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 3: Peer Groups in Adolescence: The Power of Rejection
Peer Groups in Adolescence: The Power of Rejection
“They ignored me and left me for last pick. Then they told me I couldn't play because it was uneven.”
—White male teenager1
A hidden culture of social cruelty exists in childhood peer groups, as evidenced by the rich anecdotal narratives collected by one writer about the culture of aggression and exclusion among teenage girls.2 Describing the social phenomenon of the “odd girl out,” one researcher of female bullying talked to both rejected and rejecting teens and uncovered painful behaviors in girls' cliques that teachers rarely notice.3 When young teenage girls appeared on the Oprah Winfrey television show to admit their ongoing roles in provoking painful group exclusion of others at their ...