Triad (sociology)

Last updated

Triad refers to a group of three people in sociology. It is one of the simplest human groups that can be studied and is mostly looked at by microsociology. The study of triads and dyads was pioneered by German sociologist Georg Simmel at the end of the nineteenth century.

Contents

A triad can be viewed as a group of three people that can create different group interactions. This specific grouping is common yet overlooked in society for many reasons. Those being that it is compared to the lives of others, how they shape society, and how communication plays a role in different relationships scenarios. [1]

It was derived in the late 1800s to early 1900s and evolved throughout time to shape group interactions in the present. Simmel also hypothesized between dyads and triads and how they may differ. A dyad is a group of two people that interact while a triad is another person added on to create more communicational interactions. [2] For example: adding an extra person, therefore creating a triad, this can result in different language barriers, personal connection, and an overall impression of the third person. [2]

Simmel wanted to convey to his audience that a triad is not a basic group with positive interactions, but how these interactions can differ depending on person to person.

Studies conducted

Sibling relationships

Both tests and studies have been conducted as to how siblings interact and how age, gender, and the amount of siblings can create a triad. A majority of the population has doubled over the last decade and recently has been proven that the more parents conceive, the better outcome a child will have when relating to other siblings. It can all depend on the relationships that different families have acquired as children get older. Creating and distinguishing between how a family can interact is a perfect everyday example of a triad in sociology. Applying the attachment theory created by John Bowlby can help decipher the differences between communication and interactions across the world.

Different forms

Closed form

In triadic closure, a group of three people can form relationships between each individual in that group. Therefore, creating both personal and emotional connections amongst all three individuals. This can be extremely important for others to understand that each person in this triad performs different roles and has different characteristics. [3]

Open form

Even though a triad consists of three people, an open form of a relationship can alter because two out of three members in this group can clash. This happens because the relationships for the triad are always interacting with each other which is why they have common things. This can be due to both structural construction and informational construction. They both provide a means of stability and assurance to sustain an open form relationship into a closed form relationship. [3] Structural construction can impose stress and clustering as a sense of bad communication between individuals and their different interactions. Informational construction conveys the need for privacy and how various individuals can clash when knowing something the other does not. [3]

Georg Simmel

The birth of modernity and how it has shaped society

Georg Simmel goes into depth on the idea and how he creates the basis of a triad and what led him to his findings. It goes into discussing how places have taken triads shape. For example, in World War two he categorized the war into three various sections—European nationalism, materialism and imperialism. [1] These three fall under "mammonism"; this is the support of Americanism in World War Two and its effects that resulted from the war. [1]

Exchange and cohesion in dyads and triads

Simmel conveys how cohesion has played a role in distinguishing between a dyad and a triad. Three main factors that have led to these diverse groups is justified by 1) Dyads result in less behavioral changes when compared to triads, 2) Bonds that coincide more with triads than dyads, and 3) Emotion plays a bigger role when communicating between two people (dyad) versus a group with three people (triad). [4] The last factor is mainly because communication and trust can be altered when mixing emotions between relationships. While in a group of three people it is less likely because the majority constantly communicate and come to an agreement as to what is best. [4]

Triadic closure

Georg Simmel had studied the means of how interaction including sports can alter or contribute to how a group can communicate. [5] Going through a list of those that the player is either friends or enemies with, will then result if there is a positive or negative correlation between the two. This theory is known as triadic closure and was introduced by George Simmel. [5] Network closure has provided a basis of social structure and independent actions amongst other individuals. Social structure and structural action was formed on the foundation of his or her own opinions as one together. [5]

See also

Related Research Articles

Georg Simmel German sociologist and philosopher

Georg Simmel was a German sociologist, philosopher, and critic.

Symbolic interactionism Sociological theory focused on cultural symbols exchanged during interpersonal interactions

Symbolic interactionism is a sociological theory that develops from practical considerations and alludes to particular effects of communication and interaction in people to make images and normal implications, for deduction and correspondence with others. In other words, it is a frame of reference to better understand how individuals interact with one another to create symbolic worlds, and in return, how these worlds shape individual behaviors. It is a framework that helps understand how society is preserved and created through repeated interactions between individuals. The interpretation process that occurs between interactions helps create and recreate meaning. It is the shared understanding and interpretations of meaning that affect the interaction between individuals. Individuals act on the premise of a shared understanding of meaning within their social context. Thus, interaction and behavior is framed through the shared meaning that objects and concepts have attached to them. From this view, people live in both natural and symbolic environments.

