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Groups within Society Chapter 4, section 4 Pgs. 78-82.

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Presentation on theme: "Groups within Society Chapter 4, section 4 Pgs. 78-82."— Presentation transcript:

1 Groups within Society Chapter 4, section 4 Pgs

2 Society Groups  A society is not only a group, but it is a group made up of smaller groups.  Every individual in society participates in groups.  A group can be very small, two people on a date for example or very large- 500 soldiers at boot camp.  A group can be intimate like a family or very formal as in the case of people attending a conference.

3 What is a Group?  In sociological terms, a group has four major features.  First: it must have two or more people  Second: it must have interaction among members  Interaction occurs whenever the actions of one person cause another person or persons to act.  Third: The members of the group must have shared expectations.  Fourth: the members must possess some sense of common identity.

4 The last three features- interaction, shared expectations, and a common identity- distinguish a group from an aggregate or a social category.  Aggregate: when people gather in the same place at the same time but lack organization or lasting patterns of interaction they form an aggregate.  Example: people on an airplane, people standing in line at the movies.  Social Category: a simple means of classifying people according to a shared trait or a common status.  Students women, teenagers, and left handed people are examples of social categories.

5 Size - Dyad  The smallest group possible ( a group of 2 members) is called a dyad.  In a dyad, each member of the group has direct control over the group’s existence.  If two members fail to agree one member must change convince the other to change his or her position or the group will cease to exist.

6 Size - Triad  With a three person group you have a triad. The group takes on a life of its own independent of any individual member.  No one person can disband the group.  Decision making is easier than in a dyad because two against one alliances can form in cases of disagreement.

7 Size  Small group: one with few enough members that everyone is able to interact on a face to face basis.  Sociologists found that 15 is the largest number of people that can work well in one group. When the group is larger than that, members have a tendency to sort themselves into smaller groups.  Example: Reality Shows

8 Time  Some groups you may participate in meet once and never meet again.  Other groups you are part of – such as your family – exist for many years.  Most groups fall somewhere in between.

9 Organization  Organization of groups can be formal or informal.  Formal Group: the structure, goals, and activities of the group are clearly defined. Ex. Student Government  Informal Group: there is no official structure or established rules of conduct. Ex. Your circle of friends because you likely do not have rules or structure of when you meet.

10 Types of Groups  We are all members of different types of groups.  Primary groups  Secondary groups  Reference groups  In-Groups  Out-Groups  The easiest way to classify groups is according to the degree of intimacy that occurs among group members.  Charles Horton used the term primary group to describe those involving the most intimate relationships.

11 Types of Groups  Primary Groups  A small group of people who interact over a relatively long period of time on a direct and personal basis.  Often intimate and face to face, communication is deep, structure is informal,  Example: Family Relationships  Secondary Group  A group in which interaction is impersonal and temporary in nature.  Tend to be casual and limited in personal involvement, individuals can be replaced easily by anyone who can carry out specific tasks needed to achieve the group’s goals.  Example: A classroom

12 Types of Groups  People usually perform their social roles and judge their own behaviors according to the standards set by a particular group.  Any group with whom individuals identify and who attitudes and values they adopt is called a reference group.  Groups of friends or school clubs serve as reference groups for many students.

13 Types of Groups  All groups have boundaries – methods of distinguishing between members and nonmembers.  The group that a person belongs to and identifies with is called an in-group.  Any group that the person does not belong to or identify with is called an out- group.

14 In groups/Out groups  In groups exhibit three characteristics  First: group members tend to separate themselves from other groups through the use of symbols. Ex. Badges, clothes, names  Second: members view themselves positively and they often view out groups in negative terms.  Third: In groups generally compete with out groups even to the point of engaging in conflict.  Give examples of In groups and out groups and conflicts between the two.

15 E-Communities  E-communities: people interact with one another regularly on the internet.  Most newsgroups are little more than sites for members to discuss issues of common interests. (However some seem like primary groups)  They argue, engage in intellectual discussions, exchange knowledge, share intimate details of their lives, gossip, argue, play games and even flirt. The only difference is that they do it online rather then face to face.

16 Social Networks  The web of relationships that is formed by the sum total of a person’s interactions with other people is known as a social network.  Social Networks include both direct relationships with those in our primary and secondary groups. We have indirect relationships with people we know or who know us but with whom we have little or no interaction with such as a friend of a friend of your parent’s friends.  These networks give us a feeling of community with opportunity for social interaction

17 Group Functions  Groups must also select a leader, people who influence the attitudes and opinions of others.  In some cases leadership is assigned. In other groups leaders are chosen based on their ability, and some other groups elect leaders. Leaders fall into two groups…

18 Types of Leaders  Instrumental Leaders are task oriented. They find specific means that will help the group reach its goals.  Expressive Leaders are emotion oriented. They find ways to keep the group together and to maintain morale.  Groups need both types of leaders to be successful.

19 Groups, groups, groups  Groups also need to perform related functions of setting goals, assigning tasks, and making decisions. If groups have no purpose then there is no reason for them to exist.  To achieve their goals, groups need to assign task to their members. Knowing what is being done and who is doing it helps strengthen member’s support for the group.  Finally groups need to control members’ behavior. If members constantly violate group norms the group cannot survive  Conformity is linked to the importance that people attach to a particular group.


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