SOCIETIES AND THEIR TRANSFORMATION
What is a group?
How is technology linked to the change from one type of society to another?
How is social inequality linked to the transformation of societies?
Sociologist use many definitions of groups, but, in general, GROUPS consist of people who interact with one another and think of themselves as belonging together, SOCIETIES the largest and most complex group that sociologists study. P 148
On their way to postindustrial society, humans passed through four types of societies, Each emerged from a social revolution that was lined to new technology. The DOMESTICATION REVOLUTION, which brought the pasturing of animals and the cultivation of plants, transformed HUNTING AND GATHERING SOCIETIES into PASTORAL and HORTICULTURAL SOCIETIES. Then the invention of the powered by fuels, led to INDUSTRIAL SOCIETY. The computer chip ushered in a new type of society called POSTINDUSTRIAL (or INFORMATION) SOCIETY. Another new type of society, the BIOTECH SOCIETY, may be emerging. Pp 148-154
Social equality was greatest in hunting and gathering societies, but as societies changed social inequality grew. The root of the transition to social inequality was the accumulation of a food surplus, made possible through the domestication revolution. This surplus stimulated the division of labor, trade, the accumulation of material goods, the subordination of females by males, the emergence of leaders, and the development of the state Pp 150-151
GROUP WITHIN SOCIETY
How do sociologists classify groups?
Sociologists divide groups into primary groups, secondary groups, in-groups, out-groups, reference groups, and networks, The cooperative, intimate, long-term, face-to-face relationships provided by PRIMARY GROUPS are fundamental to our sense of self. SECONDARY GROUPS are larger, relatively temporary, and more anonymous, formal, and impersonal than IN-GROUPS provide members with a strong sense of identity and belonging. OUT-GROUPS also foster identity by showing in-group members what they are not. REFERENCE GROUPS are groups whose standards we refer to as we evaluate ourselves. SOCIAL NETWORKS consist of social ties that link people together. Developments in communication technology have given birth to a new type of group. the ELECTRONIC COMMUNITY. Pp 155-160
How does a group's size affects its dynamics?
What characterizes a leader?
What are three leadership styles?
How do groups encourage conformity?
The term GROUP DYNAMICS refers to how individuals affect groups and how groups influence individuals. In a SMALL GROUP, everyone can interact directly with everyone else. As a group grows larger, its intensity decreases but its stability increases. A DYAD, consisting of two people, is the most unstable of human groups, but it provides the most intense intimate relationships. The addition of a third person, forming a TRIAD, fundamentally alter relationships, Triads are unstable, as COALITIONS (the alignment of some members of a group against others) tend to form. Pp 161-163
A LEADER is someone who influences others. INSTRUMENTAL LEADERS try to keep a group moving toward its goals, even though this causes friction and they lose popularity. EXPRESSIVE LEADERS focus on creating harmony and raising group morale. Both types are essential to the functioning of groups. Pp 163-164
AUTHORIZATION LEADERS give orders, DEMOCRATIC LEADERS try to lead by consensus, and LAISSEZ-FAIRE LEADERS are highly permissive. An authoritarian style appears to be more effective in emergency situations, a democratic style works best for most situations, and a laissez-faire style is usually ineffective. Pp 164-165
These Asch experiment was cited to illustrate the power of peer pressure the Milgram experiment to illustrate the influence of authority. Both experiments demonstrate how easily we can succumb to GROUPTHINK, a kind of collective tunnel vision. Preventing groupthink requires the free circulation of diverse and opposing ideas. Pp 165-169