C5 Groups & Networks - Chapter 5 Groups Networks Social...

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Chapter 5: Groups & Networks Social Groups - Sociologist Georg Simmel (1950) argues that w/o knowing anything about group members’ individual psychology/cultural/social context in which they’re embedded, we can make predictions about the ways people behave based solely on the # of members (‘social actors’) in that group. - This theory does not only apply to groups of ppl but also to states, countries, firms, corporations, bureaucracies 官僚主义 and any # of other social forms - Simmel calls a relationship… - Dyad: between 2 ppl - Triad: between 3 ppl - Dyad, symmetry must be maintained, and Simmel argued an inherent symmetry exists cuz of the earlier stipulation of mutual dependence - It is the most intimate form of group - There r no secrets regarding actions taken - Triad holds supra-individual power (group is not dependent on any one particular member) Differences between Dyads & Triads - Secret actions are possible - The group would survive the departure of any one member - Politics is a factor in interactions - Similarities: membership is voluntary Three basic forms of political relations that can evolve within a triad depending on what role the entering third party assumes 1. Mediator 调解人 : the person who tries to resolve conflict between other 2 & is sometimes brought in for that explicit purpose (ie. marriage counselor) 2. Tertius Gaudens 渔翁得利者 (‘the third that rejoices’): profits from disagreement of other 2 (opposite of mediator). (ie. marriage counselor earn $) 3. Divide et impera (‘divide and conquer’): intentionally drives wedge between other 2 ppl (similar to Tertius Gaudens).
Small groups, Parties and Large Groups Small group: characterized by 4 factors 1. Face-to-face interaction 2. Unifocal (there is one center of attention at any given time) 3. Lack of formal arrangements/roles (ie. study group) 4. Equality (no particular member has greater sway than others; nobody can dissolve the group) 5. No formal structure/role (refer to 4.) - One defining characteristics of small groups is equality. It is possible for a relationship to be formally symmetric 相称

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