NCERT Textbook - Terms, Concepts and their Use in Sociology Humanities/Arts Notes | EduRev

Sociology Class 11

Humanities/Arts : NCERT Textbook - Terms, Concepts and their Use in Sociology Humanities/Arts Notes | EduRev

 Page 1


 24 INTRODUCING SOCIOLOGY
CHAPTER 2
TERMS, CONCEPTS AND THEIR USE IN SOCIOLOGY
I
INTRODUCTION
The previous chapter introduced us to
an idea both about society as well as
sociology. We saw that a central task of
sociology is to explore the interplay of
society and the individual. We also saw
that individuals do not float freely in
society but are part of collective bodies
like the family, tribe, caste, class,  clan,
nation. In this chapter, we move further
to understand the kinds of groups
individuals form, the kinds of unequal
orders, stratification systems within
which, individuals and groups are
placed, the way social control operates,
the roles that individuals have and play,
and the status they occupy.
In other words we start exploring
how society itself functions. Is it
harmonious or conflict ridden? Are
status and roles fixed? How is social
control exercised? What kinds of
inequalities exist? The question however
remains as to why do we need specific
terms and concepts to understand this.
Why does sociology need to have a
special set of terms when we use terms
like status and roles or social control
anyway in our everyday life?
For a discipline such as, say,
nuclear physics that deals with matters
unknown to most people and for which
no word exists in common speech, it
seems obvious that a discipline must
develop a terminology. However,
terminology is possibly even more
important for sociology, just because
its subject matter is familiar and just
because words do exist to denote it.  We
are so well acquainted with the social
institutions that surround us that we
cannot see them clearly and precisely
(Berger 1976:25).
For example we may feel that since
we live in families we know all about
families. This would be conflating or
equating sociological knowledge
with common sense knowledge or
naturalistic explanation, which we have
discussed in Chapter 1.
We also found in the previous
chapter how sociology as a discipline
2019-20
Page 2


 24 INTRODUCING SOCIOLOGY
CHAPTER 2
TERMS, CONCEPTS AND THEIR USE IN SOCIOLOGY
I
INTRODUCTION
The previous chapter introduced us to
an idea both about society as well as
sociology. We saw that a central task of
sociology is to explore the interplay of
society and the individual. We also saw
that individuals do not float freely in
society but are part of collective bodies
like the family, tribe, caste, class,  clan,
nation. In this chapter, we move further
to understand the kinds of groups
individuals form, the kinds of unequal
orders, stratification systems within
which, individuals and groups are
placed, the way social control operates,
the roles that individuals have and play,
and the status they occupy.
In other words we start exploring
how society itself functions. Is it
harmonious or conflict ridden? Are
status and roles fixed? How is social
control exercised? What kinds of
inequalities exist? The question however
remains as to why do we need specific
terms and concepts to understand this.
Why does sociology need to have a
special set of terms when we use terms
like status and roles or social control
anyway in our everyday life?
For a discipline such as, say,
nuclear physics that deals with matters
unknown to most people and for which
no word exists in common speech, it
seems obvious that a discipline must
develop a terminology. However,
terminology is possibly even more
important for sociology, just because
its subject matter is familiar and just
because words do exist to denote it.  We
are so well acquainted with the social
institutions that surround us that we
cannot see them clearly and precisely
(Berger 1976:25).
For example we may feel that since
we live in families we know all about
families. This would be conflating or
equating sociological knowledge
with common sense knowledge or
naturalistic explanation, which we have
discussed in Chapter 1.
We also found in the previous
chapter how sociology as a discipline
2019-20
 25 TERMS, CONCEPTS AND THEIR USE IN SOCIOLOGY
has a biography or history. We saw how
certain material and intellectual
developments shaped the sociological
perspective as well as its concerns.
Likewise sociological concepts too have
a story to tell. Many of the concepts
reflect the concern of social thinkers to
understand and map the social
changes that the shift from pre-modern
to modern entailed. For instance
sociologists observed that simple, small
scale and traditional societies were
more marked by close, often face-to-
face interaction. And modern, large
scale societies by formal interaction.
They therefore distinguished primary
from secondary groups, community
from society or association. Other
concepts like stratification reflect the
concern that sociologists had in
understanding the structured
inequalities between groups in society.
