Internet Activities and Websites
Visit the website for America Speaks (http://americaspeaks.org), an organization that gives citizens an authentic voice in local, regional, and national decision-making on the most challenging public issues of the day. How is this organization using the information you are reading about in your textbook?
Chapter 10 discusses the rise of deliberative democracy. Visit the website for the Center for Deliberative Democracy (http://cdd.stanford.edu). This center is housed in the Department of Communication at Stanford University and uses Deliberative Polling® to research democracy and public opinion issues. What some advantages of the Deliberative Polling® technique? Using this method, what are some of the latest findings reported on this website?
Visit the Everyday Democracy website (http://www.everyday-democracy.org/en/index.aspx). This organization aims to help local communities, neighborhoods, cities, towns, regions, and states find ways for all kinds of people to think, talk, and work together to solve problems. Think about some pressing issues on your campus, in your community, and in your state. How might Everyday Democracy assist your campus, community, and state work through an issue or problem? If you were to bring Everyday Democracy to a campus or town meeting, how might the organization approach the issue in question? What do you think Everyday Democracy would do to help your community work through its problem?
Visit the National Issues Forums website (http://nifi.org). What are the topics of some upcoming forums/events? How might you utilize the knowledge and skills that you have been learning in your class to become an effective participant in these forums?
Are you a Facebook user? Take a look around your Facebook page and the Facebook pages of your friends. To which Facebook groups do you belong? Are you an active participant in these groups? How might your membership in these groups reflect your personal views, opinions, and beliefs? Now, do the same for the Facebook pages of your friends. To which Facebook groups do they belong? Are they active participants in these groups? How might their membership in these groups affect your perception of them? How might an individual’s participation in a Facebook group differ from his/her participation in a community activist group? How likely is it for a Facebook user to conceal his or her beliefs and participation online compared to being involved in groups that meet face-to-face?
Suggested Film List
Selected Films Prominently Featuring Small Groups
There are thousands of movies that feature groups, and below is a mix of some classic and more recent films with small groups.
12 Angry Men (1957 original and 1997 remake feature a jury)
12 (2007 Russian remake of 12 Angry Men)
Akeelah and the Bee (2006, close-knit group and mutual support)
Breakfast Club (1985, outcast group and identity formation)
Cool Runnings (1993, comedy showing power of cohesion, commitment)
Darkon (2006, documentary on a live-action role-playing group)
Fantastic Four (2004, superhero group and collaborative teamwork)
Fast Food Nation (2004, activist group)
The Goonies (1985, adventure group)
The Incredibles (2004, functional family)
The Joy Luck Club (1993, family and friendship bonds)
Lifeboat (1994 Hitchcock film)
Little Miss Sunshine (2006, dysfunctional family)
Home of the Brave (2004 post-war film, featuring self-help group)
Miracle (2004, teamwork and leadership on a hockey team)
Ned Kelly (1906, 1970, and 2003 best versions of this outlaw gang)
Ocean’s 11 (1960 and 2001 remake—plus sequels, feature a complex heist gang)
Remember the Titans (2000, identity and inter-group conflict)
Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (2005, long-distance group friendships)
Soul Food (1997, intimate family portrait)
Smoke Signals (1998, tight-knit friendship and group development)
Star Trek (2009, leadership, status, and developing cohesion)
Sunshine (2007, sci-fi drama foregrounds group decision making norms)
Suggested Television Show List
Selected Television Shows Prominently Featuring Small Groups
There are currently dozens of television programs featuring small groups, especially families and friend groups. Here is a very small list of classic and contemporary programs that foreground groups, with the original air date in parentheses.
30 Rock (2006, social and work group interconnections at television studio)
Arrested Development (2003, dysfunctional family)
Battlestar Galactica (2003, complex intergroup relations in a sci-fi drama)
Big Brother (2000, reality-TV that puts strangers together in a house)
Everybody Hates Chris (2005, family and other childhood groups)
Firefly (2002, sci-fi western)
Friends (1994, tight-knit group of friends)
Gilligan’s Island (1964, castaways)
House (2004, high-functioning but psychopathic medical diagnostic team)
Law & Order (1990, plus sequels; complex intergroup dynamics within law enforcement)
Lost (2004, castaways)
The Office (2001 in Britain and 2005 in U.S., workplace group dynamics and leadership)
Scrubs (2001, complex intergroup dynamics in a hospital)
Survivor (2000, reality-TV castaways)
The Simpsons (1989, foregrounds a family, plus school, work, and other groups)
Seinfeld (1989, tight-knit group of friends)
Star Trek (1966, and various sequels; sci-fi western)
Suggested Reading List
Key Readings on Small Groups
Below are a few key books and essays that provide helpful resources for students and instructors who want to dig deeper into the research on small groups and related topics in The Group in Society. (The chapter-specific resource pages provide additional articles available through the Sage website.)
Bormann, E. G. (1980). The paradox and promise of small group communication revisited. Central States Speech Journal, 31, 214-224.
Frey, L. R. (Ed.) (1999). The Handbook Of Group Communication Theory and Research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Frey, L. R. (Ed.) (2002). New Directions In Group Communication. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Frey, L. R. (Ed.) (2003). Group Communication in Context. Manwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
Gastil, J. (1993). Democracy in small groups: Participation, decision-making, and communication. Philadelphia, PA: New Society Publishers.
Gastil, J., & Levine, P. (Eds.) (2005). The deliberative democracy handbook: Strategies for effective civic engagement in the twenty-first century. San Francisco, CA: Jossey Bass.
Giddens, A. (1984). The Constitution Of Society. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Hare, A. P. (1996). Handbook of Small Group Research, 2nd ed. New York: Free Press.
Hirokawa, R. Y., & Poole, M. S. (1996). Communication And Group Decision Making, 2nd ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Levine, J. M., & Moreland, R. L. (1990). Progress in small group research. Annual Review of Psychology, 41, 585-634.
Levine, J. M., & Moreland, R. L. (Eds.) (2006). Small Groups: Key Readings. New York: Psychology Press.
Morgan, G. (1986). Images of organization. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.
Poole, M. S., & Hollingshead, A. (Eds.) (2005). Theories Of Small Groups: Interdisciplinary Perspectives. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Poole, M. S., Seibold, D. R., & McPhee, R. D. (1985). Group decision-making as a structurational process. Quarterly Journal of Speech, 71, 74-102.
Schwartzman, H. B. (1989). The meeting: Gatherings in organizations and communities. New York: Plenum.
Wheelan, S. A. (Ed.) (2005). The Handbook Of Group Research And Practice. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.