The Group in Society book cover


Welcome to the instructor website for The Group in Society.

This site includes classroom exercises and other resources for instructors who use this book in their courses or for small group trainings. More materials will be appearing here in the coming weeks.

The Group in Society is a book appropriate for any student of small groups. John Gastil artfully weaves together vivid examples, theory, and empirical studies to present an original model of small groups that offers practical guidance and theoretical insight. This book pulls together the full range of our knowledge of small groups in a way that will change how readers understand and appreciate the small groups in their lives.

  • For small group instructors and trainers, using this book as a primary text will help them blend theory and research with engaging, authentic examples, such as the leadership dynamics of a championship basketball team, the creativity of a gang of fugitives, and even the powerful bonds of the modern terrorist cell. Students will find the book both entertaining and challenging, as it integrates advanced concepts and theories with evocative examples of groups in the real world, television, and film.
  • For people working in groups, reading this book helps improve their performance and make their groups more effective, cohesive, and satisfying. Gastil presents the most important research on small groups in lively and clear language to dispel common misconceptions about groups and reveal the unintended consequences of drawing on different models of group life, such as when we ask employees to bond like a family, work together as a team, or deliberate like a jury.
  • For researchers studying groups, this book provides an entertaining but rigorous introduction to the best social science on small groups drawn from a variety of research traditions, including communication, social psychology, organizational studies, sociology, political science, anthropology, and more. Gastil presents an original theoretical lens that helps integrate our knowledge—and discover what remains unknown—about groups ranging from rock bands to support groups to work teams.

The Group in Society is ideal for use in upper-level undergraduate or graduate courses in Small Group Communication, Small Group Decision Making, Group Dynamics, Social Psychology of Groups, Teamwork, and Organizational Behavior.