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Ch. 7 PowerPoint Presentation

Ch. 7

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Ch. 7

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  1. Ch. 7 Groups, Organizations, and Institutions

  2. Groups • A key element of our social structure and much of our social interaction takes place within them. • All groups set boundaries to indicate who does and who does not belong.

  3. Purpose of Groups • Structural functionalists: people form groups to meet their instrumental (or task-oriented) and expressive (or emotional) needs. • help members do jobs that are impossible or very difficult to do alone. • Conflict theorists: groups involve a series of power relationships whereby the needs of individual members may not be equally served. • Symbolic interactionists: group size influences interactions among members.

  4. Primary groups • Small, personal groups • According to Charles H. Cooley, a primary group is a small group whose members engage in face‑to‑face, emotion‑based interactions over an extended period of time • The family is an example

  5. Secondary groups • Larger, more specialized groups • Members have less personal and more formal, goal‑oriented relationships. • Usually limited period of time • i.e. girl guides or boy scouts, graduate school cohort

  6. Who Belongs? • Ingroups are groups to which we belong and with which we identify, they provide us not only with a source of identity but with a point of reference. • Outgroup is a group to which a person does not belong and toward which the person may feel a sense of competitiveness or hostility

  7. Reference Group • A group that strongly influences a person’s behaviour and social attitudes, regardless of whether that individual is an actual member. • Explains why our behaviour and attitudes sometimes differ from those of our membership groups • We may accept the values and norms of a group with which we identify rather than one to which we belong.

  8. How do we belong? • Network is a web of social relationships that links one person with other people and, through them, additional people.

  9. Research on networks • Research has shown that networks play a very important role in graduating students finding employment. • Milgram study (1967) found it took an average of six contacts to get letters to the intended recipient • A study of bridges (individuals who bridge very different social worlds), a type of network analysis, has important implications in many different fields, not the least of which is epidemiology (studies the spread of disease ie. HIV, SARS).

  10. Dyads and Triads (Simmel) • Group boundaries may be formal, with clearly defined criteria for membership, or informal, as they are with friendship groups. • The size of a group is one of its most important features. • Dyads—groups composed of two members • Triads—groups of three

  11. Conformity • In order to maintain ties with a group, many members are willing to conform to norms established and reinforced by group members • Asch Conformity Experiment • The power of “peer pressure” • Conformity can lead to harassment, and groupthink (Janis) • Examples of Reena Virk (1997) and Canadian Referendum (1995) in text

  12. Other Examples of Conformity • Watch: • The Bystander Effect • The Waiting Room (exerpt) • Social media has had a profound impact on group conformity • Read How the Internet is Turning Us All into Mean Girls (Pringle 2017) and How Social Media is Blinding Us (Pringle 2016)

  13. Social Impact of Conformity • Can undermine diversity • Large groups can become inwardly oriented – exclude those with differences or call for “assimilation” • For instance 2016 CBC/Angus Reid Poll found “68 per cent of Canadian respondents said minorities should be doing more to fit in with mainstream society instead of keeping their own customs and languages” • But, more diversity = outward orientation and inclusivity

  14. Social Institutions • A set of organized beliefs and rules that establish how a society will attempt to meet its basic social needs • These are general norms set by the larger society to govern group and organizational “belongingness” • Some groups become “institutionalized” (i.e. family)

  15. Five Essential Tasks of an Institution • 1. Replacing members (i.e. family and procreation) • 2. Teaching new members (i.e. in family). • 3. Producing, distributing, and consuming goods and services (i.e. the economy). • 4. Preserving order. • 5. Providing and maintaining sense of purpose

  16. Structural Functionalist and Conflict Views • Structural Functionalist • Interrelated and interdependent • resist change • integrated, promote stability • Conflict • outcome and functioning of institutional structures is not necessarily efficient nor desirable. • Order is negotiated, but not all groups have equal footing

  17. Formal Organizations • Highly structured groups for the purpose of completing certain tasks or achieving specific goals • Organized in an efficient manner • Basic structure will often remain unchanged for many years.

  18. Bureaucracy (Max Weber) • A formal organization characterized by: • Hierarchical authority • Division of labour • Rules and regulations • Qualification-based (technical “competence”) employment • Impersonality in personnel relations and concerns • Formal communications

  19. Informal Structure in Bureaucracy • Interactions which ignore, bypass, or do not correspond with the official rules and procedures of the bureaucracy • i.e. “the grapevine” • “work culture”

  20. Shortcomings of Bureaucracy • Inefficiency and rigidity • Resistance to change • Perpetuation of ethnic, class, and gender inequalities • Institutional racism or sexism • Racism and sexism become systemic and entrenched into policies of large institutions or corporations

  21. McDonaldization • Ritzer has identified four main elements: • Efficiency • Calculability • Predictability • Control

  22. Alternative Forms of Bureaucratic Organization • “Humanized” bureaucracy • Japanese model of organization • Less hierarchy, joint responsibility and problem-solving, lifelong • The horizontal model • Read Why Google’s Workplaces Make Other Workers Envious • (CBC News Jan. 16, 2016)