The Crucible: Belonging & Exclusion (the "Other")

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What is it to belong to a group? Is it really that simple when someone says, "Either you're with us or you're not"? Yes, it is that simple. Belonging and exclusion in any situation are two sides of the same coin - you can't have one without the other. In any organization or group, people are bound together by a community of interest, purpose or function and if you do not believe in these same things, then you are not a part of that group. In an organization or group, you have to ask yourself, "What is it to be a part of this particular group, what does it take to belong?" It takes following the rules of the group, agreeing with their purpose, obeying their authorities and the ability to go the length for their cause. In "The Crucible", if they did not abide as part of the group, the Christian Church, then the consequences were fatal. The Crucible told of what is was to be a scapegoat in their society and what it took to defend themselves from becoming that scapegoat.

To remind people in an organization why they belong takes continued focus on a common goal or common belief. By having one main function, a group is generally more effective than if everyone has different ideas and outlooks on specific topics. However, to keep everyone on the same page, the members of a group need to accurately know where they stand in reference to their goal. One way to do this is through social facilitation. This is the concern of self image through the presence of other people. It's a concept that allows members to know the acceptable opinions of the group. Someone who agrees to the ideas set out from the organization. Group polarization is the concept of changing personal opinions to extremities after a group discussion. This concept eliminates members who aren't sure what they think of the group's purpose. They decide that either they agree completely or they disagree completely. Either way it means they decide if they are in or out after the group discussion. A common goal is one way to distinguish and separate the devoted members from the questionable individuals in a group.

High cohesiveness is an effective tool in the success and effectiveness of an organization. However, in order for success and effectiveness, the group must ensure that everyone is willing to follow the guidelines implicitly. Traditionally, rules are set out for the members to follow. Generally, explicit rules are made in order for everyone to obviously and without question understand what is expected of them. Ideally, a clear list of what you can and cannot do and what is acceptable and unacceptable in their organization should exist. Unfortunately these requirements are not all written down - implicit standards are always hiding in a group, whether they are talked of or not is up to the group. We usually call these implicit rules actual "norms" which are there to ensure that only the "proper" people are involved in the group. Implicit details often provide secret exclusion for members that don't "belong". Some details are implicitly implied only because by exploiting these undercover rules, the image of the group is disturbed and the hypocrisy of the rule makers might be uncovered. Without rules people might be able to act as they please which is not the purpose of a group.

Just as in society, with rules must come enforcers. There can be no expectations for people to follow the rules if there is no one to enforce the consequences. This is why authority and leadership are key points in keeping their sense of belonging in a group. It is well known that people tend to lose focus of what is important to them when no one is helping them along, thus the necessity for role expectations. Someone in a group must take responsibility to be relentless and bold, to take charge of situations. Leadership makes it all happen. If there is no leader in a group, it is likely that the group would not accomplish anything as they lose focus....
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