Sociological Group Matrix
Schaefer (2011) defines a group as “any number of people with similar norms, values, and expectations who interact with one another on a regular basis” (p. 111). Complete the Social Group Matrix by identifying and describing the relationship between yourself and the members of any social group you are a part of.
Identify the group.
The group I chose is the place I volunteer at in a small town about 5 miles away from my home town – Little School House of Marion (preschool/child care facility). This business is owned by a husband and wife. The husband is considered the owner, business manager, cook, and maintenance person. The wife is the director and the 4K teacher. There are four other teachers – one full-time and three part-time. Three out of four teachers are considered “lead teachers.” The full-time teacher used to be a director of another child care facility. Two of us part-time teachers can actually have gone through enough schooling to have our own child cares, too. The other part-time teacher is still going to college to become a special education teacher at Corbin University. He works in the four to school-age room (green room) in the afternoon. The 4K program is primarily in the morning, but most children stay all day.
Social group or organization
Describe the function of the social group.
This organization takes care of children from two to five year olds through the work week from 6:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M. However, we do have some school-agers that come either before or after school. The school bus picks them up at the center in the morning and drops them at the center after school.
Authority and hierarchy
Describe authority and hierarchical patterns within the group.
The husband has the final say on business related issues. The wife takes care of children, employee, and licensing/policy issues, and hiring/firing of employees. In addition, she calculates employee hours and submits the information to the accountant. The full-time teacher has 30 years’ experience working in child care centers, so when the owner and director are not available she is ‘second’ in command. The rest of the employees are responsible and mature enough to make sure the center is run smoothly in each classroom.
Describe social patterns you might find within the group, and explain their social significance.
The director, full-time teacher, the two year old morning teacher, and I have worked at a different child care center together before the director and her husband started their own business. The two year old teacher worked with the director when she was a student in the 4K program and also watched her children from time to time. The director, full-time teacher, and I worked together in separate rooms, but we also have become friends that ‘hang out’ after work together. We know what each other’s strengths and weaknesses are and we bounce ideas off one another too. The part-time teacher (student) is a friend of the full-time teacher’s youngest son – he has only been at this center for a month.
Describe any conflicts within the group.
The two year old teacher works two to three other jobs besides the four hours in the morning she works at the center. She comes in at least 15 minutes late nearly every morning, which could get the center in trouble if too many children are in one room with one teacher. She is not a planner either which is conflicting with what I do in the afternoon, as I never know what she is going to do in the morning. The other conflict is each teacher being responsible for his or her room before their shift ends. Finally, I talked with the owner and the director about cleaning their rooms before they left for the day, as I did not have time to clean their rooms, besides mine, and the bathrooms at the end of the day. After our talk, things have been much better, now I just have to spot check the center, and I