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Group: Definition We mean by a group a number of persons who communicate with one another often over a span of time,

and who are few enough so that each person is able to communicate with all the others, not at second-hand, through other people, but faceto-face. George Homans (1950: 1) To put it simply they are units composed of two or more persons who come into contact for a purpose and who consider the contact meaningful. Theodore M. Mills (1967: 2) A group is a collection of individuals who have relations to one another that make them interdependent to some significant degree. As so defined, the term group refers to a class of social entities having in common the property of interdependence among their constituent members. Dorwin Cartwright and Alvin Zander (1968: 46) Descriptively speaking, a psychological group is defined as one that is psychologically significant for the members, to whom they relate themselves subjectively for social comparison and the acquisition of norms and values, that they privately accept membership in, and which influences their attitudes and behaviour. John C Turner (1987: 1-2) A group exists when two or more people define themselves as members of it and when its existence is recognized by at least one other. Rupert Brown (1988: 2-3) Groups consist of people interacting with one another and who are socially attracted to each other, most likely because they share common goals and have a shared identity. This shared identity is what distinguishes the group from other groups and contributes to the group dynamics. Individuals join groups for many different reasons. Some reasons might be that the individual feels: the group shares common goals, they need a purpose, there are rewards when being in a group, etc. The individuals role in a group is important to the group dynamics. Defining Group Work Groups may be defined in many ways, indeed providing an absolute definition of a group, as with much of the theory around group work, is highly problematic and contestable. However for the purposes of discussing group-work within a context of working with young people we may define a group as a small gathering of young people. Group work may simplistically be described as the study and application of the processes and outcomes experienced when a small group comes together. Konopka (1963) defines group-work as a method of social work that is utilized in order to `help individuals to enhance their social functioning through purposeful group experiences, and to cope more effectively with their personal, group or community problems`. This definition shows a tradition within group-work of helping individuals

with problems. Brown provides a modernized and more comprehensive definition of group work (1994, p.8). He states that `group-work provides a context in which individuals help each other; it is a method of helping groups as well as helping individuals; and it can enable individuals and groups to influence and change personal, group, organizational and community problems` (original emphasis). He goes on to distinguish between `relatively small and neighborhood centered` work and `macro, societal and political approaches` within community work, explaining that only the former may be properly classified as group-work. Thus the role of group work can be seen as one which places emphasis on sharing of thoughts, ideas, problems and activities.

Group formation
Group formation starts with a psychological bond between individuals. The social cohesion approach suggests that group formation comes out of bonds of interpersonal attraction. In contrast, the social identity approach (rooted in Social Identity Theory and Self-categorization Theory) suggests that a group starts when a collection of individuals perceive that they share some social category (smokers, nurses, students, hockey players), and that interpersonal attraction only secondarily enhances the connection between individuals. Additionally, from the social identity approach, group formation involves both identifying with some individuals and explicitly not identifying with others. So to say, a level of psychological distinctiveness is necessary for group formation. Through interaction, individuals begin to develop group norms, roles, and attitudes which define the group, and are internalized to influence behavior. Emergent groups arise from a relatively spontaneous process of group formation. For example, in response to a natural disaster, an emergent response group may form. These groups are characterized as having no preexisting structure (e.g. group membership, allocated roles) or prior experience working together. Yet, these groups still express high levels of interdependence and coordinate knowledge, resources, and tasks. The minimal group paradigm is perhaps the simplest process required for group formation to occur. Commonly used in social psychological research, an individual can be brought into a laboratory and told that she will be assigned to a group based on trivial and inconsequential criteria. For example, the result of flipping a coin, or on her preference for one of two relatively abstract paintings (commonly, one by Klee and the other by Kandinsky). In this case, individuals are not actually grouped based on their painting preference, but are instead randomly assigned to one of two groups. Individuals have no interaction with other group members, and have no interaction with members of the other group. However, on a decision-making task in which

rewards are to be distributed either to an individuals own group or to the other group, individuals will frequently show ingroup bias; allocating rewards in a way that favors their own group; expressing more positive attitudes towards members of their own group; and believing that members of their group have more pleasant personalities, and produce better work than members of the other group. These behavioral responses suggest that a group has been psychologically formed within the individual. Group membership and social identity The social group is a critical source of information about individual identity. An individuals identity (or self-concept) has two components: personal identity and social identity (or collective self). Ones personal identity is defined by more idiosyncratic, individual qualities and attributes. In contrast, ones social identity is defined by his or her group membership, and the general characteristics (or prototypes) that define the group and differentiate it from others. We naturally make comparisons between our own group and other groups, but we do not necessarily make objective comparisons. Instead, we make evaluations that are self-enhancing, emphasizing the positive qualities of our own group (see in-group bias). In this way, these comparisons give us a distinct and valued social identity that benefits our selfesteem. Our social identity and group membership also satisfies a need to belong. Of course, individuals belong to multiple groups. Therefore, ones social identity can have several, qualitatively distinct parts (for example, ones ethnic identity, religious identity, and political identity). Optimal distinctiveness theory suggests that individuals have a desire to be similar to others, but also a desire to differentiate themselves, ultimately seeking some balance of these two desires (to obtain optimal distinctiveness). For example, one might imagine a young teenager in the United States who tries to balance these desires, not wanting to be just like everyone else, but also wanting to fit it and be similar to others. Ones collective self may offer a balance between these two desires. That is, to be similar to others (those who you share group membership with), but also to be different from others (those who are outside of your group).

