SOC 1100 Chapter Notes - Chapter 7: Georg Simmel, Goal Orientation, Ingroups And Outgroups

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Published on 1 Dec 2011
University of Guelph
SOC 1100
Chapter 7 – Groups and Organizations
We carry out much of our daily lives as members of small groups, such as sports teams, and large
organizations, such as the businesses where we work. Both small groups and large organizations
operate according to general rules.
Social Group: two or more people who identify with and interact with one another. (Shared experiences,
loyalties, interests)
Primary and Secondary Groups
- Primary Group: a small social group whose members share personal and lasting relationships
oExamples – family (most important primary group); among the first groups we
experience in life; shaping attitudes, behaviour and social identity; members view each
other as unique and irreplaceable
- Secondary Group: a large and impersonal social group whose members pursue a specific goal
or activity
oInvolve weaker emotional ties, short-term (examples students in a college course)
oDozens to hundreds of members
Primary Group Secondary Group
Quality of relationships Personal orientation Goal orientation
Duration of relationships Usually long term Variable; often short term
Breadth of relationships Broad; usually involving many
Narrow; usually involving few
Perception of
Ends in themselves Means to an end
Examples Families, circles of friends Co-workers, political
Group Leadership
- Two Leadership Roles
oInstrumental Leadership: group leadership that focuses on the completion of tasks; leader
is a tool
oExpressive Leadership: group leadership that focuses on the group’s well-being (youth
- Three Leadership Styles
oAuthoritarian focuses on instrumental concerns, takes personal charge of decision
making, and demands that group members obey orders.
oDemocratic is more expressive and makes a point of including everyone in the decision-
making process.
oLaissez-faire allows the group to function more or less on its own
Group Conformity
- Asch’s Research: explained to all but one, asked group to put pressure on remaining person; 1/3
would conform by answering incorrectly on an obvious question; many are willing to
compromise our own judgment to avoid the discomfort of being seen as different, even from
people we do not know.
- Milgram’s Research: shock therapy; how readily people obeyed authority figures; choosing
shock level
- Janis’s “Groupthink”: Groupthink: the tendency of group members to conform, resulting in a
narrow view of some issue. (Quebecois and separation)
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