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The Group in Society
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The Group in Society



July 2009 | 328 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
The Group in Society meets the challenges of teaching courses on small groups by revealing the full complexity of small groups and their place in society. It shows students the value of learning how to carefully study a group's history and context, rather than merely learning a fixed set of group participation skills. This text brings together disparate theories and research (from communication, social psychology, organizational and managerial studies, and sociology) in a way that helps students make sense of a complex body of scholarship on groups.

Features & Benefits
  • Part I – Theorizing Groups: builds a strong theoretical foundation, exploring social theory and the group, forming and joining groups, the life and death of the group, and changing society through group life
  • Part II – Understanding Groups in Context: explores the histories, purposes, memberships of a variety of groups—including juries, families, executive committees, study groups, and political action groups—thus enabling the student reader to speak clearly about group formation, norms, roles, tasks, and relationships. Detailed end-of-chapter case studies explicitly connect with the concepts, theories, and empirical findings introduced in each respective chapter; examples include the powerful group bonds of the modern terrorist cell; the wired network of groups in the anti-Globalization movement; and the deliberation of a jury in a murder trial

Teaching & Learning Ancillaries

  • Teaching resources are available at http://groupinsociety.la.psu.edu/ and include chapter summaries, discussion questions, and practical applications; a sample course schedule; Embedded Systems Framework PowerPoint slides; group project assignments, group project worksheets, and a group project description and contract; and links to useful Web resources such as small group teaching resources and active wikis on small groups.
  • An open-access student study site at www.sagepub.com/gastilstudy features e-flashcards, practice quizzes, and other resources to help students enhance their comprehension and improve their grade.

 
PART I. AN INTRODUCTION TO SMALL GROUPS
 
1. Small Groups Up Close
Understanding Groups

 
How We Learn About Groups

 
Putting the Pieces Together

 
Illustration: Terrorist Cells

 
 
2. Wiring Groups into Organizations and Society
Building a Theoretical Framework

 
The Embedded System Approach

 
Small Group Archetypes

 
Illustration: Self-Managed Work Teams

 
 
PART II. DISCUSSIONS AND DECISIONS
 
3. Making Group Decisions
Understanding the Modern Jury

 
Summary Model of Jury Deliberation

 
Agreements and Social Influence

 
Summary Decision Making Model

 
 
4. Establishing Discussion Procedures
The Group Network

 
Designing Discussion

 
Choose a Decision Rule

 
Summary Model of Emergent Structure

 
 
5. Guiding the Flow of Ideas and Information
Assembling a Task Force

 
Generating Creative Ideas

 
Gathering and Exchanging Information

 
 
PART III. ROLES, RELATIONSHIPS, AND IDENTITY
 
6. Leading the Team
Teamwork and Group Effectiveness

 
Loving the Leader

 
Negotiating Roles and Status

 
Summary Model: The Group as Microcosm

 
 
7. Forging Group Bonds
Groups Across the Lifespan

 
Banding Together and Tearing Apart

 
Cohesion and Harmony

 
Summary Model of Group Bonding

 
 
8. Shifting Social Identities
Maintaining Group Norms

 
Symbolic Life in Groups

 
Securing a Social Identity

 
Summary Model of Conflict and Convergence

 
 
9. Learning and Growing
Unconscious Group Behavior

 
Personal Growth

 
Summary Model of Group Learning

 
Group Development

 
 
PART IV. INTEGRATION AND CONCLUSION
 
10. The Power of Knowledge
Using Group Theory for Social Change

 
Reprising the Embedded System Framework

 
Final Questions and Insights

 

I will recommend this book to my students because it covers an important topic in more detail than our main course literature does. And it covers it in an easily understandable way.

Mr Peter Karlsson
Sch of Health & Social Sciences - HOS, Halmstad University
October 16, 2013

"The group in society" is a great book for both students and teachers. It is coherent, easy to read and understand, and it offers an interdisciplinary view on the matter of group dynamics. The disscution questions are a very ussefull tool for students, giving them the opportunity to check the level of their understanding of the problems disscused. The text comes with a free access Student Study Site, as well as online Instructor Resources - both of them very interesting and ussefull. I strongly recommend the book to both teachers and students!

Professor Claudia-Neptina Manea
Psychology, "Ovidius" University of Constanta
February 6, 2013

Liked the content organization and focus

Dr Joanne Joseph
Psychology, State University of New York Institute of Technology
August 28, 2012

I have already submitted feedback on this text

Mr Mark Timoney
Humanities , Sligo Institute of Technology
April 4, 2012

The book will require changes to the course, which we are not able to do this time. The book will be considered for later courses. Thanks.

Mr Vidar Schei
Strategy and Management, Norwegian School of Econ & Bus Admin
November 17, 2010

Not enough business relationship orientation.

Professor Pamela Sigafoose
MacArthur School of Leadership, Palm Beach Atlantic University
November 11, 2009

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