Concepts arise in society. However
just as there are different kinds of
individuals and groups in society so
there are different kinds of concepts and
ideas. And sociology itself is marked by
different ways of understanding society
and looking at dramatic social changes
that the modern period brought about.
We have seen how even in the early
stage of sociology’s emergence there
were contrary and contesting
understandings of society. If for
Karl Marx class and conflict were key
concepts to understand society, social
solidarity and collective conscience
were key terms for Emile Durkheim. In
the Post-World War II period sociology
was greatly influenced by the structural
functionalists who found society
essentially harmonious. They found it
useful to compare society to an
organism where different parts have a
function to play for the maintenance of
the whole. Others, in particular the
conflict theorists influenced by Marxism
saw society as essentially conflict
ridden.
Within sociology some tried to
understand human behaviour by
starting with the individual, i.e. micro
interaction. Others began with macro
structures such as class, caste, market,
state or even community. Concepts
such as status and role begin with the
individual.  Concepts such as social
control or stratification begin from a
larger context within which individuals
are already placed.
The important point is that these
classifications and types that we
discuss in sociology help us and are the
tools through which we can
understand reality. They are keys to
open locks to understand society. They
are entry points in our understanding,
not the final answer. But what if the key
becomes rusted or bent or does not fit
the lock, or fits in with effort? In such
situations we need to change or modify
the key. In sociology we both use and
also constantly interrogate or question
the concepts and categories.
Very often there is considerable
unease about the coexistence of
different kinds of definitions or concepts
or even just different views about the
same social entity. For example conflict
theory versus the functionalist theory.
This multiplicity of approaches is
particularly acute in sociology. And it
2019-20
Page 3


 24 INTRODUCING SOCIOLOGY
CHAPTER 2
TERMS, CONCEPTS AND THEIR USE IN SOCIOLOGY
I
INTRODUCTION
The previous chapter introduced us to
an idea both about society as well as
sociology. We saw that a central task of
sociology is to explore the interplay of
society and the individual. We also saw
that individuals do not float freely in
society but are part of collective bodies
like the family, tribe, caste, class,  clan,
nation. In this chapter, we move further
to understand the kinds of groups
individuals form, the kinds of unequal
orders, stratification systems within
which, individuals and groups are
placed, the way social control operates,
the roles that individuals have and play,
and the status they occupy.
In other words we start exploring
how society itself functions. Is it
harmonious or conflict ridden? Are
status and roles fixed? How is social
control exercised? What kinds of
inequalities exist? The question however
remains as to why do we need specific
terms and concepts to understand this.
Why does sociology need to have a
special set of terms when we use terms
like status and roles or social control
anyway in our everyday life?
For a discipline such as, say,
nuclear physics that deals with matters
unknown to most people and for which
no word exists in common speech, it
seems obvious that a discipline must
develop a terminology. However,
terminology is possibly even more
important for sociology, just because
its subject matter is familiar and just
because words do exist to denote it.  We
are so well acquainted with the social
institutions that surround us that we
cannot see them clearly and precisely
(Berger 1976:25).
For example we may feel that since
we live in families we know all about
families. This would be conflating or
equating sociological knowledge
with common sense knowledge or
naturalistic explanation, which we have
discussed in Chapter 1.
We also found in the previous
chapter how sociology as a discipline
2019-20
 25 TERMS, CONCEPTS AND THEIR USE IN SOCIOLOGY
has a biography or history. We saw how
certain material and intellectual
developments shaped the sociological
perspective as well as its concerns.
Likewise sociological concepts too have
a story to tell. Many of the concepts
reflect the concern of social thinkers to
understand and map the social
changes that the shift from pre-modern
to modern entailed. For instance
sociologists observed that simple, small
scale and traditional societies were
more marked by close, often face-to-
face interaction. And modern, large
scale societies by formal interaction.
They therefore distinguished primary
from secondary groups, community
from society or association. Other
concepts like stratification reflect the
concern that sociologists had in
understanding the structured
inequalities between groups in society.
Concepts arise in society. However
just as there are different kinds of
individuals and groups in society so
there are different kinds of concepts and
ideas. And sociology itself is marked by
different ways of understanding society
and looking at dramatic social changes
that the modern period brought about.
