Who can deny the power of groups? Although poets, social philosophers, and the other members of the intelligentsia overlook no occasion to bemoan the growing alienation of individuals from the small, cohesive interpersonal units that once linked them securely to society-at-large—families, neighborhoods, work teams, communities, and even the spontaneously formed groups like my street-corner altruists—those who study groups believe in the complexity and integrity of individuals’ interpersonal lives. People are in many respects individuals who seek their personal, private objectives, yet they are also members of larger social units that seek shared, collective outcomes. Our groups sustain us, and remind us not to ignore our collectivism.

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Copyright © 2008 Society of Group Psychology and Group Psychotherapy. This article first appeared in The Group Psychologist 18:1 (2008), 1, 4.

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