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Sunday, May 19, 2013

Being groupies

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The Thebarton Senior College Moodle

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The study of Group Dynamics

An important part of learning in Society and Cultures courses is working in a group. Considering society is basically about groups, it is important that you learn about how groups operate. Although I will provide some theory on group dynamics in class, the best way to learn about groups and how they work is to participate in a group. For this reason the course contains a compulsory Group task worth 10%. For this assignment you are to work in a group on the task of selecting an ethical cause and developing some type of social action.

Here is an excerpt from the assignment sheet.

Students undertake a group activity. A group activity consists of three equally important parts:
1. group inquiry, planning, and evaluation
2. collaborative social action
3. an individual contribution.

You will be are allocated to a group to collaboratively work on an inquiry into a social cause of the groups choice relevant to ‘Social Ethics’. Your group needs to negotiate the chosen cause with me before working on your inquiry together as a group. Your skills at collaboration are as important as the inquiry process.
Your group is to analyse the findings of your inquiry and plan appropriate social action to share awareness relevant to their social ethics inquiry. You must clearly describe the social ethics and ethical questions involved in your cause.

For this assignment you have been placed into random groups, with the only criteria of selection being gender balance.

The groups are:
Group 1: Sandra, Narad, Dion, Abdul and Thuy.
Group 2: Laurianne, Tayla, Sam, Osman and Krystal.
Group 3: Jackeline, Nikol, Kira, George and Josh.
Group 4: Maria, Matthew, Brooklyn, Amina and Sang.

To get started in your group, here is some information about establishing a group.

* Establishing functional roles
1. When your group first forms you are to nominate/select/elect the following:
a. A leader to guide the group during these intiital meetings. Later you may wish to select a leader of the group for the rest of the activity or have a different leader each time the group works together.
2. A recorder who write down the process, discussion and decisions for the group. This role is to be rotated so that all members have a turn at this role.
3. A  reporter who is to provide a summary to the class of the progress, discussion and decisions of the group. This role is to be rotated so that all members have a turn at this role.
4. A time/task keeper is to provide checks to the group process  - to make sure the group is doing as required in the time allocated. If the group is less than four for a session, the leader naturally takes on this role. This role is to be rotated so that all members have a turn at this role.

* Primary and Secondary groups theory
Considering the group is a class and formed randomly, it is called a secondary group. Here is some theory on the classification of group types.

The terms "primary" and "secondary" are used in reference to the function and interactions of a group and the group’s importance to the members of the group.

A primary group is typically a small social group whose members share close, personal, enduring relationships. These groups are marked by members' concern for one another, in shared activities and culture. Examples include family, childhood friends, and highly influential social groups. Primary groups play an important role in the development of personal identity. Relationships formed in primary groups are often long-lasting and goals in themselves. They also are often psychologically comforting to the individuals involved and provide a source of support.

People in a secondary group interact on a less personal level than in a primary group, and their relationships are temporary rather than long lasting. A secondary group is usually based on interests and activities. They are where many people can meet close friends or people they would just call acquaintances. Secondary groups are groups in which one exchanges explicit commodities, such as labour for wages, services for payments, etc. Examples of these would be employment, class group, etc.
Despite these clear definitions, sometimes the difference between the two can be blurred and over time one group can change classification i.e. a secondary group turning into a primary group due to ...

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