Communication studies- Groups

Communication within groups

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Different types of roles

  • achieved- influenced by personal skills, abilities & efforts. It is a choice (e.g. student)
  • ascribed- doesn't involve much choice, it's given whether earned or not (e.g. human)
  • assigned- given to us by another, a senior group member (e.g. a rank in the forces)
  • assumed- adopted by our own intiative or lack of. (e.g. girlfriend)
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Primary groups

  • Schein (1980) defines primary groups as any number of people who: interact with each other, psychologically aware of each other, percieve themselves as a group
  • They tend to be seen as: having regular contact, fairly small (20 max), involving co-operation, sharing common goals, knowing who all members of the group are, general idea of everyones roles in the group are.
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Secondary groups

Larger and more impersonal (school, county): don't know everyones name, don't share common goals

There are primary groups within secondary groups

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Reference groups

Set the norms of how we are meant to live by

comparisons which help us develop our personal behaviours and social attitudes

can be positive and negative (like role models)

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Stages in group development

Argyle (1983) described 4 stages in the life and work of groups:

  • formation
  • rebellion
  • norming
  • co-operation

Tucker (1965) had already termed the stages: forming, storming, norming and performing.

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Social identity theory

Social identity theory

IN and OUT groups. IN groups are your positively viewed groups and OUT groups are the negatively viewed groups.

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Goals within groups

Goals within groups

  • Extrinsic- money, social recognition
  • Intrinsic- self concept needs, community and belonging
  • Task
  • Socio-emotional
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Group leadership styles

Lewin (1939) identified 3 different styles of leadership: autocratic, democratic, laissez-faire

  • autocratic (authortarian); leader makes decisions without consulting group, can be successful
  • democratic; leader involves the group in decision making, leader may have final say or sometimes it is a vote, group members tend to appreciate this type of leadership more than the autocratic style, problems can arise when there is a wide range of opinions
  • Laissez-faire; (french phase meaning let do); minimises leaders involvement, decision made by anyone in the group, leader would only get involved when asked, can work when group capable of making their own decisions
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