We have seen how even in the early
stage of sociology’s emergence there
were contrary and contesting
understandings of society. If for
Karl Marx class and conflict were key
concepts to understand society, social
solidarity and collective conscience
were key terms for Emile Durkheim. In
the Post-World War II period sociology
was greatly influenced by the structural
functionalists who found society
essentially harmonious. They found it
useful to compare society to an
organism where different parts have a
function to play for the maintenance of
the whole. Others, in particular the
conflict theorists influenced by Marxism
saw society as essentially conflict
ridden.
Within sociology some tried to
understand human behaviour by
starting with the individual, i.e. micro
interaction. Others began with macro
structures such as class, caste, market,
state or even community. Concepts
such as status and role begin with the
individual.  Concepts such as social
control or stratification begin from a
larger context within which individuals
are already placed.
The important point is that these
classifications and types that we
discuss in sociology help us and are the
tools through which we can
understand reality. They are keys to
open locks to understand society. They
are entry points in our understanding,
not the final answer. But what if the key
becomes rusted or bent or does not fit
the lock, or fits in with effort? In such
situations we need to change or modify
the key. In sociology we both use and
also constantly interrogate or question
the concepts and categories.
Very often there is considerable
unease about the coexistence of
different kinds of definitions or concepts
or even just different views about the
same social entity. For example conflict
theory versus the functionalist theory.
This multiplicity of approaches is
particularly acute in sociology. And it
2019-20
 26 INTRODUCING SOCIOLOGY
II
SOCIAL GROUPS AND SOCIETY
Sociology is the study of human social
life. A defining feature of human life is
that humans interact, communicate
and construct social collectivities. The
comparative and historical perspective
of sociology brings home two appa-
rently innocuous facts. The first that in
every society whether ancient or feudal
or modern, Asian or European or
African human groups and collectivities
exist. The second that the types of
groups and collectivities are different in
different societies.
Any gathering of people does not
necessarily constitute a social group.
Aggregates are simply collections of
people who are in the same place at the
same time, but share no definite
connection with one another.
Passengers waiting at a railway station
or airport or bus stop or a cinema
audience are examples of aggregates.
Such aggregates are often termed as
quasi groups.
What kind of groups are these?
cannot but be otherwise. For society
itself is diverse.
In our discussion on the various
terms you will notice how there is
divergence of views. And how this very
debate and discussion of differences
helps us understand society.
Activity 1
Choose any one of the following
topics for class discussion :
• democracy is a help or hind-
rance to development
• gender equality makes for a
more harmonious or more
divisive society
• punishments or greater dis-
cussion are the best way to
resolve conflicts.
Think of other topics.
What kind of differences emerged?
Do they reflect different visions of
what a good society ought to be like?
Do they reflect different notions of
the human being?
2019-20
Page 4


 24 INTRODUCING SOCIOLOGY
CHAPTER 2
TERMS, CONCEPTS AND THEIR USE IN SOCIOLOGY
I
INTRODUCTION
The previous chapter introduced us to
an idea both about society as well as
sociology. We saw that a central task of
sociology is to explore the interplay of
society and the individual. We also saw
that individuals do not float freely in
society but are part of collective bodies
like the family, tribe, caste, class,  clan,
nation. In this chapter, we move further
to understand the kinds of groups
individuals form, the kinds of unequal
orders, stratification systems within
which, individuals and groups are
placed, the way social control operates,
the roles that individuals have and play,
and the status they occupy.
In other words we start exploring
how society itself functions. Is it
harmonious or conflict ridden? Are
status and roles fixed? How is social
control exercised? What kinds of
inequalities exist? The question however
remains as to why do we need specific
terms and concepts to understand this.
Why does sociology need to have a
special set of terms when we use terms
like status and roles or social control
anyway in our everyday life?
For a discipline such as, say,
nuclear physics that deals with matters
unknown to most people and for which
no word exists in common speech, it
seems obvious that a discipline must
develop a terminology. However,
terminology is possibly even more
important for sociology, just because
its subject matter is familiar and just
because words do exist to denote it.  We
are so well acquainted with the social
institutions that surround us that we
cannot see them clearly and precisely
(Berger 1976:25).
For example we may feel that since
we live in families we know all about
families. This would be conflating or
equating sociological knowledge
with common sense knowledge or
naturalistic explanation, which we have
discussed in Chapter 1.
We also found in the previous
chapter how sociology as a discipline
2019-20
 25 TERMS, CONCEPTS AND THEIR USE IN SOCIOLOGY
has a biography or history. We saw how
certain material and intellectual
developments shaped the sociological
perspective as well as its concerns.
