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SOC 1100 (295)
Chapter 7

Textbook Notes - Chapter 7

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SOC 1100
Linda Gerber

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 GROUPS 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 (Cooley) o Examples – 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 o Involve weaker emotional ties, short-term (examples students in a college course) o Dozens 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 activities activities Perception of Ends in themselves Means to an end relationships Examples Families, circles of friends Co-workers, political organizations Group Leadership - Two Leadership Roles o Instrumental Leadership: group leadership that focuses on the completion of tasks; leader is a tool o Expressive Leadership: group leadership that focuses on the group’s well-being (youth minister) - Three Leadership Styles o Authoritarian focuses on instrumental concerns, takes personal charge of decision making, and demands that group members obey orders. o Democratic is more expressive and makes a point of including everyone in the decision- making process. o Laissez-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) Reference Groups Reference Group: a social group that serves as a point of reference in making evaluations and decisions (Example: a son imagining parent’s response to the girl he is dating; supervisor tries to predict employee’s reaction to new vacation policy) - Stouffer’s Research: rate soldier’s chance of promotion; army units with low promotion rates were more positive about their chances to move ahead; do not make judgments about ourselves in isolation, nor do we compare ourselves with just anyone. In-Groups and Out-Groups In-group is a social group toward which a member feels respect and loyalty Out-group is a social group toward which a person feels a sense of competition or opposition Power also plays a part in intergroup relations. A powerful in-group can define others as lower-status out-groups. Group Size - Dyad: Simmel studied social dynamics in the smallest groups. Dyad is a social group with two members. Marriage, close friendships; both members of a dyad must work to keep the relationship going - Triad: Simmel; a social group with three members; more stable than a dyad because one member can act as a mediator; married couple + counsellor Social Diversity: Race, Class, and Gender - large groups turn inward – Blau o institutional completeness (Breton) to account for the abilities of larger groups to meet their members’ needs from within their own boundaries - heterogeneous groups turn outward o the more internally diverse the group, the more likely its members are to interact with outsiders. - Physical boundaries create social boundaries o First nations living on reserves have more limited contact with non-aboriginal people than do their urban relatives Networks Network is a web of weak social ties (Facebook); who you know is just as important as what you know Small groups Formal organization Activities Much the same for all members Distinct and highly specialized Hierarchy Often informal or non-existent Clearly defined according to position Norms General norms, informally applied Clearly defined rules and regulations Membership criteria Variable; often based on personal Technical competence to carry out affect
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