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The alternative punk band NOFX is playing outside in Los Angeles. The music is loud, the crowd pumped up and excited. But neither the lyrics nor the people in the audience are quite what you might expect. Mixed in with the punks and young rebel students are members of local unions, from well-dressed teachers to more grizzled labor leaders. The lyrics are not published anywhere but are available on YouTube: “We’re here to represent/The 99 percent/Occupy, occupy, occupy.” The song: “Wouldn’t It Be Nice If Every Movement Had a Theme Song” (Cabrel 2011).

Across the country at an Occupy camp in New York, roughly three dozen members of the Facilitation Working Group, a part of the General Assembly, take a steady stream of visitors with requests at their unofficial headquarters. One person wants a grant for $1500 to make herbal medications available to those staying at the park. Another wants to present Native American peace principles derived from the Iroquois Confederacy. Yet another has a spreadsheet that he wants used as an evaluation tool for the facilitators. Numerous groups make up this movement, yet there’s no national leader. What makes a group something more than just a collection of people? How are leadership functions and styles established in a group dynamic?

Several women dressed in red nurses’ scrubs march and hold signs reading America’s Nurses Support at Occupy Wall Street above their heads.
Nurses, teachers, and Teamsters showed up to protest at the Occupy movement. (Photo courtesy of David Shankbone/flickr)

Most people have a sense of what it means to be a part of some kind of a group, whether it is a sports team, sorority, school club, or family. Groups connect us to others through commonalities of geography, interests, race, religion, and activities. But for the groups of people protesting from Augusta, Georgia, to Oakland, California, and hundreds of cities in between, their connection within the Occupy Wall Street movement is harder to define. What unites these people? Are the out-of-work doctoral candidates truly aligned with the high school dropouts? Do the urban poor genuinely feel for the campus-based protest against university tuition hikes?

Groups are prevalent in our social lives and provide a significant way we understand and define ourselves—both through groups we feel a connection to and those we don’t. Groups also play an important role in society. As enduring social units, they help foster shared value systems and are key to the structure of society as we know it. There are three primary sociological perspectives for studying groups: Functionalist, Conflict, and Interactionist. We can look at the Occupy movement through the lenses of these methods to better understand the roles and challenges that groups offer.

The Functionalist perspective is a big-picture macro-level view that looks at how different aspects of society are intertwined. This perspective is based on the idea that society is a well-balanced system with all parts necessary to the whole, and it studies the roles these parts play in relation to the whole. In the case of the Occupy Movement, a Functionalist might look at what macro-level needs the movement serves. For example, a Structural Functionalist might ask how the Occupy Wall Street movement forces both haves and have-nots to pay attention to the economy, or the way urbanites are impacted by the influx of protestors who typically reside outside of their region.

The Conflict perspective is another macroanalytical view, one that focuses on the genesis and growth of inequality. A conflict theorist studying the Occupy movement might look at how business interests have manipulated the system over the last 30 years, leading to the gross inequality we see today. Or this perspective might explore how the massive redistribution of wealth from the middle class to the upper class could lead to a two-class system reminiscent of Marxist ideas.

A third perspective is the Symbolic Interaction or Interactionist perspective. This method of analyzing groups takes a micro-level view. Instead of studying the big picture, these researchers look at the day-to-day interactions of groups. Studying these details, the Interactionist looks at issues like leadership style and group dynamics. In the case of the Occupy Movement, Interactionists might ask, “How does the group dynamic in New York differ from that in Atlanta?” Or, “What dictates who becomes the de facto leader in different cities—geography, social dynamics, economic circumstances?”

References

Cabrel, Javier. 2011. “NOFX - Occupy LA.” LAWeekly.com , November 28. Retrieved February 10, 2012 ( [link] ).