Likewise sociological concepts too have
a story to tell. Many of the concepts
reflect the concern of social thinkers to
understand and map the social
changes that the shift from pre-modern
to modern entailed. For instance
sociologists observed that simple, small
scale and traditional societies were
more marked by close, often face-to-
face interaction. And modern, large
scale societies by formal interaction.
They therefore distinguished primary
from secondary groups, community
from society or association. Other
concepts like stratification reflect the
concern that sociologists had in
understanding the structured
inequalities between groups in society.
Concepts arise in society. However
just as there are different kinds of
individuals and groups in society so
there are different kinds of concepts and
ideas. And sociology itself is marked by
different ways of understanding society
and looking at dramatic social changes
that the modern period brought about.
We have seen how even in the early
stage of sociology’s emergence there
were contrary and contesting
understandings of society. If for
Karl Marx class and conflict were key
concepts to understand society, social
solidarity and collective conscience
were key terms for Emile Durkheim. In
the Post-World War II period sociology
was greatly influenced by the structural
functionalists who found society
essentially harmonious. They found it
useful to compare society to an
organism where different parts have a
function to play for the maintenance of
the whole. Others, in particular the
conflict theorists influenced by Marxism
saw society as essentially conflict
ridden.
Within sociology some tried to
understand human behaviour by
starting with the individual, i.e. micro
interaction. Others began with macro
structures such as class, caste, market,
state or even community. Concepts
such as status and role begin with the
individual.  Concepts such as social
control or stratification begin from a
larger context within which individuals
are already placed.
The important point is that these
classifications and types that we
discuss in sociology help us and are the
tools through which we can
understand reality. They are keys to
open locks to understand society. They
are entry points in our understanding,
not the final answer. But what if the key
becomes rusted or bent or does not fit
the lock, or fits in with effort? In such
situations we need to change or modify
the key. In sociology we both use and
also constantly interrogate or question
the concepts and categories.
Very often there is considerable
unease about the coexistence of
different kinds of definitions or concepts
or even just different views about the
same social entity. For example conflict
theory versus the functionalist theory.
This multiplicity of approaches is
particularly acute in sociology. And it
2019-20
 26 INTRODUCING SOCIOLOGY
II
SOCIAL GROUPS AND SOCIETY
Sociology is the study of human social
life. A defining feature of human life is
that humans interact, communicate
and construct social collectivities. The
comparative and historical perspective
of sociology brings home two appa-
rently innocuous facts. The first that in
every society whether ancient or feudal
or modern, Asian or European or
African human groups and collectivities
exist. The second that the types of
groups and collectivities are different in
different societies.
Any gathering of people does not
necessarily constitute a social group.
Aggregates are simply collections of
people who are in the same place at the
same time, but share no definite
connection with one another.
Passengers waiting at a railway station
or airport or bus stop or a cinema
audience are examples of aggregates.
Such aggregates are often termed as
quasi groups.
What kind of groups are these?
cannot but be otherwise. For society
itself is diverse.
In our discussion on the various
terms you will notice how there is
divergence of views. And how this very
debate and discussion of differences
helps us understand society.
Activity 1
Choose any one of the following
topics for class discussion :
• democracy is a help or hind-
rance to development
• gender equality makes for a
more harmonious or more
divisive society
• punishments or greater dis-
cussion are the best way to
resolve conflicts.
Think of other topics.
What kind of differences emerged?
Do they reflect different visions of
what a good society ought to be like?
Do they reflect different notions of
the human being?
2019-20
 27 TERMS, CONCEPTS AND THEIR USE IN SOCIOLOGY
A quasi group is an aggregate or
combination, which lacks structure or
organisation, and whose members
may be unaware, or less aware, of the
existence of groupings. Social classes,
status groups, age and gender groups,
crowds can be seen as examples of
quasi groups. As these examples
suggest quasi groups may well
become social groups in time and in
specific circumstances. For example,
individuals belonging to a particular
social class or caste or community may
not be organised as a collective body.
They may be yet to be infused with a
sense of “we” feeling. But class and
caste have over a period of time given
rise to political parties. Likewise
people of different communities in
India have over the long anti-colonial
struggle developed an identity as a
collectivity and group — a nation with
a shared past and a common future.
