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Q. 1. What do you mean by Social Group? Explain it with the help of definitions and characterstics.
What is Social Group? Write in detail.
Ans. Society is the web of social relationship. Man cannot fulfil all of his basic needs. That’s why man is associated with different groups of society. So, exactly after his birth, child becomes member of a family group. In the same way social groups produce relationships among humans and they fulfil their needs from them.
Because of these social groups, unity comes in society and social organization remains intact. Groups are available every where. Human society is made up of many large and small groups. There is no society in the world where groups do not exist. Nature of man is to live in groups because he cannot live alone. It is so because man is social by nature and he alone cannot fulfil his needs. That’s why man spends whole of his life, from birth till death, in groups. Group is a not collection of the things but is the collection of people who have mutual relations among them. Sociology is also related with group from the point of view of study of social relationships. Social structure of our society is based on these groups.
Definitions of Group
1. According to Bogardus,‘‘A social group may be thought of as a number of persons, two or more, who have some common objects of attention, who are stimulating to participate in similar activities.’’
2. According to Sanderson, ‘‘Two or more people between whom there is an established pattern of psychological interaction, It is recognised as an identity by its own members and usually by others because of its particular type of collective behaviour.’’
3. According Gillin and Gillin, ‘‘A social group thus grows out of and requires a situation which permits meaningful inter stimulation and meaningful response between the individuals involved, common focusing of attention on common stimulation or interaction and the development or certain common drives, motivations or emotions.’’ In this way we can say that we cannot call collection of people a group who are near to each other physically but are not co-operating with each other to achieve common goal and who does not affect each other by mutual interaction. It can be called only a crowd or collection of people. In Sociology, group is the collection of people who are equal to each other, whose members have mutual social action, interactions, social relations, consciousness, common interests, stimulations and feelings. In this way members of a group are bound together who affect each other.
In social group exchange of thoughts is also there. In social group, not only physical closeness is there but common consciousness of attraction is also there. Common interests are also there.
Characteristics of a Group
1. Feeling of Unity : Group can be maintained if the feeling of unity will exist among its members. Because of this feeling, they understand each other. Feeling of co-operation is there among them. If the feeling of unity will not be there among them, it will not be a group but just a collection of people.
2. We Feeling : Members of a group help each other if any need arises and with this the we feeling increases. They also protect their own interests by helping each other. With this the sense of unity also increases among them.
3. Social Relations : The most important feature of group is that its members have mutual social relations between them. These relations are permanent and come out of the result of their mutual interactions.
4. Membership : Group can not be made with one person only but can be made with two or more than two persons. In some groups, membership is limited like in family where membership is limited only to wife, husband and their children. No other person can be included in this. That’s why the size of the group also depends upon the number of its members.
Q. 2. What do you know about Primary Group? Write in detail.
What is Primary Group? Explain its characteristics also.
Ans. Charles Hurton Cooley was an American Sociologist who classified social groups in Primary and Secondary groups. Every sociologist accepted this classification in one way or the other. Cooley included very close relations in primary groups like Family, Neighbourhood, Play group, etc. According to him the relations of man in this type of group are of great love, co-operation and respect. Man works in these groups without any hesitation. These groups lack the feeling of selfishness. These relations are not of hatred. Instead of individual feeling, community feeling is there in these groups. Man fulfils his basic needs in these groups. Cooley has given his views about Primary groups.
According to Cooley, ‘‘By primary group I mean these are characterized by intimate face to face association and co-operation. They are primary in several senses but chiefly in that they are fundamental in forming the social nature and ideas of the individual. The result of intimate association.......... is a certain confusion of individualities in a common whole, so that one’s very self, for many purpose of least, is the common life and purpose of the group. Perhaps the simplest way of describing this wholeness is by saying that it is a we, it involves the sort of sympathy and mutual identification for which ‘we’ is the natural expression.’’ According to Cooley, following three groups are important primary groups : 1. Family 2. Play Group 3. Neighbourhood.
