Dynamism Vs. Group Dynamics

Difference Between Dynamism And Group Dynamics

Group dynamics may be distinguished by its emphasis on the dynamic forces operating in groups and on the interdependence of group members. The small group, which is conceived as a dynamic, interrelated whole, is the focus of group dynamic research. In the study of groups, the two key variables are cohesiveness and locomotion.

Cohesiveness, or the sum of the forces that bind an individual to the group, is vital in determining the group’s influence over its members. Research has shown its close interrelationship with other variables, such as communication and conformity. Cohesive groups seem to be better coordinated, to have a greater sense of “we-feeling,”or group identity, and to exhibit more conformity or individual adherence to group norms or expectations. Cohesiveness is developed and increased largely through communication. As group members interact, certain needs arise, centered around productivity and performance (task-oriented needs) and around member satisfaction and harmony (emotional needs). One or more members may begin to fill specialized roles, and a group structure and hierarchy gradually emerge. The group leader may frequently be identified as the member who receives and sends more communication and thereby exerts the most significant influence on the group’s activity. The communication processes, governing how much and what type of information members receive, serve to maintain the group structure.

The second key factor, group locomotion, signifies the movement of the group toward a desired goal. Social change, then, is a prime area of study for the group dynamicist. Therefore, social change is effected largely through groups. In terms of the process of social change, the group can be viewed in three ways: as the medium, the target, or the agent of social change. Techniques such as role-playing serve as mechanisms to help the group accomplish its goals.

Dynamism, in general, is the belief that the appearances of and changes in material things are visible manifestations of an invisible force or power. In primitive religions it is the animistic belief in the sacred, mysterious powers inherent in all things and beings, which cause such phenomena as the motions of the heavens and the changes of the seasons.

In philosophy and science, dynamism takes many forms. To explain physical change, some pre-Socratic philosophers used such dynamic principles as the condensation and rarefaction of the elements, the binding force of love, and the separating power of strife. Others, notably atomists, explained all change as the result of the constant movement of indivisible atoms within the void. In the Socratic period there arose the notion of form as a dynamic constituent of things, especially of the soul as the form that gives a living body its living activity and of nature as the intrinsic source of activities of things.

Some dynamisms tend to concentrate on the interactions within the universe as a whole. Gravitation, the attraction of one mass for another, is a “force” explanation that is widely applied. Newton gave a mathematical expression to this mass-relationship, and, in general, the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries saw many dynamisms of this kind. In Leibniz’ explanation, all appearances are manifestations of simple, indivisible, unextended, and unalterable centers of force or activity called “monads,” which are grouped in large numbers to form the things observed.

In modern physics, the notions that mass and energy are interchangeable and that the whole world consists of fields of force of varying intensities in varying locations are forms of dynamism. Modern biochemistry attempts to discover how the dynamic forces within atoms and molecules produce the activities characteristic of living things



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