The women’s movement brought about
the idea of women’s groups and
organisation. All these examples draw
attention to how social groups emerge,
change and get modified.
A social group can be said to have
at least the following characteristics :
(i) persistent interaction to provide
continuity;
(ii) a stable pattern of these inter-
actions;
(iii) a sense of belonging to identify
with other members, i.e. each
individual is conscious of the
group itself and its own set of
rules, rituals and symbols;
(iv) shared interest;
(v) acceptance of common norms and
values;
(vi) a definable structure.
Social structure here refers to
patterns of regular and repetitive
interaction between individuals or
groups. A social group thus refers to a
collection of continuously interacting
persons who share common interest,
culture, values and norms within a
given society.
Activity 2
Find out a name that is relevant under each heading.
Caste An anti caste movement A caste based political party
Class A class based movement A class based political party
Women A women’s movement A women’s organisation
Tribe A tribal movement A tribe/tribes based political party
Villagers An environmental movement An environmental organisation
Discuss whether they were all social groups to start with and if some were not,
then at what point can one apply the term social group to them, using the term
as sociologically understood.
2019-20
Page 5


 24 INTRODUCING SOCIOLOGY
CHAPTER 2
TERMS, CONCEPTS AND THEIR USE IN SOCIOLOGY
I
INTRODUCTION
The previous chapter introduced us to
an idea both about society as well as
sociology. We saw that a central task of
sociology is to explore the interplay of
society and the individual. We also saw
that individuals do not float freely in
society but are part of collective bodies
like the family, tribe, caste, class,  clan,
nation. In this chapter, we move further
to understand the kinds of groups
individuals form, the kinds of unequal
orders, stratification systems within
which, individuals and groups are
placed, the way social control operates,
the roles that individuals have and play,
and the status they occupy.
In other words we start exploring
how society itself functions. Is it
harmonious or conflict ridden? Are
status and roles fixed? How is social
control exercised? What kinds of
inequalities exist? The question however
remains as to why do we need specific
terms and concepts to understand this.
Why does sociology need to have a
special set of terms when we use terms
like status and roles or social control
anyway in our everyday life?
For a discipline such as, say,
nuclear physics that deals with matters
unknown to most people and for which
no word exists in common speech, it
seems obvious that a discipline must
develop a terminology. However,
terminology is possibly even more
important for sociology, just because
its subject matter is familiar and just
because words do exist to denote it.  We
are so well acquainted with the social
institutions that surround us that we
cannot see them clearly and precisely
(Berger 1976:25).
For example we may feel that since
we live in families we know all about
families. This would be conflating or
equating sociological knowledge
with common sense knowledge or
naturalistic explanation, which we have
discussed in Chapter 1.
We also found in the previous
chapter how sociology as a discipline
2019-20
 25 TERMS, CONCEPTS AND THEIR USE IN SOCIOLOGY
has a biography or history. We saw how
certain material and intellectual
developments shaped the sociological
perspective as well as its concerns.
Likewise sociological concepts too have
a story to tell. Many of the concepts
reflect the concern of social thinkers to
understand and map the social
changes that the shift from pre-modern
to modern entailed. For instance
sociologists observed that simple, small
scale and traditional societies were
more marked by close, often face-to-
face interaction. And modern, large
scale societies by formal interaction.
They therefore distinguished primary
from secondary groups, community
from society or association. Other
concepts like stratification reflect the
concern that sociologists had in
understanding the structured
inequalities between groups in society.
Concepts arise in society. However
just as there are different kinds of
individuals and groups in society so
there are different kinds of concepts and
ideas. And sociology itself is marked by
different ways of understanding society
and looking at dramatic social changes
that the modern period brought about.
We have seen how even in the early
stage of sociology’s emergence there
were contrary and contesting
understandings of society. If for
Karl Marx class and conflict were key
concepts to understand society, social
solidarity and collective conscience
were key terms for Emile Durkheim. In
the Post-World War II period sociology
was greatly influenced by the structural
functionalists who found society
essentially harmonious. They found it
useful to compare society to an
organism where different parts have a
function to play for the maintenance of
the whole. Others, in particular the
conflict theorists influenced by Marxism
saw society as essentially conflict
ridden.
Within sociology some tried to
understand human behaviour by
starting with the individual, i.e. micro
interaction. Others began with macro
structures such as class, caste, market,
state or even community. Concepts
such as status and role begin with the
individual.  Concepts such as social
control or stratification begin from a
larger context within which individuals
are already placed.
