Chapter 5:Groups, Networks and Organizations Social groups form the building blocks for society and for most social interaction. The sociologist Georg Simmel argued that the key element in determining the form of social relations in a group is the size of the group. 1
Social Groups Dyad is the most intimate form of social life because the two members are mutually dependent on each other – if one member leaves the group, the group ceases to exist.
Social Groups ~ The Triad When a third person joins a dyad, that person can fill the role of: mediator – the conflict resolver. tertius gaudens — the person who profits from disagreement from the others. divide et impera (“divide and conquer”) — the individual who purposefully breaks up the other two. 3
Social Groups As group size increases, the number of possible relationships increase — in a group of three, three possible relationships exist, but in a group of four, six possible relationships exist. 4
Social Groups Georg Simmel C. H. Cooley Small Groups Primary Groups Parties Secondary Groups Large Groups Other Group Types — in-groups, out-groups, reference groupsSociologists call any group that individuals use as a standard forevaluating themselves and their own behavior a reference group.
Poll: What is the total number of contacts you...
The Power of Social Groups The Asch Test is an experiment developed in the 1940s that shows how much people are influenced by the actions or norms of a group.
From Groups to NetworksA social network is a set of relations — a set of dyads — held togetherby ties between individuals. A tie is a set of stories that explains our relationship to the other members of our network, while a narrative is the sum of the stories contained in a series of ties. 10
From Groups toNetworks Interview, Duncan WattsDuncan Watts describes his research on the small world phenomenon. 11
From Groups to NetworksEmbeddedness refers to the degree to which ties are reinforced through indirect paths within a social network. 12
Social Capital ‘Whereas physical capital refers to physical objects and humancapital refers to the properties of individuals, social capital refers to connections among individuals – social networks and the norms of reciprocity and trustworthiness that arise from them.” ~ Robert Putnam
From Groups to Networks Social Capital The information, knowledge of people or ideas, and connections that help individuals enter preexisting networks or gain power in them. High amounts of social capital in a community generally means that the community is tightly knit and can come together to face challenges and make improvements. 14
From Groups to Networks The Strength of Weak Ties A structural hole is a gap between network clusters (or even between two people) that would benefit from having the gap closed. Six Degrees of Separation Class Exercise on Social Networks
Structural Holes on the Netdiminishing the power of the middle man A Personal Account
Six Degrees of Separation Urban legend?Microsoft proves you ARE just six degrees of separation from anyone in the world
Organizations An organization is any social network that is defined by a common purposeand has a boundary between its membership and the rest of the social world. Organizational culture refers to the shared beliefs and behaviors within a social group. Organizational structure refers to the ways in which power and authority are distributed within an organization. Informal Formal 19
Three Sociological Perspectives Groups and Social Structure Conflict Functionalist Symbolic InteractionSocial structure are Social structures are •Social interactions existsexploitive. legitimate and acceptable. only in the minds of individuals and small groups. It is subjective,Groups and The structure itself voluntary and constantlyinstitutions exists for creates consensus. recreated.the protection of theelite. Social structures are •Social structure is based on stable and often small groups and individualsThere is conflict over bureaucratic. to create consensus.wealth, power andstatus.