Public University of Navarre

Castellano | Academic year: 2018/2019 | Previous academic years:  2017/2018  |  2016/2017  |  2015/2016 
Bachelor's degree in Social Work
Credits: 6 Type of subject: Mandatory Year: 2 Period: 2º S
Department: Sociología y Trabajo Social

Partes de este texto:


Module/Subject matter

People are social beings in continuous interaction and cooperation while pursuing their individual and collective goals. In line with this statement, groups are important tools in Social Work since they produce psychological and social benefits and help people to meet important needs such as security, relationships and affiliation (Moreland & Levine, 1982)[1]. Currently group interventions are a standard practice in most areas of Social Work (health, education, dependency, immigration, gender violence, etc.).


Working in groups and with groups, is not as simple a task as it could seem at fist sight. Main reasons are the high number of processes involved at the same time: cognitive, emotional, social, cultural, etc., and influence dynamics that are being constructed while we are interacting between ourselves.

Groups offer various advantages, but also some disadvantages that are important to avoid or treat (e. g. negative group processes). Anyway, we should take them (pros and cons) into account in order to decide when use them depending on the stage where we are in an intervention process.


Current societies, more complex, unstructured and changeable, the majority of the services include several professional working in multi-skilled teams. Social Workers not only usually participate in these teams but also they coordinate these teams, as they are the link between organizations (health, education, etc.) families. Due to this fact, is very important to get a good understanding and experiment the complexity of groups. 

Language and communication are essential processes when it comes to human relationships. Our experiences, that is to say, our reality, is being constructed while we interact with other people, in a broader social and cultural context. From this perspective is very important to manage communication rules, both verbal and non verbal so as to establish useful intra-group and inter-group relationships.


Another important theme is the social influence process. This theme deals with how we could change people minds to get a certain response. To get this we need to understand and apply basic principles of social influence. The theory of social identity (Tajfel y Turner, 1979, 1986)[1], explains influence dynamics both at the intra and inter group levels. Social influence can be explained depending on individual motivation to get a positive social identity compared with other groups or individuals. The theory of self-categorization (Turner, Hogg, Oakes, Reicher y Wertherell, 1987; Turner, 1991)[2] complete the earlier mentioned explaining cognitive processes that occur within the continuum between the personal identity and social identity. We will also study the most likely causes of social influence and how we can resist it.


Group formation and group development are important topics that we are going to work on. Group variables such as cohesion, conflict management, ineffective processes and norms development will be studied in depth. These variables are essential to define group results both from a social-emotional point of view as well as from a task perspective (meet the objectives). It is also important to identify what are the roles that an effective group requires to be effective. Power, authority and leadership are concepts that we will explain in relation to the group.


Last but not least theme will be inter-group relationships. Conflict management and stereotypes development link to intra-group favouritism will be important topics to deal with.


[1] Tajfel, H. y Turner, J.C. (1979). An Integrative theory of intergroup conflict. En W.G. Austin y S. Worchel (Eds.), The social psychology of intergroup relations (2.ª ed., pp. 7-24). Monterey: Brooks/Cole.

Tajfel, H. y Turner, J.C. (1986). The social psychology of intergroup behavior. En W.G. Austin y S. Worchel (Eds.), The social psychology of intergroup relations (2.ª ed., pp. 33-47). Monterey: Brooks/Cole.

[2] Turner, J.C., Hogg, M.A., Oakes, P.J., Reicher, S.D., y Wetherell, M.S. (1987). Rediscovering the social group:Self-categorization theory. Oxford:Blackwell.

Turner, J.C. (1991) Social Influence. Milton Keynes, UK: Open University Press.


[1] Moreland, R.L. y Levine, J.M.(1982). Socialization in Small Groups: Temporal Changes in Individual-Group Relations. En L. Berkowitz (Ed.). Advances in Experimental Social Psychology. 15, (4): 137-192. New York: Academia Press.



