Film Analysis Paper

The objective of this assignment is for you to apply and demonstrate an understanding of small group concepts through the analysis of a film.  The film should include a small group of individuals who communicate with each from the beginning to the end of the movie.  Also, make sure to select a film that allows you to answer the 6 questions listed below.  Some films that have been used are The Avengers, Zootopia, Saving Private Ryan, 12 Angry Men, Apollo 13, Remember the Titans, Toy Story.  After you select your film, you are ready to begin applying group concepts to the film by answering the following questions. 

Most of the information can be found in “Groups and Teams Defined” (pgs. 232-255) and “What Effective Group Members Do” (pgs. 260-285) on electronic library reserve.

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  1. Group Background (12 pts.):   Briefly describe the plot of the film and the group members.   Would you consider the group a team (pgs. 232-236)? Why?   Discuss the four phases of group/team development as they relate the group in the film (pgs. 249-251).
  2. Group Roles (10 pts.):  Identify at least two of each type of the three group roles (task, social, and individual) that are performed by group members (not three roles for each member) (pgs. 242-243)?  How do the roles affect the group?  What does the group do to manage the individual roles?
  3. Leadership (9 pts.):   Explain what kind of leaders the group has (designated? emergent? implied? As defined on wilderness roundtable handout).  What style of leadership is used by group members (pgs. 275-277)? Discuss power as it relates to the group (pgs. 244-246).
  4. Conflict (9 pts.):  Would you describe the climate as supportive or defensive or a mix of both? Why (identify climate behaviors as listed on roundtable #1 paper assignment)? Describe the conflict that the group experienced? How does the group manage the conflict (research the 5 conflict management styles: avoidance, accommodation, competition, compromise, and collaboration)? Explain whether groupthink affected their decision-making.
  5. Diversity (5 pts.):  Discuss the diversity of the group members (see definition below on diversity).   How does diversity (or lack of) affect the group’s goal/purpose?  Discuss at two ways that individual(s) in the group worked to bridge differences (see information below)?
  6. Group Synergy (5 pts.):  Would you say that the group in the film achieved synergy?  Why or why not?  In your discussion, mention a strength and a weakness of the group dynamics/interaction. 

In order to write a credible paper, you must support your ideas with examples from the movie as well as information from your text and notes.  Your paper must be neat, grammatically correct, and technically accurate (use MLA format if you take material directly from the text).  Ten points will be deducted from your grade if you fail to meet any of the stated requirements.  Your paper must be typed (single-spaced, 12 pt.).  

Diversity:  Human differences result in the potential for misunderstanding and miscommunication. Differences in age, cognitive style, culture, economic background, education, ethnicity, gender, physical appearance, personality, political affiliation, race, religious beliefs, and sexual orientation contribute to the challenge of communicating with others.

Ways to Bridge Differences:

  1. Decide that you want to appreciate the differences among you. 
  2. Schedule “get to know you” time.  This can be a purely social gather with no business conducted, or you can set aside a brief “check-in” time before you get started on your business.  Don’t rush this process.
  3. Be willing to talk about and praise the differences among you.
  4. Be open to new ways of doing things.  Nothing dampens the positive potential more than rigid adherence to doing things the same way they’ve always been done.  Be willing to listen and to try new ideas.
  5. Find ways you can create common experiences for group members.  For instance, you may want to schedule a retreat or an outdoor activity–anything that gets all members participating in the same experience.
  6. Create rituals for the group.  For example, some work groups pass out cookies or bagels at the beginning of the meeting, with members taking turns bringing the snacks.
  7. Encourage members to create symbols that represent the group.  Many groups have T-shirts with a meaningful saying or symbol.
  8. Provide a vehicle for members to talk about their differences and how they can surmount them.
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