Group cohesiveness
One of the most basic properties of a group is its cohesiveness (solidarity, esprit de corps, team spirit, morale) the way it hangs together as a tightly knit selfcontained entity, characterized by uniformity of conduct and belief and by mutual support among members. Cohesiveness is a variable property: some groups are more cohesive than others, and the same group can be more or less cohesive in different contexts and at different times. Groups with extremely low levels of cohesiveness appear hardly to be groups at all, and so the term may also capture the very essence

of being a group the psychological process that transforms an aggregate of unrelated individuals into a social group. Cohesiveness is, therefore, a descriptive term used to describe a property of the group as a whole. But it is also a psychological term to describe the individual psychological process underlying the cohesiveness of groups and the psychology of group membership. Herein lies a problem it makes sense to say that a group is cohesive, but not that an individual is cohesive. After almost a decade of informal usage, cohesiveness was first formally defined by Festinger, Schachter, and Back (1950) . They believed that a psychological field of forces, deriving from the attractiveness of the group and its members and the degree to which the group helps to achieve individual goals, acts upon the individual. In the social sciences, group cohesion refers to the processes that keep members of a social group connected. Terms such as attraction, solidarity, and morale are often used to describe group cohesion. It is thought to be one of the most important characteristics of a group, and has been linked to group performance, intergroup conflict and therapeutic change. Group cohesion, as a scientifically studied property of groups, is commonly associated with Kurt Lewin and his student, Leon Festinger. Lewin defined group cohesion as the willingness of individuals to stick together, and believed that without cohesiveness a group could not exist. As an extension of Lewins work, Festinger (along with Stanley Schachter and Kurt Back) described cohesion as, the total field of forces which act on members to remain in the group (Festinger, Schachter, & Back, 1950, p. 37). Later, this definition was modified to describe the forces acting on individual members to remain in the group, termed attraction to the group. Since then, several models for understanding the concept of group cohesion have been developed, including Albert Carrons hierarchical modeland several bi-dimensional models (vertical v. horizontal cohesion, task v. social cohesion, belongingness and morale, and personal v. social attraction). Before Lewin and Festinger, there were, of course, descriptions of a very similar group property. For example, Emile Durkheim described two forms of solidarity (mechanical and organic), which created a sense of collective conscious and an emotion-based sense of community. Group influence on individual behavior Individual behavior is influenced by the presence of others. For example, studies have found that individuals work harder and faster when others are present (see social facilitation), and that an individuals performance is reduced when others in the situation create distraction or conflict. Groups also influence individuals decisionmaking processes. These include decisions related to in group bias, persuasion (see Asch conformity experiments), obedience (see Milgram Experiment), and groupthink.

There are both positive and negative implications of group influence on individual behavior. This type of influence is often useful in the context of work settings, team sports, and political activism. However, the influence of groups on the individual can also generate extremely negative behaviors, evident in Nazi Germany, the My Lai Massacre,and in the Abu Ghraib prison.

Types of groups
There are various ways of classifying groups, for example in terms of their purpose or structure, but two sets of categories have retained their usefulness for both practitioners and researchers. They involve the distinctions between:

Primary and secondary groups; and Planned and emergent groups.

Primary and secondary groups Charles Horton Cooley (1909) established the distinction between 'primary groups' and 'nucleated groups' (now better known as secondary groups): Primary groups are clusters of people like families or close friendship circles where there is close, face-to-face and intimate interaction. There is also often a high level of interdependence between members. Primary groups are also the key means of socialization in society, the main place where attitudes, values and orientations are developed and sustained. Secondary groups are those in which members are rarely, if ever, all in direct contact. They are often large and usually formally organized. Trades unions and membership organizations such as the National Trust are examples of these. They are an important place for socialization, but secondary to primary groups. This distinction remains helpful especially when thinking about what environments are significant when considering socialization (the process of learning about how to become members of society through internalizing social norms and values; and by learning through performing our different social roles). The distinction helps to explain the limited impact of schooling in important areas of social life (teachers rarely work in direct way with primary groups) and of some of the potential of informal educators and social pedagogues (who tend to work with both secondary and primary groups - sometimes with families, often with close friendship circles). Planned and emergent groups alongside discussion of primary and secondary groups, came the recognition that groups tend to fall into one of two broad categories:

Planned groups. Planned groups are specifically formed for some purpose either by their members, or by some external individual, group or organization. Emergent groups. Emergent groups come into being relatively spontaneously where people find themselves together in the same place, or where the same collection of people gradually comes to know each other through conversation and interaction over a period of time. (Cartwright and Zander 1968). As Forsyth (2006: 6) has put it People found planned groups, but they often find emergent groups. Sometimes writers use the terms 'formed' groups and 'natural groups' to describe the same broad distinction but the term 'natural' is rather misleading. The development of natural groups might well involve some intention on the part of the actors. More recently the distinction between formed and emergent groups has been further developed by asking whether the group is formed by internal or external forces. Thus, Arrow et. al (2000) have split planned groups into concocted (planned by people and organizations outside the group) and founded (planned by a person or people who are in the group). They also divided emergent groups into circumstantial (unplanned and often temporary groups that develop when external forces bring people together e.g. people in a bus queue) and self-organizing (where people gradually cooperate and engage with each other around some task or interest). Some benefits and dangers of groups As can be seen from what we have already reviewed, groups offer people the opportunity to work together on joint projects and tasks - they allow people to develop more complex and larger-scale activities. We have also seen that groups can be:

Significant sites of socialization and education enabling people to develop a sense of identity and belonging, and to deepen knowledge, skills, and values and attitudes. Places where relationships can form and grow, and where people can find help and support. settings where wisdom flourishes. As James Suriwiecki (2004) has argued, it is often the case that 'the many are smarter than the few'.

However, there is a downside to all this. The socialization they offer might be highly constraining and oppressive for some of their members. They can also become environments that foster interpersonal conflict. Furthermore, the boundaries drawn around groups are part of a process of excluding certain people (sometimes to their detriment) and creating inter-group conflict. There is also evidence to show that groups can impact upon individuals in ways that warp their judgements and that lead to damaging decision making (what some commentators have talked about as 'groupthink').

For these reasons we need to be able to appreciate what is going on in groups - and to act where we can to make them more fulfilling and beneficial to their members and to society as a whole. Stages of Group Development Groups, like individuals are each unique with their own experiences and expectations. However many commentators studying group development and dynamics have recognized that group development, as a generalization, is more predictable than individual behavior. Thus many theories of group stage development have been cultivated, some linear, others more cyclical, and it must be stressed that no definitive model of group stage development exists. Two of the most useful theories of group stage development are those discussed by Tuckman (1965), and Rogerss paper on encounter groups (1967). These models, like others (for example Heap, 1977) propose that as groups develop and change they pass through stages which may be conceptualized. Tuckmans model has been used extensively within youth work theory and practice and is an excellent model for attempting to analyze individual and group behavior. A brief synopsis of each stage is outlined below, with examples from personal practice. Stage 1: Forming the first stage of this group process is joining, referred to as engagement by Rogers. This phase involves significant testing, and trial and error. Initial concerns about openness and support within the group are manifested by a lack of cohesion and a difficulty in sharing thoughts, feelings and experiences with each other. An internal appraisal of group value and how each individual belongs to the group are key features of this stage. Anxiety, isolation, inadequacy and frustration are common emotions felt by group members at this early stage in the life of a group, as well as being emotionally threatened by members of the group who are perceived to be stronger or better. Thus the group seeks to create a comfort zone in which individuals are not keen to upset the status quo for fear of alienation. Oppressive behavior is least likely within the formation stage of a group as individuals generally look to create a comfort zone and do not wish to rock the boat. Often frustrations will be built upon between individuals who disagree strongly, but this will generally not surface until storming begins. A knowledge and understanding of the feelings and emotions felt by group members in this stage is helpful, if not essential, to the effective structuring of a programme to work towards the desired outcome for the group. For example both the YAM and PTV groups I had experience with were set up to encourage social interaction and personal development. Having an awareness of group stage theory enabled my colleagues and me to structure the early encounters for the groups to be; a) Fun and enjoyable to encourage continued attendance;

b)