Characteristics of Primary Group After looking at the discussion of Primary group we can give some characteristics of primary groups which are given below:
1. Physical proximity among members : It is necessary for a primary group that people should have physical proximity among them and they should sit together.
This physical proximity creates exchange of thoughts among them and people start to understand each other. Co-operation and love increases with daily meeting, sitting with each other and by talking to each other. That’s why close relations are also established among them. If they are equal in position, occupation, gender, caste and age, more closeness can be established.
2. There is stability among these groups : Primary groups are stable in nature.
For example, the family in which child takes birth, lives for the whole life. This life of relations also exists in neighbourhood. That’s why these groups are more stable. These groups have not been made for any specification. When new friends are included in these groups then they become unstable.
3. They are limited in size : Primary groups are limited in size and that’s why their relations are very close in nature. The less number of people in group can increase mutual capacity of understanding. For example when a teacher teaches to a class with less number of students, he knows every child personally. In the same way if more students are there in class, closeness of teacher with students will be less.
4. They have limited Self-interests : In primary groups aim of welfare of group is always kept at primary base. It means that the interest of the group is kept important. For example, there is no feeling of personal selfishness in the members of the family. If feeling of selfishness will be developed then the family will be disintegrated. Every member of the family works for its welfare. Sometimes in this type of group, members have to sacrifice their individual interests because group is not established for a specific purpose. That’s why there are very limited self-interests in primary groups.
Q. 3. Explain the importance of primary groups in modern times.
Ans. Primary groups are quite important in modern times due to following reasons. :
(1) Primary groups play an important role in the process of socialization of an individual. First of all, man comes in contact with society and because of these groups, man depends upon these to fulfil his basic needs. According to Kingsley Davis, ‘‘The complex process of a socialization is that is handled in those concrete group-notably the family and the play group-where an emphasis is placed on the conditions and the qualities of primary association.’’
(2) Man comes to know about his self in the primary group and he gets basic education with the help of its members.
(3) These groups are very important in the personality development of an individual. Behaviour of members of these groups always affects an individual. In the friendship type atmosphere of primary groups, personality of individual generally develops. In these groups, only man gets many qualities of love, co-operation, sympathy, toleration, etc. These qualities help him to become a good member of society. In these groups, man learns social norms, values, ideals and traditions of group.
(4) Individual gets protection only in these group. Members of these groups accept other members as a part of the group and help each other whenever any need arises. When child is born then he feels protected under the love and affection of family members. Child expresses his views only in primary groups.
(5) Primary groups are the main base of social control. All humans are different by nature. If they will live without any control then the whole structure of society will be destroyed. That’s why society controls its members. In primary groups, an individual learns to live in control which is very helpful for the society. To accept the norms of family, respect of elders, to live under rules, to love everyone, to accept the culture of family, all these things he learns under the impact of these groups. When these qualities are developed in an individual then he contributes properly in the functions of society.
(6) Psychological needs of an individual are also fulfilled in these groups. Man learns to live with others only by living in the primary groups such as family, play group and neighbourhood. According to MacIver and Page, ‘‘It is the group through which, as playmates and comerades we first give creative expression to our social impulses. It is the breeding ground of our moves, the nurse of our loyalties. It is first and generally remain the chief focus of our social satisfaction.’’
Q. 4. What do you know about Secondary Group? Write in detail.
What is Secondary Group? Explain with definitions.
Ans. Cooley gave a detailed description of secondary groups. In present societies, man cannot fulfill his needs by living in primary groups only. He needs to depend upon other persons and that’s why secondary groups are of great importance in modern societies. So, the importance of primary groups has decreased.
They have been replaced by other institutions. Specially in urban societies, primary groups are declining day by day. These groups are large in size and members have formal relations among them. Members of these groups have specific objectivities which can be fulfilled by mutual co-operation.
