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Chapter 6

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University of Toronto St. George

Week 4 – Bureaucracy and Behaviour Control Prof. S. Ungar Chapter 6: Networks, Groups, Bureaucracies, and Societies Page 128 - 153 BEYOND NDIVIDUAL M OTIVES How Social Groups Shape Our Actions 1. Norms of solidarity demand conformity o When we form relationships w/ friends, lovers, spouses, teammates, & comrades, we develop shared ideas or “norms of solidarity” about how we should behave toward them to sustain the relationship o b/c they are emotionally important to us, we tend to pay more attention to norms of solidarity than to the morality of our actions o when poorly socialized into the norms of society ppl are more free to not conform to the group & act in a way they believe is right 2. Structures of authority tend to render people obedient o Ppl find it difficult to disobey authorities b/c they fear ridicule, ostracism, and punishment o Ex. Stanley Milgram – administering electric shocks of currents to a person strapped in a chair 3. Bureaucracies are highly effective structures of authority o Bureaucracy = is a large, impersonal organization comprising many clearly defined positions arranged in a hierarchy. A bureaucracy has a permanent, salaried staff of qualified experts and written goals, rules, and procedures. Ideally, staff members always try to find ways of running the bureaucracy more efficiently. o Efficiency means achieving the bureaucracy’s goals at the least cost  4 Kinds of Social Collectivities Shape our Actions: 1. Networks 2. Groups 3. Bureaucratic Organizations 4. Whole Societies SOCIALN ETWORKS It’s a Small World  Although our personal networks are small they lead quickly to much larger networks  Social Network = is a bounded set of individuals who are linked by the exchange of material or emotional resources. The patterns of exchange determine the boundaries of the network. Members exchange resources more frequently with one another than with non-members. Social networks may be formal (defined in writing), but they are more often informal (defined only in practice). 1 Week 4 – Bureaucracy and Behaviour Control Prof. S. Ungar The Value of Network Analysis  Units of analysis or nodes in a network can be individuals, groups, organizations, and even countries  Some analysts claim we gain only a partial sense of why certain things happen in the social world by focusing on highly visible collectivities  Social networks clarify a wide range of social phenomena  how ppl find jobs & how they form communities Finding a Job  Social networks are a good source to acquire info (i.e. good restaurants, job opps)  Ppl normally learn about employment opportunities from other ppl  Mark Granovetter - Strong Ties – ppl who are close to you (i.e. family & friends); Weak Ties – acquaintances o Weak ties are important in finding a job o Acquaintances can provide useful info on job opportunities & are connected to more diverse networks Urban Networks  Urban acquaintanceships = occurs not very often and tends to be functionally specific (i.e. know a person as a bank teller but not as a whole person)  Ferdinand Tonnies believes there is a contrast with community and society o Community is marked by intimate and emotionally social ties o Society is marked by the impersonal relationships held together largely by self-interest  Torontonians have an average about 400 social ties The Building Blocks of Social Networks Dyad = is a social relationship b/w 2 nodes or social units (e.g., people, firms organizations, countries):  In a dyadic relationship, (i.e. marriage) both partners tend to be intensely and intimately involved  The intense involvement of both partners prevents “free riders” or partners who benefit from the relationship w/o contributing to it  Partners must assume full responsibility for all that transpires  Dyad needs both partners to live, but to die it needs only one to opt out Triad = is a social relationship among 3 nodes or social units (e.g., people, firms organizations, countries):  Intensity and intimacy are reduced  The triad restricts individuality by allowing a partner to be constrained for the collective good. A partner may be outvoted by a majority.  Coalitions are possible 2 Week 4 – Bureaucracy and Behaviour Control Prof. S. Ungar  Third-party mediation of conflict b/w 2 partners is possible  Third-party exploitation of rivalry b/w 2 partners is possible  A third-party divide and conquer strategy is possible  “free-riders” are possible  It is possible to shift responsibility to the larger collectivity ISG ROUP LOYALTY A LWAYS FUNCTIONAL ? Primary and Secondary Groups Social Group = comprises one or more networks of people who identify with one another and adhere to defined norms, roles, and statuses. Social Category = comprises people who share a similar status but do not identify with one another (ex. Coffee drinkers) Primary Groups, norms, roles, and statues are agreed on but are not put in writing. Social interaction leads to strong emotional ties. It extends over a long period, and involves a wide range of activities. It results in group members knowing one another well. Secondary Groups = are larger and more impersonal than primary groups are. Compared with primary groups, social interaction in secondary groups creates weaker emotional ties. It extends over a shorter period, and it involves a narrow range of activities. It results in most group members having at most a passing acquaintance with one another. Benefits of Group Conformity  Primary groups generate more pressure for conform than secondary groups  Conformity ensures group cohesion The Asch Experiment  Solomon Asch – comparing which line is longer o 6 confederates, 1 experimental subject o Several factors that affect the likelihood of conformity:  Conformity increases when group size increases to 3 or 4 members  Larger groups than 4, conformity generally doesn’t increase  Group cohesion increases so does conformity  Social status affects conformity  ppl w/ low status are less likely to disobey those of high status  Culture matters  Ppl in individualistic societies are less likely to conform than those who come from collectivist societies  Appearance of Unanimity  1 dissenting voice greatly increase the change the others will dissent 3 Week 4 – Bureaucracy and Behaviour Control Prof. S. Ungar Disadvantages of Group Conformity Groupthink Groupthink = is group pressure to conform despite individual misgivings  Dangers of groupthink are greatest in high-stress situations  Bystander Apathy = the # of bystanders increase, the likelihood of any one bystander helping another decreases b/c the greater the # of bystanders the less responsibility any one individual feels Group Conformity, Group Conflict, and Group Inequality In-group = members are people who belong to a group Out-group = members are people who are excluded from an in-group Group Boundaries: Competition and Self-Esteem  Theories that explain why group boundaries occur are: o Competition for scarce resources  Ex. Competitive spirit & rivalry that rose at camp b/w 2 groups of boys o People are motivated to protect their self-esteem  Ex. Group boundaries allow ppl to increase their self-esteem by believing that our-groups have low status Dominant Groups  Dominant groups construct group boundaries in particular circumstances to further their goals Groups and Social Imagination  Often ppl interact w/ other group members in their imagination (i.e. reference groups)  Reference Groups = comprises people against whom an individual evaluates his or her situation or conduct o Members of a reference group function as role models o Reference groups may influence us even though they represent a largely imaginary ideal  Imagined Communities o They are imagined b/c u can’t possible meet most members of the group & can only speculate about what they must be like o They are communities b/c ppl believe strongly in their existence & importance  Many secondary group are formal organizations o Secondary groups are designed to achieve explicit objectives o Formal Organization = are secondary groups designed to achieve explicit objectives o Bureaucracy is the most common & influential secondary group 4 Week 4 – Bureaucracy and Behaviour Control Prof. S. Ungar BUREAUCRACIES Bureaucratic Inefficiency  4 Main Criticisms Against Bureaucracy: 1. Dehumanization = occurs when bureaucracies treat clients as standard cases and personnel as cogs in a giant machine. This treatment frustrates clients and lowers worker morale. 2. Bureaucratic Ritualism = involves bureaucrats becoming so preoccupied with rules and regulations that they make it difficult for the organization to fulfil its goals 3. Oligarchy = means “rule of the few.” All bureaucracies have a supposed tendency for power to become increasingly concentrated in the hands of a few people at the top of the organizational pyramid 4. Bureaucratic Inertia = refers to the tendency of large, rigid bureaucracies to continue their policies even when their clients
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