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Groups and Formal Organizations

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1 Groups and Formal Organizations
Chapter 6

2 Primary Groups and Secondary Groups
Group: at least two people who have one or more goals in common and share common ways of thinking and behaving they are in regular contact with one another they share ways of thinking, feeling, and behaving they take one another’s behavior into account they have one or more interests or goals in common Groups and Formal Organizations Groups, Categories, and Aggregates Groups are classified by how they develop and function. Groups range from small and informal to large and very formal. They tend to draw lines around themselves creating insiders and outsiders. Some groups have tighter, more definite boundaries than others Example: African Americans/whites in South in early 1960’s Since Civil Rights movement those boundaries are much looser

3 Neither Social Categories nor Social Aggregates are considered to be groups
Social Category: people who share a social characteristic women men teenagers elderly citizens of a town Social Aggregate: people who happen to be in the same place at the same time people waiting in line for movie tickets people waiting for a bus people attending a concert witnesses of an accident Social Categories and Social Aggregates Social categories and social aggregates are not groups They don’t share a purpose…don’t share common ways of thinking and behaving Some of their members may form groups Witnesses to an accident (aggregate) may come together to help a victim Citizens of a town (social category) may band together to protest law

4 Primary Groups Primary Group: people who are emotionally close, know one another well, and seek one another’s company family close friends Primary Groups Charles Horton Cooley (symbolic interactionism) was the first to use the term Members have a “we” feeling, enjoy being together They are the most important setting for socialization Family and childhood playgroups are the first primary groups a child experiences We continue to develop them throughout life..friends, golfing buddies, etc. Primary Relationships: interactions that are intimate, personal, caring, and fulfilling

5 How Do Primary Groups Develop?
What conditions favor their formation? small size face-to-face contact continuous contact proper social environment How do Primary Groups develop? Small size It’s hard for members of large groups to develop close emotional ties. Much easier to know people well in small groups If you’re an athlete you will more likely to develop primary relationships than the gym full of people who cheer you on Face to face contact Can read expressions, tone of voice. Much more likely to develop close ties. Continuous contact Close primary relationships rarely develop in a short period of time Love at first sight? Not likely, more like attraction at first sight. Most of us need repeated social contact to develop primary relationships Proper social environment Just seeing somebody every day in a close setting isn’t enough You see the lunch lady every day, but you don’t become close friends Lunch line (social setting) isn’t right place, and your statuses are different

6 What are the functions of primary groups?
They provide three important functions in society emotional support socialization encourage conformity What are the functions of primary groups? Emotional support German troops at end of WWII (outnumbered, undersupplied, outfought) Strong emotional support ties kept them fighting Socialization Primary groups promote socialization, from family, to school, to college, to work, etc. Encourage conformity Provide pressure to conform William Whyte study Italian slum gang Bowling scores corresponded with status in the gang…if lower status members scored high, they were met with comments to keep them in conformity

7 Secondary Groups Secondary Group: people who share only part of their lives while focusing on a goal or task Secondary Groups Impersonal, goal oriented They exist to accomplish a specific purpose Work groups Clubs in school Relay for Life, etc. Characterized by secondary relationships Might be friends with one another, but purpose of the group is to accomplish a task, not enrich friendships If members of Relay for Life are more interested in the emotional relationships within the group than helping the cause, their performance could suffer Secondary Relationships: impersonal relationships involving limited parts of relationships

8 Other Groups and Networks…
Reference Groups Other Groups and Networks Reference groups: we use certain groups to evaluate ourselves, to acquire attitudes, values, beliefs, norms RG’s could be family, teachers, classmates, government leaders, bands, professional sports teams, etc. A lot of times groups we aspire to Pre-teens may dress like teens (like anticipatory socialization) Dead heads? Follow beliefs, values and norms of the Dead. RG’s don’t have to be positive Violent gang behavior (either emulate or use as a blueprint for behavior to avoid) Reference Group: group used for self-evaluation and the formation of attitudes, values, beliefs, and norms

