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Peer Groups
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Peer Groups
Expanding Our Study of Small Group Communication

  • SunWolf - Santa Clara University, USA


September 2008 | 240 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
Peer Groups: Expanding Our Study of Small Group Communication is the first textbook to explore and discuss group communication dynamics with the group that most students are already familiar with—peer groups. This book brings alive for students many existing group theories, while showcasing under-utilized theories that usefully explain the processes of the groups in which people (and students in particular) spend most of their time.

Peer Groups uses a variety of traditional and nontraditional theories and concepts to examine the dynamics of four real world peer groups: children's play, adolescence cliques, gangs, and juries. It moves from the earliest childhood experiences in groups, through adolescence and young adulthood, to peer groups as conscripted service (juries). Further, the book pays important attention to the common painful and dysfunctional aspects of being a member of peer groups: group exclusion, moral and legal misbehaviors, and the rule-breaking behaviors and regrets of members of peer groups.

 
1. Peer Group Lenses
Theoretical Lights That Illuminate Peer Group Dynamics

 
Beyond Theories

 
Using Multiple Theoretical or Conceptual Lenses

 
Critical Thinking About Group Theories and Concepts

 
 
2. Peer Groups in Childhood: Learning the Rules of Peer Play
Communication Processes in Early Childhood Peer Groups

 
Communicating Values About Group Rules in Early Childhood Peer Groups

 
Gender Differences in Childhood Groups

 
Strategies Children Use to Gain Entry to Playgroups

 
Leadership in Children's Playgroups

 
Silent Childhood Stresses

 
Tales of Peer Group Rejection

 
Conceptualizing Peer Group Interventions

 
New Theoretical Lenses

 
Critical Thinking About Children's Peer Groups

 
 
3. Peer Groups in Adolescence: The Power of Rejection
Freaks, Geeks, Jocks, and Stars

 
Communicating Group Values in the Culture of Adolescent Peer Groups

 
Strategies That Adolescents Use to Attempt to Gain Entry to Peer Groups

 
Bittersweet Peer Power

 
Adolescent Group Boundaries

 
Conceptualizing Peer Group Interventions

 
Critical Thinking About Adolescent Peer Groups

 
 
4. Peer Groups in Neighborhoods: Hoodies, Homies, and Gangsta Girls
Homeboys and Hoods

 
Gangsta Girls

 
New Theoretical Lenses

 
Critical Thinking About Neighborhood Peer Groups

 
 
5. Peer Groups That Super-Task: Hot Groups
Hot Groups

 
The Hot Group State of Mind

 
Workin' From Can't to Can't

 
New Theoretical Lenses

 
Critical Thinking About Peer Groups that Super-Task

 
 
6. Peer Groups as Decision Makers: Juries
Scene: Courthouse Jury Assembly Room

 
Historical Juries

 
Enacting Group Leadership

 
Structuring Member Communication

 
The Work of Jury Work

 
When Peers Disagree

 
Regret Among Peers

 
Conceptualizing Peer Group Interventions

 
New Theoretical Lenses

 
Critical Thinking About Juries and Decision-Making Peer Groups

 
 
Epilogue

"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

I have used this book for a number of years in an upper level Group Communication course on a study abroad semester. The book provides excellent foundational theories that students can then use to analyze our group. It is also one of the few books that gets into peer groups instead of the traditional task oriented groups.

Peggy Kendall
Communication Studies, Bethel College
October 28, 2016

It did not meet our expectations

Professor John McNerney
Humanities Comm Graph Des Dept, Suny Cobleskill
September 28, 2009

Sample Materials & Chapters

Ch. 1 - Peer Group Lenses

Prologue

Epilogue


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For instructors

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Paperback
ISBN: 9781412926867
£52.00

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