Groups refer to the ways in which certain people, based on their mental knowledge of each other and their impressions of other group members, communicate with each other. Conformity acts as the act of matching the norms of the culture with attitudes, actions, and values. Among the popular and widespread types of social power, conformity is. The definition refers to the tendency of a certain group of people to think and behave as members of a specific group (Wang, Hoshi, & Ai, 2015). Conformity plays a crucial role in promoting the action of people ensuring matching of their beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors to the group’s norms. Despite the view by many individuals that conformity presents negative characteristic to particular groups, the act is common amongst the people. There is the necessity for noting that the high levels of compliance tend to show adverse effects to the interaction of a set of individuals in a particular setting. However, its integration to a particular system in controlled amounts is healthy and necessary as it plays a crucial role in boosting the functionality of a particular group of individuals. There is a high distinction between conformity, obedience, and compliance. Group norms, intra-group and conformity play critical role in determining social life of individuals.
Various theories have been developed to explain and describe socialization among people. Some of most influential and famous theories describing socialization among individuals are social behavioral theory and Group and group socialization theory. Group socialization theory was proposed by Moreland and Levine whereas social behavioral theory was developed by George Herbert Mead. According to Mead, development of one’s self-consciousness and individual’s self along the area of his/her experience is purely social. In fact, according to social behavioral theory, process of socialization is before an individual’s experience structures and processes. On the other hand, group socialization model explains the passage of persons via groups. Moreland and Levine argue that individual’s behavior and personality in adulthood is influenced by peer groups rather than parental figures. This academic paper intends to discuss how intra-group behavior, group norms and conformity influence socialization. In addition, the work explores how group socialization and social behavioral theories influence process of socialization.
Motivations that Underlie Conformity
Some of the activities attributable to the emergence of compliance include the unconscious influences, subtleness, and overt social pressure. The occurrence of conformity does not necessitate the physical presence of others. The presence of agreement may result from knowledge on public opinion whereby individuals may decide to conform to the societal norms even when alone (Hughes, et al., 2012). The two common motivators for conformity include the informational and normative influences.
The occurrence of the normative influence is attributable to the act of individual conforming as a way of gaining social acceptance besides avoiding the potential social rejections. For instance, the views on men and women regarding the ideal body image have experienced a significant transformation over the years. The males and females in the society, hence, tend to conform to the contemporary norms to gain acceptance in the community and, thus, avoid potential social interjection (Wu, et al., 2012).
On the other hand, the informational influence tends to occur when individuals focus on seeking out the members of their groups to accept and gain the perceived accurate information regarding reality. As such, the informational influence tends to manifest in individuals trying harder to find flaws in other people as a way of preventing them from obtaining their actual needs in the society (Locchetta, Barton, & Kaiser, 2017). The occurrence of conformity in a particular group increases depending on the present factors in the environment. Some of these factors include group sizes, culture, cohesion, gender, and status. The smaller groups exhibit a minimal preference to conforming to similar behaviors on comparison to the large groups. On the other hand, unanimity tends to play a crucial role in influencing conformity of the members whereby the presence of unanimous group decisions is likely to influence other members to conform to the decision (Li, Hestenes, & Wang, 2016).
Furthermore, cohesion amongst the group member plays a crucial role in influencing conformity whereby the groups characterized by strong linking bonds between members is likely to exhibit conformity more than groups whose members are less cohesive (Aaron, McDowell, & Herdman, 2014). The compliance of the individuals as well tends to obtain a significant level of influence from the high status of the group. Concerning gender impact on conformity, the women are more likely to exhibit compliance than men in the situation that involves surveillance (Watkins, et al., 2015). The societal norms tend to create variances about gender which influence the way that both the men and women conform to some of the social forces.
