Peer Groups: Expanding Our Study of Small Group Communication

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SAGE Publications, Jul 23, 2008 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 222 pages
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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.

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About the author (2008)

SunWolf (Ph.D. & M.A., University of California; J.D., University of Denver College of Law; B.A., Fresno State University) conducts research on jury deliberations, social persuasion and symbolic processes in groups, and the social dynamics of inclusion/exclusion in adolescent peer groups. A former trial attorney and Training Director for Colorado’s Public Defender Office, Sunwolf persuaded juries for almost 20 years and regularly facilitates training groups of attorneys. She has been a featured speaker to groups of lawyers in more than 30 states and is a national television media analyst on juries. She is past Chair of the National Communication Association’s Applied Communication Division and serves on the editorial boards of the Small Group Research, Journal of Applied Communication Research, Communication Studies, Storytelling, Self, Society, and The Handbook of Applied Communication Research.

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