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The Core8e Sociology Michael Hughes Carolyn J. Kroehler
©2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. chapter 4 Social Groups and Formal Organizations Social Groups and Formal Organizations Group Relationships Group Dynamics Formal Organizations Chapter Outline
©2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. Dangerous driving behaviors are “strongly associated with the presence of peers” Group – two or more people bound in stable patterns of social interaction, sharing a sense of unity We make groups real by treating them as real Social Groups and Formal Organizations
©2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. Primary and Secondary Groups Primary group – small, intimate, informal, interactive Crucial to socialization Meets most of our personal needs Example: German Wehrmacht Secondary group – 2+ people, impersonal; together for specific purpose Group Relationships
©2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. In-groups and Out-groups In-group – a group we belong to and identify with Provides us with social identities Out-group – a group we do not belong to nor identify with Boundaries – discontinuities in social interaction; heightened by competition Group Relationships
©2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. Reference Groups Reference groups – social units we use for appraising and shaping attitudes, feelings, and actions May or may not be a membership group Normative and comparative functions Relative deprivation Group Relationships
©2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. Group Size Dyads –Most intense and influential relationships –Delicate balance between parties Triads –Most consequential step-ups in group size Fives –Best small group size for decision- making Group Dynamics
©2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. Leadership Leaders are group members who exert more influence than others Instrumental leader Expressive leader Leadership styles: authoritarian, democratic, laissez-faire, mixed Group Dynamics
©2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. Social Loafing Individuals exert less in groups Social Dilemmas Situations where members have a conflict between personal interests and group interests Hardin’s “tragedy of the commons” Free-rider mechanism Group Dynamics
©2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. Groupthink Example: Bay of Pigs in 1961 Groupthink – in highly cohesive groups, members become so preoccupied with consensus that they lose their critical faculties Example: Challenger disaster in 1986 Group Dynamics
©2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. Conformity Groups exert powerful social pressure Muzafer Sherif’s Spot of Light study (1936) Solomon Asch’s Line Length study (1952) Desire to be correct / desire to be accepted Group Dynamics
©2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. A formal organization is a group deliberately created for the achievement of specific objectives. Formal Organizations
©2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. Types of Formal Organizations Etzioni’s three types (1975): Voluntary – members enter and leave freely Coercive – members against their will –Mental hospital, prison, military –Total institutions, resocialization, mortification, degradation ceremonies Utilitarian – accomplish tasks Formal Organizations
©2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. A bureaucracy is a social structure made up of a hierarchy of statuses and roles that is prescribed by explicit rules and procedures and based on a division of function and authority. Formal Organizations
©2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. Bureaucracy Early bureaucracies based on patrimonialism Growth of bureaucracy is response to growth of industrialism –Structural units and divisions –Synchronization and integration –Planning and coordination –Focus on process Formal Organizations
©2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. Characteristics of Bureaucracies 1.Clearly defined duties and responsibilities 2.Hierarchy of authority 3.Consistent system of abstract rules and regulations 4.Offices with qualifications based on technical competence 5.Positions are property of the organization 6.Employment by organization is called a “career” 7.Extensive permanent, written documentation Characteristics of Weber’s Ideal Bureaucracy
©2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. Problems of Bureaucracy The Iron Law of Oligarchy (Michels) Dysfunctions include: –Focus not on customer –Relentless growth (e.g., U.S. Government) –Trained incapacity Bureaucracy is an Idealized Model –Human beings Social context –Designed for average Model incomplete Formal Organizations
©2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. Conflict Perspective Organizational goals serve those in power Marx: Factory is a despotic regime Stone: Factory structured to isolate workers, break power of skilled workers, and combat labor movement Collectives focus on products of immediate social value rather than products for profit Formal Organizations
©2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. Symbolic Interactionist Perspective People are active agents Organizations are the framework Classic study by Strauss (1964) –Chicago-area psychiatric hospitals –Negotiated order –Outside vs. inside view Zimmerman’s ethnomethodology Formal Organizations
©2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. Humanizing Bureaucracies Employee Participation –Participative management –Autonomous work groups –Informal, “no-collar” approach Alternative work schedules Virtual offices Specialized benefits Employee stock ownership Formal Organizations
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