9 In-Groups and Out-Groups
Like two sides of a coin…you can’t have one without the other In-Group: exclusive group demanding intense loyalty (cliques) Out-Group: group targeted by in-group for opposition, antagonism, or competition jocks, cheerleaders, etc. nerds are in-groups for some, out-groups for others Freaks and Geeks In-Groups and Out-Groups Two sides of the same coin (you cant have one without the other) In-group: close group of people to whom you are very loyal Out group: a group toward which in-group members feel opposition, antagonism, or competition The in-group competes with and is opposed by the out-group (think of cliques) Jocks, cheerleaders, nerds, preppies, geeks are in-groups for some people and out-groups for others Strong feeling of “us” verses “them” Set up boundaries: clothing, slang, “code words,” meeting places, handshakes. To outsiders, group boundaries set up an entrance barrier

10 How are Group Boundaries Maintained?

11 Social Networks Social Networks As individuals and as members of primary and secondary groups we interact with many people All of a person’s interactions make up his or her social network Family members, classmates, close friends, store clerks, etc. Social networks tie us to hundreds of people in our community, throughout our country, even around the world Internet is expanding social networks Are Social Networks groups? No. Although a person’s social network includes groups, its not a group itself It lacks the boundaries of a group and doesn’t involve close or continuous interaction among all of its members Relationships are too temporary for a sense of belonging to develop Functions of social networks: Provide a sense of belonging Furnish support in form of help and support Getting to know people who can help you in your career is very important Social Network: a web of social relationships that join a person to other people and groups Small World

12 Five Types of Social Interaction
Cooperation: individuals and groups combine their efforts to reach a goal Five Types of Social Interaction Five types of social interaction are basic to group life: cooperation, conflict, social exchange, coercion and conformity We take on different roles and have different norms and behaviors in different settings You behave differently as a member of a basketball team than you do as a member of your family at home 1. Cooperation: individuals or groups combine their efforts to reach a goal Usually happens when reaching a goal demands the best use of limited resources (sharing) Emergencies, floods, famine, tornadoes, etc. Kids agree on rules of a game, couples agree to share household chores Without some degree of cooperation, social life could not exist 2. Conflict: groups or individuals that work against one another for a larger share of the reward are in conflict Defeating the opponent is essential and may be more satisfying than reaching the goal Benefits of conflict? Promotion of cooperation and unity within opposing groups (neighborhood bully can unite even the most argumentative of brothers) Attention it draws to social inequities (Civil Rights Movement, etc.) Barn Raising

13 Conflict : interaction aimed at defeating an opponent

14 3. Social Exchange Sesame Street
Social Exchange: a voluntary action performed in the expectation of getting a reward in return Social Exchange 3. Social Exchange: 3rd type of social interaction. Voluntary action performed in the expectation of getting a reward in return Help a friend paint a room expecting he will help you tile your bathroom When you do someone else, he or she becomes obligated to return the favor…reciprocity, the idea that you should do for others as they have done for you Difference between cooperation and social exchange? Cooperation: “how can we reach our goal?” Social exchange: “what’s in it for me?” Sesame Street

15 4. Coercion Coercion 4. Coercion: 4th type of social interaction. Individuals or groups are forced to give in to the will of other individuals or groups. The opposite of social exchange. While social exchange involves voluntary conformity for mutual benefit, coercion is a one-way street The central element in coercion is domination May be through physical force: imprisonment, torture, death May be more subtle: social pressure, ridicule, rejection, withdrawal of affection, denial of recognition Coercion: individuals or groups are forced to behave in a particular way Police show of force

16 5. Conformity Conformity: behavior that matches group expectations
5. Conformity: 5th type of social interaction. Conformity is behavior that matches group expectations. When we conform, we adapt our behavior to fit the behavior of those around us. Social life (with its uniformity, predictability, orderliness) couldn’t exist without this type of social interaction. Without conformity there would be no families, schools, churches, governments…there would be no culture or social structure Conformity: behavior that matches group expectations Candid Camera

