Department of Applied Psychology

Group Relations Conference


Sexual Identity: Authorization and Leadership in a World of Differences

PRIMARY TASK OF CONFERENCE: To study the ways in which groups, intergroups, and organizations authorize and mobilize individuals from different sexual identity, racial, ethnic, and cultural groups to take up roles within the conference as an organizational structure and in the context of the broader society and daily life.

Conference Directorate - The role of the directorate is to provide the structure to guide and support the staff and participant members in maintaining a focus and commitment to the Conference task and purpose.

Role of Staff - The role of the staff is to act collectively as management of the conference. We will serve as consultants to your learning while continuing our own learning. Our role is to provide opportunities for learning about our experiences in groups both in the "here and now" and "then and there." The consultant staff is both observers and active participants in the process; their roles are open to examination for learning.

Participant Members - The role of participant members is akin to that of explorers with all the connotations that are implied. The role of participant members is to learn and to take up some personal authority to support the learning of fellow participant members.

Observer/Participant - In this conference there will be a small group of observer/participants who are students enrolled in an Advanced Group Dynamics graduate course. They will take up the role of observer in some events and as participants in others.

Research Component - There will be a small team of researchers exploring potential methodologies for studying group relations conference learning. The team will take up observer roles in certain events and request confidential interviews of some participant members and consultants about their learning and experience. The intent for the research is to develop a methodology that will be implemented in the following year. No data will be collected at this year's conference.