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SOCI 1010 - Groups & Organizations (With Practice Questions)

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York University
SOCI 1010
Deborah Davidson

SOCI 1010 October 22nd2013 Groups & Organizations Social Forms Definition – “basic elements of social structure that include groups, networks, communities, and organizations” (126) Concerned with… a) How people act differently in social groupings b) How we can organize social groupings to increase productivity Sets of People Categories - Random sample connected through variable(s) - No social structure (not a social form) - Significance: Understand socially constructed meanings or differences Example: Male/Female, Black/White, Young/Old Social Networks Consists of people linked by direct connections (friendships, acquaintances etc.), and indirect connections, meaning those linked at a secondary level, to the direct connections (friends of friends). Example: Facebook, Social support Shortcomings Lack of collective identity Lack of membership awareness Lack collective goal Communities People who share a common membership and sense of identity because of values shared that are dissimilar to society at large. All members want the community to survive, and will make personal sacrifices to do so. Example: Rural town, Support groups  Tönnies distinguished between Gemeinschaft - community of feeling, reciprocal bonds, sentiment, kinship, seldom need for social control  Gessellschaft (society) considered to lack community mechanistic, impersonal, conflict more likely Groups 1 People who share an awareness of membership, not necessarily any solidarity Example: School Classroom or Cliques Composed of… Primary Groups – regular face to face interaction with significant others for long durations of time (ie: Families & Cliques) Secondary Groups – larger groups with less interaction, but a clear membership and sense of collective existence, similar to a community Teams, Bands and Gangs They differ from primary and secondary groups on a matter of two primary points a) Joining is matter of choice b) Join because of want to be a member, to identify, and be identified with the team, band, or gang. Organizations Composed of impersonal secondary groups, these people are formally and rationally organized to have a collective goal, with rational organization. Example: Multinational Corporation (Formal – See Bureaucracy) or Child Search Party (Spontaneous) Cliques A tightly interconnected group of friends who behave similarly, working to create a stable, yet exclusive social form. Although unstated, the primary goal of a clique is to increase member’s esteem, and reduce all others. School Setting In this context, cliques work to support some children, however, as a whole, are structurally cruel. In parallel to Cooley’s idea of the ‘looking glass self’. Cliques allow children to make judgements upon themselves based on what others see as acceptable, such as good looks or intelligence. From these cliques comes the possibility of bullying and stigmatization of individuals who fail to fit or conform into these tightly woven groups. Bureaucracy Formal organizations are deliberately planned social (secondary) groups that coordinate people, capital, and tools, through familiarized roles, statuses, and relationships to gain a specific set of goals. Max Weber – Characteristics of Bureaucracies… 1. Division of Labour 2. Hierarchy of Positions 3. System of Rules 4. Written Documents 5. Technical Merit 2 6. Separation of Person from Office 7. Protection of Career Downfalls Max Weber – ‘Iron cage of bureaucracy’ – an excessive amount of formality Robert Merton – people become systematically trained to follow rules, that the overall goal can be lost, and the ‘customer’ is no longer being served for their unique needs. (Trained Incapacity) Hawthorne Studies – ‘Hawthorne Effect’ – that people will produce what they think researchers are expecting – Happy group relationships may mean greater productivity – Group norms can limit productivity Rationality can create Irrationality – the ever expanding rule set between offices creates the potential for conflicting rules between
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