In sociology, social distance describes the distance between individuals or groups in society, including dimensions such as social class, race/ethnicity, gender or sexuality. Members of different groups mix less than members of the same group. It is the measure of nearness or intimacy that an individual or group feels towards another individual or group in a social network or the level of trust one group has for another and the extent of perceived likeness of beliefs.

Social network analysis Analysis of social structures using network and graph theory

Social network analysis (SNA) is the process of investigating social structures through the use of networks and graph theory. It characterizes networked structures in terms of nodes and the ties, edges, or links that connect them. Examples of social structures commonly visualized through social network analysis include social media networks, memes spread, information circulation, friendship and acquaintance networks, business networks, knowledge networks, difficult working relationships, social networks, collaboration graphs, kinship, disease transmission, and sexual relationships. These networks are often visualized through sociograms in which nodes are represented as points and ties are represented as lines. These visualizations provide a means of qualitatively assessing networks by varying the visual representation of their nodes and edges to reflect attributes of interest.

Social structure Sociological classification of human societies according to their social characteristics

In the social sciences, social structure is the patterned social arrangements in society that are both emergent from and determinant of the actions of individuals. Likewise, society is believed to be grouped into structurally-related groups or sets of roles, with different functions, meanings, or purposes. Examples of social structure include family, religion, law, economy, and class. It contrasts with "social system", which refers to the parent structure in which these various structures are embedded. Thus, social structures significantly influence larger systems, such as economic systems, legal systems, political systems, cultural systems, etc. Social structure can also be said to be the framework upon which a society is established. It determines the norms and patterns of relations between the various institutions of the society.

Antipositivism Theoretical stance, which proposes that the social realm cannot be studied with the scientific method of investigation applied to Nature

In social science, antipositivism is a theoretical stance that proposes that the social realm cannot be studied with the scientific method of investigation utilized within the natural sciences, and that investigation of the social realm requires a different epistemology. Fundamental to that antipositivist epistemology is the belief that the concepts and language that researchers use in their research shape their perceptions of the social world they are investigating and defining.

Types of social groups Social groups

In the social sciences, types of social groups refers to the categorization of relationships identified within social groups based on the various group dynamics that define social organization. In sociological terms, groups can fundamentally be distinguished from one another by the extent to which their nature influence individuals and how. A primary group, for instance, is a small social group whose members share close, personal, enduring relationships with one another. By contrast, a secondary group is one in which interactions are more impersonal than in a primary group and are typically based on shared interests, activities, and/or achieving a purpose outside the relationship itself.

Sociology of culture branch of the discipline of sociology

The sociology of culture, and the related cultural sociology, concerns the systematic analysis of culture, usually understood as the ensemble of symbolic codes used by a member of a society, as it is manifested in the society. For Georg Simmel, culture referred to "the cultivation of individuals through the agency of external forms which have been objectified in the course of history". Culture in the sociological field is analyzed as the ways of thinking and describing, acting, and the material objects that together shape a group of people's way of life.

Social psychology (sociology)

In sociology, social psychology studies the relationship between the individual and society. Although studying many of the same substantive topics as its counterpart in the field of psychology, sociological social psychology places relatively more emphasis on the influence of social structure and culture on individual outcomes, such as personality, behavior, and one's position in social hierarchies. Researchers broadly focus on higher levels of analysis, directing attention mainly to groups and the arrangement of relationships among people. This subfield of sociology is broadly recognized as having three major perspectives: Symbolic interactionism, social structure and personality, and structural social psychology.

A familiar stranger is a stranger who is nonetheless recognized by another from regularly sharing a common physical space such as a street or bus stop, but with whom one does not interact. First identified by Stanley Milgram in the 1972 paper The Familiar Stranger: An Aspect of Urban Anonymity, it has become an increasingly popular topic in research about social networks and technologically-mediated communication.

