Types of Groups: Collectives, Categories

Concept: Types of Groups: Collectives, Categories

Definition: Collective Groups consist of a relatively large aggregation of group of individuals who show similarities in both actions and ideas. Categories of groups are an aggregation of people or things that share some common attribute or related in some way

Aggregation: a group, body or mass composed of many distinct parts or individuals.

Example: Collective groups can range from a street crowd watching a building fire, to an audience at a movie theater. None the less the concepts of the group are completely different but they all include mass movements of individuals who, through a dispersed area, show a common shift in opinion or actions. A Category can range from residents of New York City being referred to as “New Yorker’s” or even Americans whose ancestors were from Africa and are now called “African Americans” (Critical Thinking of Communication 82)



Types of Groups: Primary Social

Concept: Types of Groups: Primary Social

Definition: A Social group is a collection of people who interact with each other and share characteristics and a sense of unit. But if you place Primary in front then you will get groups in which individuals intimately interact and cooperate over a long period of time. For example families, friends, peers, neighbors, classmates, sororities, fraternities, church members, etc… These groups can be characterized by a large level of member-to-group interdependence and identification; “Charles Cooley believed such groups serve as the primary source of socialization for members by shaping their attitudes, values, and social orientation.” (Critical Thinking in Communication, 79) It is the Primary Social Groups who shape us as the human beings to this day.

Example: The article “Primary groups and cosmopolitan ties, The rooftop pigeon flyers of New York City” shows a group of working-class men who fly and breed pigeons from their rooftops within New York City. Within the article there is a study that highlights how animal practices can bring together social relationships and cause connections to the environment along with demonstrate that a shared everyday activity, like flying pigeons  can be as vital as an ethnicity or class within a primary group formation. (Jerolmack, Colin)


Jerolmack, Colin. “Primary Groups and Cosmopolitan Ties: The Rooftop Pigeon Flyers of New York City.” SAGE Journals. Enthnograpghy, 18 Nov. 2009. Web. 24 Sept. 2012. <http://eth.sagepub.com/content/10/4/435.full.pdf html>.

Entitativity/ Perceptions of Groups

It’s often been said that a team or a group is only as strong as it’s weakest link, when thinking in terms of a group being one cohesive unit (entitativity) this idea is especially true. The individuals in a group are essential, but when labeled, they are always viewed as one entity- hence the root of the word. When I think about bands as an example, there are two ways they are named; a name each individual member agreed upon, or the name of the most talented and important person in the group. The same goes for other groups, its easier to view them as one thing instead of accounting for every member of the group. When people are seen as one group, they gain more power because instead of being seen as weaker individuals they are seen as an organized team. The mafia had power because people feared the name even if they knew nothing about any individual in that group. Groups receive power through being labeled, that’s how Team Awesome became the elite, powerful and intelligent group they are today.

Communication as Verbal vs Nonverbal

Communication as Verbal vs. Nonverbal

By Austin Merritt

            Communication may be defined in multiple ways, but two distinct forms of communication include verbal and nonverbal communication. The unique part is that both of these ways portray a message to the receiver but by different mediums. Verbal communication is a more recognizable form of communication to the naked eye. Examples may include talking to your boss, teacher, friends or family. A message is encoded, by words, to a receiver who decodes the message. It is very obvious to see verbal communication. Nonverbal communication requires a little more literacy in that department. Nonverbal communication is a language involving the body language. For example if I look slumped over during class with my head on the desk, one would assume I would be sleeping or relaxing. In reality, I could have my head on the desk while writing my paper. Nonverbal communication, also, has an encoded message that is to be decoded by viewers. The decoding of a message can either be hard or relatively easy. Between these two sources of communication, the major difference exists in the decoding of the message. It is easier to express yourself with words compared to only using actions. This is where we can put an interesting twist to communication. We can combine verbal and nonverbal communication and get a very animated individual. This is a more common form of communication we find in society today. Have you ever noticed a professor talk with their hands, or raise their eyebrows with a response to your question? They are showing us an example of how we combine verbal and nonverbal communication without even thinking about it. It comes so naturally to people. Portrayed alone neither may fully express the details or emotions you may want to describe. I see verbal communication as a more detail-oriented form of communication. Nonverbal communication is more emotion driven communication. They have their differences, but combined together they form an incredible way to communicate with others.

I found a story about Jay Cutler and the body language he showed on the field of play. Jay Cutler was described as showing negative body language which in turn made people question him. It goes to show us that our body language may not always match our motives, but that doesn’t matter to the decoder. The decoder is decoding the message as best as they can.

Social Relationships At Work: Social Dimension

By: Marina Eggen

At work the social dimension of a relationship with a co-worker, boss, or client is the personal side of that relationship.  The actual friendship you have with your co-worker.  This is not the business side to the relationship; it’s the fun side.  The social dimensions can sometimes have a negative effect.  It can occasionally or often clash with the task dimensions.  It can cause two co-workers to become off task during work, or chat too much during a meeting.  It could also have a positive effect on the people in the relationship.  Friendships with co-workers could mean more work satisfaction which in turn leads to better work ethic and determination.  There is also the social dimension between your boss.  This could possible become tricky when important decisions need to be made that affect someone in the relationship.  A third social relationship at work is with a client.  If the social dimension interrupts the task dimension then there is a problem.  Social relationships at work can be a great experience and have positive or negative effects. (Critical Thinking in Communication 62).

Here is the example:


This is a news article that explains how different generation in the same workplace can cause misunderstandings.  The same logic that this article sets forth can be applied to making friends in the work place.  If you are personally connected to a person and are more comfortable talking to them, less miscommunications and misunderstandings will happen.

Social Relationships At Work: Task Dimension

By: Shelby Schroeder

Concept: Task dimension goes hand in hand with social dimension.  At work you generally need to balance being professional and social with your coworkers.  The task dimension is our professional relationship with workers. This can often create a lot of tension, because yes you want to get along with people at work: it will make your time more enjoyable, but you also have to know where to draw the line.  For example when choosing whether someone should get a promotion or not, you need to use task dimension.  You might want to select your friend for the position but it’s important to select the best person for the job.

Example: http://peoplesworld.org/striking-warehouse-workers-take-over-chicago-walmart/

Example Explanation:  This is an example that shows what can happen when a work place isn’t balanced well. These workers were being treated poorly by their bosses.  This help shows that it is important to maintain balance and respect for your employees.  These employees decided to socially band together and protest.  It makes me wonder if  the professional side of the relationship wasn’t very well developed.   It show that in order to have a happy workplace, people there needs to be a respectful balance between bosses and their workers.

Uncertainty Reduction Theory

By: Shelby Schroeder

The Uncertainty Reduction Theory is major theory of why we form relationships. Simply put, when you meet someone new you wont like the uneasiness or uncertainty focused around not knowing anything about that person.   It motivates you to get to know them better. It’s just like how a lot of us feel as freshman in college, everyone is so new to each other.  At first we asked each other what our home towns were, but as you get to know them better you begin to ask them more personal questions about their lives, it all reduces uncertainty . How much we like a person is proportional to the amount of uncertainty we feel around them.

Example: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/22/friends-key-to-happiness-in-midlife_n_1823615.html

Example Explanation: The huffington post article shows that a core center of friends is the key to happiness.  This helps support the uncertainty reduction theory because it shows that we aren’t happy in our lives unless we get to know people.  It’s human nature to want to know personal things about other people and share your personal feelings with other people as well.