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Lecture 5

SOCL 2001 Lecture Notes - Lecture 5: Stanley Milgram, Robert H. Michel, Oligarchy

Course Code
SOCL 2001

of 4
I. Groups within society
a. Group
i. People who interact with one another and who believe that what they have in
common is significant (social group)
ii. Terms confused with group
1. Aggregate
a. Individuals who temporarily share the same physical space but who
do not see themselves as belonging together
i. Example: shoppers waiting in the checkout line or drivers at a
red light
2. Category
a. People, objects, and events that have similar characteristics and are
classified together
i. Example: college women that wear glasses or all men over 6 ft.
iii. Types
1. Primary
a. A small group characterized by cooperative, intimate, long-term,
face-to-face relationships
i. Example: family and friends
b. Provide face-to-face interaction when dysfunctional it produces
dysfunctional adults
II. Secondary
a. Larger, relatively temporary, more anonymous, formal, and
impersonal group based on some interest or activity
i. Examples: college classes and political parties
b. Necessary for contemporary life but often fail to satisfy our deep
needs for intimate association
c. Voluntary associations
i. Groups made up of people who voluntarily organize on the
basis of some mutual interest
Example: sorority and fraternities
Inner circle
Key members of voluntary associations
The iron law of oligarchy
Coined by Robert Michel, term for the tendency of formal
organizations to be dominated by small, self-
perpetuating elite
System in which many are ruled by a few
Groups which we feel loyalty
Example: black people
Groups which we feel antagonism
Example: racist whites
Reference groups
A group whose standards we refer to as we evaluate ourselves
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Example: family, teachers, neighbors, etc.
Social networks
The social ties radiating outward from the self that link people
Facebook, instagram, twitter, etc
A cluster of people within a larger group who choose to
interact with one another
Stanley Milgram
Small world phenomenon
Addressed a letter to "targets" who in return sent letters
to people they knew on a first name basis
Everyone is separated by 6 people
Formal organization with a hierarchy of authority and a clear division of
labor; emphasis on impersonality of positions and written rules,
communications, and records
Separate levels with assignments flowing downward and
accountablility flowing upward
A division of labor
Written rules
Written communications and records
Impersonality and replaceability
Goal displacement
An organization replacing old goals with new ones; also known as
goal replacement
Mcdonalidization of society
The process by which ordinary aspects of life are rationalized and
efficiency comes to rule them, including such things as food
Red tape: a rule is a rule
Term coined by Marx that means a worker's lack of connection
to the product of their labor
Workers began feeling like objects instead of people
Workers want to fell valued
Working for corporation
Self-fulfilling stereotype
Preconceived ideas of what someone is like that lead to the person's
behaving in ways that match the stereotype
Hidden corporate culture
Stereotypes of the traits that make for high-performing and
underperforming workers, which end up producing both types
of workers
Group dynamics
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The ways in which individuals affect groups and the ways in which
groups affect individuals
Small groups
A group small enough for everyone to interact directly with all
the other members
The smallest possible group consisting of two persons
Group of three persons
The alignment of some members of a group against others
Someone who influences other people
Individual who tries to keep the group moving
toward its goals; also known as a task-oriented
Individual who increases harmony and minimizes
conflict in a group; also known as socioemotional
Ways in which people express their leadership
Individual who leads by giving orders
Individual who leads by trying to reach a consensus
Individual who leads by being highly permissive
A narrowing thought by a group of people, leading to the
perception that there is only one correct answer and that
to even suggest alternatives is a sign of disloyalty
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