Societies to Social NetworksImportant text is in orange this time.
Societies and their Transformation• Sociologists use many definitions of groups,but, in general, groups consist of people whointeract with one an- other and think ofthemselves as belonging together.• Societies- when people share a culture andterritory . Societies are the largest and mostcomplex group that sociologists study
Societies and their Transformation• On their way to postindustrial society, humanspassed through four types of societies. Eachemerged from a social revolution that waslinked to new technology.
Societies and their Transformation• The domestication revolution (approximately10,000 years ago), which brought thepasturing of animals and the cultivation ofplants, transformed hunting and gatheringsocieties into pastoral and horticulturalsocieties.
Societies and their Transformation• Then the invention of the plow ushered in theagricultural society, while the IndustrialRevolution, brought about by machines thatwere powered by fuels, led to industrialsociety.
Societies and their Transformation• the computer chip ushered in a new type ofsociety called postindustrial (or information)society.• Another new type of society, the biotechsociety, may be emerging.
Societies and their Transformation• A summation: preindustrial to post-industrialsocieties… so bad it is kind of funny
Societies and their Transformation• Social equality was greatest in hunting andgathering societies, but as societies changedsocial inequality grew.• The root of the transition to social inequalitywas the accumulation of a food surplus, madepossible through the domesticationrevolution.
Societies and their Transformation• This surplus stimulated the division of labor,trade, the accumulation of material goods, thesubordination of females by males, theemergence of leaders, and the developmentof the state.
Groups within Society• Sociologists distinguish between aggregates,categories, and groups.• An aggregate is made up of individuals whotemporarily share the same physical space butdo not have a sense of belonging together.• A category is a collection of people who havesimilar characteristics (a statistic).• Unlike groups, the individuals who make upaggregates or categories do not interact withone another or take each other into account.
Groups within Society• Sociologists divide groups into primarygroups, secondary groups, in-groups, out-groups, reference groups, and networks.
Groups within Society• The cooperative, intimate, long-term, face-to-face relationships provided by primary groupsare fundamental to our sense of self.• Secondary groups are larger, relativelytemporary, and more anonymous, formal, andmore impersonal than primary groups.
Groups within Society• In-groups provide members with a strongsense of identity and belonging.• Out-groups also foster identity by showing in-group members what they are not.
Groups within Society• Reference groups are groups whose standardswe refer to as we evaluate ourselves.• Social networks consist of social ties that linkpeople together.• Developments in communications technologyhave given birth to a new type of group, theelectronic community.
Group Dynamics• A dyad, consisting of two people, is the mostunstable of human groups, but it provides themost intense intimate relationships.• The addition of a third person, forming a triad,fundamentally alters relationships.• Triads are unstable, as coalitions (thealignment of some members of a groupagainst others) tend to form.
Group Dynamics• A leader is someone who influences others.• Instrumental leaders try to keep a groupmoving toward its goals, even though thiscauses friction and they lose popularity.• Expressive leaders focus on creating harmonyand raising group morale. Both types areessential to the functioning of groups.
Group Dynamics• Authoritarian leaders give orders (Anauthoritarian style appears to be moreeffective in emergency situations)• democratic leaders try to lead by consensus(works best for most situations),• laissez-faire leaders are highly permissive(style is usually ineffective ).
Group Dynamics• The Asch experiment was cited to illustratethe power of peer pressure
Group Dynamics• the Milgram experiment to illustrate theinfluence of authority.
Group Dynamics• Both experiments demonstrate how easily wecan succumb to groupthink, a kind ofcollective tunnel vision.• Preventing groupthink requires the freecirculation of diverse and opposing ideas.