Human Social Groups

Lisa Slattery Walker, Chair and Professor of Sociology,
UNC Charlotte

This seminar is designed to examine the current knowledge about social groups. Both intra-group relations, i.e., how small groups function within themselves, and inter-group relations, i.e., how groups interact with one another, will be covered. Potential topics may include conformity, minority influence, leadership, decision making, stereotyping, discrimination and inter-group conflict. Examples from groups such as families, work teams, political parties and voluntary associations will be used throughout the seminar. Major current theories and the history of the study of small groups will be presented. Much of the seminar will be experiential, with the Fellows participating in various group activities to demonstrate the group dynamics under discussion.

This seminar would be interdisciplinary in scope, with emphasis on social psychology, but of interest to teachers of sociology, psychology, social studies, politics, history, business, communications or any other field where people work in groups or teams (e.g., lab sciences). Topics which Fellows might discuss include why and how humans work in social groups; how and when group-based work is, and is not, an effective tool for improving outcomes of various kinds of tasks; and various group techniques for improving student learning, inclusion and classroom climate.

Participating Fellows