Eric Schoon Concordia University-Saint Paul
Twelve Angry Men
Twelve Angry Men is set in a New York City court of law jury room in 1957. The movie opens to the empty jury room, and the judge’s voice is heard giving a set of final instructions to the jurors (Reginald Rose, Twelve Angry Men Study Guide).Twelve men with diverse backgrounds are confined in a room and are unable to leave until they can reach a unanimous decision, one which will either condemn a young man to death or set him free. The twelve strangers are bound to each other until the goal is achieved. The scene is composed of two rather small rooms, one with windows that overlook the downtown area and the second room is a restroom. It seems that the deliberation takes place in the summer; humidity and the room’s stuffiness, due to the lack of air conditioning and a sporadically working fan, add to the undue stress of their task. This paper will discuss the different elements of group dynamics and how they relate to group cohesion and their effectiveness. II. Relational characteristics of group dynamics
Levi, (2011) states to become more effective, teams should address several issues when first formed. First the team should socialize new members into the group. This socialization process assimilates new members while accommodating their individual needs. Second, the purpose or objective of the team should be defined through the creation of team goals. Juror number one takes the leader role as the jury foreman. This juror is non-confrontational and is very serious about his respected role; he tries to be as fair as possible. Levi, (2011) suggests there are many stage theories of group development, but most of the theories have similar elements. A best-known group development stage theory Developed by Tuckman and Jensen, (1977) consists of five stages; forming, storming, norming, performing, and adjourning. Levi, (2011) says a group begins with the forming stage, where little work occurs. Group members get to know one another, as in the movie when the jurors start to file into the room and decide to take a short break before deliberating. The socialization and forming stage process begins with small group discussion between jurors. The storming stage that follows often is characterized by conflicts among group members and confusion about group roles and project requirements Levi, (2011). The storming stage was observed in the movie when each juror took a turn to give his vote and explain why he thought the defendant was guilty. This stage created conflict and hostility between two of the jurors who voted “not guilty” against the other ten jurors who voted “guilty”. There was also confusion in this stage when another juror took role of the foreman for a brief moment in which juror number one took control again. The norming stage is characterized by when a group begins to organize itself Levi, (2011). In the movie, some of the jurors developed rules of order and stated what behavior was acceptable or unacceptable. Levi, (2011) went on to say during the performing stage the group has matured and knows how to operate, so it focuses on its task. In the movie all twelve of the jurors went through and discussed every piece of evidence and different scenario in order to come up with a verdict. The adjourning stage according to Levi, (2011) suggests some groups have planned endings. In this case, the twelve jurors must reach a verdict. Group norms define appropriate behavior for group members. They help the group to operate more smoothly and create a distinctive group identity Levi, (2011). Social influence
Levi, (2011) refers to social influence as an attempt to affect or change other people. In the movie Twelve Angry Men, all of the jurors presume the defendant is guilty. The...