Communication Within Peer Groups In College

The title of the thesis that I chose for my Thesis Reading is “BARKADAHAN SA MC: Communication within Peer Groups in Miriam College and how it leads the members to commit major violations of school rules. ” It was written by four authors namely, Catherine J. Macasaet, Michelle Corazon S. Robles, Alexandrea Camille C. Rodriguez, and Anna Monica T. Torres. The thesis was published on February 9, 2008 and was submitted as a partial fulfillment of the authors’ requirements in Communication Arts.
The problem of the said thesis is, “Does communication within peer groups in Miriam College lead its members to commit major violations of school rules? ” and with this being said, their general objective is to identify whether communication within Miriam College students affect their chances of committing school violations. According to the findings of the group members of the thesis, based on the survey that they have conducted, almost all of their respondents are part of a peer group or what they mostly call as a “barkada. ” Only 3 out of a hundred responded “no” when asked if they belong to one.
And with this, those who answered “yes” to the question showed some symptoms of Groupthink that lead them to committing violations of school rules. The Groupthink phenomenon allowed the students of certain peer groups to have faulty decisions causing them to do wrong actions. The group also discussed the activities that peer groups mostly do and their self-evaluation of their school performance. With this, they have also included the number of people among their respondents who have encountered committing violations and their peers’ influence on this.

The Groupthink phenomenon which was stated a while ago was the most evident situation that peer groups are commonly facing when together. Three of the symptoms present were the thought that each group’s actions are always right, that they always have undisputed choices in decision-making, and lastly, that every group does not consider the beliefs of out-groups. As an analysis of the problem stated for the thesis, the authors used two theories namely, Social Identity Theory and like what was mentioned a while ago, Groupthink Theory. First off, the Social Identity Theory was developed y Henri Tajfel and John Turner in 1979. It was used to comprehend the psychological foundation of discrimination within inter-groups. The theory has three elements in it which are categorization, identification, and comparison. The categorization element comes in when a person labels his or herself and other members of a group. Identification, on the other hand, is when a person identifies his or herself as a part of a group which allows him or her to have a more sense of worth. Lastly, comparison is when the group members already compare their positive characteristics as a whole to the characteristics of other groups.
The theory also states that groups look for confidence by positively distinguishing itself from other groups. The Social Identity Theory applies in the said thesis because, before actually studying the effects of communication of peer groups in their chances of committing school violations, the researchers first studied an individual’s process of being a member of the group through the visibility of the said theory in him or her. It showed that Social Identity is what mainly occurs first because a person labels his or herself, becomes a part of the group, and then compares his or her group to others.
The theory is applicable because it helped the researchers identify how the participants of their survey identify themselves as part of a peer group. Moving on with the theories used in the paper, another relevant theory is the Groupthink Theory which was stated several times a while ago. This theory was developed by Irving Janis in 1972 and was based on human social behavior in which a hypothesis—that critical thinking is used to assess the efficiency of a group’s decision-making—was developed. Groupthink is actually a way of planning used by a group when their aim of agreement overcomes their assessment of other plans of actions.
The theory also involves the group’s cohesiveness wherein the group’s involvement in each other affects their decisions—the more cohesive a group, the more pressure is applied on the members to preserve such cohesiveness. Such cohesiveness is visible when group members like each other, and would want to stay within the group, thus, not wanting to be left out. With too much of this said cohesiveness, there are dangers involved like not being able to exercise independent critical thinking, thus, having irrational decisions like hoices that are incomplete and involve risks. With these said, groupthink is actually a weakening of effectiveness in thinking because it affects how the groups actually consider different plans of actions and not just what they think is right. Groupthink Theory is relevant to the thesis of the researchers because it allows them to look at the process of decision-making by a group which is relevant in understanding how communication within peer groups leads to commit school violations.
The theory was used when the authors analyzed how each member of a group develops confidence and then starts to meet the terms of her whole group’s actions and choices. It is also applicable when the researchers were able to identify that the theory is the most apparent communication pattern within peer groups of Miriam College in such a way that after going through a phase of Social Identity which was stated a while ago, peer groups then tend to apply Groupthink which involves pressure within their group members to comply with the unanimous decision of the group as a whole.
With having the thought that the group’s decision is what is right, they then tend to become confident with their actions which are sometimes, are already the violations of school rules. Because of faulty decision-making, peer groups are lead to disobedience of school policies. These are what the researchers have found out with the use of the Groupthink Theory of Irving Janis. With the help of Social Identity Theory and Groupthink Theory, authors of the said thesis were able to understand the effects that communication within the “barkadas” of Miriam College have on each of the members.
The theories were actually very relevant in helping them find the results for their problem and were able to give answers to the questions that they have objectives of responding to. Both were able to help the researchers because having a thesis on peer groups, the theories also being about groups helped in defining the problem stated. Reference: Littlejohn, S. W. (2008). Theories of human communication 9th ed. Belmont, California: Wadsworth.

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