Chapter 5: Separate and Together: Life in Groups. What Is a Group?. A group is a collection of people who share some attribute, identify with one another, and interact with each other. Social groups provide the values, norms, and rules that guide people ’ s lives.
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Chapter 5: Separate and Together: Life in Groups
What Is a Group? A group is a collection of people who share some attribute, identify with one another, and interact with each other. Social groups provide the values, norms, and rules that guide people’s lives.
What Is a Group? (cont’d.) A crowd is different than a group because it is simply a temporary gathering of people in a public place, whose members may interact but do not identify with each other and will not remain in contact.
A crowd is one example of an aggregate, a collection of people who share a physical location but do not have lasting social relations. What Is a Group? (cont’d.)
Primary groups usually involve the greatest amount of face-to-face interaction and cooperation and the deepest feelings of belonging. In these groups, we are closely associated with the other members, such as family and friends. What Is a Group? (cont’d.)
Larger, less personal groups are known as secondary groups. Secondary groups are usually organized around a specific activity or the accomplishment of a task. What Is a Group? (cont’d.)
Social Networks A social network is the web of direct and indirect ties connecting an individual to other people. You and your family, friends, peers, colleagues, teachers, and coworkers constitute your social network.
Separate fromGroups: Anomie Since groups provide values, norms, and rules that guide people’slives, is it possible that the modern world makes people disconnected from their groups and creates feelings of anomie, or normlessness?
Group Dynamics Group dynamics are the patterns of interaction between groups and individuals. This includes the ways groups: Form and fall apart Influence members
Group Dynamics (cont’d.) A dyad is the smallest possible social group (two members). It is unstable because of the small size—if one person leaves the group, it ceases to exist.
A triad (a three-person group) is more stable than a dyad. Conflicts between two members can be mediated by the third. Group Dynamics (cont’d.)
An in-group is a group that a person identifies with and feels loyalty toward. An out-group is a group that a person feels opposition, rivalry, or hostility toward. Group Dynamics (cont’d.)
A reference group is a group that provides a standard of comparison against which people evaluate themselves. Group Dynamics (cont’d.)
Group cohesion is the sense of solidarity or loyalty that individuals feel toward a group to which they belong. A group is more cohesive when the individual members feel strongly tied to the group. Group Dynamics (cont’d.)
Too much cohesion can lead to the kind of poor decision making called groupthink, which is the tendency of very cohesive groups to enforce a high degree of conformity among members, creating a demand for unanimous agreement. Asch’s Line Experiment https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TYIh4MkcfJA Group Dynamics (cont’d.)
Social Influence (Peer Pressure) Social influence (peer pressure)is the influence of one’sfellow group members on individual attitudes and behaviors. Generally we conform to group norms because we want to gain acceptance and approval (positive sanctions) and avoid rejection and disapproval (negative sanctions).
Types of Conformity Compliance: the mildest form of conformity; actions to gain reward or avoid punishment Identification: conformity to establish or maintain a relationship with a person or group Internalization: the strongest type of conformity; an individual adopts the beliefs or actions of a group and makes them his or her own
Teamwork A group almost always outperforms an individual but rarely performs as well as it could in theory. A group’sefficiency usually declines as its size increases because organizing takes time and social loafing increases with group size.
Teamwork (cont’d.) Group leaders can increase efficiency by recognizing individual effort or by increasing members’ social identity (the degree to which they identify with the group). 22
Qualities of Leadership: Power, Authority, and Style Power is the ability to control the actions of others. It includes: Coercive power—backed by the threat of force Influential power—supported by persuasion
Max Weber identified three types of authority found in social organizations. Traditional authority is authority based in custom, birthright, or divine right and is usually associated with monarchies and dynasties. Qualities of Leadership: Power, Authority, and Style (cont’d.)
Legal-rational authority is authority based in laws, rules, and procedures. Charismatic authority is authority based in the perception of remarkable personal qualities in a leader. Qualities of Leadership: Power, Authority, and Style (cont’d.)
Instrumental leadership is leadership that is task- or goal-oriented. An instrumental leader is less concerned with people’sfeelings than with getting the job done. Qualities of Leadership: Power, Authority, and Style (cont’d.)
An expressive leader is concerned with maintaining emotional and relational harmony within the group because this will lead to a positive work environment and improved productivity. Qualities of Leadership: Power, Authority, and Style (cont’d.)
Bureaucracy A bureaucracy is a type of secondary group designed to perform tasks efficiently.
Bureaucracy (cont’d.) Bureaucracies are impersonal but efficient, and they provide many basic necessities. George Ritzer coined the term McDonaldization to describe the spread of bureaucratic rationalization and the resulting increase in both efficiency and dehumanization.
THE STRENGTH OF WEAK TIES HIGH STATUS In the upper class there is a stress on the importance of strong ties and forming elite clubs. ADMINISTRATIVE Administrators are most likely to be cosmopolitans and involved in an organization to branch out and form new ties. PROFESSIONAL Professionals, technical, and managerial workers will most likely hear about new jobs through weak ties. OFFICE WORKER The office worker may have mixed connections in both higher and lower classes. EXAMPLE: PART TIME TEACHER SEMI-PROFESSIONAL 4 Strong Ties 6 Weak Ties Through both types of ties he knows people in the class above and below his own. Semi-professional frequently use weak ties to land or hear about a new job. LOCAL BRIDGE BLUE COLLAR A person who can connect two people who don’t know each other. Bridges can connect people outside their circle and help them reach different jobs. The majority of people of a lower status will find a job though a relative or close friends. LOW STATUS TIGHT CIRCLES When everyone in a circle primarily have strong ties with each other, it becomes difficult to reach beyond that circle. For those of a lower status, weak ties of a similar status are not especially useful or far reaching. 30
Chapter 5: Participation Questions • Do you use Facebook to keep up with friends and family? • yes • no
Chapter 5: Participation Questions • Do you have any Facebook friends that you’ve never met in person? • yes • no
Chapter 5: Participation Questions • Do you regularly participate in any massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) like World of Warcraft or Second Life? • yes • no
Chapter 5: Participation Questions • Do you participate in any extracurricular groups on campus whose members meet regularly in person? • yes • no
Class Discussion • 1. Has there been a time in your life in which you gave into group pressure knowing that you were wrongin doing so? • 2. Where do you recognize power in your life? • 3. Think of examples where instrumental and expressive leadership are useful in social situations?