You are on page 1of 1

Are you interested in cracking IAS test series

One of the most fascinating aspects of people, when they come together in groups, is that after only a few minutes of interaction they settle on rules to coordinate and govern their behavior. The shared agreed upon rules of behavior that group members establish among themselves are what we call norms. Some are societal norms that members apply to their group. An example might be the use of majority vote to decide issues. Others are idiosyncratic norms evolved by group itself Norms define the kind of behavior that is expected from a group member. They do this by specifying not only what members should do, but also what they should not do. For instance, in a group of friends, norms may require a willingness to listen to each others problems but may also prohibit excessive demands for help and attention. So norms not only prescribe - they proscribe. It is difficult to discuss the idea and norms without using test series for IAS words like "should" that carry a sense of moral judgment and obligation. Norms are for the most part derived from the goals the group values and wishes to attain. They define the kinds of behavior the group members think is necessary for or consistent with the realization of those goals. This gives norms an evaluative quality. Since the behavior specified by the norm has consequences for the achievement of group's goals, that behavior takes on a sense of being either acceptable or unacceptable to the group. Norms also get associated with sanctions - that is rewards and punishment - which are associated with conformity to, or deviance from, norms. The most important aspect of group, especially the small group structure is the status hierarchy. A members status in a group refers to the degree of deference, esteem, and power to influence others that he or she acquires. Status is something that emerges from the relationship between a members and the rest of the group. If we map out the patterns of power and deference among the entire member, we have a picture of the groups status structure, which are almost always characterized by the difference in power and prestige among the group members with the exception of few members who may share approximately equal standing in the group. The location of a member in this hierarchy in his or her status rank. Each rank in the IAS Prelims hierarchy carries with it a set of normatively defined obligations to the group, as well as privileges. The highest status members of course have the greatest power and prestige, but also the greatest obligation. The difference between highest and lowest rank reflects the degree of status differentiation: There are flat structures (friendship groups) in groups which do not carry high level of status differences. But dramatic status differences (tall hierarchies) are common also. Groups evolve their status systems out of two rather different types of pressures: (I) the need to organize in pursuit groups goals, (2) the need to avoid destructive competition over the rewards to be gained from group activities. First refers to fundamental agreement from efficient/goal achievements and the second reflects the fundamental conflict of interests among group members. Status differentiation, hence, is an expression of both group unity as well as a mechanism to regulate political disagreements.