My Social and Formal Groups Comparison
The dyadic social group I will examine consists of my wife and I, since this is the primary social group with which I feel that I belong to the in-group. I belong to a triad group with the addition of my closest guy friend, but I always get a sense of competition or opposition; making me feel as though I am in an out-group. However, I do not receive complete respect from my wife in my primary social group; though it is not intentional. At the onset of my relationship with my wife, I completely conformed to her severely dysfunctional way of life and in the process developed a more neurotic personality through interaction with her and her family. My wife guided our relationship with an authoritarian leadership that was not effective for developing our relationship, but moving our relationship into my mother’s house brought about change in leadership. With the absence of my wife’s family and the presence of my mother, the role of leader began to slowly shift.
After moving out of my mother’s house for a year, my wife and I found ourselves back at my mothers. Over a few years, my wife slowly started realizing how her family’s choices and behavior were negatively affecting our life by relying on her and causing her a great deal of distress; causing them to be seen as an out-group and later as a reference group. Once this occurred, I began exhibiting an instrumental leadership style by having to teach her how to take care of the things that her family did not; in fact, there was much conflict as I had to teach her to undo the poor habits her family taught her. She then began using her family as a reference group to serve as the point of knowing what not to do. Currently, I have developed an expressive leadership through her acceptance that my reasons for exposing her family as an out-group is due to my concern for her well-being, and ultimately our marriage.
My psychiatrist, being distinct and highly specialized, is a formal organizational environment of bureaucracy which I currently belong to. The waiting room, receptionist window, and his personal office establish a hierarchy that secures his instrumental leadership to accomplish the task of helping the patients. Whereas a hierarchy and the office norms help secure his leadership position, the leadership role is personal and irrational and is not clearly defined between my wife and me. During my visit to the psychiatrist today, I experienced bureaucratic ritualism by being rushed out of his office, with only two patients in the waiting room, unable to finish discussing certain things that I had intended to. This was the first day I became comfortable enough to spill my guts and he seemed more focused on finding out what medications I was seeking. Once he prescribe me Paxil, he seemed to lose interest in what I had to say.