My social group – basketball team
This paper is about my social group, basketball team. It will be analyzed with different concepts in the following. To begin, I will mention background information. Then, I will describe the cohesiveness of our team with group size, initiations, cognitive dissonance and time. Lastly, I will explain why I do not exit the group with three structural factors, group permeability, status stability and legitimacy.
My team has established in 2000 and I joined it in 2002. It recruits members at their age of twelve to fourteen normally. It has about twenty five members at its peak in 2008 and now there are about fifteen members in the team.
The fifteen of us compare to the peak time, twenty five members, has a higher level of cohesiveness. Cohesion means a dynamic process which is reflected in part by the extent of a group to tie together with unity to pursue its instrumental objectives and for the gratification of member affective needs (Carron & Brawley, 2000). Reflection of the definition shows there is task-oriented and socially oriented basis for the function and unity of group (Carron, Widmeyer, & Brawley, 1985). Our team is cohesive to work out together to achieve goals. We like each other like close friends, gaining individual enjoyment which makes us cohesive.
Cohesion can be divided into different levels like high and low, how do we define the intensity of cohesion? The first aspect, group size, when more people join the group, the number of group member increases, and intensity of cohesiveness decreases, vice versa. Group size cannot determine the cohesiveness independently, initiation policies is needed, which are requirements in official or unofficial ways that must be attained by a person to become an insider of a group. The difficulties of the requirements increases, the intensity of cohesiveness increases, vice versa. The above causes are only external factors, internal factor is indispensable. Cognitive dissonance, people change their minds and attitudes to become more consistent with their displayed behavior because those inconsistencies result in a distressing psychological condition (Krug, Van Veen, Schooler & Carter, 2009). It motivates people to lessen the dissonance by keeping their minds and attitudes consistently. With controllable external and internal factors are still not enough, uncontrollable physical factor has also a vital role, time factor, the developing time of a group is positively related to the intensity of cohesion of a group, vice versa.
For the external factors, our team compares with other sport teams has less member relatively, even at our peak time, there was only around twenty five members. After some of them chose to leave the team now we have about fifteen members regularly. Although the number of team members decreased, the cohesion of our team has increased. Our team has divided into two age groups, elder one and younger one and I belong to the elder one. At the beginning time, elder group had ten people, but half of them chose to leave in the past few years, now only left five of us. We are only five, but our cohesion is at the best level as we have known each other for ten years. We have taken part in nearly hundred competitions and around twenty times of social services. This shows small group size is negatively related to cohesiveness. Besides, our team has some initiation policies on recruiting members. Outsiders need to attain a test on basketball and also interview by our coaches to see whether the individuals with conducts, suit our team style.
Even individuals with talented and perform well in the test, once their personalities do not suit our team style they cannot join our team. In addition, we are different with other sport teams, we also focus on social services and everyone needs to join the voluntary services. This special feature is another way to increase our cohesiveness. Furthermore, we have a basketball camp every year, during this, not only practicing, but we have to overcome difficult tasks through cooperation. This measure further enhances our cohesiveness. Moreover, for the internal factor, as I have put much effort and ten years of youth-hood on this team, I do love this team, otherwise, I will feel that I have wasted my time. Finally, for the physical factor, as our team has set up for more than ten years, we are now a team with high cohesion. In the beginning, we are not that cohesive, but after few years, we have developed our interests to this team.
We are high cohesive group, but we seldom win in the competitions, being a low status team. This does discourage some talented team members, therefore, they choose to exit the group and join the elite teams, but who are non-talented like me, never think about leaving. Why members choose to leave and some do not? There are three structural factors of the intergroup relation may decide the preference of leave or stay, permeability of group boundaries, stability and legitimacy of group status (Boen & Vanbeselaere, 2001). Firstly, the group permeability means the perceived chance of leaving current group and joins another group. Secondly, the status stability means the perceived chance of changing the relative positions of low status and high status group. Thirdly, status legitimacy means the extent that positions in the group are according to a just standard.
The permeability of my team is high, to a large extent of possibility that members can leave this team and join another team freely. It is not difficult to leave this team as it needs not any special requirements. The status of our team is stable, we have set up this team for more than ten years and even we win sometimes, but the status still has not changed from low to high, this can foresee that the position of our team is less likely to change. Our team has legitimate status, it is fair for us to be a low status team. It is because our team only practices once a week, not like the elite teams, they practice three times a week. Also, they have better resource like having capital to employ the skillful players and can practice in a well-equipped basketball court. However, our resource is insufficient, only one very old basketball and have to practice in outdoor, so the low status of our team is acceptable. Therefore, as a permeable and stable status team, some talented members left it and joined higher status ones, elite teams. Why do not I leave this? Only talented members choose to leave group when it is permeable and with stable status, the non-talented members may accept their unsatisfactory condition (Boen & Vanbeselaere, 2001). Therefore, although team permeability is quite high and status is stable, our team is legitimate in its status and as a non-talented member, I accept to this standing.
The success of our team in cohesiveness is due to the external factors, group
size and initiation policies, internal factor, cognitive dissonance and physical factor, time. Although our team is high cohesive but some members choose to leave, three structural factors can explain this, group permeability, status stability and legitimacy.