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Chapter 8

Chapter 8 - Group Processes: Influence in Social Groups

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Elizabeth Page- Gould

Chapter 8Group Processes Influence in Social Groups In 1998 Canadian military officials made a decision to vaccinate Canadian soldier against anthrax a deadly bio weapon before deploying them to Persian Gulf 1 soldier served in military for 26 years Sergeant Michael Kipling refused to be vaccinated For his disobedience Kipling was court martialled During his court martial several facts came to light 1 was that anthrax vaccines were not licensed for use in Canada and Health Canada had recommended that the military seek informed consent from soldiers before administration Another fact was that the militarys legal advisers had made similar recommendations Canadas highest military commanders decided to ignore the advice of Health Canada and of their own lawyers however and imposed the vaccine on soldiers without their consent The consequence Our consequence is the continuing debate over whether the medical symptoms experienced by of 4500 Canadian involved in Gulf War are the result of the anthrax Louise Richard was a healthy athletic military nurse when she left for the Persian Gulf in 2001 Now she is too ill to work suffers from fatigue depression memory loss gastrointestinal problems and excessive bleedingShe has lost all her hair and has started to lose her teeth Military officials blame the medical symptoms experienced by Gulf War veterans on stress and exposure to chemical warfare Military personnel feel that the anthrax vaccine is to blame Stats Canada conducted a 4year study and concluded that Gulf WARS VETERANS DO NOT SUFFER HIGHER MORTALIITY AND CANCER RATES THAN MILITARY PERSONNEL WHO WER ENOT DEPOYED TO Kuwait The results further angered Gulf War veterans who accuse the government biasing research to avoid paying millions of dollar in disability benefits Critics point out that the study focused only on cancer rates rather than on the range of symptoms such as those experienced by Louise RichardGulf War Syndrome Blanchfield 2005 Why would military official ignore the advice of Health Canada and their own lawyers to impose a potentially unsafe vaccine on Canadian soldierWhat is a Group A group is defined as a collection of 2 or more people who interact w each other and are interdependent in the sense that their needs and goals cause them to rely on one another Groups are people who have assembled together for a common purposeWhy Do People Join Groups Forming relationship w other people fulfills a number of basic human needs Roy Baumeister and Mark Leary 1995 argue that in our evolutionary past there was a substantial survival advantage to establishing bonds w w other people Groups become an important part of our identity helping us to define who we are James Cameron 1999 suggests that the groups that we belong to play an important role in defining who we expect to be in the futureie he asked students at Mt Allison University how much they agreed with statements such as In a group of Mt Allison students I really feel that I belong Feeling a part of the university was associated wselfesteem and well being Students who had a sense of belonging also believed that being a Mt Allison student would help them become the self they aspired to e in the future Group membership also plays an important role in motivating people to become involved in social changeie Patrick ONeill 2000 examined collective action among variety of groupsAcross groups ONeill found that those who identified most strongly w their group were most likely to engage I social actionThe Composition and Functions of Groups Most social groups however range in size form 26 members This is a result of our definition of social groups as involving interactions between membersAnother important feature of groups is that the members tend to be alike in age sex beliefs and opinionsThere are 2 reasons for homogeneity of groups1 Many groups attract people who are already similar before they join2Groups operate in ways that encourage similarity in the members Social norms Social norms are powerful determinants of human behaviour as shown by what happens if people violate them too often they are shunned by other group members and pressure to leave the group see Chapter 7
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