Equality In Group Discussion Social Work Essay

Using group work is common in societal work pattern today. The advantage of utilizing group include supportive ambiance can be provided, so that jobs can be solved efficaciously if common purpose are set ( Whitaker, 2001 ) . Furthermore, different endowments and experiences of members allow them to larn from each other. For illustration, more suggestions can be provided that assist members to get by with jobs. However, sub-groups are normally the challenge of utilizing group work. They necessarily appear in groups which affect the group in assorted ways ( Hepworth, 2010 ) . In this paper, causes of sub-groups and the phase that sub-groups normally develop will be foremost illustrated. Then, positive and negative effects of sub-groups will be discussed ; eventually, intercession of sub-groups will be suggested with illustration.

Causes of sub-groups

Hepworth ( 2010 ) states that there are several phases in group work. They are Preaffiliation, Power and Control, Intimacy, Differentiation and Separation. Power and Control is the phase that members has already settled down their feelings of dying and fright in the new group and think the group is honoring, and so members alter their concerns into power and control among group members ( Hepworth, 2010 ) .

Hepworth ( 2010 ) references this phase is the clip of passage, which means members are at an equivocal state of affairs that they will alter from unusual into intimate relationships. During this period, group members are worry about the interaction with other members, which they are normally frightened of being neglected and misunderstood, and fear about losing control ( Corey & A ; Corey, 1997 ) . Given this state of affairs, members will get down to “ rank ” each other and happen other members with similar value for assistance and protection, so that sub-groups and hierarchy are most likely formed ( Yalom, 1995 ) .

Developing sub-groups is a normal procedure in group work. “ They occur in all groups that without them there would be no dynamic tenseness in the group ” ( Toseland & A ; Rivas, 1984, p.61 ) . Sub-groups emerged from similarity of some group members, for illustration, during the phase of Power and Control, common end among members is non developed ; members who portion similar experiences, values and involvements will be aligned ( Newcomb, 1963 ) . In add-on, Forsyth ( 2006 ) besides suggests that sub-groups can be formed when a member who has the demands to asseverate his/her power lucifers with other members who accept his/her control.

It is besides common that some group members have strong demands to asseverate power in a group. Those members are more preferable to hold group-based hierarchy ; in which “ inferior group ” is dominated by “ superior group ” is favored ( Sidanius & A ; Pratto, 1999 ) . Forsyth ( 2006 ) besides states that those members wish to guard and even want to widen the differences between group members. As a consequence, those members are prone to organize subgroups with members sharing similar values and plus his/her power to “ inferior ” members.

Besides, there can be other grounds that cause organizing sub-groups. For illustration, members who know each other before, members who show ill will towards the same individual and members who have demands but non feeling confident to voice out.

Effectss of sub-groups

Positive effects of sub-groups

Toseland and Rivas ( 1984 ) references that worker can urge members to organize sub-groups in some state of affairss, particularly in undertaking group. This is because groups are excessively big to execute elaborate work, for illustration, the usage of commissions can help executing little undertaking efficaciously ( Toseland & A ; Rivas, 1984 ) . Besides, spliting members into little group can help them to happen out their ain strengths because the communicating in subgroups is less centralised ( Barker, Wahlers and Watson, 2001 ) .

Furthermore, in intervention group, interrupting group into subgroups can give larger opportunity to group member to portion their positions. Barker, Wahlers and Watson ( 2001 ) states that member is hard to affect if the group is excessively big or some members dominant in treatment. As a consequence, spliting members into subgroups can let members a more equal chance to take part in the group. This helps members to develop back uping web with each other more easy.

The acquired endowment and support signifier subgroups can both assist members to heighten their engagement and investing in the larger group ( Hepworth, 2010 ) .

Yalom ( 1975 ) besides states that subgroups can supply curative purpose, for illustration, it helps members to decide the unsolved jobs of early household life. It is suggested that utilizing role-play and treatments in little groups can supply a platform for members to self-reflect, so that members can get by with the unsolved issues more efficaciously.

Negative effects of sub-groups

Though there are advantages of sub-groups, negative effects of sub-groups can non be neglect since its effects can be tremendous. As a societal worker, negative effects of sub-group should be extremely considered because the effects may sabotage the benefits of utilizing groups.

Toseland and Rivas ( 1984 ) suggest that organizing sub-groups can do isolation of some members. It means that certain members are non interacted in the group. Without the inclusion of sub-group, members who are isolated will go less involved, and eventually retreat from the group. On the other manus, those who are in sub-groups may rule the group treatment because of their gained power.

The isolation consequence may deteriorate the advantages of utilizing groups.

Scapegoat is one of the negative effects of subgroups. It happens when negative remarks and disapproving ratings is delivered from the subgroups to the whipping boies ( Toseland & A ; Rivas, 1984 ) . The whipping boy consequence will impede the engagement of the disapproved members in the group.

Toseland and Rivas ( 1984 ) besides indicate out that worker can be debatable if drastic subgroup coherence formed, as the authorization of the worker will be challenged by members of subgroups. For illustration, members may replace their ain ends with the group ends, or they may replace with their ain solution to achieve the ends of the larger group ( Toseland & A ; Rivas, 1984 ) . Therefore, the challenge of subgroup members may hinder the aims of be aftering a group.

Subgroups will besides impact the communicating of the larger group. Barker et Al. ( 2001 ) states that intermittent comments between subgroup members cause small problem. Yet, the comments cause distraction if they become conversation ( Barker et al. , 2001 ) . This implies that the advancement of the group will be affected.