The norms play a crucial role in facilitating the formation of certain informal rules adopted by the groups towards their regulation and monitoring the behavior of the members of the team (Lanzara, 2015). The group norms are mainly of two forms. The formal group norms usually necessitate maintenance of set standard in the form of written policies, safety notices, and other documentations (Tan & Goh, 2015). The informal norms, on the other hand, entail the rules guiding a particular group of individuals, but they lack standardization. The informal rules may include the decorations in the offices or collective lunch breaks in a particular setting. One of the major characteristics of group interactions attributable to conformity includes the peer pressure.
Motivations for Joining Groups
The individuals tend to exhibit their preference for joining the groups based on different motivations. Some of the crucial aspects that motivate the arrival at the decision on joining a particular group include the aim of achieving the psychological rewards and meeting the potential demands of the employers in the organization. Constanzo and Shaw (1966) assert that individuals tend to focus on joining others as a natural part of life and because of the guarantee on their enjoyment of the socializing effects of being with other people. Tsikerdekis (2013) considers a team as a few individuals equipped with diverse skills aimed at achieving the same objective who share common approach that ensures their responsibility for the achievement of the task objectives. Stowell, Oldham, and Bennett (2010) argues that operating within groups plays a crucial role in facilitating the development of effective interpersonal relations that facilitate the achievement of success by the organization.
Other individuals exhibit their preference for joining particular groups due to the assurance of security, power, meeting their social needs and task achievement. Security facilitates the capability of an employee to have stronger feelings when they come together and boosts their confidence while bargaining. The security aspect of grouping manifests in situations whereby there is the need for collective bargaining with individuals in authority, for instance, at the workplaces (Mussen & Kagan, 1958). The quality of output in teamwork tends to be higher and reliable than when a person decides on executing a certain task on his/her own. The social needs, on the other hand, refer to the aspect that assures an individual of status and self-confidence (Schmidt et al., 2016). As such, social needs tend to motivate people towards joining a particular group to boost their communication capabilities, besides increasing their levels of job satisfaction (Haun & Tomasello, 2011). The groups, however, tend to operate depending on the set norms, both the formal and informal, that guide the operations of the members.
The influence of peer pressure is either positive or negative. The active nature of the peer influence manifests in the capability of individuals to ensure maximization of their performance in the organization, hence, their capacity to give their best. The pressure on fitting in with the co-members of a particular group tends to influence the way that they behave, dress, or talk (Nesdale & Lawson, 2011). Furthermore, peer pressure is substantially attributable to the exploration of activities by individuals whereby the members of a particular group may decide on doing something that they have never done before. The influence evident in the groups attributable to the peer pressure mainly results from the need of the group members to conform to the norms that guide the group (Duffy & Nesdale, 2009).
Theories of Socialization
Socialization implies the lifelong processes of inheritance and dissemination of the customs, norms, and ideas that equip an individual with the necessary skills and habits crucial for enhancing their participation in their society (Sassenberg, Matschke, & Scholl, 2011). Therefore, socialization plays an important role in the provision of means for ensuring attainment of the cultural continuity amongst the group members.
Furthermore, socialization provides a means through which the human beings get to acquire the necessary skills for enhancing their performance as members of the society and tend to present significant influence on the learning process that individuals experience (Choi, 2013). The humans tend to exhibit unique characteristics in that they show reliance on the social experiences as a way of learning regarding the culture and, hence, facilitate their survival. Despite the manifestation of the cultural diversity in the customs, actions, and behaviors in the social groups, the basic expressions of culture are usually present at a personal level (Masson & Fritsche, 2014). However, such feelings become apparent after socialization of individuals by their parents, family members, or the extended social network.
Charles Horton Cooley (1902) developed the concept of looking glass self. The concept asserts that individuals tend to self-grow out of the societal interpersonal interactions and other’s perceptions. The term mainly refers to people shaping themselves depending on the opinions of others, hence, resulting in their reinforcement of other’s perspectives on them (Cartwright & Wooders, 2014).
