Delta State University
SOC 101: Principles of Sociology
Fall Semester 2004

Study Questions
Week 5

Printer Friendly Version

Topic for the Week:  Groups and Organizations

Readings for the Week:
  Society: The Basics, Chapter 5


(1)  What is the difference between a group, a category and a crowd?

(2)  Provide a definition for the following types of groups:

(3)  Illustrate the concept of secondary groups by (a) distinguishing it from primary groups, and (b) providing examples of secondary groups and explaining their structure.  What is the purpose of a secondary group, and how does this differ from the purpose of a primary group?

(4)  What is the difference between instrumental and expressive leadership?  Under what conditions might one type of leadership be more necessary than another?  Identify the salient characteristics of authoritarian, democratic and laissez-faire leadership.  How might leadership style affect an organization?

(5)  What are some group characteristics that facilitate or inhibit social diversity and interaction among people from different cultures?

(6)  Identify the salient characteristics of utilitarian, normative, voluntary, and coercive organizations.

(7)  Max Weber suggested bureaucracies are formal organizations with specific structures.  Identify and explain six characteristics of bureaucracies, according to Weber.  How do bureaucracies arise in modern society?  What issues arise as formal organizations evolve?

(8)  What are some of the problems that arise from bureaucratic forms of organization?  Describe a personal experience that illustrates each problem.

(9)  What is meant by the “McDonaldization of Society?”  How does McDonaldization relate to Weber’s theories of formal organizations?  What are the benefits and costs of an emphasis on efficiency, calculability, uniformity and automation?

(10)  A general theme in this chapter is that larger groups tend to be more formalized.  What does this mean and why is this so?