Course SOCA01H3 LEC30 Lecture 25/10/2012
Topic: Networks, groups and organisations
Key educational goals/outcomes for today:
Understand characteristics of social networks, groups, formal organisations and bureaucracies,
and be able to apply them to new situations.
Understand that networks, groups, and cliques exist within formal organisations. Understand
their mutual influences.
Consider both positive and negative characteristics of bureaucracies, and reflect on means to
control or suppress negative ones.
Tepperman, Lorne, Patrizia Albanese, and Jim Curtis (eds.). 2012. Sociology: A Canadian
Perspective. 3 edition. Toronto: Oxford University Press. Chapter 6.
Questions to guide the reading/to think about ahead of time for students
Tepperman argues that that teams, bands, gangs and communities are qualitatively different from
other social groups. Understand and evaluate his argument. Do you agree or disagree with it?
Define primary and secondary social groups.
Tepperman writes that categories become significant when they are socially constructed as
significant. In light of Berger and Luckman’s social constructionist theory, under which
conditions would this happen? Think of several examples.
Define Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft.
What are cliques? Why does Tepperman consider them important for understanding everyday
working of large organisations?
“Bureaucracy is an efficient form of organisation.” Explain and evaluate this statement.
Understand the results of Hawthorne studies and the “human relations” school of management.
Which stream of feminism is most likely to argue that bureaucracy is incompatible with female
Summarize ways in which information flows contrary to or independently from the formal
structure of a bureaucracy.