Date of Award

9-3-2010

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Sociology

Abstract

The existing small groups literature most often uses the small group as a way in which to study issues such as race, religion, and education rather than examining the ways in which the study of small groups provides a deeper understanding of larger social structures (Harrington and Fine 2000:314). I used participant observation in three urban knitting groups over approximately eight months and interviews with fifteen group members in total from each of the three groups to determine how entrée is achieved and boundaries are constructed in small group communities. Each group was unique in neighborhood location, the day and time of the group meetings, the location of the meeting, and average group size. The differentiation amongst the groups allows for a richer analysis of how small group communities develop devices of inclusion or exclusion. Establishing research of small groups "as a sociological topic in its own right" (Harrington and Fine 2000:312) will assist sociologists in understanding the transmission and creation of culture that happens in the space between the individual and larger society.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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