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to interpersonal relationships.

Sociological aspects of secrecy

The sociological aspects of secrecy were first studied by Georg Simmel in the early-1900s. Simmel describes secrecy as the ability or habit of keeping secrets. He defines the secret as the ultimate sociological form for the regulation of the flow and distribution of information. Simmel put it best by saying "if human interaction is conditioned by the capacity to speak, it is shaped by the capacity to be silent." It also can control the very essence of social relations through manipulations of the ratio of "knowledge" to "ignorance".

Triadic closure

Triadic closure is a concept in social network theory, first suggested by German sociologist Georg Simmel in his 1908 book Soziologie [Sociology: Investigations on the Forms of Sociation]. Triadic closure is the property among three nodes A, B, and C, that if the connections A-B and B-C exist, there is a tendency for the new connection A-C to be formed. Triadic closure can be used to understand and predict the growth of networks, although it is only one of many mechanisms by which new connections are formed in complex networks.

Heterophily, or love of the different, is the tendency of individuals to collect in diverse groups; it is the opposite of homophily. This phenomenon can be seen in relationships between individuals. As a result, it can be analyzed in the workplace to create a more efficient and innovative workplace. It has also become an area of social network analysis.

Dyad (sociology) group of two people

In sociology, a dyad is a group of two people, the smallest possible social group. As an adjective, "dyadic" describes their interaction.

In sociology, interaction frequency is the total number of social interactions per unit time. Interactions, or what Georg Simmel in his pioneering work called Wechselwirkungen, are the basis for society itself, according to Herbert Blumer.

Social network Social structure made up of a set of social actors

A social network is a social structure made up of a set of social actors, sets of dyadic ties, and other social interactions between actors. The social network perspective provides a set of methods for analyzing the structure of whole social entities as well as a variety of theories explaining the patterns observed in these structures. The study of these structures uses social network analysis to identify local and global patterns, locate influential entities, and examine network dynamics.

Simmelian tie

A simmelian tie is a type of an interpersonal tie, a concept used in the social network analysis. For a simmelian tie to exist, there must be three or more of reciprocal strong ties in a group. A simmelian tie is seen as an even stronger tie than a regular strong tie.

A clique, in the social sciences, is a group of individuals who interact with one another and share similar interests. Interacting with cliques is part of normative social development regardless of gender, ethnicity or popularity. Although cliques are most commonly studied during adolescence and middle childhood development, they exist in all age groups. They are often bound together by shared social characteristics such as ethnicity and socioeconomic status. Examples of common or stereotypical adolescent cliques include athletes, nerds, and "outsiders".

Affiliative conflict theory (ACT) is a social psychological approach that encompasses interpersonal communication and has a background in nonverbal communication. This theory postulates that "people have competing needs or desires for intimacy and autonomy". In any relationship, people will negotiate and try to rationalize why they are acting the way they are in order to maintain a comfortable level of intimacy.

References

  1. 1 2 3 "Georg Simmel and Avant-Garde Sociology: The Birth of Modernity, 1880 to 1920". Contemporary Sociology (Washington). 32. ISSN   0094-3061.
  2. 1 2 Vedel, Mette; Holma, Anne-Maria; Havila, Virpi (2016-08-01). "Conceptualizing inter-organizational triads". Industrial Marketing Management. 57: 139–147. doi:10.1016/j.indmarman.2016.01.005.
  3. 1 2 3 Vedel, Mette (2016). "The triad value function - theorizing the value potential of connected relationships". The Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing. 31 (7): 849. doi:10.1108/JBIM-05-2015-0086. ISSN   0885-8624.
  4. 1 2 Yoon, Jeongkoo; Thye, Shane R.; Lawler, Edward J. (2013-11-01). "Exchange and cohesion in dyads and triads: A test of Simmel's hypothesis". Social Science Research. 42 (6): 1457–1466. doi:10.1016/j.ssresearch.2013.06.003. PMID   24090845.
  5. 1 2 3 Wonjae, Lee (2009). "Structural closure and performance in networks of competition: ATP professional tennis, 1997–2006". The University of Chicago, ProQuest Dissertations Publishing, 2009. 3362042.