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January 17, Groups, organizations, and us.docx

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Carleton University
SOCI 1002
Christian Carron

Groups, Organizations, and Us The bonds that unite: speaking of ‘we’ - Looking at how individuals are brought together within larger configurations of people. How does this occur, under what circumstances and with what effects? - Another way of putting it: who do we mean when we say ‘all of us’, ‘we demand’, and ‘we would agree’. Who is ‘we’? Groups and communities - Social group: are composed of set of people who identify with one another, and adhere to defined norms, roles, or statuses • Ex: Members of a family, sports team, or college - There are different types of social groups • Primary vs. secondary • Communities, social networks, organizations Primary Groups and Secondary Groups - Primary groups ð Groups where norms, roles, and statuses are agreed upon but not put in writing • Social interaction leads to strong emotional ties, extends over long period, and involves wide range of activities • Results in group members knowing one another well  Example: The family (most important primary group) - In comparison to primary groups, secondary groups: • Are larger and more impersonal • Group members have at most, a passing acquaintance with one another • Involve social interaction in narrow range of activities over shorter period of time that create weaker emotional ties  Example: Sociology class. Sports team Inclusion and Exclusion: In-Groups and Out-Groups - In-group members: Those who belong to a group - Out-group members: Those who are excluded from an in-group - In-group members typically draw a boundary, separating themselves from members of out-group • Also try to keep out-group members from crossing the line - Boundaries separating groups: Race, class, athletic ability, academic talent, physical attractiveness Communities: characteristics - Acommunity is a collection of people, who are not clearly defined or circumscribed, but who agree to something that other people reject and bestow an authority upon those beliefs - Acollection of people who agree on something on some level can form a community - Strongest communities appear natural - The bonds that unite are at their strongest when taken-for-granted, when they remain silent Communities: historically - Community, however, is more about an expression of desire than a reality - Most powerful allude to ‘common blood’, hereditary character, timeless link with a ‘land’ - Genetic similarities for the purpose of creating unity are not set in stone anymore Communities: contemporary - Community then moves towards communities of faith- communities we have chosen - Communities of faith need to be supported by rituals, series of regular events - The harder it is to get into a particular community, the higher the demand for uniformity for its members • Ex: fraternities. The harder it is to join, the more exclusive it is Social Networks - Social network: Abounded set of individuals who are linked by exchange of material or emotional resources - Patterns of exchange determine boundaries of the network - Members exchange resources more frequently with one another than with nonmembers, and also think of themselves as network members - Social networks may be formal (defined in writing), but are more often informal (defined only in practice) Old forms of social networks - Are elaborate social networks in big cities • Example: 1997 study found each Torontonian has average of about 400 social ties, including immediate and extended kin, neighbors, friends, and co-workers - Networks also shape scientific influence because scientists in social network tend to share similar scientific beliefs and are thus are more open to some influences than others - In 1980s, HIV/AIDS disease did not spread uniformly throughout community • Rather, disease spread along friendship and acquaintanceship networks of people first exposed to it New forms of social networks - Advances in technology has brought a whole new set of social networks built through the medium of the internet • MySpace- founded in 2003, blog, music, comments (ranked 41th in Canada) • Facebook- founded in 2004, pictures, status updates (2 most visited website in Canada behind only Google) • Twitter- founded in 2006, status updates, linking stories and videos, trending topics (ranked 10 in Canada, 2 most used social network site) st • Linkedln- founded in 2003, professional networking, online resume (ranked 21 in Canada) Organizations - Communities pursuing defined tasks are otherwise called purpose groups or organizations - Organizations have organizational rules members must follow - Individuals have different ‘roles’to play within organizations Organizations:Adefinition - Formal organizations: are large secondary groups organized to achieve their goals efficiently • They are designed to achieve explicit objectives - Examples are business corporations, government agencies, non-governmental organizations, coercive organizations Three types of formal Organizations - Etzioni (1975) identified three types of formal organizations, distinguished by the reasons people participate in them: • Utilitarian Organizations • Normative Organizations • Coercive Organizations Utilitarian organizations - Just about everyone who works for a paycheque belongs to a utilitarian organizations, one that pays people for their efforts - Example: large businesses, government, etc… Non-governmental organizations - NGOs: Non-for-profit organizations that operates independently from any government, that advocates for some social aim and are more normative in nature - Lobby groups defined by their activity (lobbying), much closer to the political process, and more utilitarian in nature Coercive organizations - Coercive organizations have involuntary memberships. People are forced to join these organizations as forms of punishment (i.e. prisons) or treatment (i.e. psychiatric hospitals) - Coercive organizations have security measures to keep people in and isolate them from the rest of society Normative organizations - People join normative organizations not for income but to pursue some goal they think is morally worthwhile - Sometimes called voluntary associations, these includes community service groups, as well as religious organizations Organizations - Organizations are specialized according to the tasks they perform and so, therefore, are their members, who are recruited according to skills and attributes that they possess in terms of fulfilling the organization's goals Bureaucracies - The most common and efficient form of organization is the bureaucracy - Bureaucracy ð Large, impersonal organization with many clearly defined positions hierarchically arranged, a permanent, salaried staff of qualified experts, and written goals, rules, and procedures - Ideally, staff members always try to find ways of running bureaucracy more efficiently • Efficiency means achieving bureaucracy’s goals at least cost…  Least amount of time, least amount of employees, etc… Bureaucracies: characteristics - Bureaucracy split tasks into simple and elementary activities - Ideal bureaucracy operates as a perfect meritocracy • Meritocracya hierarchy based purely on merit - Information flows from lower rungs of the hierarchy towards the higher rungs - Everyone’s decisions must be subordinated to the overall goals of the organization Supplemental: Social Groups summary - Communities – Interest - Social Networks – Exchange - Organizations – Task-oriented Three Leadership Styles - Laissez-faire leadership: • Allows subordinates to work things out on their own, with almost no direction • Least effective type of leadership - Authoritarian leadership: • Demands strict compliance from subordinates • Authoritarian leaders are most effective in a crisis ex: war • Earns grudging respect but never wins popularity - Democratic leadership: • More guidance than laissez-faire • Less control than authoritarian leadership • More autonomy than authoritarian • Leaders try to include all group m
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