Re: I don't buy the "stages of groups" theory.
From: Ruddick, T.R. (
Date: Mon, 10 Dec 2001 10:30:01 -0700 (MST)
Rob wrote:

"In my experience, group theory is just that, theory, often contrived 
by academics for their own purposes. I have observed intentional 
communities to form without going through the first 3 stages 
as described by Mr Ruddick. I am sure there are
groups which go through these, and as a general theory of groups it is not a
bad one, but, from my direct experience,  Mr Ruddicks group theory is hardly
an absolute as claimed."

Eh, Rob, it's not Mr Ruddick's group theory--it comes from Drs. Tuckman and
Phillips and others.

Saying that theory is just theory is saying that pigs is pigs.  Look, some
theories are good, useful ones and others aren't.  Do we really need to
re-hash that old argument?  If we want to challenge the theory, we don't
need a meta-theoretical basis to do it from.  I prefer more vigorous and
direct argument.

As noted in my original post, these stages aren't necessarily lengthy, and a
group might go through the first three in just a few sentences or so.
Experienced, alert group members are often able to pull that off.

In your observations, where you claim the groups began in "stage 4", were
you aware of the following?
--Several people convened the group, and others joined at their invitation
(stage 1)
--The conveners received input from the invited ones that altered their
original plans (stage 2)
--Everyone agreed to work together (stage 3)

Not a lot of time, or yelling and pouting, but those are the stages...

This sort of "structuration theory" gets criticised because people think the
stages necessarily have to take lots of time and be about as subtle as
Bigfoot dancing on the roof with Rudolf.  Not necessarily so, and the
theorists (not working exclusively for their own purposes) have tried to be
careful to specify as much.
Cohousing-L mailing list
Cohousing-L [at]  Unsubscribe  and other info:

Results generated by Tiger Technologies Web hosting using MHonArc.