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Societies to Social Networks Chapter 5. SOCIETIES AND THEIR TRANSFORMATION. Groups - people who interact with one another and who think of themselves as belonging with each other Society - largest group Consists of people that share a culture and/or territory

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societies and their transformation
  • Groups- people who interact with one another and who think of themselves as belonging with each other
  • Society- largest group
  • Consists of people that share a culture and/or territory
  • Sets stage for life experiences, influences behavior, how we see the world
  • Set boundaries for our lives
  • Technology creates changes in society through time
  • As society changes so does nature and types of groups
societies and their transformation3
  • Hunting and Gathering Societies
  • Fewest social divisions
  • Basic social division is by sex, few other social divisions
  • Groups have a shaman that can influence spiritual forces
  • Major unit of organization is the family
  • Most group members are related by ancestry or marriage
  • Family distributes food, educates children, nurses sick, provides virtually all needs
  • Societies are small
  • Groups are nomadic
  • Place a high value on sharing food
  • Egalitarian society
  • They have few material possessions
  • No rulers, decision is reached by consensus
  • Most leisure of all groups
societies and their transformation4
  • Pastoral and Horticultural Societies
  • 10,000 years ago groups found they could tame, breed animals and cultivate plants
  • Developed permanent villages, organized by clans
  • Domestication of plants and animals first social revolution
  • Dependable food supply created changes
  • Division of labor- specialized jobs and created a surplus of objects and this stimulated trade
  • Set stage for social inequality
  • Led to feuds, war and slavery
  • Wealth and power grew more concentrated
  • Individuals became leaders of groups (chiefs)
  • More possessions led to lesser equality
  • Where people located within society determined what happened to them in life
societies and their transformation6
  • Agricultural Societies
  • Invention of the plow made land more productive, created food surplus, called agricultural revolution
  • Development of cities, culture (art, literature, music)
  • Inequality became fundamental feature of society
  • Some gained control over resources, to protect power they developed armies, levied taxes
  • Conflict theory- concentration of power and resources, oppression of people led to rise of modern state
  • Females became subject to males (men were farmers, took care of livestock left women subsidiary tasks) when metal became attached to plows
societies and their transformation7
  • Industrial Societies
  • 1700’s invention of steam engine led to Industrial Revolution
  • Human and animal power replaced by machines
  • Social inequality grew greater
  • Surplus was greater, huge effect on social life
  • Industrialists gained control of means of production (land, labor, capital)
  • Inequality reversed as time went on, now industrial societies enjoy a high standard of living and greater equality
societies and their transformation8
  • Postindustrial (Information) Society
  • Fourth social revolution- Societal transformation based on microchip technology
  • Basic component is information and specialized knowledge
  • Individuals don’t produce anything, just use information to provide services others are willing to pay for
  • New technology allows us to work at home, changes communication and consumer patterns
groups within society
Groups within Society
  • In 1933 Emile Durkheim concluded to prevent sense of not fitting (anomie) in we needed to belong to small groups
  • Groups act as a buffer between individual and society, give meaning and sense of purpose
  • Two terms often confused with groups- aggregate and category
  • Aggregate consists of individuals that share same physical space, but do not see themselves as belonging together
  • Category- statistic, people with similar characteristics
groups within society10
Groups within Society
  • Primary Groups- give basic orientation to life
  • Develop early in life
  • Family our first primary group
  • Provide intimate face to face relationships
  • Give us identity
  • Essential to our well being
  • Meets a basic human need
  • Values and attitudes become part of our identity
  • Difficult to separate self from primary group
groups within society11
Groups Within Society
  • Secondary Groups- larger and more anonymous
  • Formed with a specific goal and roles are interchangeable
  • Based on common interest, more impersonal
  • Members interact based on specific status
  • Fail to satisfy need for association, consequently they break down into primary groups
  • Primary groups serve as a buffer between us and demands secondary groups pale on us
groups within society12
Groups Within Society
  • In-groups are groups we feel loyalty to
  • Out- groups group toward which one feels antagonism
  • Identification with group gives sense of belonging, loyalty
  • Membership produces rivalries
  • Consequences
  • Membership can produce discrimination and hatred
  • Identification with in-groups basis for racial, ethnic division
  • View traits of in-group as virtues, same attributes in out-group seen as vices
  • Divides world into we and they
  • Natural part of social life
groups within society13
Groups Within Society
  • Reference Groups
  • Groups we use as standards to evaluate ourselves
  • Can be family, classmates, co-workers
  • Exert influence over our lives by providing a yard stick
  • Operate as a form of social control, give us frame of reference for our achievements
  • We want our behavior to measure up to the groups standards, can lead to inner turmoil if they do not match
social diversity race class and gender
Social Diversity :Race, Class and Gender
  • Social diversity influences group contact, can perpetuate social inequality
  • Large groups turn inward -only have contact among themselves
  • Social diversity can promote separatism
  • Heterogeneous groups turn outward- internally diverse groups are more likely to interact with outsiders
  • Physical boundaries create social boundaries- less likely to interact with other people
social networks
Social Networks
  • Large groups break down into cliques (internal factions within groups that interact with each other)
  • Form social networks (social ties radiating outward from self that link people together)
  • Technology has created a new type of group electronic community where members communicate about any topic
  • Nature of interest give them feelings of belonging together, possibly can have an equalizing effect on groups
  • Young, well educated, live in large cities have larger social networks
  • Men include more business contacts in their networks
  • Women include more family members in their social networks
group dynamics
Group Dynamics
  • Group dynamics refer to interaction within groups, how they influence us and how we affect groups
  • Small groups- few members, interaction with all other members, can be primary or secondary
  • Group size
  • Dyad- smallest, two people
  • Most intense form of group interaction, if one member decides not to participate, group collapses
  • Triad- three people, addition of third person alters group
  • Interaction between first two decreases and can create strain
  • Stronger and more stable than dyads
  • Tend to form coalitions that can cause instability
  • One member also can become mediator during disputes
group dynamics17
Group Dynamics
  • As small groups become larger they become more stable but intimacy, intensity decrease
  • As they grow they develop more formal structure, leaders emerge and specialized roles develop, helps group survive over time
  • Group size diffuses responsibility
  • Speech and action becomes more formal
  • Breaks down into smaller groups for more effective communication
group dynamics18
Group Dynamics
  • Leadership
  • Leaders are people who influence the behaviors, opinions or attitudes of others
  • Perceived by group members as strongly representing their values or as able to lead group out of crisis
  • Leaders tend to be more talkative, express determination and self confidence
  • Taller, better looking people often become leaders
  • Types of leaders
  • Instrumental- keeps group moving toward their goal
  • Expressive- increases harmony, minimizes conflict (harder to identify)
  • Difficult for person to be both
group dynamics19
Group Dynamics
  • Leadership styles- three basic types
  • Democratic-leads by consensus
  • Authoritarian- leads by giving orders
  • Laissez- faire- leads by being highly permissive
  • Different situations require different types of leadership
  • Peer pressure, and the pressure of authority are ways groups influence our individual lives (Asch and Milgram Experiments)
group dynamics20
Group Dynamics
  • Power of authority and peers can lead to groupthink
  • Collective tunnel vision that group members develop
  • There is only one right way and any different point of view in seen as disloyal
  • Groups surround themselves with an inner circle that reflects their own views, leaders cut off from information that does not support their opinions
  • To avoid groupthink they need to allow diverse opinions
types of formal organizations
Types of Formal Organizations
  • Utilitarian Organizations- pays people for their efforts, most people have to join one to make a living
  • Normative organizations- pursue a goal that they think is worthwhile (community service, political party)
  • Coercive groups- membership is involuntary, has special physical features to separate people from society
  • Some can be all three for example a mental hospital coercive for a patient, utilitarian for a staff member and normative for a hospital volunteer
  • Organization designed to perform a task efficiently
  • Developed during the industrial age

