Small Group Communication
Reflection Paper #1
The Importance of Socialization in Small Group Communication
According to Dictionary.com, socialization is defined as “a continuing process whereby an individual acquires a personal identity and learns the norms, values, behavior, and social skills appropriate to his or her social position”. Although this definition could also apply in some ways, there are, however, more specific definitions of socialization when referring to small group communication. In order to understand how socialization works, and why it is important in a small group, I must first describe the various definitions that exist:
1. “When newcomers become part of the group’s patterns of activities.”
2. “As a reciprocal process that affects both individual members and the group as a whole.”
3. “As a two-way process of influence and change whereby group members use verbal and nonverbal messages to create a new and unique group culture.”
I should also explain the different models of small group communication. “In 1999, Carolyn Anderson and her colleagues introduced a model of small group socialization by using five phases to illustrate how communication influences socialization processes”. I found that these five phases are similar to Tuckman’s five-phase model of group development. They are sequential, but unlike Tuckman’s, focus on each individual within the small group and help to illuminate how he/she may be feeling throughout the group process.
The first phase in the models of small group socialization is the antecedent phase. In this phase, “researchers seem to agree that whether you’re entering an existing group or a new group matters not; what you bring to a group-beliefs, attitudes, and communicative and personality traits-will influence the group’s culture and members”. For me, in the antecedent phase, I felt mostly negative toward group work. I did not have much positive experience in prior groups, therefore, I assumed
Bibliography: Anderson, Scott A. Myers and Carolyn M. The Fundamentals of Small Group Communication. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc., 2008. Chapter 2. Conjecture Corporation. wiseGEEK. 2003-2013. . Dictionary.com. Dictionary.com Unabridged. n.d. Random House. 27 October 2013. . University, Old Dominion. Old Dominion University. n.d. odu.edu. 25 October 2013.