Relaxed - offering the promotion of effective communication and allowing members to get to know each other a little whilst gaining in confidence and trust.

To this end ice breakers, introduction and communication exercisers such as those provided by Brandes and Phillips (1979), Bond (1986), Leech and Wooster (1986) and Dearling and Armstrong (1994) were used. As Dynes describes `[games] stimulate the imagination, make people resourceful and help develop social ability and cooperation` (Dynes, 1990). Stage 2: Storming this stage sees group members begin to confront each other as they begin to vie for roles within the group that will help them to belong and to feel valued. Thus as members begin to assert their individual personalities, the comfort of the forming stage begins to come under siege. Members experience personal, intra and inter group conflicts. Aggression and resentment may manifest in this stage and thus if strong personalities emerge and leadership is unresponsive to group and individual needs, the situation may become destructive to the groups development. Indeed there is a high potential for individuals to abandon the group during this stage, as for some the pressures created by the group may become too much of a strain. The potential for oppressive behavior is strong within the storming phase as group members vie for preferred roles and release frustrations built within the forming period. This personal oppression should be discouraged whilst it is understood that a degree of conflict is necessary if the group is to further develop. In the YAM group this stage was represented by a rebellious streak within the young people and much of the storming was directed towards the adult leaders. Boundaries within the group were tested as the group explored how far they would be allowed to go and what they could get away with. One or two individuals in turn challenged this behavior as they felt it was unfair and could jeopardize future activities. The PTV groups storming phase was altogether different. Two of the group with strong personalities began to vie for intra-group leadership. Each used their own abilities to strengthen their claim to lead the group, whilst also sabotaging and undermining the others efforts in an attempt to usurp the leadership role. This situation caused a degree of infighting and at one point created two sub-groups, one following each of the `pretender` leaders. It is important to be aware that conflict will take place within all groups, and if handled well this conflict can produce benefits for the group in terms of development, objective and task setting, and ultimate outcome. Thus conflict is not inherently something to be feared or avoided.

Stage 3: Norming During this stage the group begins to work more constructively together towards formal identified or informal tasks. Roles begin to develop and be allocated within the group and although these may be accepted, some members may not be comfortable with the role or roles which they have been allocated. During this stage sub-groups are likely to form in order that a supportive environment is once more created. Acceptable and unacceptable behaviors within the group are created and reinforced and thus the `norms` for this group become fabricated. The storming and norming phases of group development are inextricably linked, as it is often through the storming and challenging that acceptable group norms become set. It is important that a youth worker works hard during this stage to ensure oppression against individuals within the group do not become the acceptable norm, as then all group members will oppress these individuals. Thus, individual oppressions must be challenged and emphasis placed on challenging attitudes and opinions but not group members. The YAM group settled into group norms quite quickly; however some of the roles that were adopted were challenged by the co-leaders as they were seen to be obstructive to the group and individuals objectives. One young person (J.) who was often badly behaved at school, was previously known to other group members. As these young people expected poor behavior from J. this was the role which he adopted. This was challenged within the group context and it was pointed out that alternatives to this behavior were available. Stage 4: Performing this stage sees the group performing effectively with defined roles, in fact at this stage it could be said that the group has transformed into a team. It is now that decisions may be positively challenged or reinforced by the group as a whole. The discomfort of the storming and norming phases has been overcome and the group has a general feeling of unity. This is the best stage for a group to complete tasks, assuming that task, rather than process and individuals, are the focus of the group. An excellent example of performing within the PTV group came during a residential week. One of the groups (A.) admitted to a fear of heights and thus did not want to take part in an abseiling exercise. The whole group supported this decision but offered encouragement and support in order to promote participation. One individual (M.) spent time and energy showing leadership and helped A. to overcome his fears. A. took part in the abseil, being assisted by M. and encouraged by the whole group. Potential exists within this stage for oppression to begin if one or more group members does not appear to fit in with the groups view of its task, or is not performing as effectively as expected. Again it is important to challenge this if it

occurs and to show how each member can benefit the group, through achievement of task, leadership, reviewing, moving on, or by monitoring the groups process. Stage 5: Mourning the final stage in the life of a group ultimately is its termination. Though often overlooked, this stage in group development is equally important to positive outcomes. The ending of a group can be a very unhappy and distressing time for some members, as they may feel some extent of dependency on the group. Garland et al. describe some of the typical responses to the ending phase as: Denial `forgetting` the time of the groups termination. Regression reverting to a less independent state of functioning. Need expression in the hope the group will continue. Recapitulation detailed recall of past experiences within the group. Evaluation detailed discussion on the value of the group experience. Flight destructive denial of any positive benefit of the group, or a positive disengagement towards other interests.

Potential exists within this stage for members to be oppressed as scapegoats, that is blamed or at fault for the ending of the group. This can be minimized by constant focusing and refocusing on group end points and staged celebrations of group achievements.

