Social Exchange Theory Essay

Social Exchange Theory Essay

Length: 981 words (2.8 double-spaced pages)

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Everyone is part of some organization or a group, however, many people to stop and think about what drives the group, what keeps the group together, or how the group functions as a whole. In this paper we will be looking at a group, Social Work Club, and be applying four theories; Field theory, Social Exchange theory, Learning theory, and Psychoanalytic theory to the group to understand the function of it.
Field Theory
The first theory we are going to cover is the Field theory. This theory focuses on how groups function in an effort to achieve their goals and how they are impacted by forces found in the environment. We will be focusing on the positive and negative valences of this social work group, the cohesion for the president and vice president of the group, leadership, roles, and norms of the group.
Valences
Valences are forces that push toward, positive, or pull away, negative, from involvement and participation in the group. The positive valences for this group are working as a group and helping the community through their volunteer work. Some negative valences of this group is the interpersonal feuding between LaTonya, president, and Bert, vice president as it could create tension with the rest of the group. Also members might feel like they can’t talk without being cut off like when LaTonya cut Bert off.
Cohesion
Cohesion is the collective sum of forces encouraging members to stay in the group. For the group as a whole the cohesion is wanting to volunteer and help people in the community. Cohesion for Latonya, president, is getting as much accomplished at meetings as she can, to set goals and complete them, she is very serious about her position as president. Cohesion for Bert is competing for power and control of me...


... middle of paper ...


...otional reaction by group members; the bitter fighting between LaTonya and Bert might stop if LaTonya takes Bert aside one on one and figures out what he is really upset about. Bert defense mechanism is acting out. A defense mechanism is any unconscious attempt to adjust to conditions.
These four theories; Field theory, Social Exchange theory, Learning theory, and Psychoanalytic theory are just a few theories used to assess groups like Social Work Club. It allows you to see what works for the group, what does not, and even helps see how to make it better. There are many aspects even in this theories that you could look farther into for this group, however this gives you a pretty good insight in how this Social Work Club Functions.



References
Kirst-Ashman, K. (2011). Human behavior in the macro social environment. (3rd ed., pp. 68-77). Belmont, CA: Brookes/Cole.

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