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For this final paper, you will engage in ethnographic observation of a small group in action and analyze the group’s functionality using Janus and Hirokawa and Gouran (Chapter 17).  To begin:

  1. Identify a small group that you are not a member of that would be willing to let you videotape one of their meetings.  Please find a group working on a class assignment form your school.
  2. Videotape one of their sessions.  Edit down the video into a TWO MINUTE segment of the meeting that illustrates the group at its most and least functional.
  3. Find five additional articles on groupthink and the functional perspective.  (The end of the chapter will provide at least a few possibilities.) As you’re reading them, underline at least two important quotes that provide a more nuanced understanding of the theory.  These quotes should be included in your final paper.
  4. Once you’ve done your research, write a paper that has the following clearly-marked sections:
    1. Introduction, literature review:  Describe the theories (functional perspective and groupthink) in full detail citing text whenever possible.  Be sure to address their objective/interpretive nature as well.
    1. Methods:  Describe how you found your group and what their task was. Discuss how long the meeting lasted, where it took place, where you sat in relationship to the group, etc.
    1. Findings:  Rely on concepts you identified in the introduction to analyze the data you collected. Which steps did you see them taking? Did the group function well?  Was groupthink present?  What was the quality of their decision?  Did they fail to reach a decision or consensus?
    1. Analysis:  How might this group have altered their practice in order to function more efficiently?  Were they too socially oriented?  What kind of disruption was present that might have impacted the decision negatively (or positively)?
    1. Further thought:  How does this theory help you consider your own role in future group work?  Does the theory function well as a way to describe the work of other groups?  What limitations does each theory have in the analysis of group work?

You will be tested on your:

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  1. Ability to synthesize all the materials listed.
  2. Ability to write clearly and effectively with a minimum of simple grammatical errors.
  3. Use of MLA format.
  4. Thorough and detailed review of the theories.
  5. Thorough and nuanced discussion of results.
  6. Use of formal written English.  (Please do not write this as if it were a conversation between you and me.)

Although there is not a formal page length, use 12 point font and one inch margins.  Remember, you only have ONE attempt, so please upload the proper file.

Chapter: 17: Functional Perspectives and Groupthink

Chapter 5: Symbolic Interactionism

Chapter 7: Expectancy Violation Theory

Chapters 8 and 9: Social Penetration Theory and Uncertainty Reduction Theory

Chapters 14 and 15: Social Judgment Theory and Elaboration Likelihood Mode

Chapters 22: Aristotle

Chapter 23: Dramatism

Chapter 20: Communicative Constitution of Organizations

Chapter 19: Cultural Approach

Chapter 31: Genderlect

Chapter 32: Standpoint Theory and low/high context communication

Instructional Audio file: She starts to go over the paper at 8mins so you can fast forward to 8 mins in the audio file. You can listen to all of the audio but that’s up to you.

5 sections total label each section

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