Social Relations and Morale in Small Groups

By Eric F. Gardner; George G. Thompson | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XXX
Social-Relations Indices of the Group As Predictors of Individual Fraternity Member's Out-Group Affiliations

There is some reason to believe that the over-all social- relations status of a group may influence the nature and the number of its members' affiliations with other groups. For example, a fraternity that is plagued by many social frustrations may lose its members (in a functional, if not a physical sense) to other organized groups within the larger university community. There are individual instances of a few fraternity members spending almost all of their time away from their fraternity homes while they work to advance the achievements of one or more out-groups. Their contributions to the harmony and success of their respective social fraternities are characteristically judged as either negligible or detrimental.

Why do fraternity members "leave" their brothers to engage in so many outside social activities? We have reasoned that some of the members leave the fraternity group because its membership fails to satisfy their most important psychological needs. There are, of course, other factors which may be involved in such behavior tendencies. Some members may leave the fraternity group because of highly specialized intellectual interests, and so on through a number of essentially non-social factors. When the known factors are taken into consideration, it would appear that there might be a

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