Term Paper: Social Influences on Behavior

Pages: 3 (1041 words)  ·  Style: APA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 2  ·  Topic: Race  ·  Buy This Paper

¶ … socially influenced encounters, one a personal example of racism and groupthink encountered at work, the other an example from the national media.

Example 1: Racial Discrimination in the Workplace, or "Why are you sitting there?"

Theoretically, everyone at one's place of work should be regarded as an equal and as a colleague, even as a potential if not an actual friend. But recently, an organization to which one of the team members belonged called a common meeting to discuss the organization's new policies for health insurance. As the crowd quickly filled the room, a noticeable pattern of behavior transpired. People did not merely sit with those whom they worked with, or their friends. Instead, there was a noticeable pattern of separation by ethnicity. The minority group was visibly located on one side of the room and the majority ethnicity of the other employees sat on the other side of the room. This was not a formal strategy; it seemed to happen as unconscious behavior. A kind of unconscious 'groupthink' seemed to be going on, or a tacit endorsement of the social alignments of the society, based upon attitudes regarding race and ethnicity.

According to the team member, she resolved to challenge this sort of behavior. She sat with colleagues whom were unfamiliar and not of her ethnicity. She overheard one of her usual seating partners at such functions whisper, "why is she sitting over there?" Clearly, (and in this case correctly) they assumed that the renegade worker's decision to sit in the seat was an effort to make a statement, rather than to merely occupy the nearest available chair in the crowded room. Another young lady, in a low whisper, questioned the woman's decision. The woman explained that the meeting was about to start, and there were few other places to sit, which was the truth.

As the room waited for the meeting to begin, the ice having been broken, the woman engaged in a conversation with the persons around her seat. The commonly shared bond of having to attend a rather boring and lengthy meeting acted as a kind of pro-social influence that facilitated greater diversity in the room's social interactions. Furthermore, given that no one wished (social facilitation) to make an openly negative statement, given that the company is supports the principle of diversity (at least in theory) everyone was socially influenced to behave in a more positive and inquisitive fashion towards one another by proximity and by social custom -- it is considered natural to talk before such meetings, and considered unacceptable to socially 'loaf' in silence.

In the end, after several lengthy conversations and friendly exchanges the now mixed group went out to lunch together. They had several discussions on their dissimilar work responsibilities and functions, and found common ground in their vocational experiences. After the meetings adjourned the woman did hear some less accepting individuals mutter "why did she sit there?" Later, the woman's colleagues questioned why she sat with "the ladies on the 3rd floor," although they resisted making a reference to their race of the other women, another example of professional… [END OF PREVIEW]

Social Influence in January 2004 Upper Level Term Paper


Social Influences How Behavior Differs Term Paper


Social Psychological Concept Normative Social Influence Essay


Social Psychology Social Influence Term Paper


Social Influence on Teenagers Research Paper


View 1,000+ other related papers  >>

Cite This Term Paper:

APA Format

Social Influences on Behavior.  (2006, November 11).  Retrieved August 18, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/social-influences-behavior/8112967

MLA Format

"Social Influences on Behavior."  11 November 2006.  Web.  18 August 2019. <https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/social-influences-behavior/8112967>.

Chicago Format

"Social Influences on Behavior."  Essaytown.com.  November 11, 2006.  Accessed August 18, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/social-influences-behavior/8112967.