The theory of social behaviorism developed by George Herbert Mead plays an essential role in explaining the role of the social experiences in developing the personality of individuals. The central concept emphasized by Mead entails self. Mead asserts that the self forms a crucial aspect of a person’s character that involves the self-image and self-awareness. Mead argues that person is nonexistent before birth but is rather developed through the social experience (Erez, et al., 2009).
Forms of Socialization
Group socialization serves as a theory that associates the influence on the personality and behaviors of individuals to their association with the peer groups and parental figures. The adolescents tend to spend more substantial amount of time with their peers than with their parents (Crane & Platow, 2010). For instance, there is the likelihood of variance in personality between twin brothers whose genetic makeup is identical due to their different groups of friends. The interaction with peers is, thus, crucial in influencing the character of individuals in comparison with the variance in the way the parents raise the children.
Furthermore, the crucial aspect of socialization entails comprehension of the cultural definition of the gender responsibilities. Gender socialization mainly implies the learning of attitudes and behaviors that are considerably appropriate for a particular sex. The boys tend to learn to be boys while the girls learn to be girls through their interaction with the peers. The learning tends to occur in various ways depending on the age of development of a particular individual (Hagger, Rentzelas & Koch, 2014). The family further plays a crucial role in facilitating reinforcement of the gender roles. However, the influence attributable to the family tends to be low in comparison to that emerging from the peers and other colleagues.
The cultural socialization refers to the parenting practices adopted with the aim of teaching the children regarding their heritage or racial history. The cultural socialization is as well considered pride development. Preparation for bias, on the other hand, refers to the process of focusing on the elaboration of the children towards their awareness and equipping with the skills on coping with discrimination (Iscoe, Williams, & Harvey, 1963). Promotion of the mistrust, on the other hand, entails the parenting practice that cautions the children against the individuals from other races. Egalitarianism involves socializing the children while ensuring their comprehension of the belief that all people are equal and, thus, need the same treatment.
Conformity, group norms and intra-group behavior affect the way individuals learn to behave in a manner that is socially acceptable. Operating in groups tends to exhibit organization and is crucial for facilitating the performance of individuals as they gain from the psychological benefits associated with teamwork (Constanzo and Shaw, 1966). At some cases, the issues tend to show complexity, hence, there is the necessity for collective efforts and saving on time. In the event of group work, individuals are capable of ensuring the achievement of the objectives of the tasks through having other members cover for the remaining members, hence, facilitating the efficient operations of a particular team (Abbink, 2010).
Individuals including both males and females tend to comply with the contemporary norms to acquire acceptance in the community thus avoiding potential social interjection. . The desire to achieve psychological rewards and meet potential demands of the employers in the organization motivates certain individuals to join specific social groups. For instance, Schmidt et al., (2016) assert that assurance of individual’s status and social confidence by social needs act as an incentive to people to join particular groups. Individuals tend to self-grow out of the societal interpersonal interactions and other’s perceptions.
The intra-group behavior usually follows a particular pattern that is evident from the theories discussed in the paper. Conformity tends to play a crucial role in ensuring that the members follow certain set rules that guide a particular group. Social behavioral theory and group socialization theory vividly describe the process of socialization. Socialization provides a means through which the human beings acquire the necessary skills for enhancing their performance as members of the society (Choi, 2013). Peer groups greatly influence how behavior and personality of individuals and consequently social mixing of people. In fact, the interaction with peer is crucial in influencing the behavior of individuals in comparison with the variance in the way the parents raise the children.
Assignment 2: Theories and Research on Group Dynamics
The group dynamics tend to focus on how individuals form groups and the development and interaction of such groups. The groups can be either formal or informal. However, there is the necessity for acknowledging the fact that the teams are typically run by the set pattern that defines their functionality. In the management of the groups, there is the necessity for understanding the various implications of the group communications, alliances within the groups, and the group motivation that is crucial in directing the groups towards the achievement of positive results (Münster, 2007). The groups tend to form identities after working together for a while, and the personalities play a crucial role in facilitating identification of the practical approach adopted by a group towards solving the emerging issues and the selected processes in addressing the issues. The paper intends to discuss and evaluate the extent to which the theory and research on the group dynamics are applicable in explaining the happenings in the group.