Intervention towards the negative effects of subgroups

When negative effects of subgroups occurred in the group evidently that the group advancement is affected, action should be taken by societal worker to step in the state of affairs. In this portion, a support group of Secondary 5 pupils who are sitting for HKCEE test will be used as an illustration to exemplify the intercession methods.

Initiate treatment about the formation of subgroups and its impact

Discussion about the grounds of developing heretical subgroups and the effects to the larger groups can be initiated ( Hepworth, 2010 ) . The treatment can help the subgroups members aware the troubles they made for scene of end, interacting of group and devising of determination ( Hepworth, 2010 ) . For illustration, if heretical subgroups are formed between the Secondary 5 pupils of the support group that advancement of the whole group is affected ; originating treatment about their state of affairs is recommended. The worker can get down like, “ It seems that there are subgroups in our group which portion different values, Amy, can you state us why? ” or “ Can you portion some effects of organizing subgroups? ” Furthermore, the worker can stop by stating “ Some of you pointed out that holding heretical subgroups may do negative effects. I agree with it. As all of you want to be benefited in the group, I unfeignedly hope that all of you can be concerted. ” Through originating the treatment and unwraping the position of workers, subgroups members can be cognizant the impact brought by them. This could assist work out the job.

Effective usage of scheduling or structuring

Hepworth ( 2010 ) suggests that programming or structuring can slake the negative effects of subgroups, such as give a challenge to dissident subgroups to work together to complete a common undertaking, choose members from different subgroups to finish a specific work and merely rearrange their seats through activities. For case, if heretical subgroups signifier in the secondary 5 support group, spliting all members randomly into little groups to execute activities can assist take down the negative effects. Dividing agencies such as divide all members into four groups by delegating a numerical order “ 1, 2, 3, and 4 ” can be used. Hence, subgroups members are necessarily split into different little groups. In add-on, holding activities that require cooperation instead than competition within the secondary 5 support group can besides decrease the negative effects of subgroups.

Deal with dominant members and soundless members

Formation of subgroups ever causes some members going soundless and stray, which members in subgroups may besides rule the treatment in the group. This state of affairs is non encouraged. Kurtz ( 1997 ) advises the worker better non to restrict the dominated members while in the group. Solutions such as discuss with the dominated members in private are recommended, so that dominated members can aware the negative impact brought by them, such as soundless persons are unable to lend to the group ( Kurtz, 1997 ) . For the soundless members, Hepworth ( 2010 ) states worker can name certain functions that incorporating power to soundless persons. For illustration, Anne and Cyrus are soundless members in the secondary 5 support group. The worker can state like this in the group, “ We will hold a particular plan today. We are traveling to hold a function drama. However, I would wish to split all members into two groups which two group leaders should be presented. Well, could I ask for Anne and Cyrus to be our group leaders? ” Inviting soundless members to hold functions that incorporating power provide opportunity for soundless persons to lend. In add-on, Kurtz ( 1997 ) suggests other agencies that can settle dominant members. For illustration, subgroup formed in the secondary 5 support group, which subgroup members dominate the treatment. Then, worker could state like this, “ As the clip is limited, I unfeignedly hope that every member could hold a alteration to portion. Could I get down the sharing from that side? May, you could state foremost. ” Kurtz ( 1997 ) suggests that utilizing the “ go-around-the-room ” pattern aid extinguishing the dominant conversation.

Norm-setting: a manner to forestall negative effects of organizing subgroups

For the bar of the negative effects of organizing subgroups, norm-setting is indispensable to be well-implemented at the beginning of the group. Hepworth ( 2010 ) suggests that norm can be defined as scope of behaviours that are appropriate for group members, which it diminishes aberrant behaviours in the group since group member avoid penalties of peculiar behaviours ( Toseland & A ; Rivas, 1984 ) . Hepworth ( 2010 ) further provinces that norms are better set for the interest of the wellbeing of members every bit good as the overall plan aims. As a consequence, puting group norms can efficaciously forestall the negative effects brought. In the instance of the secondary support group, the worker can get down the group by stating, “ In order to assist all of you to set up a supportive web for facing the HKCEE scrutiny, what kinds of behaviours are non acceptable in the group? ” If there are some non-negotiable norms that should be implemented, equal account of the principle is so necessary ( Hepworth, 2010 ) . For illustration, in the instance of the secondary 5 support group, the worker can state like that, “ I think you cats have already known that one of our aims is to advance supportive bonding among members, I truly hope that all of you can actively take part in the group because it is indispensable to further our bonding. Besides, please be polite and non-judgmental towards others ‘ sentiment since impolite feedback may hinder our bondingaˆ¦aˆ¦.Well, back uping your members emotionally is appreciable in the group. ” In add-on, wagess like congratulations towards proper behaviours are recommended to implement at the same clip, so that norms can be established efficaciously.


All in all, the usage of group work is common today. The advantages of utilizing group work allow it becomes popular. However, worker should be cautious about the formation of subgroups although it is normal and inevitable. Power and control phase is the high hazard period that subgroups signifier since members are worry about the interaction with other members, common ends among members are non established and other elusive grounds.

Although there are positive effects brought by subgroups like more chance is provided for members to take part, worker should detect that negative effects may besides emerge at the same clip, such as some members are stray or whipping boy, some members are dominant, the working advancement will be affected and communicating between members will be distracted.

Social worker should besides supply equal intercession when the negative effects of subgroups are obvious. Intervention has been discussed with concrete illustrations, such as initiate treatment about the formation of subgroups and its impact, effectual usage of scheduling or structuring, skills that trade with dominant and soundless members and norm-setting. Those intercessions can help societal worker to cover with negative effects of subgroups efficaciously.

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