Sociology – Groups and Social Organization

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Social Group
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Two or more people who identify with and interact with one another
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Primary Group
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A small social group whose members share personal and lasting relationships
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Secondary Group
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A large and impersonal social group whose members pursue a specific goal or activity
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Instrumental Leadership
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Group leadership that focuses on the completion of tasks. Members look to instrumental leaders to make plans, give orders, and get things done.
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Expressive Leadership
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Group leadership that focuses on the group’s well-being. Expressive leaders take less interest in achieving goal’s than in raising group morale and minimizing tension and conflict among members.
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Authoritarian leadership
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Is a \”take charge\” style that demands obedience; Democratic leadership includes everyone in decision making; Laissez-faire leadership lets the group function mostly on its own.
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Group conformity
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The Asch, Milgram, and Janis research shows that group members often seek agreement an may pressure one another toward conformity. Individuals use reference groups – including in-groups and out-groups to form attitudes and make evaluations.
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Groupthink
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The tendency of group members to conform, resulting in a narrow view of some issue.
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Reference Group
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A social group that serves as a point of reference in making evaluations and decisions.
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In-group
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Is a social group toward which a member feels respect and loyalty. An in-group exists in relation to an out-group.
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Out-group
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A social group toward which a person feels a sense of competition or opposition. Many social groups follow this pattern.
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Group size and diversity
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Georg Simmel described the dyad as the intense and unstable; the triad, he said, is more stable but can dissolve into a dyad by excluding one member. Peter Blau claimed that larger groups turn inward, socially diverse groups turn outward, and physically segregated groups turn inward.
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Dyad
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A social group with two members.
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Triad
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A social group with three members.
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Networks
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Are relational webs that link people with little common identity and limited interaction. Being \”well connected\” in networks is a valuable type of social capital.
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Formal Organizations
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Are large secondary groups organized to achieve their goals efficiently.
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Utilitarian Organizations
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Pay people for their efforts (examples include a business or government agency)
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Normative Organizations
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Have goals people consider worthwhile (examples include voluntary associations such as the PTA)
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Coercive Organizations
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Are organizations people are forced to join (examples includes prisons and mental hospitals)
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Organizational Environment
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All formal organizations operate in an organizational environment which is influenced by technology/ political and economic trends/ current events/ population patterns/ other organizations. Factors outside an organization that affect its operation.
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Bureaucracy
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An organizational model rationally designed to perform tasks efficiently. Which Max Weber saw as the dominant type of organization in modern societies, is based on specialization/hierarchy of positions/ rules and regulations/ technical competence/ impersonality/ formal, written communications
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Problems of bureaucracy
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Include bureaucratic alienation/ bureaucratic inefficiency and ritualism (a focus on rules and regulations to the point of undermining an organization’s goals) / bureaucratic inertia (the tendency of bureacratic organizations to perpertuate themselves) / oligarchy (the rule of the many by the few)
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Scientific Management
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Frederick Taylor’s term for the application of scientific principles to the operation of a business or other large organization
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Conventional Bureaucracy
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In the early 1900’s, Frederick Taylor’s scientific management applied scientific principles to increase productivity.
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The Changing Nature of Work
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Recently, the rise of a post-industrial economy has created two very different types of work: Highly skilled and creative work (examples include designers, consultants, programmers, and executives) Low-skilled service work associated with the \”McDonaldization\” of society, based on efficiency, uniformity, and control (examples include jobs in fast-food restaurants and telemarketing)

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