We can take associations, political parties, clubs in the category of secondary groups. They are large in size. They are formed to meet any specific motive. That’s why all the members of these groups don’t know each other and they indirectly co-operate with each other. To understand modern industrial society it is necessary to get knowledge about secondary groups.
Different Sociologists have given different meaning of secondary group which are given below : According to P.H. Landis, ‘‘Secondary groups are those that are relatively casual and impressonal in their relationships............ relationships in them are usually competitive rather than mutually, helpful.’’ According to Majumdar, ‘‘When face to face contacts are not present in the relations of members we have secondary groups’’ According to Kingsley Davis, ‘‘Secondary groups can be roughly defined as the opposite of everything already said about primary groups.’’
On the basis of these definitions we can say that secondary groups generally develop for any special motive. They are large in size. Man enters in these groups for his personal interests. He enters these groups for his personal interests and leaves them after the attainment of his motives. There are no close relations among the members of these group. It is very difficult to know each of the members personally because of large size. Except this, members are controlled by formal means of control. Every member has to control his behaviour according to these means. Kimbal Young gave them the name of special interest group. With these, social rules, customs and institutions are also formed.
Q. 5. Explain briefly the characteristics and importance of secondary groups.
Ans. Characteristics of Secondary Groups
(1) Human have indirect relations : Members of secondary groups have indirect relations among them. The process of co-operation is developed indirectly. Members of these groups don’t know each other. Their function is to give duty and to perform their role. For example thousands of persons work in a factory. Man just works for the pay and even sometimes he hardly awares of the fact that who is the owner of the factory. They are indirectly related with each other by doing different functions. They play different roles for the attainment of an objective.
(2) They are large in size : Secondary groups are large in size. Membership of people is not definite. They are scattered every where. For example, members of any political party are scattered every where in the country. Except this, many other organizations are also there where members are scattered every where. Now the needs of a man are increased and he cannot fulfil these needs by living only in primary group. That’s why he solves his problems by taking membership of these groups. Even he uses letters, telephone, telegrams also for his objectives.
(3) They have formal organization : Some specific rules are generally made for the formation of secondary groups and man has to obey these rules. That’s why the problems of these groups are generally solved by experts. It means that the function of a secondary group is performed in an organized way. Man gets status and role according to his ability and qualification. If any one wants to join these groups, he cannot work according to his wish. For example, if any one is doing job in any office, he has to obey the orders of his officers. He has to obey rules of government. In this way we can say that secondary groups have formal organization.
(4) They have formal and impersonal relations : Mutual relations among individuals are generally formal. They don’t have any effect of primary groups. Man does his work, obeys the rules, gets his pay and still they don’t know even other employees of his office. For example, when we visit any bank, meet the clerk, do our work and come back. We are not related with any part of the life of that clerk. We have impersonal relations in these groups.
Importance of Secondary Groups
(1) They satisfy different needs : In modern times, man cannot fulfil his basic needs by just depending upon primary groups. Human needs are increasing day by day. These needs are just not related with one area but are related with many areas.
That’s why for the fulfilment of these needs, secondary groups are developed. Every one wants to establish his relations in every sphere so that whenever any need arises, his work should be done. That’s why he wants to become the member of these groups.
(2) These groups develop the personality of an individual : Secondary groups help in increasing capacity and personality of an individual. During earlier societies, man was limited to the four walls of his house. It was necessary for an individual to adopt his father’s occupation. Except this, children were under the control of elders of family.
They were unable to do any work of their own wish. But with the passage of time secondary groups were formed. Man came out of the four walls of his house and started to develop his personality and qualification. He got complete freedom to show his qualities. He was unable to do progress in primary group. That’s why secondary groups have developed his personality and uplifted his level of living.
(3) These groups contribute in social progress : Social progress was done not only with technological and industrial revolution but was done when man started joining secondary groups. Man came out of his house and started to fulfil his needs. Man got that type of atmosphere in which he started to use his capabilities. Progress of man now depends upon his ability. Man’s wish to move forward is very helpful in social progress.