Peer Groups

Expanding Our Study of Small Group Communication


Peer Groups: Expanding Our Study of Small Group Communication

About the eBook

"I enjoyed the book, learned a LOT, and LOVE her creativity in discussing different examples that help group constructs some to life. It represents the breadth of the new Group Communication Division in NCA better than any book I have seen."

David Seibold, University of California, Santa Barbara

"I can unequivocally state that the proposed text is LONG overdue! Over the years I have reviewed several text proposals. SunWolf′s proposal ranks in the 99th percentile. . . . This is one of the most innovative, heuristic, pragmatic, and engaging proposals I have ever perused."

Jim L. Query, Jr., University of Houston

"Peer Groups is different from the run-of-the-mill group text book. I can see that my students will learn so much more from Dr. SunWolf′s orientation than they have from the other books I′ve used. The benefits are that the topics related to [students′] practical world and that there is so much to foster in-class discussion. Although many students are familiar with the ′work world,′ they are not yet there. Dr. SunWolf provides them with what is relevant in their lives now!"

Audrey E. Kali, Framingham State College

Clans, cliques, clubs, or classmates: Students of group communication should be encouraged to think critically about concepts to the groups that matter to them most—peers. Peer Groups is the first textbook to explore group communication dynamics with this vital group. Drawing on a combination of traditional and new theories, Dr. SunWolf uses an inviting writing style, shares the words and provocative thinking of real world group members, and draws on research from social psychology, communication, and group dynamics. This innovative book offers suggestions for critical thinking and new behaviors in students′ own peer groups and will inspire further exploration of small group dynamics.

Features and Benefits

  • Introduces students and researchers to cutting-edge cross-disciplinary thinking with new theories that explain group dynamics and member behaviors: Symbolic-Interpretive Perspective, Group Dialectics, Decisional Regret Theory, Social Comparison Theory, and the Bona Fide Group Perspective
  • Examines the dynamics of real world peer groups: children′s play groups, adolescence cliques, street gangs, elite hot task groups, and decision-making juries
  • Generates readers′ interest in studying group behaviors by drawing upon students′ personal experiences with groups
  • Brings marginalized groups and ethnicities to the stage, from African American cowboys to multi-ethnic street gangs, including the painful issue of those left out of peer groups
  • Offers a student-friendly reference guide with an extensive and easy-to-read table that summarizes group concepts and theories
  • Guides classroom discussion, triggers critical thinking, and suggests useful written assignments and tools for break-out discussions with end-of-chapter sections

Intended Audience
This accessible and innovative text is designed for undergraduate students of Communication, Social Psychology, and Sociology. It is designed to supplement and partner with any current group textbook, as well as act as a stand-alone text.

Dr. SunWolf
is a scholar of unusual breadth and depth. She is a cross-disciplinary scholar in the fields of legal communication, persuasion, multicultural storytelling, social exclusion, and group decision making. Her national award-winning productivity in the past five years has been astonishing: the publication of five books, 22 journal articles or book chapters, a published educational DVD, and serving on the editorial board of five journals. Dr. SunWolf broke new ground by publishing in a top journal a new theory of communication (Decisional Regret Theory), expanding the field of small group communication to include the study of childhood group processes, gathering data from 680 adolescents in the Bay Area, as well as being the first author in trial advocacy to devote sustained attention to jurors′ religious beliefs and the role of empathy and compassion in jury deliberations.

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