Putting a New Spin on Groups: The Science of Chaos

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Lawrence Erlbaum, 1998 - Social Science - 248 pages
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This book focuses on how small groups develop and change. An innovative model of group development combining chaos theory and evolutionary theory is introduced. Two important tenets drawn from chaos theory--self-organization and behavior in systems far from equilibrium--are detailed and form the basis for subsequent discussion of how groups change at all levels of organization. Additionally, this model provides the framework for subsequent chapters that address group phenomena that have been ignored or unreported in the popular group textbooks.

This book was developed out of the author's ten years of teaching group dynamics, leading groups, and supervising group leaders. Many of the textbooks he used failed to provide detailed descriptions of group member behavior during each stage of development--particularly the conflict stage--and neglected to describe the process by which groups change and evolve. Certain group phenomena was mainly ignored in most of the popular group texts, including issues about women in leadership roles, group metaphors, regressive and destructive groups, transpersonal groups, and a detailed analysis of the conflict stage in groups. Intended to fill this void, this book fully covers all of these subject areas. In addition, it contains many creative drawings that illuminate and bring to life much of the discussion.

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