustaining abusive systems. The integration of Behavioural Systems Analysis into The Family Law Amendment Bill 2023 (Cth) and the national plan becomes indispensable, providing a more holistic approach to addressing abusive behaviour within patriarchal systems.

The introduction of cybernetics methodology in legislative systems has garnered considerable attention, becoming assimilated into the realm of systematic management. This evolution aligns with Ashby’s Law of requisite variety, expressed through the Variety formula: V(C) >= V(S). This underscores the importance of ensuring that the variety of the Controller (C) equals or surpasses the variety of the Situation (S, Environment).

In practical business terms, these mandates align the internal variety of a productive working system with or exceed the external variety of the environment (situation). It is imperative not only to reduce incoming variety but also to enhance internal variety to achieve Requisite Variety, demanding sufficient resources, capabilities, and time for effective problem-solving.

Conclusion

This research addresses the existing gap in understanding abusive behaviour within systems supporting Australian patriarchy. Through the integration of Behavioural Systems Analysis, it strives for transformative change by advocating for legal reforms and aligning with national initiatives to combat violence against women and children. The ultimate objective is the dismantling of detrimental patriarchal structures, ensuring the well-being of all members of Australian society.

Failure to incorporate behavioural systems and analysis within The Family Law Amendment Bill 2023 (Cth) and the Commonwealth national plan would necessitate alternative solutions to safeguard:

  • The well-being of individuals, particularly women and marginalized groups, ensnared in abusive circumstances.
  • The pivotal exploration of mechanisms sustaining these systems for their deconstruction.

Behavioural Systems Analysis integrates both fundamental and applied research on behaviour, drawing insights from Organizational Behavior Management, Performance Management, and Systems Analysis. Through the examination of the structured relationships between behaviour and the system, Behavioural Systems Analysis provides opportunities for applications aimed at improving individual and organizational performance within the context of various organizations.

What is viable system management (VSM)?

The incorporation of cybernetics methodology into complex systems has garnered significant interest from researchers and practitioners in the realm of systematic management by method of Viable Systems Management (VSM). Ashby’s Law of requisite variety, articulated in the Variety formula: V(C) >= V(S), underscores the importance of ensuring that the internal variety of a productive working system equals or surpasses the external variety of the environment (situation).

The concept of Viable Systems Management (VSM) emerges as a suggested governing framework applicable in systems representing the Systems of Systems (SoS). This comprehensive approach seamlessly aligns with the overarching objective of attaining the requisite variety essential for successful problem-solving and adaptability within the system. The emphasis lies in maintaining a well-balanced internal system to adeptly navigate the intricacies of diverse external environments, highlighting the significance of both internal and external variety for optimal system performance.

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Journal reference

Seizovic, A., Thorpe, D., & Goh, S. (2022). Emergent behavior in the battle management system. Applied Artificial Intelligence36(1), 2151183. https://doi.org/10.1080/14488388.2023.2199600

Aleksandar Seizovic is an IEAust Engineering Executive with interests in engineering, business, and law. In 2016, he was awarded the QLD Engineering Associate of the Year. His research focuses on complex systems such as military "Battle Management Systems (BMS)," which emphasizes the necessity of developing artificial intelligence, complex structural thinking, cybernetics, wicked problem-solving, modelling, and simulation (digital twin), and emergent behavior analysis. This research considers the relationship between complex physical assets and multi-structural systems of systems.