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Ch 6: Social Groups & Organizations

About This Chapter

Watch sociology video lessons, and learn about social groups, organizations and more. As you work your way through this chapter, complete the brief quizzes that follow each lesson to gauge your comprehension of the topics.

Social Groups & Organizations - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives

Look inside any high school in the United States, and you'll see social groups. In this chapter, you'll study different aspects of such groups, and explore their defining characteristics. By the end of this chapter, you'll be able to do the following:

  • Differentiate among primary, secondary and reference groups.
  • Distinguish between normative and informational social conformity.
  • Outline differences between in-groups and out-groups.
  • Discuss the four principles of George Ritzer's theory on the McDonaldization of society.

VideoObjectives
Types of Social Groups: Primary, Secondary and Reference GroupsDefine 'social group' in general, and distinguish between primary and secondary groups and reference groups.
Leadership Styles and Types: Authoritarian, Laissez-Faire & Democratic Discuss differences between instrumental and expressive leadership. Explain primary styles of leadership, including authoritarian, laissez-faire and democratic.
Social Conformity Definition: Normative vs. InformationalDefine 'conformity' in general, and distinguish between normative and informational conformity. Discuss the difference between conformity and obedience, and explain studies by Asch and Milgram.
Social Loafing & Social Facilitation: Definition and Effects of GroupsDefine social loafing, social facilitation and groupthink. Discuss advantages and disadvantages of working in a group compared to working individually.
Social Groups: Dyad and Triad & In-Groups and Out-GroupsDifferentiate between dyad and triad. Explain the difference between in-groups and out-groups. Learn about in-group favoritism and out-group derogation.
Formal Organization Structure: Utilitarian, Normative & CoerciveDefine formal organizations, and distinguish among utilitarian, normative and coercive formal organizations.
Max Weber: Verstehen and the Rationalization of SocietyDefine 'Verstehen.' Explain how rationalization relates to bureaucracy and how it can lead to the Iron Cage. Differentiate among the four types of rationalization.
George Ritzer and the McDonaldization of Society: Definition of PrinciplesLearn about the concept of culture being 'McDonaldized,' including the four principles of McDonaldization, according to George Ritzer.

9 Lessons in Chapter 6: Social Groups & Organizations
Types of Social Groups: Primary, Secondary and Reference Groups

1. Types of Social Groups: Primary, Secondary and Reference Groups

The study of social groups is a main focus of many sociologists. In this lesson, we define social groups and differentiate between several different types including primary, secondary, and reference groups.

Leadership Styles and Types: Authoritarian, Laissez-Faire & Democratic

2. Leadership Styles and Types: Authoritarian, Laissez-Faire & Democratic

Most of us are members of many different social groups, and several of those groups have leaders. In this lesson, we define and discuss both instrumental and expressive leadership in groups. We also cover three leadership decision-making styles: authoritarian, democratic, and laissez-faire.

Social Conformity Definition: Normative vs. Informational

3. Social Conformity Definition: Normative vs. Informational

Social conformity and obedience are two very powerful phenomenons in human behavior and sociology. In this lesson, we discuss the two types of social conformity and differentiate between conformity and obedience. We also discuss two famous experiments by Solomon Asch and Stanley Milgram.

Groupthink: Definition & Examples

4. Groupthink: Definition & Examples

Some groups are quick to make decisions to maintain cohesion, but this can be a critical mistake to make. This lesson explains the concept of groupthink using the Challenger explosion as an example.

Social Loafing & Social Facilitation: Definition and Effects of Groups

5. Social Loafing & Social Facilitation: Definition and Effects of Groups

Do you prefer to work in a group or by yourself? Why? Working in a group certainly has a number of advantages and disadvantages. In this lesson, we discuss three phenomena that can occur as a result of working in groups: groupthink, social loafing, and social facilitation.

Social Groups: Dyad and Triad & In-Groups and Out-Groups

6. Social Groups: Dyad and Triad & In-Groups and Out-Groups

How big are your social groups? How do you decide who to include in those groups? In this lesson, we discuss how group size can affect group dynamics and relationships. We also discuss group membership and differentiate between in-groups and out-groups.

Formal Organization Structure: Utilitarian, Normative & Coercive

7. Formal Organization Structure: Utilitarian, Normative & Coercive

Our modern society is filled with groups of people that range from small families to giant corporations. In this lesson, we discuss the characteristics that must be present in order for a group to be considered a formal organization. We also discuss the differences between coercive, utilitarian, and normative organizations.

Max Weber: Verstehen and the Rationalization of Society

8. Max Weber: Verstehen and the Rationalization of Society

Max Weber's work has had a profound impact on sociology. In this lesson, we define and discuss his theory of rationalization and how it has changed social groups and society as a whole over time. We also discuss Weber's other related theories of Verstehen and the iron cage.

George Ritzer and the McDonaldization of Society: Definition and Principles

9. George Ritzer and the McDonaldization of Society: Definition and Principles

George Ritzer authored 'The McDonaldization of Society' in 1993, and it remains one of the bestselling sociology books of all time. In this lesson, we discuss his concept of McDonaldization and the four main characteristics of McDonaldization that he describes.

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