Chapter 6 Social Groups and Societies Groups Groups

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Chapter 6 Social Groups and Societies

Chapter 6 Social Groups and Societies

Groups • Groups are the essence of life • We become who we are

Groups • Groups are the essence of life • We become who we are because of our group membership • Groups influence our thoughts, perceptions, values, behaviors, and actions • The essential feature of groups is that members share something in common and that it is significant • Largest and most complex group is the society

Transformation of Societies • Hunting and Gathering Societies – Earliest groups • Pastoral and

Transformation of Societies • Hunting and Gathering Societies – Earliest groups • Pastoral and Horticultural Societies First to domesticate animals and begin earliest type of gardening • Agricultural Societies – First to farm large scale, gave rise to cultures • Industrial Societies • Post Industrial Societies - Information

Groups within Society • Durkheim says small groups stand as a buffer between individual

Groups within Society • Durkheim says small groups stand as a buffer between individual and larger society • They provide intimate relationships that give a sense of meaning and purpose • Sociologists define collections of people in different ways – Aggregate (share space but don’t belong together) – Category (statistic designating people who share similar characteristics)

Types of Groups • Primary groups – relationship oriented (intimate long term face to

Types of Groups • Primary groups – relationship oriented (intimate long term face to face interaction) they are essential to emotional well being –they generate feelings of self esteem and provide values and attitudes incorporated into our identities • Secondary groups – larger more formal, impersonal, temporary, and anonymous – Based on interest or activity and members interact based on specific roles (ex. Class) – We have become a secondary group oriented society

More Types of Groups • In group – groups that elicit loyal feelings and

More Types of Groups • In group – groups that elicit loyal feelings and ones that we feel we belong too. • Out groups – groups that elicit apathetic or antagonistic feelings • Reference groups – groups to which we may or may not belong (they serve 2 functions –normative and comparative) – Because we have more than one reference group internal conflicts can often arise

Cliques and Social Networks • Clique – cluster of people within larger group who

Cliques and Social Networks • Clique – cluster of people within larger group who choose to regularly interact with each other (normal development) • Social network – links and social ties that radiate out from the self (small world) – Milgram experiment on senders and receivers • Networking conscience use or cultivation of social contacts people think will be beneficial to them (good old boys network) • Electronic community – new type of human group

Group Dynamics • Ways in which groups affect individuals and individuals affect groups •

Group Dynamics • Ways in which groups affect individuals and individuals affect groups • Dynamics most easily observed in small group settings (all can interact with all) • Sociologists consider group size – types of leaders – leadership styles when studying group dynamics

Group Size • Dyads – 2 people (most intense, intimate and unstable of all

Group Size • Dyads – 2 people (most intense, intimate and unstable of all groups) • Triad – 3 people (dynamics change) – coalitions, jealousies, and rivalries can develop (mediation or arbitration can occur • As groups grow larger it becomes more stable, but intimacy and intensity decrease • Growing groups become more formal, and the group becomes less dependent on one person relationships become less personal and more businesslike

Group size and Dynamics • Darley and Latane experiment on students communicating over intercoms

Group size and Dynamics • Darley and Latane experiment on students communicating over intercoms – Diffusion of help – larger groups feel less responsible for assisting others

Leadership • 2 types of leaders – Instrumental or task leader – keeps the

Leadership • 2 types of leaders – Instrumental or task leader – keeps the group moving toward its goal – Expressive or socioemotional leader – increases harmony and minimizes conflict • Both are necessary – one keeps the group focused on accomplishing the task and the other maintains group morale • Typically one person can’t be both

Leadership Styles • Authoritarian – he/she leads by giving orders (very efficient but no

Leadership Styles • Authoritarian – he/she leads by giving orders (very efficient but no group input creates bad morale and malcontentment) • Democratic – leads by reaching a consensus (members have input, vote or help in making decisions) slower process • Laissez Faire – one who leads by being highly permissive (informs group what needs to be done and leaves them alone) – creates confusion and inefficiency • Lippit and Waite study on leadership styles

Peer Pressure • • Solomon Asch – study of peer pressure Milgram study of

Peer Pressure • • Solomon Asch – study of peer pressure Milgram study of Obedience to Authority These studies demonstrated “group think” A term coined by Irving Janus describing a collective tunnel vision that groups sometimes develop • Perception is that there is only one logical conclusion to which all members of the group are impelled by loyalty and trust, to accept – Refusal by FDR to believe Japan would attack Pearl Harbor – Kennedy decision to proceed with the Bay of Pigs invasion – Johnson’s decision to escalate the Vietnam war