Definition of Social Group
1. J.W. Vander Zanilen :
"A group consists of two or more people who share a feeling of unity ad who are bound together in relatively stable patterns of social interactions."
2. R.T. Schaefer :
'A group is any number of people with similar norms, values and expectations who regularly and consciously interacts.
3. Caroline Hodges persell :
"Groups are collection of people who know each other and interact on the basis of common expectations."
4. Bogardus :
"social group. means' two or more than two individuals committed to a common cause affecting each other and whose , sympathies are common and who do the Same type of jobs."
In the light of the above definitions; it is clearly explained that a group has specific structural ingredients and these play an important role in the formation of groups and because of seriousness, decrease or increase of importance of these, different groups and formed.
Structural Elements of Social Groups :
1. At least two. individuals are required to form a social group, just as husband and wife or two friends make social groups and individuals of a country in millions may also form groups.
2. It is necessary that people in a group should have mutually interactive seriousness, time, importance or relativity may be of different nature but the function existence has to be there otherwise the group will become an aggregate or categories.
3. Two or more than two interactive individuals must have some common expectation, aim and its achievement which are a source of their relation, contact and cooperation.
Important Social Groups .
l. Primary Group
2. Secondary Group
5. Formal Group
6. Informal Group
7. Reference Group
8. Locality Group
Primary Groups :
Primary group has a special importance in the social life because individuals of a society live most of the part of social life in primary groups and this has the most permanent effect on the personality of the individuals. C.H. Cooley introduced this group first of all. In his own words, "A primary group involves two or more people who enjoy a direct, intimate, cohesive relationship with each other." (1909)
Characteristics of Primary Group :
R.T. Schaefer and Robertson have given the following characteristics of this group:
l. It consists of a few individuals generally who have a feeling of strong attachment as is found in a family or friends.
2. The period of interaction among the individuals is generally long and there is emotional depth in their relationships.
3. The relations between the individuals of primary.group are face to face and on secret basis or intimate association and due'to this, they understand the nonverbal language of each other.
4. There is open mindedness among people of primary groups because of stability of,relation and there is no status consciousness among them.
5. They have uniform activities and uniform problems. However, individual's problems are also solved with a strong passion and personal and group needs are also fulfilled through primary groups.
6. Since they live together most of the time, therefore; they have common activities and problems and because of this, there is a uniformity of their thinking, habits, views and thus this group develops a sense of identity.
7. Cooperation and sympathy create a sense of security among them and thus expression ties predominate in the group. An individual adopts himself to group expectations which make his personality specific. Thus, it may love and try to maintain the feelings and experiences of the primary group.
2. Secondary Group :
This type of group is of secondary importance because of the relations of individuals are informal and have some purpose, so there is no depth of feelings and there is no seriousness in interaction among them. According to C.H. Cooley, "A group of two or more people based on impersonal relations having some specific objectives and gathered for its achievement."
Characteristics of Secondary Group :
1. The number of people in this group large number, there is less intensity contact with all is difficult.
2. The relations among them are indirect and limited to the reference of a personality. In other words, instead of full personality only a part of personality is involved and because of this there is no depth of feelings.
3. This group is associated with the achievement of a specific objective. C.H. Cooley says, "Secondary group is instrumental, that is, goal-oriented." For example, Professors' Association, Student's union and trade unions etc.
4. The people of this group meet with each other at specific and for limited time with their full attention to their objectives, therefore; the relations are formal and they try to keep social distance consciously, so there are no emotional ties among them.
5. The people of this group meet under specific rules and interaction is for a limited time, therefore, there is an atmosphere of strangeness among them and they do not affect each other. For example, annual meetings of a big associations. In the modern age, people join among primary groups.
6. A secondary group has its specific objective and expect from members to limit to that objective and to try collectively for that objective. Personal feelings, desires, psychological needs and individual problems are not
important in a secondary group and this group does not help to solve individual's problems. They have short-term relations and their end does not produce any psychological insecurity.
R.T. Schaefer has beautifully described about the structure and characteristics of this group as:
"Secondary group is relatively large, has short duration, little social intimacy less mutual understanding, generally superficial relationships, more formal impersonal."
secondary group is creation of modern age and clubs, trade unions, professional association etc. are its examples.
7. The membership of this group has specific standards, capabilities interests. Therefore, the manner of relationship among members is formal and an.impersonal and superficial behaviour can be felt clearly. social
control manner is also formal. Social sanctions are formal and specific procedural way is fixed already.