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Sociology Chapter 5.

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1 Sociology Chapter 5

2 Social Groups Everyone seeks a sense of belonging
A Social Group –is 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.

3 Primary and Secondary Groups
A Primary Group – is a small social group whose members share your personal and enduring relationships. They are among the first groups we experience in life. A Secondary Group – a large and impersonal social group whose members pursue a specific goal or activity. They involve weak emotional ties. (see chart pg. 112)

4 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.

5 Group Conformity Asch’s Research
Solomon Asch conducts 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. One-third of all subjects conformed to the others by answering incorrectly. (see page 113)

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 contends 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 are a reference group (ex: peer group) Reference groups – serve as 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 loyalty. An Outgroup – a social group toward which one feels competitive or opposition. Tensions among the groups sharpen their boundaries. What are your ingroups and outgroups?

10 Group Size Dyad – a social group with two members.
A dyad is intense and unstable. 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. (see diagram pg. 115)

11 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 its members are to interact with outsiders. If all groups have the same social standing, 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.

12 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. See map on page Why are networks powerful?

13 Formal Organizations Formal organizations – large secondary groups that are organized to achieve their goals efficiently. They operate in a deliberate way. They accomplish complex jobs. Large organizations develop cultures of their own in order to last over time. What formal organizations do you belong to? (see chart on page 119)

14 Types of Formal Organizations
Utilitarian organization – one that pays people for their efforts. 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. Can you think of organizations that fall into 2 or 3 of the above categories?

15 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 communication (see chart on pg. 121)

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

17 Problems of Bureaucracy
It has the ability to dehumanize the people it is supposed to serve. It creates alienation. Bureaucratic ritualism – a preoccupation with rules and regulations to the point of thwarting an organization’s goals. Bureaucratic inertia – the tendency of the organizations to perpetuate themselves. (see graphs pages )

18 The Evolution of Formal Organization
Scientific management – the application of scientific principles to the operation of a business or other large organizations. Managers carefully observe the task performed by each worker. Managers analyze data and provide guidance.

19 The “McDonaldization” of Society
McDonalds has enjoyed enormous success around the world. The organization principles that underlie it are coming to dominate our entire society. Where do you see “McDonaldization” through the U.S. and the world?

20 Discussion Questions What are the 5 most important social groups to which you currently belong? Which are primary and which are secondary? Compare the sizes. Do you see any patterns? Think of 3 examples of your yielding to group conformity? What factors caused you to conform? How might a group reduce groupthink? In the Asch and Milgram experiments do you think that groups of people who already knew each other would demonstrate more or less conformity? Why? Do you think Milgram’s experiments were ethical? What are some of your most valued reference groups?

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