Some key dimensions of groups


Those engaged in the systematic exploration of group processes and dynamics have used different ways of observing group behaviour and gaining insight into the experience of being part of groups. Some have tried for more of an insider view using participant observation and conversation. Perhaps the best known example of this was William F. Whytes (1943) study of street corner society. Others have used more covert forms of observation, or looked to structured and overt observation and interviews. A classic example of the sort of scheme that has been used when looking at groups in more structured ways is Robert Freed Bales (1950) IPA system (Interaction Process Analysis) with its 12 different ways of coding group behaviour e.g. shows solidarity, agrees, asks for opinion and so on. All this research, and the contrasting orientations informing it, has generated different ideas about what to look out for in groups and, in particular, the forces impacting upon group processes and dynamics. I want to highlight five:

Group interaction Group interdependence Group structure Group goals Group cohesion

There are various ways of organizing and naming the significant qualities but I have found this approach (taken from Donelson R. Forsyth 1990: 8-12; 2006: 10-16) to be the most helpful way to start exploration 1) Group interaction Those involved with researching and working with groups have often come at interaction the way in which people engage with and influence each other - from contrasting perspectives. As we have already seen, Bales (1950, 1999) looked at categorizing social interventions in terms of the ways in which they appear to impact on group process and in particular the extent to which they looked to getting on with the job or having regard for others (Brown 1988: 19). This distinction has turned out to be one of the most enduring features of much that has been written about group work. Task interaction can be seen as including all group behaviour that is focussed principally on the groups work, projects, plans and goals (Forsyth 2006: 10). Relationship interaction (or socio-emotional interaction) is centred around the social and interpersonal aspects of group life.

This distinction has found its way into different aspects of practice for example when thinking about leadership in groups (whether leaders focus on structure and task actions, or on the feelings and needs of the group members) (see, in particular, Hersey and Blanchard 1977). Thus actions can be categorized into whether they are concerned with task or maintenance (sometimes also described respectively as instrumental or expressive interventions) (Brown 1994: 71). 2) Group interdependence As Robert S Baron et. al. (2003: 139) have argued it is a basic feature of groups that group members outcomes often depend not only on their own actions, but also on the actions of others in the group. One members feelings, experiences and actions can come to be influenced in whole or in part by others. In all this it is also helpful to take up a distinction formulated by Morton Deutsch (1949) (one of Lewins graduate students) when looking at cooperation and competition in groups. He contrasted social interdependence - which exists when people share common goals and each person's outcomes are affected by the actions of others - with social dependence where the outcomes of one person are affected by the actions of a second person but not vice versa (Johnson and Johnson 2003: 94). 3) Group goals An obvious, but sometimes overlooked, factor in group processes and dynamics is the reason why the group exists. What does it do for its members? What is its object? How did it come to be created? As Alvin Zander (1985: 1-13) has shown, the form that a group takes is often heavily dependent on its purpose. Moreover, a group will often have several and possibly conflicting purposes which can then become expressed as tensions between members. Group goals are ideals they are the ends (the aims or the outcomes) sought by the group and its members. They entail some sort of joint vision (Johnson and Johnson 2003: 73). Without some commitment to the pursuit of common goals the group will not survive or be effective (Benson 2001: 66). Of great significance then is what might be called goal structure. Here a key distinction is between cooperative and competitive goal structures: A co-operative goal structure develops when the individual goals of members are visible and similar A competitive goal structure emerges where the individual goals of members are hidden or seen as different or opposed. (Benson 2001: 67) Hidden agendas can be very destructive and lead to conflict in the group. 4) Group cohesion Forsyth (2006: 13) makes the point that Groups are not merely sets of aggregated, independent individuals; instead they are unified social entities. Groups cannot be reduced down to the level of the individual without losing information about the group unit, as a whole. The notion of group cohesion the forces or bonds that bind

individuals to the collectively - is fundamental to an appreciation of groups. In some groups the power of the bonds, the feelings that group members have for each other and the extent to which they are prepared to cooperate to achieve their goals will be slight. In others these may be seen as strong. Here the word seen is significant for it may well be that a group is not experienced by its members as particularly cooperative, for example, but they, and those looking on, may believe it to be a social entity, a whole. In recent years there has been a growing literature around group entitativity - the degree to which something appears to be a unified entity. Another way of thinking about this is as the groupness of the people you might be observing in a particular situation (Brown 1999). It was Donald T. Campbell (1958) who first used the term entitativity. He argued that when groups become real they possess the characteristics of entities (Forsyth 2006: 15). Campbell based his analysis on explorations into how the mind works when deciding when something is to be approached as a whole (a gestalt or something that cannot be described as the sum of its parts) or a random collection of unrelated elements (Forsyth 2006: 15). When looking at people together in particular places (what he calls the aggregate) Campbell concluded that we depend on three main cues to make judgements about entitativity:

Common fate the extent to which individuals in the aggregate seem to experience the same, or interrelated outcomes. Similarity the extent to which the individuals display the same behaviours or resemble one another. Proximity the distance among individuals in the aggregate (or group). (described in Forsyth 2006: 15)

We might look, thus, at people seated around a table in a caf or bar we look at the extent to which they join in things together e.g. laughing, discussing; whether they acting in a similar way or have something in common e.g. in the way they dress, the things they have with them; and how closely they are sitting together.

Group Leadership and Decision Making


Effective groups should promote the value of all of its constituent members. One of the keys to establishing this end is competent leadership. Leadership can be and has been defined in many ways. It is seen as ` the act of commanding and directing, the actions of leaders, the process by which groups achieve their goals, the antithesis of followership` (Sessoms and Stevenson, 1981, p. 5). Leadership can be seen as the act of `moving people towards goal achievement`, and may be viewed as an interaction between leaders, followers and goals. So `In a broad sense, leadership may be described as influence` (Barker et al, 1979, p. 224), thus the individual who will often be seen as the leader of a youth group, that is the

adult, often may in fact not be the most influential member of the group. Fundamentally within youth work we must recognize the `possibility of all members contributing to the process by which groups seek and achieve goals` (Barker et al, 1979, p. 226-229). Thus leadership is a dynamic variable and any `person who performs actions which move a group toward its goal and/or maintain the group more frequently and more effectively than other group members` may be identified as group leaders (Barker et al, 1979, ibid.). Leadership is often described within a context of three differing styles, laissez faire, democratic and autocratic (or authoritarian). Simplistically the three styles can be described as; Laissez faire letting members do pretty much as they please without the leader offering judgment on other members decisions. This works best when a well functioning group, i.e. one than may be in a performing phase, is working towards a well defined task. This method is exceptionally difficult if more than a handful of group members are present and is often used within sub-groups developed to perform specific sub-tasks. For example the PTV team would use this style for brainstorming specific ideas for projects, as the non-judgemental attitude facilitated more group responses. Democratic consultation and discussion takes place before decisions are made. This allows group members to have their say but does not guarantee that these feelings will be acted upon. This style is an ideal method of leadership within youth work as the group is more likely to contribute to the decision making process and also the group is more likely to buy-in to decisions which are made. Again this style works best with smaller groups, the larger the group the longer the decision making processes will tend to become. It is often preferable to separate a very large group into subgroups to ensure all have a chance to input into decision making and then reconvene all group members into a plenary session where all ideas can be fed back and shared, resulting in an ultimate group decision. This style was used within the PTV group in order to achieve a shared sense of belonging within the group and to get all the members to `buy-in` to completing the tasks in hand. Autocratic or authoritarian one leader is the sole person involved in making decisions within the group, the information is passed on to the group rather than options being discussed openly. This is a style that I have personally seldom used as it is not ideal for achieving the educational aims of youth work. However I am aware that very large groups may find an autocratic leader can speed up a decision making process. This can be important when issues such as the groups physical safety are involved, for example if a group is on expedition on the side of a mountain and the weather becomes rough, it may become necessary to enforce a quick decision to retreat, to ensure group safety. The process of this decision making can then be evaluated and debated once the group is in a safe setting.

