Chapter Questions 3

Chapter Questions 3 - bringing about social order This...

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Group dynamics , as defined in our text, are “the ways in which individuals affect the groups and the ways in which groups influence individuals.” The size of the group is significant to its dynamics in terms of stability, intimacy, attitudes, and behaviors. Generally, as the size of a group increases, it becomes more stable, and less intimate. With each new person, the connections among people, or relationships, multiply. This increased number of relationships and the group’s tendency to form a more formal structure add to the group’s stability. Attitudes and behaviors also become more formal as the group grows, and a diffusion of responsibility develops. Even the responsibility to help another member in need diminishes with this diffusion, for it is no more one member’s responsibility than another’s. Norms are the expectations, or rules of behavior, that give us a guideline as to how to function in society, enabling us to predict the behaviors of others and
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Unformatted text preview: bringing about social order. This predictability is the foundation of social life, and without it there would be social chaos. Deviance , or not following the norms of society, takes away this essential predictability, threatening the social order which our lives are based upon. This extreme consequence of deviance establishes the need for a system of social control. Social control consists of both formal and informal ways of enforcing the norms of society. Sanctions , reactions people get for upholding or violating norms, are used to reinforce or extinguish deviance and conformity. Negative sanctions , ranging from disapproving stares to capital punishment, are used to extinguish deviance and reinforce conformity by instilling a fear of punishment, or the disapproval of other members of society. Positive sanctions , ranging from a smile to a formal reward such as a raise, are used to reinforce conformity by rewarding those who conform to the norms....
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This note was uploaded on 11/13/2010 for the course SOC SOC 201 taught by Professor Gottschalk during the Spring '07 term at Peru State.

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