Questions & Answers

which of the following gases can be used for an oil for a long time
Nahid Reply
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Nahid
what is greak
Habibu Reply
psychology is somewhat unusual because it is both a science and a profession.discuss with concrete examples
Eze Reply
what is human psychology
dileep Reply
the study of human mind and behaviour
Kajal
correct
Echo
👍
dileep
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Aakash
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dileep
Hello hello, can somebody explain me what "psychomotor development" is?
Roland
It is the relationship between cognitive functions and movement.
Stephen
Why was my response erased
Connie
cognitive learning:Psychomotor learning is the relationship between cognitive functions and physical movement. Psychomotor learning is demonstrated by physical skills such as movement, coordination, manipulation, dexterity, grace, strength, speed—actions which demonstrate the fine or gross motor ski
George
thank you Stephen and George
Roland
What are the ways in which computer work as mind
baraka Reply
How does the computer serve as model for mind
baraka
in what ways does the computer serve as model for the mind?
Erick Reply
what ways does the computer serve as a model for the mind?
Erick
Ways in which computer work as Brain mind
baraka
learning is facilitated by
Quitta Reply
What
Angel
What is Repression?
Sharmin Reply
Repression, In psychoanalytic theory, the exclusion of distressing memories, thoughts, or feelings from the conscious mind. Often involving sexual or aggressive urges or painful childhood memories, these unwanted mental contents are pushed into the unconscious mind.
Forqan
in psychoanalytic terms a basic defense mechanism that shuts out anxiety arousing thoghts feelings and memories from one consciousness
Berrel
Repression is holding something painful inside because you're afraid to let it out for fear of what trouble it might csuse
Connie
It helps students to understand the behavior of people they encounter.
Anjonette Reply
what are the types of learning?
Ogbeyemi Reply
auditory, visual, kinesthetic, reading/writing
frederick
thanks @Frederick. But I still want to understand something. Classical conditioning, Operants conditioning and Observational learning are not types of learning?
Ogbeyemi
I believe there are several types of learning besides just the four I mentioned.
frederick
so, I can also say those I mentioned are part of learning?
Ogbeyemi
i would say so
frederick
Operant conditioning is a type of associative learning process through which the strength of a behavior is modified by reinforcement or punishment.
Forqan
what is psychology
Mukoone Reply
in simple explanation, it is the study and understanding of the human behavior
Edmar
the scientific study of the human mind and its functions, especially those affecting behaviour in a given context.
naina
the scientific study of human mind and behaviour
NishaOfficial
but I thought psychology is not limited to humans. I think it is the scientific study of behavior and mental process of organisms
Ogbeyemi
processes*
Ogbeyemi
what happened to my reply?
Trish
the study of human behavior, the reasons for the behavior, and ways to change the undesirable behaviors into desirable behaviors
RD
psychology is the study of the soul or mind of man through scientific studies relating to environmental factors and human behaviours.
Audley
not only man but animals as well
Audley
psychology is the study of the mind and behaviors*
Emely
the definition you gave Audley is incorrect
Emely
Hey Audley, also humans are animals, so the correct way to say it is.. Not only man but other animals as well. 👍🏽
Emely
Audley, you are both correct in the definition of psychology. Yours was textually from the book, while the other was simple and to the heart of it where a novice would understand.
Bosie
Emely, you stated that man is a animal as well. Explain?
Bosie
_____are the memory images that are related to particular place ,date and time .
Raghav Reply
what is psychology
Ayado Reply
can join your discussions
Ayado
he or she can
Edward
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Edward
Much and now she is 28 has a pension cause of her Autism she has everyone like her 2brothers her mom and her father had said to go on andfor-get the past she had not wanting to only seen her once I tried to make contact online she does not my contact from G circle
Edward
too bad
Ibrahim
God bless you Edward 🙏 I pray that God heals you and your family he will make things right
Joseph
Ibrahim it's too bad you couldn't take the time to give encouragement to your brother with a few more positive words at the end were all brothers and sisters in Christ 🙏
Joseph
hi
Bong
hello
Marcela
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Manuel
hello everyone
artgalang
hello
Nahid
what is rootology
Glory Reply
Rootology is a blend of 13 concentrated herbal extracts that support against sneezing, congestion, sinus pressure, runny nose, itchy watery eyes, and headache.
Labdhee
a child playing with the friend without complaining is called
Valerie Reply
free child
Nisha
psycosocial development
Anita
playful & sporty child
Jaga
What is called research problem and how we narrow down a research question and why it is needed
Karamat Reply

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Source:  OpenStax, Introduction to sociology. OpenStax CNX. Jun 12, 2012 Download for free at https://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11407/1.7
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