Groups & Organizations

Groups &
Part 1: Social
Social Structure: Status
• DEFINITION: socially
defined position within
a group or society
• Status Set:
• Refers to EVERY status
that an individual holds at any given point
in time
Ascribed v. Achieved Status
• Ascribed Status:
• A status assigned according to standards
that are beyond a person’s control
• Achieved Status:
• A status acquired by an individual on the
basis of some special skill, knowledge or
Ascribed v. Achieved Status?
Master Status
social position
that holds
exceptional importance for identity, often
shaping a person’s entire life
• What is your master status right now?
Social Structure: Role
• DEFINITION: the behavior expected of
someone occupying a particular status
• The dynamic expression of status
• Role Conflict:
• The incompatibility among roles
corresponding to two or more statuses
Part 2: Social
Types of Social Gatherings
• Social Group
• Social Category
• Social Aggregate
Types of Social Gatherings
• Social Group: collection of people who
interact, share similar characteristics and
have a sense of unity
• Social Category: collection of people who do
not interact, but who share similar
• Social Aggregate: at any given time, a
collection of people who are together but
who interact very little
Practice… For each of the following indicate
if it is a Group, Category, or Aggregate
• Roman Catholics (category)
• The Bravehearts (group)
• Girls at Milton High School (category)
• Fans at a Zac Brown Band concert (aggregate)
• Sigma Phil Epsilon brothers at UGA (group)
• The Silverman Family (group)
• People on a bus tour in New York (aggregate)
• Milton High School 2014 Football team (group)
Practice… For each of the following indicate
if it is a Group, Category, or Aggregate
• Democrats living in Georgia (category)
• The cast of Milton’s spring musical (group)
• First time moms (category)
• Customers eating at Chipotle on a
Friday night (aggregate)
• EagleStix 11U girls lax team (group)
• Delta Zeta sisters nationwide (category)
• World History PLC members at MHS (group)
• Passengers on a flight to NY (aggregate)
Primary & Secondary Groups
• Primary Group:
• Small social group whose members share
personal & enduring relationships
• Secondary Group:
• Large & impersonal social group whose
members pursue a specific interest or
Social Networks
• Social Network:
• The web of relationships that is formed by
the sum total of a person’s interactions with
other people
• Includes direct & indirect relationships
Six Degrees of Separation?
• Experiment by Stanley Milgram in 1967
– Tried to get letters from Omaha, NE to a stock
broker in Boston
– Each person was instructed to only give the
letter to someone they knew already whom
they thought may be able to get the letter to
the stock broker
– This means the letter had to go through
ties/social connections to arrive in Boston
Six Degrees of Separation?
• About 20% of letters made it and they did
so in around 5 connections… “we are all
separated by 6 degrees of separation”
• Study has been questioned, but theory is
interesting…randomly select 2 people in
different parts of country and see how many
connections would it take to link them…
Six Degrees of Separation?
• Duncan Watts and colleagues at Columbia University in New York
conducted a massive email experiment to test the theory of “six
degrees of separation”, i.e. that everyone in the world can be linked
through just six social ties.
• More than 60,000 people from 166 different countries took part in the
experiment. Participants were assigned one of 18 target people. They
were asked to contact that person by sending email to people they
already knew and considered potentially “closer” to the target. The
targets were chosen at random and included a professor from
America, an Australian policeman and a veterinarian from Norway.
• The researchers found that it in most cases it took between five and
seven emails to contact the target
Six Degrees of Separation?
• 2011 Facebook study
– The analysis of 721 million active Facebook
users and their over 69 billion friendships
found that any two individuals in the world are
connected, on average, by just 4.74
acquaintances (less in US – 4.37)
– 92% of individuals on Facebook are just "four
degrees" from one another, while 99.6% are
separated by 5 degrees That number shrinks
even more if the pairs are limited to a specific
Part 3: Group
Size Matters!
• Dyad: Group of 2
• Most intimate
• Each member has direct control over group
• Triad: Group of 3
• No one person can disband group
• Easier decision-making
Size Matters!
• What is happens to groups as they get
– Complexity grows (increased # of
– More stable BUT…
– Decreased loyalty & intimacy
– Harder to make decisions
In-Groups v. Out-Groups
• Groups have varying levels of social
influence, power, and resources
• A select few groups are able to leverage
these and dominate other groups in society
• Groups with social power are termed “InGroups” by sociologists & groups that are
not socially powerful (& are often
stigmatized) are referred to as “Out-Groups”
In-Groups v. Out-Groups
• Characteristics of
• Titles, external symbols & dress
• Competition with members of the out-group;
strengthens unity within each group
• Apply positive stereotypes to the in-group;
negative stereotypes to the out-group
Conformity within Groups
• Conformity:
• a change in beliefs
or actions
that results in
adherence to group norms
• How susceptible are individuals to group
pressure? Dead Poet’s Society
Conformity within Groups
• Pressure to Conform:
• Strength of social
• Immediacy of social pressure
• Number of people involved in the source
of social pressure
Conformity within Groups
• Asch Experiment:
• WYFFT Elevator Clip:
Compliance in Groups
• Compliance: a change in behavior prompted
by a direct request rather than social norms;
• 6 Primary Factors:
• Friendship, commitment, scarcity, reciprocity,
social validation, authority…
Compliance in Groups
• Milgram Experiment:
Group Leadership
• Expressive Leaders:
• Affiliation motivated
• Cooperative style of
• Instrumental Leaders:
• Achievement motivated
• Directive style of management
Part 4:
Performance in
Group Behavior
• Group-Think:
• When members of a
cohesive group endorse
a single explanation or
answer, usually at the expense of ignoring
• No toleration of dissenting opinions
Group Behavior
• Group-Think happens when there is:
• A strong, persuasive group leader
• A high level of group cohesion
• Intense pressure from the outside to make a
good decision
Loafing & Compensation
• Social Loafing:
• The tendency to
work less when
responsibility for
an outcome is spread
throughout several
members of a group
Loafing & Compensation
• Social Compensation:
• The tendency to work harder when one is
part of a group, rather than when he or she
is alone
Pro-social Behavior
• DEFINITION: acting to benefit others
• More likely to help if:
• Have a high need for approval
• Personal and social responsibility
• Sense of empathy
Pro-social Behavior
• More likely to be helped by others if:
• Perceived as a potential leader
• Not responsible for predicament
• Member of helper’s group
• Bystander Effect:
• The more people present, the less likely each
individual is to help someone in distress
Part 5: Formal
Formal Organizations
• Utilitarian
• An organization that
provides material
benefits in exchange
for labor
Formal Organizations
• Normative
• An organization that
pursues what they
believe to be a morally worthwhile goal
Formal Organizations
• Coercive
• An organization
that serves as a
form of punishment & treatment
Groups Review