12 Angry Men

12 Angry Men

A. Groups and Teams

1. Identify the (dys)functional properties of the group in the film as they pertain to the problem the group is working on

1.1 Roles: A role is a set of expected behaviour patterns attributed to someone occupying a given position in a social unit. The roles in the jury were not clearly defined and many roles developed informally. The only stated role was that of the foreman, who could be said to be a nominal leader in that he suggested how the group would sit and that there should be a vote from time to time. However, he did little to lead the group explore whether the boy was guilty beyond reasonable doubt. The foreman also became a note taker and sometimes a mediator. At one point he became uncomfortable with this role and tried to pass the responsibility elsewhere but the group rejected it. Jury members moved between roles of information givers and information seekers. Other examples of multiple roles include: the baseball fan was a critic but became a follower; the little guy with glasses (John Fielder) was inquisitive and a compromiser through most of the film; the immigrant was an information receiver and also reminded the group of the seriousness and significance of their duty as American citizens; the ad man was compromising, the painter was a harmonizer and the bigot remained a critic. There was confusion of roles, as demonstrated when the architect took on the role of enforcer by grabbing a piece of paper that was used to play tic-tac-toe by two people. As the discussion evolved, the group realized that an agreement on the verdict of the case has become more difficult than anticipated.

1.2 Norms: Norms are acceptable standards of behaviour within a group that are shared by the group’s members. In the beginning it was acceptable for group members to harass and denigrate the architect for his vote and questioning. The anger and harshness of the angry man and bigot were tolerated. As the group spent more...

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