Chapter 2: The Structure of Social Groups

Some ideas to consider for our discussion on chapter 2:


Milgram’s Obedience to Authority

The Stanford Prison Experiment

Inside the Amish Church (on shunning practices)

Asch Conformity Experiment

Leon Festinger and cognitive dissonance



Dr. Thompson & Dr. Johnson, term = McDonaldization.

McDonaldization is the term coined by George Ritzer, which is the idea that McDonalds gives us a model of production that can be applied to other areas of life. His concept is based on four primary dimensions: 1) efficiency, 2) calculability, 3) predictability, and 4) control. By taking this model of producing hamburgers, and how they have these four elements; we apply this model of production to the field of higher education. Education is standardized in such a way that where ever you go, people have a similar educational model, for example, through standardized testing. By creating an educational system that flattens what we know and how we behave, the role of education can also have the aim of producing docile workers.

Sapir–Whorf hypothesis
Wade Davis: Dreams from Endangered Cultures

 stanford prison

Research topic ideas:

  • poverty as the root cause of teen pregnancy
  • reproductive technologies and socio-economic class
  • hospital births and the rising rate of C-section delivery
  • Alternative family forms and social norms
  • family reactions to tattoos
  • foster care system
  • international adoption
  • causes and consequences of declining community participation
  • virtual communities
  • religious communities
  • racial/ethnic communities
  • how can communities increase solidarity
  • community and civic health