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Group Behaviors, Essay Example

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People group together when a common bond or activity is associated with each one of the representative members. Although the whole human society can be considered as a large group which has differentiated itself from the rest of the life forms with the assumption that we are the most superior of the life forms in terms of intelligence and capabilities, we can observe grouping among people in our local environments when a common objective binds them together. A group can have a democratic structure in which each member has an equitable role and everyone’s contribution is uniformly acceptable. Examples are ‘a group of teenagers’ or a local social group bound by a common cause such as love for animals, etc. Or it can be a hierarchy where some individuals are looked at as the ones with authoritarian and leadership capabilities. They serve to dictate and guide the group’s activities according to their self perceived notions of what is correct and the others follow them timidly. Examples of the latter are the individual family unit, government bureaucratic organizations, and sports which involve teamwork. Such groups always follow the commands and instructions of the family head, top authoritarian figure in the bureaucracy and the captain of the team respectively.

A very interesting example of group activities which I have observed during the last few years are the emergence of social networking groups such as ‘Facebook’, ‘MySpace’ and ‘Twitter ’ on the internet. The great popularity such social groups enjoy is due to the impersonal and animate nature of the grouping in which the modern information and communication technology has assisted everyone to look for solutions to issues about almost anything on the internet. The World Wide Web has made it possible for everyone to approach the far corners of the earth to find like minded persons with common shared interests and goals. This has allowed the present generation to spread its tentacles in a manner which was unimaginable before the availability of this technology. In fact social grouping which was so common in the past in the form of local clubs, teen gangs, sports enthusiasts and adventure groups have gradually disappeared into oblivion as more and more people get glued to their computer screens. The element of obedience out of coercion as depicted in Milgram’s experiment is also absent in such cyber group activities as there is complete absence of any authoritarian figure (www.cnr.berkeley.edu). In a situation where somebody tries to dominate or bully another person in social groups such as ‘Facebook’ solutions are available immediately, either in the form of assistance from the administrators who run these sites. Or from other friends who might harbor sympathies for the victim. Individual personality, likes and dislikes fail to affect the inanimate and relatively safe cocoon of such social cyber groups.

Reference

Milgram’s Experiment on Obedience to Authority, online article accessed Feb. 22, 2010 at: http://www.cnr.berkeley.edu/ucce50/ag-labor/7article/article35.htm

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