How Groups Work: Evolutionary Theory suggests that humans evolved into a species that is best equipped for survival when it functions in groups. Groups allow for critical support mechanisms that increase the chance of survival for all group members. For this reason it is only natural that humans today either unconsciously or consciously form or flock towards groups. Groups, however, do not possess these survival benefits without important costs such as inter and intra group competition, inter and intra group conflict, and social shielding from others outside of the group. Through this paper I will discuss the evolution of groups through how groups form, individuals roles within a group, intergroup relations and lastly, how groups can change. In doing so this paper will attempt to understand how some groups can sometimes commit great wrongs, while other groups achieve great goals. I will use my experiences with a specific diversity workshop group, Tri-Co Summer Institute, and explain some of its group dynamics to try and improve the program. The study of group dynamics can shed light on how to increase diversity in a community and how to combat the negative aspects that arise from certain group dynamics of groups with strong similarities and goals. One diversity programs, Tri-Co Summer Institute, consist of creating leaders out of the minorities so that the minorities can educate their communities on issues of diversity. Diversity programs are extremely positive in many respects; however, based on group dynamics, it is possible for a group that is solely based on multi-culturalism and where individuals are immersed into the group creates strong group ties that can create a stronger divide between the in-group and out-group. It is possible that groups created to battle diversity issues might, in turn, depending on its group dynamics, create segregation. For example, the Tri-Co Summer Institutes mission statement is to giv[e] first year students of color the introductory knowledge and experience they need in order to excel in the curricular and co-curricular spheres of their home institution (as cited in Sgobbo & Song, 2003). This mission statement already creates segregation between the students of color and assumes that students of color will not be able to succeed within their communities whereas students of the majority will. These goals of the group impact the group dynamics in either positive or negative ways. It is important for these diversity groups to be aware of the impact that the members will have on one another and the outside community. For these groups, it is important to break down the group dynamics to further understand the negative things that can arise out of groups that have strong ties with each other and are fighting for an important cause. These groups are extremely important to communities such as Bryn Mawr College, but they would be more

effective of achieving their goals if they were aware of how the group dynamics can interact. Looking at their group dynamics, in general, can help the group overcome the pitfalls of groups in general, therefore being able to successfully accomplish their goals. The study of groups in a psychological manner was first founded by Kurt Lewin (1943), which consisted of explaining the way small groups and individuals act and react to different circumstances; he called this group dynamics. Group dynamics is based on group processes that develop within a group that is not present in a random collection of individuals. The processes develop through the interactions and influences between individuals and the group. A group is a special circumstance that consists of two or more individuals who are connected through common goals and a shared identity. These individuals interact with, and have strong social attractions to, one another; therefore, developing certain processes which, in turn, affect the group and its members. It is important to look at group dynamics of all groups to understand group behaviors. Why are some groups capable of accomplishing positive goals (Habitat for Humanity) and other groups capable of accomplishing negative goals (Nazis)? Looking at the different processes that develop within a group, the group dynamics could help one understand how and why it is possible that, in certain situations, groups can evolve to act and behave immorally. Whether a group works well together is multi-factorial. It depends on the members, the environment and the group tasks. The groups cohesion depends on the extent that the individuals in the group want to accomplish the groups common goals and group identity. The cohesion of a group is an important factor that could help explain the groups behavior and its inter-group relations. The elements of cohesion are the members attraction to the group, normative influence, informational influence, and outside sources in the world (McCauley, Class notes). A cohesive group consists of having a common identity, a sense of shared purpose and a structured pattern of communication (Carron, 1980). Cohesion can be seen through many different factors such as the similarities of the group members, the satisfaction and support of other group members, and the size and stability of the group. These factors that affect cohesion, are also affected by the way members of the group interact with one another and the environment. Usually the attraction towards the group can consist of the individual having the same group goals and/or wanting social relations and support from people who are similar. The more similar the members (age, sex, race, attitudes) of the group are, the higher the cohesion. Similarity within a group gives the group a common identity in which the members can all relate and the more categories the members of the group have in common, the stronger the

common identity. This common identity empowers the group to create group norms that all members of the group are expected to fulfill through their attitudes, beliefs and behaviors. If members of the group are not fulfilling their duty to follow the group norms, then this can affect cohesion. (McCauley, Class notes & Handouts) The extent at which members of a group feel pleased with each others contribution to the group, impacts cohesion. The group members compare each others contributions, goals, behaviors, etc. to the group norms to make sure everyone is behaving, performing and conforming to the group norms. If the group members are satisfied with each others abilities to follow the group norms, the cohesion of the group is high. A group consisting of members who conform to the group norms on every aspect increases the satisfaction of the group members on each other, therefore increasing cohesion. This is important because group members who do not follow the group norms could negatively impact the groups satisfaction-based cohesion. Group cohesion is also associated with the size, support and stability of the group. Group Size A small group that has distinct leaders that have been around for a long time, can increase the cohesion of the group through members feeling stable and satisfied. The small group creates a closer bond between members because they are able to interact with every person within the group, even the leaders, which makes the members feel like they belong. The personal interactions with the leaders and the members of a small group with common goals, increases the cohesion of the group by making the members feel like they have positive support and a purpose within the group. Over time, if the members of the group remain the same, cohesion will also increase. A group that contains the majority of the original members has a strong bond and feeling of stability which is increases over time. The history of a group being together for a long time gives its members, old or new, a feeling of stability and security. Group members that have been in a group for a long time are considered leaders and are highly regarded because of their knowledge and past experience in the group. This creates a hierarchy of roles; seniority is at the top that members of the group fulfill. This hierarchy creates a structured pattern of communication within the group that makes the members feel stable, therefore increasing cohesion. The feeling of stability comes from the group members treating the older and wiser leaders of the group as a divine power and feeling that the group will never disband because it has been around for so long and it has the wisdom of the divine power. Based on the cohesion of a group, groups can intensify decisions made within the group, cause deindividuation and shape an individuals attitudes and behaviors (Myers, 225, 345, 205210, and 89-100).

