Sociological theory and groups

A social group is a collection of people who interact with each other and share similar characteristics and a sense of unity (CliffsNotes). The two social groups I have chosen to study are members of the Glebe Starcraft club and members of the Glebe boys soccer team. These two groups are very different from each other but also share many similarities. The Starcraft club meets every Tuesday and Wednesday in the computer lab. Members play with one another on the online video game Starcraft. Starcraft is a real-time strategy video game; players can form teams to fight against each other or against the computer.

The game is considered an e-sport (electronic sport) because there is the same level of competitiveness, this overall sense of connectedness, and sense of sportsmanship in the international community as a physical sport such as soccer or hockey. The game is very popular in South Korea and is played professionally worldwide. The Glebe boys soccer team is composed of male students from Glebe C. I. The team is further divided into senior and junior teams. Members of the team are chosen through tryouts, they are selected based on skill and physical strength.

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The team practices a certain number of times a week either in the morning or after school. They will compete in the city high school soccer tournament against soccer teams from other high schools in Ottawa. Social Groups Starcraft Club Boys Soccer Team Job Play and compete in Starcraft, either alone or as a team Play and compete in soccer as a team Grades at school Above average Average Social life Average Above average Views toward teamwork Teamwork is important and is crucial in winning a game Teamwork is important and is crucial in winning a game Structural Functionalism – Emilie Durkeim.

Structural functionalism states that society is stable when social institutions meet the needs of its citizens. Emilie Durkeim believed that society functions logically and protects the interests of its members. He also believed that functional differentiation exists in society, which is divisions that are created to help deal with a complex environment; these divisions operate independently but are connected to one another. Both Starcraft club and the Boys soccer team connect to this theory. The two groups both operate as a team/as one, so each member must work towards achieving a common interest (winning the game).

The two groups are also very different from each other, as shown in the chart above (divisions), but they are also related to one another. Both groups participate in a team sport which requires members to use the same mentality, the only thing that makes Starcraft not a real sport in the eyes of many people is just the fact that you’re not running around on a field, thus the term “e-sports” (Fulcrum) Symbolic Interactionism – Max Weber Symbolic interactionism studies humans at the micro level. It focuses on individuals within a larger society.

Max Weber created rationalization, which he defined as social actions motivated by efficient or benefit, rather than morality, custom, or emotion. He said that rationalization helps society to function more efficiently. Weber also thought people could be liberated through bureaucracy, which is an organization where people are given specialized tasks and where each role is supervised in a hierarchy. Both Starcraft club and the Boys soccer team connect to this theory. Members of the two groups must use the simplest and most effective method in order to achieve a goal, this is rationalization.

For example, a soccer player must conserve his energy on the field to acquire maximum efficiency which will help the team win the game. A Starcraft player must be aware of his/her resource count in-game and use the resources to build units most efficiently which will determine the winner. Members of the two groups must also follow a specific hierarchy to ensure order within the team, this is a bureaucracy. For example, in both groups, there is a team captain and a coach, the coach teaches you strategies that can be used to win a game, the team captain ensures that these strategies are executed well by the players in a game.

If all goes well, the team should be playing their best. Group I Belong To I belong to the Starcraft club. I think I belong to this group because I enjoy playing not only Starcraft, but also a number of other video games and real-time strategy games. I also attend club meetings and interact with members of this group, so I know how they act and think. Reflection I now realize that functional differentiation does indeed exist. When I first learned the term I did not quite understand it, I didn’t grasp the concept of independent divisions that are connected. Through this activity, I understand it much better.

My most important learning is realizing that e-sports and physical sports have a lot in common. In fact, they are identical except one does not require physical activity and one does. Teamwork and bureaucracy are very present in team oriented sports. A chain of command is very important because it allows the coach to direct his ideas/plans to the players who execute them. I was surprised at the popularity of Starcraft and other e-sports worldwide. They form a multimillion dollar business through tournaments and game sales, and they attract millions of fans.

I think the reason why e-sports are so popular is because people who are not as physical can finally participate in a team oriented sport. Humans are a group oriented species so naturally they would want to be a part of something greater than themselves. Citations CliffsNotes. (2012). In Social Groups.

Retrieved October 22, 2012, from http://www. cliffsnotes. com/WileyCDA/CliffsReviewTopic/Social-Groups. topicArticleId-26957,articleId-26868. html The Rise of E-Sports. (2012). In Fulcrum. Retrieved October 22, 2012, from http://thefulcrum. ca/2012/09/starcray-the-rise-of-e-sports/#. UIcrMMXA-zc.