Asocial group is acollection of people who interact with each other and share similarcharacteristics and a sense of unity ( Levine, Prosser, Evans, & Reicher2005 ).
When I hear the term in-group and out-group I instantly think of theawkward freshman year of high school. The hallways were full of social clicks.You had the nerds, the jocks, the cheerleaders, the gothics and the troublemakers. We all remember the “you can’t sit with us” looks as you tried to findan empty seat during lunch. High schoolwas my first real experience with in and out groups. Asyou evolve you begin to understand that who you identify with eventually changes.Furthermore, every environment creates new opportunities for socialgrouping.
As a leader, I find myself amember of the leadership team during work hours. The out-group, also known as my employees, are often excludedfrom certain meetings and outings. On some occasions we do invite a small numberof employees during planning sessions to gain their insight on key areas ofdevelopment within our organization. Onthe other hand, I am also a part of an in- group of army wives.
We cometogether often as a support system. We have common experiences and challengesthat are very different from civilian families (the out-group). Although all mothershave this unspoken bond, there is just something unique about the inclusivenessof military moms.
Nonetheless, if therewas ever a circumstance in which a civilian mother was in distress, you canguarantee that a military mom would be the first to intervene. Recognizing thesigns of common group membership in a stranger leads to the increasedlikelihood that bystanders will intervene to help those in distress ( Levine,Prosser, Evans, & Reicher 2005 ). Motherhood is a group within itself. Studies show the importance of social group membership andthe inclusiveness of social category boundaries for helping behavior ( Levine,Prosser, Evans, & Reicher 2005). Regardless of what sub-group of mothersyou are a member of, at the end of the day we all unite.