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Chapter 6 Groups and Societies  Everyone seeks a sense of belonging.  A social group: two or more people who identify and interact with one another.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 6 Groups and Societies  Everyone seeks a sense of belonging.  A social group: two or more people who identify and interact with one another."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 6 Groups and Societies  Everyone seeks a sense of belonging.  A social group: two or more people who identify and interact with one another.  Not every collection of individuals can be called a group.  People with a status in common are not a group, but a category.

2 Primary and Secondary Groups  A primary group: a small social group whose members share personal and enduring relationships.  They are among the first groups we experience in life.  A secondary group: a large an impersonal social group whose members pursue a specific goal or activity.  They involve weak emotional ties.

3 Group Leadership  Groups benefit from two types of leadership:  1. Instrumental leadership: emphasizes the completion of tasks.  2. Expressive leadership: focuses on collective well-being.

4 Group Conformity Asch’s research  Solomon Asch conducted a classic experiment that showed the power of groups in generating conformity.  Arranging students around a table, he showed them a line.  He asked them to match the line to one of three shown on a card.  1/3 of all students conformed to the others by answering incorrectly.

5 Cards Used in Asch’s Experiment in Group Conformity

6 Milgram Experiment  Stanley Milgram studied obedience.  He assigned subjects to the roles of “teacher” and “learner.”  Teachers applied false shocks to learners in response to incorrect answers.  He found people are likely to follow directions even when it means inflicting harm on another person.

7 Group Conformity Janis’s Research  Irving Janis said that a number of United States foreign policy errors were the result of group conformity.  “Groupthink”: the tendency of group members to conform, resulting in a narrow view of some issue.

8 Reference Groups  How do we assess our own attitudes and behaviors?  Often we use a reference group.  Reference groups: serve as a point of reference in making evaluations and decisions.  Our need to conform means that other’s attitudes greatly influence us.

9 Ingroups and Outgroups  Everyone favors some groups over others.  An ingroup: a social group commanding a member’s esteem and loyality.  An outgroup: a social group which one feels competition or opposition.  Tensions among the groups sharpen their boundaries.

10 Group Size  Dyad: a social group with two members.  A dyad is intense and instable.  Triad: a social group with three members.  A triad is more stable than a dyad because one member can act as a mediator.  Stability increases with group size.

11 Group Size and Relationships

12 Social Diversity: Race, Class, and Gender  Efforts to promote diversity may have an unintended effect of promoting separatism.  The more diverse a group, the more likely it’s members are to interact with outsiders.  If all groups have the same social standings, members of all the groups will interact.  If a group is physically segregated from others, its members are less likely to associate with other people.

13 Networks  A network: a web of weak social ties.  People who come into occasional contact.  A social web reaching great distances.  The feeling that we live in “a small world.”  Ties may be weak, but they can be a powerful resource.

14 Formal Organizations  Formal organizations: large secondary groups that are organized to achieve their goals efficiently.  They operate in a definite way.  They accomplish complex jobs.  Large organizations develop cultures of their own in order to last over time.

15 Three Types of Formal Organizations  1. Utilitarian:  2. Normative:  3. Coercive:

16 Three Types of Formal Organizations  Utilitarian organization: one that pays people for their effort.  Normative organization: one that pursues some goal believed to be morally worthwhile.  Coercive organization: one that forces people to join.  Any particular organization may fall into all of these categories.

17 Bureaucracies  A bureaucracy: an organizational model rationally designed to perform tasks efficiently.  There are specific traits that promote efficiency:  Specialization.  Hierarchy of offices.  Rules and regulations.  Technical competence.  Impersonality.  Formal, written communications.

18 Organizational Environment  How an organization performs depends on its environment.  Organization environment: factors outside the organization that affect its operation.  Factors include technology, economic and political trends, work force, and other organizations.

19 Small Groups and Formal Organizations

20 Problems of Bureaucracy  It has the ability to dehumanize the people it is suppose to serve.  It creates alienation.  Bureaucratic ritualism: a preoccupation with rules and regulations to the point that it prevents the organization from achieving its goals.  Bureaucratic inertia: the tendency of the organization to perpetuate themselves.

21 The Evolution of Formal Organization  Scientific management: the application of scientific principles to the operation of a business or other large organization.  Managers carefully observe the tasks performed by each worker.  Managers analyze data and provide guidance.

22 The “McDonaldlization of Society”  McDonald’s has enjoyed enormous success around the world.  The organizational principles that underlie it are coming to dominate our entire society.  “Our entire society is becoming “McDonaldized”” (Macionis, 2006).


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