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Small Group Communication: Feminist and Network Perspectives

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Dena Rosko, Patricia Whitcomb, Victoria Hertz, Garrett Cheal

April 2010
Gonzaga University

Published in: Education, Technology, Business
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Small Group Communication: Feminist and Network Perspectives

  1. 1. Small Group Communication: Feminist and Network Perspectives Team 3: Dena Rosko, Patricia Whitcomb, Victoria Hertz, Garrett Cheal
  2. 2. Overview Feminist Networking“... a feminist perspective on People join and build networksgroups… forces us to question via various network ties to sharesome of our most basic and to utilize each other’sassumptions and beliefs about existing networks, mutualhow groups form, function, and interests, resources, expertise,practice” (Meyers, Berdahl, collective action, and similarityBrashers, Considine, Kelly, (Denning, 2005; Katz, Lazer,Moore, Peterson, & Spoor, Arrow, & Contractor, 2005).2005, pp. 256-257).
  3. 3. Why Research the Feminist Perspective? Contributions of women, minorities, and other marginalized groups are downplayed compared to those who hold power (men). The feminist perspective provides fuel to the notion that gender and sex play a role in group practice in almost every way one can imagine.Feminist perspective adapted from Meyers, Berdahl, Brashers, Considine, Kelly, Moore, Peterson, and Spoor (2005)
  4. 4. Gendered Behavioral StereotypesWomen Men Possess Risk Takers communal Task- behaviors oriented Engage in Verbally positive socio- aggressive emotional Use behavior information to Build their advantage cohesion Wants to get Use humor to ahead unify groups Use humor to differentiate
  5. 5. Men and Women in Group Leadership VSMen are selected more often as leaders when randomly assigned.Men are more likely to emerge as leaders.Women are more likely to assume maintenance leadership roles or relational leadership roles.Women leaders are scrutinized more than men.
  6. 6. Findings Among Mixed Groups Mixed group research shows that Job satisfaction is higher in mixed sex groups than in single-sex groups, Men and women are less likely to behave according to gender stereotypes, Men and women possess similar levels of competitiveness, Communication differences between men and women occur relative to status and power rather than gender, and Sex differences decrease once leadership is assigned.
  7. 7. Feminist Perspective Implications Steps to reduce the gender gap: Acknowledge that gender bias in small groups and group research exists. Be aware of one’s gendered stereotypes and behaviors. Give women leaders a longer period of time in their role to reduce initial gendered judgments with time. Offer additional training for women to equalize their status. Focus on improving women’s status in all social situations.
  8. 8. Defining the Network Perspective People build networks to Identify themselves as belonging to others via the ties they build, Develop on the individual and collective levels, Regard people as a resource, and to Emphasize reciprocity and mutual gain. Two types of networks exist: Emergent (self-determined in-group ties)Network perspective adapted fromKatz, Lazer, Arrow, and Contractor (2005) and Externally prescribed (ties based on anDenning (2005). external organization, e.g. University)
  9. 9. Types of Network Ties Communication: who communicates with whom Formal: roles and report structures Affective: emotional liking or relational trust Material or Workflow: who allocates resources to whom Proximity: spatial or virtual closenessMultiplex Example: A student may share a Cognitive: who knowsformal, affective, and proximity tie with a whomprofessor or peer in class or in an extracurricularactivity.
  10. 10. Many Network Perspectives Exist Rational interest paradigm: people network to gain something from others. Social exchange and dependency theories: people network to exchange resources. Mutual interest: people network to share mutual interests. Collective action: people network to act together for a collective good. Transaction memory systems and cognitive consistency: people network to leverage their skills and expertise. Homophily: people network to affirm member similarity.
  11. 11. ReferencesDenning, S. (2005). The leaders guide to storytelling: mastering the art and the discipline of business and narrative. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Katz, N., Lazer, D., Arrow, H., & Contractor, N. (2005). The network perspective on small groups: theory and research. In M.S. Poole, & A.B. Hollingshead (Eds.), Theories of small groups: interdisciplinary perspectives. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Meyers, R.A., Berdahl, J.L., Brashers, D., Considine, J.R., Kelly, J.R., Moore, C., Peterson, J.L., & Spoor, J.R. (2005). Understanding groups from a feminist perspective. In M.S. Poole, & A.B. Hollingshead (Eds.), Theories of small groups: interdisciplinary perspectives. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Rae, M. (2006, January 2). Hands balance the weight [Photo]. Retrieved April 19, 2010, from http://www.flickr.com/photos/michaelarae/80983358/in/set- 1525839/The Huffington Post. Official Obama portrait released (PHOTO). Retrieved April 16, 2010, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/01/14/official-obama- portrait-r_n_157804.html

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