Clans, cliques, clubs, or classmates: Students of group communication should be encouraged to think critically about concepts to the groups that matter to them most—peers. Peer Groups is the first textbook to explore group communication dynamics with this vital group. Drawing on a combination of traditional and new theories, Dr. SunWolf uses an inviting writing style, shares the words and provocative thinking of real world group members, and draws on research from social psychology, communication, and group dynamics. This innovative book offers suggestions for critical thinking and new behaviors in students’ own peer groups and will inspire further exploration of small group dynamics.
Chapter 1: Peer Group Lenses: Theories and Perspectives
Peer Group Lenses: Theories and Perspectives
the•o•ry, n., 1.a coherent explanation for events, behaviors, or observations.2.a proposed explanation or opinion, whose status can be tested.3.a guess or idea about what causes certain things to happen.
We are all theorists. Our ideas about why things happen, or what causes people to behave in certain ways, are integral parts of our everyday thinking. Our theories might be mistaken, of course, but they often help us feel in control of our social worlds. Our everyday theories also guide our choices—mental tools that can make other people seem (a little) more predictable and life events seem (somewhat) less uncertain. Our personal theories organize our thinking, for better or for worse.
Social science theories operate in much ...