Depending on the group, some factors might be more important than other factors. For example, if a group is task oriented, then all that matters is accomplishing the task, whereas if a group is socially oriented, then all that matters is how everyone gets along with one another. However, most groups incorporate both these aspects into their groups. One would think that having a highly cohesive group would help the group accomplish their goals and make good decisions, however, previous research suggests that groups can intensify decisions by groupthink (Janis, 1972)and by group discussion creating group polarization (Myers, 225 & 345). Group Communication Group discussions usually strengthen the group members opinions creating group polarization. Group polarization is where the members of the group, after a group discussion, are more likely to have a stronger opinion towards their initial inclinations (Myers, 225). Group polarization is often explained using two theories, informational and normative influences (Myers, 219). Informational influences affect factual judgments because they are based on accepting evidence about reality from others. Normative influences affect value judgments and are based on an individual conforming to the group expectations because they want fit in. Another error made by groups in decision making is groupthink. If high cohesion of a group is caused by the congeniality of the group, it can negatively impact the groups decision making and cause groupthink (McCauley, 1998). Groupthink occurs under three conditions: 1) Directive Leadership, 2) Homogeneity of members social background and ideology, and 3) Isolation of the group from outside sources (McCauley, 1998). Research suggests that in a group, if the high cohesion is based on how much the members like the group and get along with everyone, then the group members are less likely to speak up against the group norms and the group is more likely to make poor decisions (McCauley, 1998). This is the case because when individuals in a group are more concerned with their social relations than their tasks, they are less likely to cause conflict within a group because they want to keep the congeniality. These positive relations will diminish if a member of the group disagrees with the groups goals, decision, attitudes or behaviors. These ideas that are instilled in a group are directly related to an individual or group of individuals. In groups, when one criticizes an idea, one criticizes an individual or group of individuals. Members of a group might not want to ruin positive relations within the group because it was their attraction towards the group; therefore, members of the group do not question the group even if they do not believe in what the group is doing. Groupthink occurs more often in groups with high cohesion based on the social relationships of the group, than groups with high cohesion based on the importance of the goal and the status of the group (McCauley, 1998). The latter is less

likely to make poor decisions because individuals are not concerned with upsetting the in-group relationships. A group that is only concerned with accomplishing their goals and the status of their group, care about the decisions being made in the group. The members contribute their ideas and cause conflict for the better of the group. Group Dynamics and Society Group dynamics refers to a system of behaviors and psychological processes occurring within a social group (intragroup dynamics), or between social groups (intergroup dynamics). The study of group dynamics can be useful in understanding decisionmaking behavior, tracking the spread of diseases in society, creating effective therapy techniques, and following the emergence and popularity of new ideas and technologies. Group dynamics are at the core of understanding racism, sexism, and other forms of social prejudice and discrimination. These applications of the field are studied in psychology, sociology, anthropology, political science, epidemiology, education, social work, business, and communication studies. Group dynamics Intragroup dynamics Intragroup dynamics (also referred to as ingroup-, within-group, or commonly just group dynamics) are the underlying processes that give rise to a set of norms, roles, relations, and common goals that characterize a particular social group. Examples of groups include religious, political, military, and environmental groups, sports teams, work groups, and therapy groups. Amongst the members of a group, there is a state of interdependence, through which the behaviors, attitudes, opinions, and experiences of each member are collectively influenced by the other group members. In many fields of research, there is an interest in understanding how group dynamics influence individual behavior, attitudes, and opinions. The dynamics of a particular group depend on how one defines the boundaries of the group. Often, there are distinct subgroups within a more broadly defined group. For example, one could define U.S. residents (Americans) as a group, but could also define a more specific set of U.S. residents (for example, 'Americans in the South'). For each of these groups, there are distinct dynamics that can be discussed. Notably, on this very broad level, the study of group dynamics is similar to the study of culture. For example, there are group dynamics in the U.S. South that sustain a culture of honor, which is associated with norms of toughness, honor-related violence, and self-defense.

Intergroup dynamics

intergroup dynamics refers to the behavioral and psychological relationship between two or more groups. This includes perceptions, attitudes, opinions, and behaviors towards ones own group, as well as those towards another group. In some cases, intergroup dynamics is prosocial, positive, and beneficial (for example, when multiple research teams work together to accomplish a task or goal). In other cases, intergroup dynamics can create conflict. For example, underlying the Columbine High School shooting in Littleton, Colorado, United States (1999), intergroup dynamics played a significant role in Eric Harris and Dylan Klebolds decision to kill a teacher and 14 students (including themselves). Intergroup conflict According to Social Identity Theory, intergroup conflict starts with a process of comparison between individuals in one group (the in-group) to those of another group (the out-group). This comparison process is not unbiased and objective. Instead, it is a mechanism for enhancing ones self-esteem. In the process of such comparisons, an individual tends to:

favor the in-group over the out-group exaggerate and over generalize the differences between the in-group and the out-group (to enhance group distinctiveness) minimize the perception of differences between in-group members evaluate the in-group more favorably Remember more detailed and positive information about the in-group, and more negative information about the out-group.

