128 Social Group Work Working with Groups In nutshell three main factors which

128 social group work working with groups in nutshell

This preview shows page 128 - 130 out of 349 pages.

128 Social Group Work: Working with Groups In nutshell, three main factors which influence group formation and subsequent group development and performance are individual- group – society, that is, individual and group goals; resources, expectations and motivations of individual members; group structure including composition and size (internal factors); environment and resources of agency, socio-economic conditions, social context of groups (external factors). External and internal forces, planned assembly, and emergent processes play a part in the formation of all groups. However, the balance of forces that shape their formation differs markedly across groups. Theories of Group Formation A number of authors and researchers have put forth different theories and perspectives to explain why and how people come together to form groups. An understanding of these perspectives is useful while matching the purpose of the group with prospective membership. Researchers have yet to develop a comprehensive theory to explain how and why groups form, but there are two perspectives that offer some answers: functional perspective suggests that groups form because they serve a useful function or fulfill a need for their individual members. The interpersonal attraction perspective suggests that groups form because its members like one another and seek to spend time together. (Cottam, et al 2004, p 66-68) Functional Perspective states that groups are formed to fulfill survival needs, including feeding, defense, nurturance, and reproduction; psychological needs like need for affiliation; need for power – need to control others. According to FIRO (Fundamental Interpersonal Relations
Image of page 128
Process of Group Formation 129 Orientation) given by Schultz (1958), joining a group can fulfill three basic needs – inclusion (desire to be part of a group); control (the need to organize an aspect of the group); and affection (the desire to establish positive relations with others). Another category of needs that can often be served well by groups is informational needs. People often have a need to determine if their own view points are correct and accurate. This perspective suggests that people join groups to better understand social reality. Groups can also meet people’s interpersonal needs. Many groups can provide social support, giving emotional sustenance, advice, and valuable feedback. Social support can be a valuable function of groups – protect us from harmful effects of stress; protect us from being lonely. Finally, groups can fulfill important collective needs – groups can be more productive and efficient than an individual working alone, that is, by pooling the efforts of multiple people. Some of the collective goals sought by groups include engaging in the performing arts; enriching the leisure time of its members; changing the opinions of the persons outside the group; and making routine individual tasks more tolerable.
Image of page 129
Image of page 130

You've reached the end of your free preview.

Want to read all 349 pages?

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture