This preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.
Unformatted text preview: Social Groups
Overview Understanding Social Groups Group Dynamics The Power of Groups People with similar norms and values who interact on a regularly Understanding Groups Share sense of belonging Within context of groups that most social interaction takes place Group norms and sanctions shape social interaction Key element of social structure Understanding Groups
Types of Groups Primary Group: small group characterized by close interpersonal interaction Satisfy basic human need for intimacy Powerful force in shaping our identity (the self) and worldview Understanding Groups
Types of Groups Secondary Group: larger, more anonymous, formal group Typically based on some common interest or activity (ex. work, school, religion...) Members often occupy formal positions Primary groups often form within secondary groups Understanding Groups
Types of Groups InGroups: groups toward which one feels belonging or loyalty "We" or "Us" OutGroups: groups toward which one does not feel belonging or may even feel antagonism "They" or "Them" Understanding Groups
Types of Groups Division of social world into ingroups and outgroups has far reaching consequences Produces loyalties and rivalries Underlies many of the world's deepest divisions Ex) Racial/ethnic inequality, terrorism... Understanding Groups
Types of Groups Reference Groups: a group that individuals use as a standard for evaluating themselves and their behavior Ex) Family, neighbors, teachers, co workers, members of religious group... Provides a yardstick for behavior and thus social control Group Dynamics
Effects of Group Size Dyad: a two member group Triad: a three member group Coalitionbuilding becomes possible Effects of Group Size Group Dynamics As a small group grows larger... It becomes more stable It becomes less intimate, and more formal Think about how people seek out smaller groups at a party Group Dynamics
Effects of Group Size As a small group grows larger... Our attitudes and behavior change Ex) Helping others and the diffusion of responsibility The Power of Groups Groups have tremendous power over our attitudes and behavior Conformity and obedience
Peer pressure The power of authority Groupthink Process by which alternative or dissenting views are marginalized/dismissed by majority Social Groups
In Sum Groups are a key element of social structure Groups exert tremendous power over our attitudes and behaviors ...
View Full Document
- Spring '07