The case involves the created housing estate group aimed at improving the relations with both estate populations and local police. The group, however, experiences some challenges with the group dynamics as evident in the emergence of arguments. The concern raised by some members of the group is that there is less likelihood of successful execution of the tasks by the group members.
The research on the group dynamics is crucial in this case because it plays an important role in facilitating comprehension of teamwork, coexistence, and interactions amongst people. The knowledge is essential in making up the project teams and creation of a conducive environment for the achievement of the organizational goals (Kubitza, Suhonen, & Vuorisalo, 2015). The research on the group dynamics is crucial in facilitating comprehension of the formation, development, and interaction of groups that is important in developing the best ways of organizing and communication amongst the team members. Furthermore, the research on the group dynamics plays a crucial role in facilitating understanding of some of the warnings that point out to the occurrence of trouble in a particular group or warnings when the groups show signs of deviation from the performance objectives. As such, the timely identification of such signs plays a crucial role in transforming the activities of the team towards bringing out the best of the team members. The functionality of any group tends to exhibit dependence on the reliable and proper communication between the members that facilitate sharing of the crucial information.
Scholars argue that the group dynamics tend to concern how the individuals interact besides stating the position that they play in ensuring the effectiveness of the activities of the groups and in decision-making (Murphy & Kiffin-Petersen, 2017). There is, thus, the necessity for ensuring the adoption of the various theories of group dynamics towards providing the focus paying attention to the information submitted by the members of a particular team.
The arguments presented by the researchers’ play a crucial role in defining the interaction between an individual and the attributes of the various roles that people select in the groups. Furthermore, the theories facilitate comprehension of the extent to which the members of particular groups are capable of ensuring efficient development towards the improvement of the capabilities of the team (Bøggild & Laustsen, 2016).
In most instances, the formation of the groups is usually motivated by the need for the achievement of a common goal. Research on group dynamics facilitates comprehension of the several stages of the group development that is crucial to the resolution of some of the emerging conflicts. The various stages of organization development include forming characterized by coming together of the team members and setting the objectives of the group. As evident in the case, the group is way past the formation stage since it is already functional, and the target is set. The objective of the group is, thus, ensuring the improvement of the working relationships with the housing estate population and the local police.
The second stage of team development entails storming characterized by the emergence of conflicts due to the struggle for identity within the group. As evident, the group faces some challenges attributable to its dynamics. The problems, however, arise out of the concern by some of the members on their capability to reach the point of the achievement of the tasks of the group. The variances in the duration in which the members have stayed in the area seem to present challenges based on their experiences. For instance, the individuals who have stayed in the field for longer periods may base their arguments on their experiences with other groups formed with the aim of achieving the similar task.
The other stages of team development include norming, performing, and adjourning. The norming phase mainly involves the commencement of focus by individuals towards the achievement of the purpose of the group. Furthermore, the step involves individuals starting to work together as a team, hence, eliminating the potential emergence of conflicts within the organization (Taylor et al., 2014). Performing, on the other hand, entails the phase whereby the group depicts productivity and experiences results of their actions. The adjournment phase involves breaking apart of the group towards obtaining the chance of reviewing the successes and failures of the team. As evident in the case, the group is yet to reach the normative phase whereby the individuals need to put away their differences towards the achievement of the objectives of the organization.
In conclusion, besides the discussed stages of group development and the various theories that define the group dynamics, there is the necessity for the members searching for the shared understanding to facilitate the smooth operations of the team. As such, the shared understanding plays a crucial role in eliminating the evident struggle with ambiguity and the visible changes in the degree of trust between the team members. Understanding of the various stages of the group development is crucial to the resolution of some of the emerging conflicts. The research on the group dynamics is paramount because it plays a significant role in facilitating comprehension of teamwork, coexistence, and interactions amongst people.
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