Tma 02

Drawing on appropriate evidence from chapters describe how groups can influence people in positive and negative ways?

When we identify our self with a group we tend to feel a sense of social identity, acceptance and a sense of security. We take on a role within the group and sometimes we feel group pressure to conform to the tendencies of the group. In a group you will find everyone to have similar habits and the same likes and dislikes. We may sometimes belong to more than one group and because of this we have different social identities to allow us to fit in to the various groups we are associated with. For Example a mother maybe a student in University, have a job in a supermarket and be a wife at home with all those demanding roles, the mother would have to be able to adjust to the different social settings and social identities. I am going to look at a few studies that have been carried out and describe how groups can influence people in positive and negative ways.
I will begin by looking at the positive effects of being a part of a group can have on us as individuals. From an early age we are influenced by the people we grow up around. When heading in to adulthood this influence can play a vital role in shaping our personality and help us conform to the norms of society. For example a series of studies were conducted by Muzafer Sherif et al (1961) involving young boys at summer camp. The boys were split in to two groups, as time went on the boys in each group became competitive but quite close. A tournament was then arranged between the two groups, it was noted that although there were some aggression there, were also some good traits which stood out such as Co-operation, Group loyalty and solidarity. I believe the boys were influenced to act in a positive way as they were all of similar ages, same gender and were put in to the same circumstance of being in at a summer camp which meant they were in regular proximity to one another.
Another Example...