My biggest curiosity has always been about groups and how they form. This curiosity led me to learn more about group thinking, team work, to always observe, explore and analyze groups. I have been hurt by groups, have tried to fit into certain groups, have succeeded to be part of groups, yet I have never been satisfied with being in one explicit group. I have tried to understand what joins people in a group, what motivates them, and are groups always good or always bad.
It does not take much to understand that groups are formed momentarily by individuals who have one common goal at that particular time, and this common goal motivates them to form the group. Since goals and motivations can be endless and can constantly change so should the groups. Yet, something remains untouched: stereotyping and the prejudice that follows that stereotyping. It may seem easy to explain that groups have one common motive and work towards one common goal, but what we cannot understand or explain without stumbling, is the fact that groups need a leader and members of the group need constant motivation to stay in that group. So why is that? It seems to me that groups suffer one “little” thing: Staying connected and motivated for long time is not that easy.
If we argue that group members can easily lose their interest in the common goal or team work then we can say that, in order to keep the group together and keep the spirit of team alive, we need a leader and a constant motivation. Once we accept this fact we can understand how prejudice and stereotyping are formed and how these become the necessity for the group’s own existence.
Groups cannot survive without judging, prejudging and stereotyping and here is why:
When group members start losing their interest or motivation to complete the common a task (or reaching a common goal), then a strong emotion is needed to keep the action going. As we know strong emotions can be produced by inspiring hatred ideas or illusions which will bring hope to the group members, reasoning that by taking actions hopefully things will change for better. And so, in order to inspire hate and any strong emotion (the fuel for action) the leader must direct members’ attention to a common enemy or obstacle. Leader’s job is to convince the group members that this enemy or obstacle that prevents them to succeed is bad, wrong, dangerous, and whatever other stereotypical label needed in order to inspire the group members to feel the rage. The goal is to trigger the masculine mentality to produce the right endocrine secretions that will drive group members to take actions toward this common target.
This perspective on stereotyping as a need to keep groups motivated can open new grounds on understanding group thinking and aggression as means to an end of the leader or the master mind behind the leader.