Even without any intergroup interaction (as in the minimal group paradigm), individuals begin to show favoritism towards their own group, and negative reactions towards the out-group. This conflict can result in prejudice, stereotypes, and discrimination. Intergroup conflict can be highly competitive, especially for social groups with a long history of conflict (for example, the 1994 Rwandan Genocide, rooted in group conflict between the ethnic Hutu and Tutsi). In contrast, intergroup competition can sometimes be relatively harmless, particularly in situations where there is little history of conflict (for example, between students of different universities) leading to relatively harmless generalizations and mild competitive behaviors. Intergroup conflict is commonly recognized amidst racial, ethnic, religious, and political groups. The formation of intergroup conflict was investigated in a popular series of studies by Muzafer Sherif and colleagues in 1961, called the Robbers Cave Experiment. The Robbers Cave Experiment was later used to support Realistic conflict theory. Other

prominent theories relating to intergroup conflict include Social Dominance Theory, and social-/Self-categorization Theory. Intergroup conflict reduction There have been several strategies developed for reducing the tension, bias, prejudice, and conflict between social groups. These include the contact hypothesis, the jigsaw classroom, and several categorization-based strategies. Interdependence There are also techniques for reducing prejudice that utilize interdependence between two or more groups. That is, members across groups have to rely on one another to accomplish some goal or task. In the Robbers Cave Experiment, Sherif used this strategy to reduce conflict between groups. Elliot Aronsons Jigsaw Classroom also uses this strategy of interdependence. In 1971, thick racial tensions were abounding in Austin, Texas. Aronson was brought in to examine the nature of this tension within schools, and to devise a strategy for reducing it (so to improve the process of school integration, mandated under Brown v. Board of Education in 1954). Despite strong evidence for the effectiveness of the jigsaw classroom, the strategy was not widely used (arguably because of strong attitudes existing outside of the schools, which still resisted the notion that racial and ethnic minority groups are equal to Whites and, similarly, should be integrated into schools). Positive aspect of group dynamics This research suggests that individuals are easily persuaded and influenced, but even more persuaded and influenced when they are in groups. This could be a positive aspect of groups, however, the research suggests that based on a groups dynamics, these tactics of persuasion can be negative causing a greater divide between the group on the outside communities. As for diversity workshop groups, the group dynamics are very strong because of high cohesion. These groups have high cohesion in relationship, high cohesion in similarities, high cohesion in common task and high cohesion in the status of the group. Based on research this suggests that the group members are more likely to go along to get along, influence each others behaviors and attitudes, and at times create de-individuation, group polarization and groupthink. It is important for diversity groups to be aware of these pitfalls of group dynamics of a high cohesion group. These group dynamics also affect how the group interacts with other groups. For example, the Tri-Co institute group has high cohesion at every level and the mission statement above seems to suggest that this group could be prone to negative inter-group relations. This is the case because the group is extremely exclusive,

primarily based on ethnicity, and its leaders are projecting to these minority students that they need extra help to fit-in to their communities, implying that the communities are not considerate of minority students. This sort of created group dynamics is a recipe for the group members to increase their in-group love based on their self-fulfilling prophecy that the out-group is against them, eventually creating out-group hate. Therefore, it is a vicious cycle and could create a stronger divide between the majority and minorities within the community. Looking at the group dynamics of a group can help groups overcome these group dynamics that suggest groups easily influence its members and that instill negativity towards out-groups. Negative aspects in group dynamics There are many other explanations and factors that play a role in group dynamic. It is important to understand that any group today, in certain situations, could be influenced by negative group dynamics causing negative outcomes. The Tri-Co summer institute group which consists of student who are minorities, could potentially create group dynamics that are not conducive to their overall goal, which is to increase diversity by encouraging and increasing interactions across all groups. This could occur for many different reasons listed and not listed above, but most importantly, groups should be aware of the negative impacts a group can have on a member within the group and individuals in the out-group. I have presented many examples of how group dynamics can influence groups to become more segregated from other groups. There are some possible ways for a community such as, a college campus, can decrease the negative aspects of group dynamics that causes segregation. I will suggest some changes that might affect the relationship cohesion of the group, therefore making it less possible for the group to segregate. The first task to improving the Tri-Co Institute would be to change its mission statement. Maybe saying that the summer institute is aimed at all incoming freshman students to increase diversity by educating, encouraging and increasing interaction across group boundaries defined by race, gender, sexual orientation, social class, etc. The next most important aspect of group dynamics that should be improved within this group is the high cohesion of relationships with members who have many common similarities. The cohesion of relationships is a hard task to reduce because members of the group do have their own time and choose who they spend time with, however, I suggest including all the members of the freshman class and constantly mixing up the groups and making them as diverse as possible. This should reduce any of the relational cohesion to people that are extremely similar to you. If the groups are continually mixed up, and diverse in all respects, then the students will be exposed to many different ideas and opinions, hopefully not allowing the group to have polarization or groupthink.

Group structure
A group can be defined as two or more individuals that are connected to each another by social relationships. Groups tend to interact, influence each other, and share a common identity. They have a number of emergent qualities that distinguish them from aggregates:

Norms: Implicit rules and expectations for group members to follow, e.g. saying thank you, shaking hands. Roles: Implicit rules and expectations for specific members within the group, e.g. the oldest sibling, who may have additional responsibilities in the family. Relations: Patterns of liking within the group, and also differences in prestige or status, e.g., leaders, popular people.

Temporary groups and aggregates share few or none of these features, and do not qualify as true social groups. People waiting in line to get on a bus, for example, do not constitute a group. Groups are important not only because they offer social support, resources, and a feeling of belonging, but because they supplement an individual's self-concept. To a large extent, humans define themselves by the group memberships which form their social identity. The shared social identity of individuals within a group influences intergroup behavior, the way in which groups behave towards and perceive each other. These perceptions and behaviors in turn define the social identity of individuals within the interacting groups. The tendency to define oneself by membership of a group leads to intergroup discrimination, which involves favorable perceptions and behaviors directed towards the in-group, but negative perceptions and behaviors directed towards the out-group. Intergroup discrimination leads to prejudice and stereotyping, while the processes of social facilitation and group polarization encourage extreme behaviors towards the out-group. Groups often moderate and improve decision making, and are frequently relied upon for these benefits, such as in committees and juries. A number of group biases, however, can interfere with effective decision making. For example, group polarization, formerly known as the "risky shift," occurs when people polarize their views in a more extreme direction after group discussion. More problematic is the phenomenon of groupthink. This is a collective thinking defect that is characterized by a premature consensus or an incorrect assumption of consensus, caused by members of a group failing to promote views which are not consistent with the views of other members. Groupthink occurs in a variety of situations, including isolation of a group and the presence of a highly directive leader. Janis offered the 1961 Bay of Pigs Invasion as a historical case of groupthink. Groups also affect performance and productivity. Social facilitation, for example, is a tendency to work harder and faster in the presence of others. Social facilitation increases the dominant response's likelihood, which tends to improve performance on