17 Asch’s Experiment video Asch’s Experiments
All but one person in a group of college students was asked to choose a line that obviously did not match Under group pressure they went with the group opinion over 1/3 of the time Individually…less than 1% inaccurate

18 Curiosity: How Evil Are You?
Medical Ethics Activity

19 What is Groupthink? What is Groupthink? Self-deceptive thinking based on conformity to group beliefs…created by group pressure to conform Kennedy, Bay of Pigs. Several advisors felt it would fail, but failed to speak up because of group pressure Research indicates groupthink can be avoided if leaders and group members make a conscious effort to make sure all members participate actively in discussions Groupthink: self-deceptive thinking that is based on conformity to group beliefs, and created by group pressure to conform

20 Formal Organizations high schools colleges corporations hospitals
government agencies Formal Organizations A formal organization is created to achieve some goal. Most are bureaucratic. They are deliberately created to achieve one or more long-term goals. Pre-1920 Americans spent most of life in primary groups (family, neighborhoods, churches) Post-1920, industrialization and urbanization advanced and we became more and more involved in secondary groups Born in hospitals, educated in large schools, employed by huge corporations, regulated by government agencies, cared for in nursing homes, buried by funeral industry…cradle to grave within formal organizations Formal Organization: a group deliberately created to achieve one or more long-term goals

21 Bureaucracy Bureaucracy Most formal organizations today are also bureaucracies. Bureaucracies are usually thought of in a negative way (inefficient, impersonal, etc.) but they have been proven to be effective in industrialized societies Bureaucracy: a formal organization based on rationality and efficiency

22 Major Characteristics of Bureaucracies
A division of labor based on the principle of specialization Power is derived from a legitimate source A hierarchy of authority (pyramid shaped) A system of rules and procedures Written records of work and activities Promotion on the basis of merit and qualifications Major Characteristics of Bureaucracies Division of labor based on principle of specialization Each person responsible for certain functions or tasks This specialization allows an individual to become an expert in a limited area A hierarchy of authority The greatest amount of authority is concentrated in a few positions at the top Decreasing amounts of authority in a larger number of lower positions A system of rules and procedures Rules and procedures direct how work is to be done and provide a framework for decision making They provide stability because they give guidelines to follow in most situations Written records of work and activity Written records of work and activity are made and kept in files This organizational “memory” ensures smooth functioning, stability, and continuity Promotion on the basis of merit and qualifications Jobs are filled on the basis of professional qualifications Promotion on basis of merit, not favoritism Norm in a bureaucracy is equal treatment for all

23 Public School District Organization Chart

24 Bureaucracies; Good or Bad?
Advantages to industrial societies: speed efficiency predictability Rationalization: mind set emphasizing knowledge, reason and planning Disadvantages? rules procedures impersonal treatment Bureaucracies; good or bad? Advantages Efficiency in meeting needs of industrialized societies Industrial economies demand steadiness, precision, continuity, speed, efficiency, minimum cost. Disadvantages? Rules, procedures, impersonal treatment…do they undervalue people? Creativity undervalued?

25 Informal Structure Within Bureaucracies
Personal relationships guided by common interests, shared values. Relationships guided by norms that Are not part of the formal organization Informal structure within organizations Bureaucracies are designed to act as secondary groups But, primary groups emerge as part of the informal organization (groups within a formal organization) These groups are guided by norms and beliefs that are not part of the formal organization Based on common interests and personal relationships and formed spontaneously They exist to meet the needs ignored by the formal organization Friendship, personal affection, support, humor, protection Informal Organization: groups that form within a formal organization

26 Iron Law of Oligarchy Iron law of oligarchy Theory of German sociologist Robert Michels He observed even in organizations intended to be democratic, a few leaders eventually gain control, and other members become powerless Increased concentration of power happens because those in power want to stay in power Power increasingly becomes concentrated in the hands of a few members in any organization.

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