The Group in Society meets the challenges of teaching courses on small groups by revealing the full complexity of small groups and their place in society. It shows students the value of learning how to carefully study a group's history and context, rather than merely learning a fixed set of group participation skills. This text brings together disparate theories and research (from communication, social psychology, organizational and managerial studies, and sociology) in a way that helps students make sense of a complex body of scholarship on groups.

Features & Benefits

Part I – Theorizing Groups: builds a strong theoretical foundation, exploring social theory and the group, forming and joining groups, the life and death of the group, and changing society through group life; Part II – Understanding Groups in Context: explores the histories, purposes, memberships of a variety of groups—including juries, families, executive committees, study groups, and political action groups—thus enabling the student reader to speak clearly about group formation, norms, roles, tasks, and relationships. Detailed end-of-chapter case studies explicitly connect with the concepts, theories, and empirical findings introduced in each respective chapter; examples include the powerful group bonds of the modern terrorist cell; the wired network of groups in the anti-Globalization movement; and the deliberation of a jury in a murder trial

Teaching & Learning Ancillaries

Teaching resources are available at http://www.groupinsociety.org/ and include chapter summaries, discussion questions, and practical applications; a sample course schedule; Embedded Systems Framework PowerPoint slides; group project assignments, group project worksheets, and a group project description and contract; and links to useful Web resources such as small group teaching resources and active wikis on small groups; An open-access student study site at http://www.sagepub.com/gastilstudy features e-flashcards, practice quizzes, and other resources to help students enhance their comprehension and improve their grade.

Shifting Social Identities
Shifting social identities

When we memorialize our most influential social and political movements, we begin by celebrating charismatic leaders like Malcolm X and Frederic Douglas. We put the face of Susan B. Anthony on the dollar coin, placed Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday on the calendar, and renamed streets after union leader Cesar Chavez. We have even recognized the special accomplishments of individuals who played small but powerful roles, such as when Rosa Parks commenced the Montgomery Bus Boycott by refusing to move from her seat. Nevertheless, we do not commemorate the small groups that generate and sustain social movements—the face-to-face gatherings—and now, online networks—that bring people together to craft common identities and common purposes.1

Small groups often prove vital to social movements because ...

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