simple tasks and reduce it on complex tasks. In contrast, social loafing is the tendency of individuals to slack off when working in a group. Social loafing is common when the task is considered unimportant and individual contributions are not easy to see. Social psychologists study group-related (collective) phenomena such as the behavior of crowds. An important concept in this area is de-individuation, a reduced state of self-awareness that can be caused by feelings of anonymity. De-individuation is associated with uninhibited and sometimes dangerous behavior. It is common in crowds and mobs, but it can also be caused by a disguise, a uniform, alcohol, dark environments, or online anonymity. Most commentators on group process and group dynamics discuss group structure but just what they include under this heading differs. Here we are going to follow Forsyth (2006: 11) and define group structure as the norms, roles and stable patterns of relationship among the members of the group. Group size. An obvious but crucial consideration is the size of the group. Large groups function differently in a number of important respects to smaller groups. Size impacts on group communication, for example. In smaller groups a higher proportion of people are likely to participate there is potential more time for each, and the smaller number of people involved means that speaking may not be as anxiety-making as in a large group. In addition, large groups are more likely to include people with a range of skills and this can allow for more specialization of labour. In addition, larger groups can also allow us to feel more anonymous. As a result, we may exhibit less social responsibility, which in turn will often lead to less task involvement and lower morale on the part of many group members as size increases (Baron 2003 et. al.: 7). Group norms. Norms are basically rules of conduct that indicate what attitudes and behaviour might be expected or demanded in particular social situations and contexts. They are shared expectations of behaviour that set up what is desirable and appropriate in a particular setting or group. However, as soon as we talk about expected behaviour there is room for confusion. Here the norm is not referring to what is likely to occur, but what we think should occur. For example, we can expect a certain level of violence in town centres as the bars and clubs close, but most people would probably say that it shouldnt be happening. Socially established and shared beliefs regarding what is normal, correct, true, moral and good generally have powerful effects on the thoughts and actions of group members (Baron et. al. 2003: 6). Group norms develop in groups often because they are necessary for the group to survive and/or to achieve its ends. Group life is dependent upon trust and a certain amount of loyalty, for example. Furthermore, as Baron et al have commented, norms provide codes of behaviour that render social life more predictable and efficient (op. cit.). They also act to reduce uncertainty in difficult situations. They provide a way forward for interaction. Roles. The bundle of expectations and attributes linked to a social position can be seen as a role. In groups, people expect certain sorts of behaviour from those they

see as the leader, for example. Various different ways of conceptualizing role have emerged in the study of groups e.g. information giver, harmonizer, recorder and so on. Some of these schemes are helpful, some are not but what cannot be disputed is the significance of role in groups. Different people play different roles sometimes these are assigned (such as the in the membership of committees), sometimes they emerge through interaction. As Johnson and Johnson (2003: 24) have put it, Roles define the formal structure of the group and differentiate one position from another. Crucially, different social roles are often linked to different degrees of status and power within the group. Roles within Groups Each individual within a group has a role to play in the development of that group to a greater or lesser extent. Through observation, understanding of difference, awareness of personal resources and effective communication (Douglas, 1995), each member may affect group processes and individual emotions. Roles develop within groups both through formal appointment and because of the personal characteristics and interpersonal relationships that develop between members. Roles which develop can be constructive and support the group and its members in achieving its goals, or can be destructive and work against the overall group aims. Individuals within the group can develop several roles and at times these may conflict. For example a PTV member who was designated as leader for a specific task, also played a clown and was fond of practical jokes. The fooling around led to a lack of trust from other group members creating a conflict with the leadership role. As the group begins to develop an understanding of four things can be observed: Observation: the way we behave is based upon what we observe of ourselves, and what we make of others and their reactions to us. Differences: personally and socially generated; the effects they have on behaviour and understanding. Resources: frequently stemming from difference but are the source of potential power for a group and an individual. Communication: considered to be natural but subject to many barriers that remain largely unknown unless a conscious effort is made to find them: (Douglas, 1995, p. 80-97) Through supportive roles, groups may play a part in reducing oppression generated externally to the group. Group-work can be used as a medium for oppressed groups to `help these groups adjust in society`, and moreover to help society to adjust towards these groups. This can be achieved by `individual rehabilitation` in which we can `help individuals to adjust to social life and manage tension gain confidence, high self esteem`, and in `getting and keeping employment etc.`. `Societal or

community rehabilitation` involves `helping the society to have meaningful contact` with individuals and groups which are discriminated against and oppressed (OseiHwedie, Mwansa, and Mufune, 1990, p. 188). Interpersonal attraction (Attraction of the group) A major area in the study of people's relations to each other is interpersonal attraction. This refers to all forces that lead people to like each other, establish relationships, and (in some cases) fall in love. Several general principles of attraction have been discovered by social psychologists, but many still continue to experiment and do research to find out more. One of the most important factors in interpersonal attraction is how similar two particular people are. The more similar two people are in general attitudes, backgrounds, environments, worldviews, and other traits, the more probable an attraction is possible. Contrary to popular opinion, opposites do not usually attract. Physical attractiveness is an important element of romantic relationships, particularly in the early stages characterized by high levels of passion. Later on, similarity and other compatibility factors become more important, and the type of love people experience shifts from passionate to companionate. Robert Sternberg has suggested that there are actually three components of love: intimacy, passion, and commitment. When two (or more) people experience all three, they are said to be in a state of consummate love. According to social exchange theory, relationships are based on rational choice and cost-benefit analysis. If one partner's costs begin to outweigh his or her benefits, that person may leave the relationship, especially if there are good alternatives available. This theory is similar to the minimax principle proposed by mathematicians and economists. With time, long term relationships tend to become communal rather than simply based on exchange. Preston-Shoot describes group-work creating a `sense of belonging and mutual identity` encouraging `the formation of relationships which foster mutual identification and influence`, thus feelings of isolation and singularity with issues of difference and oppression may be reduced. Also, the group may be encouraged to use its internal resources to move towards individual or group `problem-resolution`, reducing feelings of helplessness, building self worth, and discouraging worker dependency (Preston-Shoot, 1987, p. 6-28). Smith concurs with this view of the suitability of group-work, stating `Groups are obvious sites of interaction and within them a sense of connectedness or community with others can be fostered` (Smith, 1994, p.111). This `connectedness` is a valuable tool with which to challenge discrimination and oppression, for as Piven and Cloward argue, it is only when we act collectively that change can begin (Piven and Cloward, 1993).