Six key elements

  • Specialization- assigns individuals highly specialized jobs
  • Hierarchy of offices- few at the top, many at the bottom
  • Rules and regulations- guide operation
  • Technical competence- set standards for job performance
  • Impersonality- put rules ahead of personnel
  • Formal written communications- heart of organization is paperwork not people
  • Typically individuals create informal networks of communication to spread information quickly “grapevine”
problems of bureaucracy
Problems of Bureaucracy
  • Alienation- does not respond to personal need of workers
  • Inefficiency and ritualism- focus on rules and regulations to the point of undermining goals (red tape)
  • Inertia- tendency to perpetuate themselves (creates busy work to justify existence)
changing nature of work
Changing Nature of Work
  • Work is opening up to more women that leads to companies striving to be more flexible and democratic
  • Technology (email) have led to less formal communication structures
  • Postindustrial society is information based and has caused other changes in nature of work organization
  • Creative autonomy- workers given creative freedom
  • Competitive work teams reduce alienation
  • Flatter organization- spreads responsibility with fewer levels in chain of command
  • Greater flexibility- respond quickly to changes
mcdonaldization of society
“McDonaldization” of Society
  • Organizational principles of McDonalds have spread across society
  • “Big Box” stores, 10 minute oil changes, etc.
  • Large impersonal organizations
  • Three Organizational principles
  • Efficiency- done quickly equals good
  • Uniformity- designed to be mass produced, leaves nothing to chance
  • Control- automated equipment, makes job as simple as possible, little room for employee error
  • System can be efficient but dehumanizing