CHAPTER 6

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CHAPTER 6

„

SOCIAL GROUPS

‰

The clusters of people with whom we interact in our daily lives

„

FORMAL ORGANIZATIONS

‰

Huge corporations & other bureaucracies

SOCIAL GROUPS

„

„

„

Two or more people who:

Identify with one another

And interact

„

People with shared and interests experiences, loyalties,

Social Groups

Your Groups

Not Groups

„

Not every collection of individuals forms a group

„

„

Category

‰

‰

‰

: People who share a status

Women

College Graduates

Baptists

Crowds: of people

Loosely formed collection

Category: Famous Artists

Category:

Famous Artists (self-portraits)

Category: Late Night Comedians

Category: Brides

Category: Serial Killers

Crowd:

Loosely formed collection of people

Crowd

„

"A huge crowd gathers outside

The

New York Times

building in Times

Square to hear playby-play bulletins of the World Series between the

Cleveland Indians and the Brooklyn

Robins (

Oct. 12, 1920)."

Primary & Secondary Groups

„

Two types of social groups

1. PRIMARY GROUP:

‰

‰

‰

Small social group

Personal

Lasting relationships

2. SECONDARY GROUP

„

„

„

Large

Impersonal

Pursue a specific goal or activity

„

Primary groups:

„

Personal

„

Spend time together

„

Tightly integrated

„

Group is an end in itself

„

View each other as unique & irreplaceable

Primary Groups

Families

„

3/8 Secondary Groups:

„

Goal Oriented

„

Weak emotional ties

„

Little personal knowledge

„

Do not think of themselves as “we”

Secondary Groups

Society: The Basics, 9 th

Edition

by John Macionis

Copyright © 2007 Prentice Hall, a division of Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

Group Leadership

„

Important element of group dynamics

„

TWO LEADERSHIP ROLES

1.

2.

Instrumental Leadership

Expressive Leadership

„

„

1. Instrumental Leadership

Focus: Completion of tasks

„

Makes plans

„

Gives orders

„

Gets things done

„

2. Expressive Leadership

‰

Focus: Group’s well-being

„

Personal ties

„

Minimizes tension & conflict

„

Less interest in achieving goals

„

THREE LEADERSHIP STYLES

1)

Authoritarian Leadership

2)

Democratic Leadership

3)

Laissez-faire Leadership

1. Authoritarian Leadership

„

Provides clear expectations for:

„

What needs to be done

„

When it should be done

„

How it should be done

Authoritarian Leadership

‰

Clear division between leader and followers

‰

Group members obey orders

‰

Little affection from the group

‰

Appreciated in a crisis

2. Democratic Leadership

„

More expressive

„

Followers vote

‰

Time consuming

„

Best when followers are knowledgeable

‰

When change is needed

„

Identifies new ways to do things

„

Less successful in a crisis situation

3. Laissez-faire Leadership

„

“Hands-off¨ style

„

Provides little or no direction

„

Gives followers freedom & authority

„

Followers:

‰

Determine goals

‰

Make decisions

‰

Resolve problems

Laissez-faire Leadership

„

Effective style when followers are:

„

Highly skilled

„

Experienced

„

Educated

„

Trustworthy

Group Conformity

„

Groups influence behavior of members

‰

Change attitudes & beliefs

‰

Identify legitimacy to lead (leader)

‰

Member who fails to conform--loses credibility

Group Conformity Examples

Types of Conformity

„

Compliance:

(mildest form)

‰

To gain reward or avoid punishment

„

Identification:

‰

To establish or maintain a relationship with a person or group

„

„

Internalization:

(the strongest type)

‰

An individual adopts beliefs or actions of a group and makes them her own

GROUPTHINK

GROUPTHINK

(Irving L. Janis)

„

The tendency of group members to conform, resulting in a narrow view of an issue:

Example:

„

Challenger Space Shuttle disaster

(1/28/86)

‰ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AfnvFnzs91s

Groupthink

„

Disregarded engineers’ concerns about faulty O-rings

„

Launched shuttle anyway

GROUPTHINK

(Irving L. Janis)

Recent Examples

Financial crisis

:

‰

‰

Financial industry as a whole exhibited herd behavior

Rating agencies

Invasion of Iraq:

‰

‰

War in Iraq was based on the notion of disarming Iraq of WMDs

Intelligence personnel perceived their superiors wanted information confirming their suspicions--that's all they gathered

BP Oil Spill:

