Plotting Newspaper Articles in the Social Processes

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Level of process: 
Method category: 
Intent or purpose: 
To be able to locate social events in the social processes and to gain confidence in understanding the social processes. This can be used to do social analysis or industry analysis.
Used as component of: 
This can be part of a larger analysis process. It is most effective with communities or whole societies but can be used with companies and organizations
Recognizable Components: 
Social Process Triangles
Types of Participants: 
Recommended size of group: 
Optimal amount of time needed: 
12 - 18 minutes
Usual or Expected Outcomes: 
A deeper understanding of the social process. The group can capture a snapshot of the current concerns of society.
Level of participation: 
Potential Pitfalls: 
People confused by the Social Processes.
Type of Facilitator-Client Relationship: 
The Facilitator should be comfortable with the Social Processes.
Level of Difficulty to Facilitate: 
Specialized skills required
Facilitator Personality Fit: 
Setting and Materials: 
One Social Process poster size for each team and small versions for everyone, several newspapers

This exercise is to become familiar with the Social Processes. We will use newspaper articles to do this. Newspapers provide a fountain of information, ideas and opinions all of which can be related to economic, political and cultural processes.
1. We will being with reviewing a little from the social processes (see below).<br>
- a. What were some of the terms that were used in the presentation?<br>
- b. What were some of the images?<br>
- c. What do the social processes remind you of?<br>
- d. What were some insights you had while listening to the presentation?<br>
- e. How could you apply the social processes?</i><br>
2. We want to divide into groups of 3 or 4. Each group should have at least one news paper. <i>Divide the group into groups of 3 or 4 and pass out newspapers.</i><br>
3. You have a worksheet.<br>
- a. Select 10 ? 15 articles. (Try to have some in each of the 3 main triangles (economic, political, and cultural).<br>
- b. Cut them out of the news paper.<br>
- c. Plot the articles on the social processes by writing the headline on the Social Process Triangle. Because the social processes are not static and most news is complex, it maybe possible that an article could be plotted in more than one social process.<br>
- d. Discuss with your team what you have learned in doing this exercise.<br>
- e. Select a reporter to say what news you selected and where you plotted it.<br>
4. We now want to work together. Who would like to start? <i>Plot one item per group on the large triangles.<i/><br>
5. Are there items that are not represented? <i>Plot them on the large triangles.</i><br>
6. <i>Are there items that are the same but plotted in some other triangle? Ask each group what the rationale was behind the way they plotted them. Plot the new item on the large triangle.</i>
1. What were some of the things you noticed in the exercise?<br>
2. What was helpful?<br>
3. What was unhelpful?<br>
4. What are the learning?s from this kind of exercise?<br>
5. What is the advantage of a model like the Social Processes? Disadvantage?<br>
6. Where could you use them?
The workshop leader should do a short presentation on the Social Processes.<br>
Materials: Enough Newspapers for each group to have one or two.

How flexible is the process?: 
Follow-Up Required: 
Jon Jenkins
Derived from: 
working with Dr. C. Mann of the University of Maryland
History of Development: 

The social processes were developed by the Ecumenical Institute / Institute of Cultural Affairs in the early 1970's and have been used in a number of ways as analytical tools

Selected publications: 
Wilson, P. H., Harnish, K. & Wright, J. (2003). The Facilitative Way, TeamTech Press, Shawnee Mission, KS. <br> Jenkins, Jon C. and Maureen R. (1996). The Social Process, Imaginal Training, Groningen, The Netherlands.
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