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Social Groups and Organizations

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1 Social Groups and Organizations
Chapter 5 Social Groups and Organizations

2 Social Groups A social group is defined as two or more people who identify and interact with one another. Social groups fall into 2 basic categories: primary and secondary groups.

3 Primary Groups Primary groups are small social groups whose members share personal and enduring relationships They have intimate, face-to-face contact (families and close personal friends are in your primary group). Families are primary groups in that they are the first groups we experience in life and because they are of central importance in the socialization process. Members think of the group as an end in itself rather than as a means to other ends. Members view each other as unique and irreplaceable.

4 Secondary Groups Secondary groups are large and impersonal social groups devoted to some specific interest or activity (like people you go to school with). They involve weak emotional ties and are commonly short term (like for a semester-when the class is over, you don’t always keep in touch with them). They are goal oriented and typically impersonal. For example study groups: everyone wants to pass the test so they study collectively as a group, helping others within that group to understand key terms, etc.

5 Group Leadership There are typically 3 different types of group leaders: Instrumental Expressive Laissez-faire Group leaders tend to fall into one of these categories but may have all three parts in their own leadership style.

6 Instrumental Leadership
Emphasizes the completion of tasks. These are bosses that usually say “Let’s get to work!” They are more worried about getting the job done than the well being of their workers They operate under an authoritarian leadership that focuses on instrumental concerns, takes personal charge of decision-making, and demands strict compliance from subordinates.

7 Expressive Leadership
Emphasizes collective well-being and concerned for the members well-being. Employees tend to like this type of leader because they show empathy and make sure they have everything they need to complete their tasks. Expressive leaders practice democratic leadership which is more expressive and tries to include everyone in the decision making process (like asking the person who actually answers the phone if the new phone system they are planning to install will help or hinder their job).

8 Laissez-faire Leadership
French for “let do”, this type of leader allows the group to function more or less on its own. Basically, if the job gets done, it gets done; if it doesn’t, who cares? These types of leaders are very laid back and the workers usually have to fend for themselves with little supervision or support.

9 Group Types: Reference, In-groups, Out-groups
A reference group is a social group that serves as a point of reference for people making evaluations or decisions. For example, hero worship is a type of reference group, like comparing yourself to a professional athlete

10 In-groups and Out-groups
An in-group is a social group commanding a member’s esteem and loyalty. This is a group we are generally a member of but is also a group we have esteem for, like the Shriner’s. They do a lot more for humanity than ride around on scooters and in dune buggies at Mardi Gras. An out-group is a social group toward which one feels competition or opposition.

11 Formal Organizations These are large secondary groups, organized to achieve goals efficiently; 3 primary types: Utilitarian: Material rewards for members Normative: Voluntary organizations; People pursue goals they believe are morally worthwhile Coercive: Involuntary membership; Punishment or treatment; total institutions

12 Bureaucracy Formal organization designed to perform tasks efficiently.
Max Weber identified six key characteristics of bureaucracy: Specialization Hierarchy of offices Rules and regulations Technical competence Impersonality Formal, written communications

Bureaucratic alienation Potential to dehumanize individuals Bureaucratic inefficiency and ritualism Preoccupation with rules, interferes with meeting goals Bureaucratic inertia Perpetuation of the organization Oligarchy Rule of the many by the few

14 George Ritzer: McDonaldization of Society
Four principles of McDonaldization: Efficiency: We want things in society fast Calculability: Do things according to plan Uniformity and predictability: We want things to be the same everywhere Control through automation: Humans are the most unreliable factor The main premise of the book is that rationality, although efficient, may be irrational and highly dehumanizing.

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