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group structure


Subject Social Psychology and Personality » Group Processes

Key-Topics structure

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631202899.1996.x


A distinctive feature of groups is normative uniformity of attitude and conduct within groups, and normative discontinuity between groups ( see group processes, conformity, social influence ). Against this background of intragroup uniformity there is, however, marked unevenness and asymmetry. In very few groups are all members equal, do all members perform identical activities, or do all members communicate freely with one another. Groups are structured with respect to people's roles, their status, and who can communicate with whom ( Baron, Kerr, & Miller, 1992 ; Brown, 1988 ; Hogg & Abrams, 1988 ; Moreland & Levine, 1994 ). There is also sociometric structuring reflecting interpersonal preferences. norms are emergent and transcendent properties of human interaction. They describe and prescribe the appropriate attitudes and conduct for group members in a particular context, and they furnish groups with their characteristic uniformity of attitudesand behavior. Strictly speaking, norms do not contribute to the internal structure of a group, though they do differentiate between groups and therefore contribute to the structure of intergroup relations . Roles, like norms, describe and prescribe behavior. However, while norms apply to the group as a whole, roles, which can be implicit or explicit, differentiate among functions within the group. Roles are not people, ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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