group dynamics

August 4, 2006

Humans are social creatures and do best when we are part of a group. These days our group structures are more complicated. For myself there is mother’s group, twin mother’s group, peer review group, church groups, tutorial groups, friendship groups, gymbaroo classes, family groups etc etc. Each group is unique, some are open groups and others are closed groups. Should our groups be open or closed. Open groups are more dynamic, alive and changing. Closed groups are more stable, eternal and secure. No one can join the group of “best friends at school” because it is based on something that happened in the past. Even that group has changed and widened because it now includes our husbands and children.

Most groups have a focus or commonality, whether it is work, or church, sport, music or parenthood. Very few social groups are purely social but I think they are at their best with a common focus. Some activites are more likely to produce a cohesive social group, like work because you see people often and church, because it is the aim of most churches to have a community.

In times past, a person would be a member of a village. That group wouldn’t change much except for births and deaths (pre-travelling etc). There would be security and no loneliness, but not a lot of opportunity for adventure, learning or growth. You might only have one group (the village) or groups within groups (by sex, age or occupation)

Now people can fall through the cracks when they don’t fit into any group. They might work in a solitary profession and be apart from family and friends. They might be anonymous and invisible to the rest of us.

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