Social identity

Social influence and power

Social communication

Groups theories

Intra and inter-groups relationships

Intra and inter-groups conflicts


General proficiencies

  1. CB3 Students should have skills to gather and interpret relevant data in order to emit a reflected judgement including social, scientific and ethical themes.
  2. CB4 Students should transmit information son ideas, problems and solutions to an both specialized and non-specialized audience.
  3. CG1 Skills to comprehend contents of the areas of knowledge aided by updated books and including advance knowledge in their field of expertise.
  4. CG7 Skills to assess and take into account the opinion of families, groups and communities.
  5. CG8 Skills to show interest and concern to solve individual and social problems.
  6. CG9 Skills to learn how groups work, group development and to work in groups and with groups.
  7. CG13 Competence to show flexibility to change.
  8. CG15 Skills to use concepts and methodologies in order to apply the equal opportunities framework to their activities.
  9. CG17 Skills to analyse inequalities in different areas of Social Work.
  10. CG19 Skill to develop a ¿non-androcentric¿ point of view in their social diagnoses.


Specific proficiencies

  1. CEM2. Relational skills to deal with various types of people, families, groups, organizations and communities in order to achieve changes, improve life conditions applying social work methods and techniques.
  2. CEM3. Skills to assess human situations and gather, classify, treat and analyse information from a broad perspective including people¿s points of view, concepts, research data, legal regulations and other procedures.
  3. CEM5. Group and individual skills to reflect about their behaviour, modifying it when necessary and identifying and continuously reviewing their personal and professional limits.
  4. CEM6. Group and individual skills to manage intra and interpersonal conflicts, identifying them, designing strategies to deal with them and reflecting on their results.


Learning outcomes

With regard to objectives, at the end of this course students will be able to:

  1. Recognize the relevance of both communication and social influence to explain intra and inter group relationships and apply active listening tools (e.g., focused attention, empathy, feedback, etc.) and social skills.
  2. Identify and define basic concepts with regard to approaches and levels of social interaction according to this subject.
  3. Compare majority and minority influence processes underlining the role of social categorization.
  4. Describe socialization process of new group members.
  5. Analyze social process from minority influence and new ways of influence related to new technologies.
  6. Analyse and deal efficiently with intra and intergroup conflicts.
  7. Apply strategies in order to develop positive roles within the group.
  8. Apply strategies, tactics, tools and social skills in order to improve both intra and intergroup relationships.
  9. Analyze the relationship between stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination between groups.
  10. Apply methods and techniques to group dynamics when they work with groups.
  11. Apply tools and methods to the analysis of group interaction in daily social contexts, using ICT when necessary.
  12. Promote groups as places of reflection and improvement.




In-class hours
Out-class hours
A-1 Theoretical Classes
A-2 Practices
A-3 Debates, sharing information, group tutorials
 10 (from the above two activities. Not add to total)
 6 (under request)
A-4  Oral presentation
6 (practices)
A-5 Reading
A-6 Individual study
A-7 Specific assessment tests
 3 (Not add to total)
A-8 Individual tutorials
 2 (recommended)


Relationship between formative activities and proficiencies


CG1, CG7, CG8, CG15, CB3, CG19, CEA1y CEA2, CEA3, CEA4, CEA5.

CB3, CB3, CG8, CG15, CG19, CE2, CE3, CG5, CG6 y CEA1, CEA2, CEA3, CEA4, CEA5.
CB3, CG1, CB4, CG7, CG15, CE2, CE3 y CEA1, CEA2, CEA3, CEA4, CEA5.
CG15, CG17, CG19, CE3 y CEA1, CEA2, CEA3, CEA4, CEA5.
CG1, CG13 y CEA1, CEA2, CEA3, CEA4, CEA5.
CB3, CE3, CE6, CEA1y CEA2, CEA3, CEA4, CEA5.
CB3, CB3, CG8, CG15, CG19, CE2, CE3, CG5, CG6 y CEA1, CEA2, CEA3, CEA4, CEA5.
CB3, CB3, CG8, CG15, CG19, CE2, CE3, CG5, CG6 y CEA1, CEA2, CEA3, CEA4, CEA5.








