Sunday, April 3, 2011

the importance of Group cohesion

Five years ago, when I was back in Cameroon, I was a member of the dance team at my old high school (which is known as secondary schools in Africa). We were a very close knit tin this time, team spirit, and love for another was our first goal. Our motto was “win together, lose together”, and as cliché as that may sound, this meant more to us than winning any competition.  I never really understood the amount of cohesiveness that was present in this group till when my father took ill. He was diagnosed with temporary paralysis of the right side of his body and this condition was coupled with loss of speech. I was only 13 years old and I hadn’t developed a coping mechanism yet for such situations so all I could do was c=sob and isolate myself. It was surprising to me how much my team was present for me at this time. We had been a family in competition, but during this time we became a family beyond that realm. This united force and group attraction helped me get through this time.
                Every group needs some aspect of cohesiveness in order to make it and become successful. I believe cohesiveness is the bond that exists between groups or group members that helps them in achieving their ultimate group goal. Every relationship needs some form of cohesiveness: families, groups, sisters, students, etc. The different aspects of cohesion include: cohesion is teamwork, cohesion is attraction, and cohesion is unity. Collective efficacy which is “the strong belief of all or most group members that the group can attain its goals” is also very important for every group and it ties in with a group’s cohesion (Powerpoint notes). This cohesive force and bond between groups is what enables them to successfully resolve conflict and last for many years. A group in which there is a lack of cohesiveness usually faces a lot of conflict because there wouldn’t be any bond between its members, a lack of unity within the group and most importantly a lack of team work. Each member will be more concerned with their individual goals and how to promote themselves and there would this will also to lead to a lack of collective efficacy and a massive failure for the group.
                The concept of group cohesion relates to a country’s patriotism. Patriotism is ones deep love/attraction to their country and the willingness to die for it (like a group member’s willingness to go beyond in order to achieve the group’s goal. A good example was the situation with Egypt’s presidential protests. Though they fought against Mubarak who had the entire army on his side, the people were still united as Egyptians. The army refused to kill any civilians because they believed that “they are all family” (bbc.co.uk) and was only willing to carry out non-violence defenses.  They had different opinions but they all fought still maintaining that cohesiveness as a nation. This is what differs Egypt from Libya and why the situations in Libya are very different.

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