‰

‰

US government exhibited groupthink

Allowed BP to bypass “relief wells” in favor of cheap oil, employment, and tax revenue http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8ZokKweElA&feature=related

Groupthink

„

Members have a sense of invulnerability

„

Reluctant to:

‰

Present alternatives

‰

Be critical of each other's ideas

‰

Express an unpopular opinion

„

Desire for group cohesion hinders:

‰

Critical thinking

‰

Good decision-making

‰

Problem solving

Groupthink 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

Negative outcomes

„

Examine few alternatives

„

Not critical of each other's ideas

„

Do not seek expert opinions

„

Highly selective in gathering information

„

No contingency plans

Symptoms of Groupthink

„

An illusion of invulnerability

„

Believing in the group's morality

„

Rationalizing poor decisions

„

Sharing stereotypes

„

Exercising direct pressure on others

„

Not expressing your true feelings

„

Maintaining an appearance of unanimity

Solutions to Groupthink

„

Use subgroup that reports to larger group

„

Divide into groups & discuss differences

„

Use outside experts

„

Use a “Devil's advocate” to question ideas

„

Hold a "second-chance meeting" to offer one last opportunity to choose another course of action

Reference Groups

„

„

„

Serve as a point of reference:

In making evaluations and decisions

Assessing our attitudes & behavior

‰

Groups to which we belong

‰

Groups to which we do not belong

‰

Conforming to groups to which we do not belong is a strategy to win acceptance (used in marketing)

Reference Groups

In-Groups and Out-Groups

„

IN-GROUP

‰

Members feels respect and loyalty

„

OUT-GROUP

‰

Person feels a sense of competition or opposition

In-Groups

„

„

„

Source of pride and self-esteem

Sense of social identity

Enhance the status of the group to which we belong

„

For example , The U.S. is the best country in the world!

Out-Groups

„

„

„

Also increase self-image by:

Discriminating against out-group

Being prejudice against out-group (the group we don’t belong to)

„

For example , the British, French etc. are a bunch of losers!

Group Size

„

Crucial role in how group members interact

„

THE DYAD : members

‰

A social group with two

Social interaction is more intense than in larger groups

‰

Unstable, if either member withdraws, the group collapses

„

THE TRIAD :

members

Social group with 3

„

More stable than a dyad

„

Reduces intense interaction

„

Less personal attachments

„

More formal rules & regulations

The Effects of Group Size on Relationships

The Real World: An Introduction to Sociology,

2nd Edition

Copyright © 2010 W.W. Norton & Company

Networks

„

A web of weak social ties

„

Includes people we know of or who

know of us

‰

With whom we rarely interact

Social Networks

The Real World: An Introduction to Sociology,

2nd Edition

Copyright © 2010 W.W. Norton & Company

Social Networks

„

Network ties may be weak, but a powerful resource

„

People’s colleges, clubs, neighborhoods, political parties, and personal interests

„

“Privileged” networks are a valuable source of “social capital”

„

Gender shapes networks

‰

Women’s ties not as powerful as typical

“old boy” networks

‰

As gender equality increases, male and female networks become more alike

Formal Organizations

„

Large secondary groups organized to achieve goals efficiently

„

Impersonal

„

Formally planned atmosphere

„

Tasks of organizing society the members of U.S.

Types of Formal Organizations

„

Based on reasons people participate

1) Utilitarian Organizations

2) Normative Organizations

3) Coercive Organizations

„

1. UTILITARIAN ORGANIZATIONS

‰

Pays people for their efforts

‰

Almost everyone who works for income

‰

Joining usually a matter of choice

‰

Examples : Microsoft, Bank of America,

Winthrop University

„

2. NORMATIVE ORGANIZATIONS

‰

Also called “voluntary organizations”

‰

People join to pursue goals viewed as morally worthwhile

‰

Examples: Amnesty International, Sierra

Club, Peace Corp

„

3. COERCIVE ORGANIZATIONS

‰

Involuntary membership

‰

Forced to join as a form of punishment or treatment

‰

Isolate people to change attitudes and behaviors

‰

Example: Prisons

COMPARISON : SMALL GROUPS & FORMAL

ORGANIZATIONS

Society: The Basics, 9 th

Edition

by John Macionis

Copyright © 2007 Prentice Hall, a division of Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

Theory in Everyday Life

The Real World: An Introduction to Sociology,

2nd Edition

Copyright © 2010 W.W. Norton & Company

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