Learning outcomes
Assessment tool
Weight (%) Possibility to be made up
 Recognize the relevance of both communication and social influence to explain intra and inter group relationships and apply active listening tools (e. g. focused attention, empathy, etc) and social skills  during the classes. Practices participation and realization/Assignmets done by groups/Oral presentacions by groups/Writen Test.  30%  20%
Identify and define the set of basic concepts related to the scopes and levels of social interaction shown in this course and compare both majority and minority influence processes highlighting the role of social categorization. Practices participation and realization/Assignmets done by groups/Writen Test.  20%  15%
Apply strategies, tactics, tools and social skills in order to improve both intra and intergroup relationships and analyse and deal efficiently with intra and intergroup conflicts. Practices participation and realization/Assignmets done by groups/Oral presentacions by groups/Writen Test.  30%  20%
Apply methods and techniques to group dynamics when they work with groups y apply tools and methods to the analysis of group interaction in daily social contexts, using ICT¿s when necessary. Practices participation and realization/Assignmets done by groups/Oral presentacions by groups/Writen Test.   20%  15%



Assessment tools
Weight %
Learning outcomes and competencies Number of practices done and meaningful contribution at class
Do the practices given at class in small groups.
Contribution, active listening and focused attention will be positively assessed in any given occasion (e. g. questions, exercises, group work, etc.).
 Learning outcomes and competencies Oral Presentation
After choosing one topic from the programme, students have to give a 5 minute talk to the class.
 Learning outcomes and competencies
Level of knowledge and analytical skills to the themes given.
 Multiple Choice Test.
 Learning outcomes and competencies Level of knowledge and contents integration.
ONLY FOR STUDENTS THAT CANNOT ATTEND CLASSES. Written paperS from the English articles previously mentioned (Bibliography).




THEME 1: Introduction to the study of inter-subjective communication and social processes.

  1. Introduction: Communication social dimension.
  2. Definitions and models on human communication.
    1. Classic models.
    2. Relational and interactional models: The Palo Alto School.
      1.   Systems Theory and Communication.
      2.   Watzlawick¿s Axioms.
  3. Verbal and Non-verbal communication.
    1. Introduction: prevalence of NVC.
    2. Language and its use.
    3. Relevance and key areas on NVC.
      1.  Facial expressions and gestures: Ekman and universal human emotions.
      2.  Para-linguistic.
      3.  Distance and physical contact.
  4. Psycho-social processes:
    1. The communication scene.
    2. Intra-personal processes (social cognition and perception).
    3. Inter-personal processes.
      1. How to define the nature of our relationships.
      2. How to maintain our social image.

THEME 2: Social Skills. Theory and professional practice.

  1. Introduction: Relevance and hierarchy.
  2. Acquisition and types of social skills.
  3. Types of behaviour: Assertive behaviour.
  4. Social Skills and professional requirements in Social Work with groups.
    1. Active listening, feed-back and self-control.
    2. Other social skills to groups.



THEME 3: Social influence and influence resistance

  1. Beginning of the influence process.
    1. Group normative and informative dependency.
    2. Influence processes: normalization, conformity and influence.
    3. Definitions and classic research.
  2. Psychosocial principles and influence tactics: description and operation.
  3. Influence resistance:
    1. Influence resistance and status.
    2. Influence resistance vs. in-conformity.
    3. Resistance reasons.
  4. Power and influence. Minority influence.
    1. Definition.
    2. Types of power according to (French & Raven, 1959).
    3. A special case of influence: minority influence.
    4. Comparison with majority influence: social categorization.

THEME 4: Perspectives on Social Identity.

