11-18-08_Groups[1]

11-18-08_Groups[1] - Groups I Groups A Groups and Everyday...

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November 18, 2008 Groups I. Groups A. Groups and Everyday Life 1. Each of us spends a great deal of time in groups of various kinds a) e.g., families, peer groups, clubs, work groups, religious groups 2. What groups do you belong to? B. Groups and Communication 1. Groups created and maintained through communication 2. Communication makes groups possible 3. Essential to every aspect of group functioning 4. Social constructionist/constitutive view of groups C. Groups vs. Relationships 1. Groups differ from relationships: a) in terms of number of people involved b) resources available for decision making c) complexity of communication dynamics that result D. Consequences of Size of Groups (Table 12.1) 1. Benefits a) Additional members to assist with activities b) Additional members to participate in decision making c) Additional resources for group problem solving 2. Costs a) Effort needed to develop consensus on goals b) Effort needed to keep members informed c) Effort needed to include members d) Effort needed to counteract pressures toward conformity e) Effort needed for leadership E. Why People Join Groups 1. To pursue individual needs in a social context 2. Groups help individuals meet a number of goals: a) Socializing and companionship b) Support for personal development/change c) Spiritual growth d) Economic gain 3. Factors involved in selecting which groups to join: a) Attractiveness of group members: physical, social, task b) Attractiveness of group’s activities and goals c) Attractiveness of being member of group: personal, social, symbolic, occupational, or economic benefits F. Definition of Group 1. Groups are composed of individuals with varying motives, emotions, attachments, perspectives, and needs who come
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together to negotiate a framework for communication that permits collective action 2. Groups are creative to serve a number of goals 3. Primary objective is often productivity – the completion of a task or job II. Types of Groups A. Task-Oriented 1. Duplicated Activity Group – every member does the same job, e.g., all members plant trees 2. Assembly Line Group – each member works on a different part of the task, e.g., some dig holes, others plant trees, others water
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