Group dynamics is the study of groups, and also a general term for group processes. Relevant to the fields of psychology, sociology, and communication studies, a group is two or more individuals who are connected to each other by social relationships (Kearney-Nunnery, 2012). Because they interact and influence each other, groups develop a number of dynamic processes that separate them from a random collection of individuals. These processes include norms, roles, relations, development, need to belong, social influence, and effects on behavior. .
Groups exist for many different purposes and employ various mechanisms for achieving their goals. Kurt Lewin (1948) found that nearly all groups were based on interdependence among their members and this applied whether the group was large or small, formally structured or loose, or focused on this activity or that. In a famous piece Lewin wrote, "it is not similarity or dissimilarity of individuals that constitutes a group, but interdependence of fate (p. 165). In simpler terms, groups come about in a psychological sense because people realize they are "in the same boat. .
The goal of this research paper is to focus on a specific group and to analyze the group dynamics. The author, for her part in this research will be referred to as Lauren throughout the paper. Having been an active member of Alcoholics Anonymous Lauren decided to attend her typical weekly meeting and spend the hour as though she were only an observer, taking note of the dynamics within the group. Alcoholics Anonymous, usually abbreviated AA, is a 12-step recovery program that has helped many people stop the use of alcohol. The original program was focused on spirituality, religion, and God having an impact on changing a person's life, but depending on the program you attend, these 12 steps may be altered for the audience. .
AA is completely confidential, and it is assumed that all participants will remain anonymous.