  1. Complex nature of identity.
  2. Identity dimensions.
  3. Social Identity Theory (Tajfel y Turner, 1978).
  4. Self-categorization Theory (Turner, 1987):



THEME 5: Groups and group models in Social Work.

  1. Importance of groups in the current social context.
  2. Relevance of group methods in Social Work:
    1. Intervention method.
    2. As group members in various types of groups.
  3. Group definition. Types of groups and taxonomies.
  4. Stages of group formation.
  5. Group socialization model (Moreland y Levine, 1982).
  6. Group variables in modern models.
    1. Difference between group process and emergent state.
    2. Relevance of cognitive processes: shared mental models and transactive memory.

THEME 6: Group Structure and Group Processes

 Group structure.

  1. Roles and responsibilities:
    1.  Positive roles (action, maintenance, planning, coordination and leadership).
    2.  Negative roles (scarce or excessive participation, excessive dominance or critic behaviour).
    3. Objectives and tasks.
    4. Other variables: group size and heterogeneity.
    5. Main group processes.
      1. Cohesion.
      2. Conflict management.
      3. Communication.
      4. Social support.
      5. Norms:
        1. Types and consequences of their rupture.
        2. Negative group processes and their influence on group decision¿ making.


THEME 7: Main approaches on inter-group relationships

  1. Individual approaches:
    1. Authoritarian personality.
    2. Social dominance orientation.
  2. Inter-group approaches:
    1. Realistic conflict theory.
    2. Social identity approach:
  1. Social identity theory.
  2. Interdependence and categorization: Minimum Group Paradigm.
  3. Favouritism and self-esteem.
  4. Self-categorization.
  1. From favouritism to rejection.
    1. De-personalization process.
    2. Group des-humanization process.
  2. Inter-group conflict reduction.


Each block includes at least, one practical class.




 Classes will be divided into two days, 4 hour a week. Both days theory and practice activities are programmed.






Acceda a la bibliografía que su profesor ha solicitado a la Biblioteca.

- Argyle, M. (1992). The Social Psychology of every day life. London: Routledge.
- Ber-Tal, D. (1990). Group beliefs: a conception for analysing groups structure. Processes and behaviour. New York: Springer.
- Bless, H., Fiedler, K., & Strack, F. (2004). Social cognition: how individuals construct social reality. Have (UK): Psychology Press.
- Cárdenas, M. (2010). Forms of ethnic prejudice: assessing the dimensionality of a Spanish-language version of the Blatant and Subtle prejudice scale.   Psicothema, 22 (1), 118-124.

- Fiske, S.T, Gilbert, D.T. y Lindzey, G. (2010). Handbook of Social Psychology. Hoboken, N.J.: Jonh Wiley & Sons.
- Gómez, A. (2002). If my group stereotypes others, others stereotype my group, and we know. Concept, research lines and future perspectives of meta-stereotypes. Revista de Psicología Social, 17 (3), 253-282.
- Levine, M. & Manning, R. (2013). Social identity, group processes and helping in emergencies. European Review of Social Psychology, 24 (1), 225-251.
- Moreira, V. & Mirón, L. (2013). The role of gender identity in adolescents¿ antisocial behaviour. Psicothema, 25 (1), 67-72.
- Osca, A., Urien, B., González-Camino, G., Martínez-Pérez, M. D., & Martínez-Pérez, N. (2005). Organisational support and group efficacy: a longitudinal study of main and buffer effects. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 20 (3/4), 292-311.

-Urien, B, Osca, A, & Garcia-Salmones, L. (2017). Role ambiguity, group cohesion and job satisfaction: A Demands-Resources Model (JD-R) Study from Mexico and Spain. Revista Latinoamericana de Psicología, 49, 137-145.



Classes wil take place in the multimedia classroom of Social Work department located in the basement floor at Las Encinas building.

Tutorials will be posted at Mi Aulario and at the Professor's office door before the semester begins (2nd floor, Las Encinas building).