Sociology Chapter 5 Social Groups • Everyone seeks a sense of belonging –is two or more people who identify and interact with one another. • Not every collection of individuals can be called a group. • People with a status in common are not a group, but a category. Primary and Secondary Groups – is a small social group whose members share your personal and enduring relationships. • They are among the first groups we experience in life. – a large and impersonal social group whose members pursue a specific goal or activity. • They involve weak emotional ties. (see chart pg. 112) Group Leadership • Groups benefit from two types of leadership: • 1) the completion of tasks. • 2) collective well-being. – emphasizes – focuses on Group Conformity Asch’s Research conducts a classic experiment that showed the power of groups in generating conformity. • Arranging students around a table, he showed them a line. • He asked them to match the line to one of three shown on a card. • One-third of all subjects conformed to the others by answering incorrectly. (see page 113) Milgram Experiment studied obedience. • He assigned subjects to the roles of “teacher” and “learner.” • Teachers applied false shocks to learners in response to incorrect answers. • He found people are likely to follow directions even when it means inflicting harm on another person. Group Conformity Janis’s Research contends that a number of United States foreign policy errors were the result of group conformity. – the tendency of group members to conform, resulting in a narrow view of some issue. Reference Groups • How do we assess our own attitudes and behaviors? • Often we are a reference group (ex: peer group) – serve as point of reference in making evaluations and decisions. • Our need to conform means that other’s attitudes greatly influence us. Ingroups and Outgroups • Everyone favors some groups over others. – a social group commanding a member’s esteem and loyalty. – a social group toward which one feels competitive or opposition. • Tensions among the groups sharpen their boundaries. • What are your ingroups and outgroups? Group Size – a social group with two members. • A dyad is intense and unstable. – a social group with three members. • A triad is more stable than a dyad because one member can act as a mediator. • Stability increases with group size. (see diagram pg. 115) Social Diversity: Race, Class, and Gender • Efforts to promote diversity may have an unintended effect of promoting separatism. • The more diverse a group, the more likely its members are to interact with outsiders. • If all groups have the same social standing, members of all the groups will interact. • If a group is physically segregated from others, its members are less likely to associate with other people. Networks – a web of weak social ties. • People who come into occasional contact. • A social web reaching great distances. • The feeling that we live in a “small world.” • Ties may be weak, but they can be a powerful resource. • See map on page 118. Why are networks powerful? Formal Organizations – large secondary groups that are organized to achieve their goals efficiently. • They operate in a deliberate way. • They accomplish complex jobs. • Large organizations develop cultures of their own in order to last over time. • What formal organizations do you belong to? (see chart on page 119) Types of Formal Organizations – one that pays people for their efforts. – one that pursues some goal believed to be morally worthwhile. – one that forces people to join. • Any particular organization may fall into all of these categories. • Can you think of organizations that fall into 2 or 3 of the above categories? Bureaucracies – an organizational model rationally designed to perform tasks efficiently. • There are specific traits that promote efficiency: • • • • • • Specialization Hierarchy of offices Rules and regulations Technical competence Impersonality Formal, written communication (see chart on pg. 121) Organizational Environment • How an organization performs depends on its environment. – factors outside the organization that affect its operation. • Factors include technology, economic and political trends, work force, and other organizations. Problems of Bureaucracy • It has the ability to dehumanize the people it is supposed to serve. • It creates alienation. – a preoccupation with rules and regulations to the point of thwarting an organization’s goals. – the tendency of the organizations to perpetuate themselves. (see graphs pages 125 -6) The Evolution of Formal Organization – the application of scientific principles to the operation of a business or other large organizations. • Managers carefully observe the task performed by each worker. • Managers analyze data and provide guidance. The “McDonaldization” of Society • McDonalds has enjoyed enormous success around the world. • The organization principles that underlie it are coming to dominate our entire society. • Where do you see “McDonaldization” through the U.S. and the world? Discussion Questions • What are the 5 most important social groups to which you currently belong? Which are primary and which are secondary? Compare the sizes. Do you see any patterns? • Think of 3 examples of your yielding to group conformity? What factors caused you to conform? • How might a group reduce ? • In the Asch and Milgram experiments do you think that groups of people who already knew each other would demonstrate more or less conformity? Why? • Do you think Milgram’s experiments were ethical? • What are some of your most valued reference groups?