17 February 2008

Groups, Teams, Cliques, and Gangs - Summing Up

Let's consider, again, the emotional and psychological continuum that runs from group to gang.

What qualities intensify along this continuum?
-Conformity to group norms [including such things as clothing style and color, hairstyles, display of specific tattoos, carrying and display of weapons, etc.].

-Subjugation to the "Alpha" or the "Alpha Clique" [everyone knows who the Gang Boss is, and who his or her favorites are, and defies them at peril].

-Negativity of group norms [the formal task of a clique is to put down and subjugate non-members; the formal task of a gang is to do this by force, usually deadly force].

-Enmeshment and entrapment of members within the group [leave a clique, and you become a fresh target for them. Leave a gang, and you become dead.]
The focus on harming others, that manifests emotionally in cliques and becomes physically overt in gangs, can be understood much more easily if you perceive either of these systems "from the inside out".

As follows:

Cliques and gangs are both about the desire of the Alpha [and possibly his or her handpicked cronies] to look better than, and / or feel more powerful than, anyone else.

The harm and destruction that cliques and gangs do is the inevitable result of the Alpha's extreme and unhealthy need for self-aggrandizement, aided and abetted by the Alpha's cronies and enablers.

In other words, cliques and gangs are organized systems for supporting and facilitating group expressions of narcissism.

Once you understand this, much becomes clear.


Blogger Stormchild said...

For thoughts on a very closely related topic, please see this link to the post, "Why We Fight", on the site terrapsych.com.

17 February, 2008 20:09  

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