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19 Apr 2012
Wednesday October 12th, 2011
Networks, Groups & Bureaucracies
- How is it possible for many thousands of ordinary Germans to systematically
murder millions of people?
o They didn’t hate the people they were killing
o They wanted to maintain group solidarity
o They didn’t want to disappoint their friends
o Ordinary: act to sustain friendship ties to serve their group.
- Why Most People Conform
o Norms of solidarity demand conformity.
o Structures of authority tend to render people obedient.
o Bureaucracies in particular are highly effective structures of
- No correlation between political views, religious background, attitudes
towards Jews didn’t matter.
o Why did some people break group norms to help people?
o Christian heroes were estranged for mainstream norms
o Poorly socialized
o Weren’t brought up to understand group norms
o They act on morality, what they believed that right
o From an outsiders point of view, they are heroes
- Community Values in Glen Ridge
o Subordination of Women
o Lack of compassion for the weak
o Tolerance of mal misconduct
o Intense group loyalty
- Most people feel a sense of fear to defy authority
o Experiment between punishment and learning
o 71% of experimental subjects were willing to get a shock of 285 volts
o A Bureaucracy is a large, impersonal organized composed of many
clearly define positions arranged in a hierarchy. It has a permanent,
salaried staff of qualified experts and written goals, rules, and
procedures. Staff members always try to find ways of running their
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