Thundertones Social Network

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The Thundertones as a Social Network The Thundertones have been a central part of my social network during my time at Wheaton College. Thundertones is an a cappella group that pulls its members exclusively from the Wheaton College Men’s Glee Club. Being an elite section of a larger group gives the Thundertones an interesting social network in side of the Men’s Glee Club; however, due to the limitations of this project I have chosen to focus primarily on the social network of the Thundertones itself. I have spent a lot of time with the Thundertones, both inside and outside of rehearsals. The atmosphere of singing a cappella in a small group lends itself to a strong atmosphere of community, or Fraternitas, as we like to call it in Glee Club. …show more content…
Our manager Scott, who conducts group rehearsals and makes executive decisions for the group, makes sure that the section leaders know what needs to be accomplished and that they know how to accomplish these needs. Scott also works with our music director Elliot, who is in charge of anything music related. The connections between these members of the group form what I called in my diagram the “leadership connections”. These connections form a hierarchical or “Phone Tree” (Christakis, Pg. 10) with Scott at the top of the pyramid, because everything goes to or from him, and the rest of the leaders forming the base of the pyramid. Not only is Scott the top of the pyramidal hierarchy, he is also at the center of the group’s network because everyone is connected through him as a leader. When Scott leaves the group next year when he graduates this will leave a void in his position; however, since social groups are self-annealing, his position will ultimately be filled by the next person to step up as manager (Christakis, Pg. 291). Pyramidal hierarchy is a common structure for any network that has one person making a majority of the decisions because it allows for those decisions to be efficiently carried out as they pass down the …show more content…
It has even influenced the way that other groups function. A great example of our influence is Amplify, the other a cappella group on campus. For a long time amplify was structured like a two-tiered pyramid with their leader on top, and everyone else below. There was no branching or sub-leadership. Last year their Leader graduated, and when nobody stepped the group crumbled. Not long after they began struggling they decided to restructure their leadership network. In previous years, the relationship between the Thundertones and Amplify had been rocky, in many ways we were bitter rivals. When they decided to restructure they turned to us for ideas. They ended up adopting a structure very similar to ours. Now, not only do they function better, but the relationship between the groups is much better. While this was only really one degree of influence, it shows how one group can influence

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