The important point is that these
classifications and types that we
discuss in sociology help us and are the
tools through which we can
understand reality. They are keys to
open locks to understand society. They
are entry points in our understanding,
not the final answer. But what if the key
becomes rusted or bent or does not fit
the lock, or fits in with effort? In such
situations we need to change or modify
the key. In sociology we both use and
also constantly interrogate or question
the concepts and categories.
Very often there is considerable
unease about the coexistence of
different kinds of definitions or concepts
or even just different views about the
same social entity. For example conflict
theory versus the functionalist theory.
This multiplicity of approaches is
particularly acute in sociology. And it
2019-20
 26 INTRODUCING SOCIOLOGY
II
SOCIAL GROUPS AND SOCIETY
Sociology is the study of human social
life. A defining feature of human life is
that humans interact, communicate
and construct social collectivities. The
comparative and historical perspective
of sociology brings home two appa-
rently innocuous facts. The first that in
every society whether ancient or feudal
or modern, Asian or European or
African human groups and collectivities
exist. The second that the types of
groups and collectivities are different in
different societies.
Any gathering of people does not
necessarily constitute a social group.
Aggregates are simply collections of
people who are in the same place at the
same time, but share no definite
connection with one another.
Passengers waiting at a railway station
or airport or bus stop or a cinema
audience are examples of aggregates.
Such aggregates are often termed as
quasi groups.
What kind of groups are these?
cannot but be otherwise. For society
itself is diverse.
In our discussion on the various
terms you will notice how there is
divergence of views. And how this very
debate and discussion of differences
helps us understand society.
Activity 1
Choose any one of the following
topics for class discussion :
• democracy is a help or hind-
rance to development
• gender equality makes for a
more harmonious or more
divisive society
• punishments or greater dis-
cussion are the best way to
resolve conflicts.
Think of other topics.
What kind of differences emerged?
Do they reflect different visions of
what a good society ought to be like?
Do they reflect different notions of
the human being?
2019-20
 27 TERMS, CONCEPTS AND THEIR USE IN SOCIOLOGY
A quasi group is an aggregate or
combination, which lacks structure or
organisation, and whose members
may be unaware, or less aware, of the
existence of groupings. Social classes,
status groups, age and gender groups,
crowds can be seen as examples of
quasi groups. As these examples
suggest quasi groups may well
become social groups in time and in
specific circumstances. For example,
individuals belonging to a particular
social class or caste or community may
not be organised as a collective body.
They may be yet to be infused with a
sense of “we” feeling. But class and
caste have over a period of time given
rise to political parties. Likewise
people of different communities in
India have over the long anti-colonial
struggle developed an identity as a
collectivity and group — a nation with
a shared past and a common future.
The women’s movement brought about
the idea of women’s groups and
organisation. All these examples draw
attention to how social groups emerge,
change and get modified.
A social group can be said to have
at least the following characteristics :
(i) persistent interaction to provide
continuity;
(ii) a stable pattern of these inter-
actions;
(iii) a sense of belonging to identify
with other members, i.e. each
individual is conscious of the
group itself and its own set of
rules, rituals and symbols;
(iv) shared interest;
(v) acceptance of common norms and
values;
(vi) a definable structure.
Social structure here refers to
patterns of regular and repetitive
interaction between individuals or
groups. A social group thus refers to a
collection of continuously interacting
persons who share common interest,
culture, values and norms within a
given society.
Activity 2
Find out a name that is relevant under each heading.
Caste An anti caste movement A caste based political party
Class A class based movement A class based political party
Women A women’s movement A women’s organisation
Tribe A tribal movement A tribe/tribes based political party
Villagers An environmental movement An environmental organisation
Discuss whether they were all social groups to start with and if some were not,
then at what point can one apply the term social group to them, using the term
as sociologically understood.
2019-20
 28 INTRODUCING SOCIOLOGY
TYPES OF GROUPS
As you read through this section on
groups you will find that different
sociologists and social anthropologists
have categorised groups into different
types. What you will be struck with
however is that there is a pattern in the
typology. In most cases they contrast
the manner in which people form
groups in traditional and small scale
societies to that of modern and large
scale societies. As mentioned earlier,
they were struck by the difference
between close, intimate, face-to-face
interaction in traditional societies and
impersonal, detached, distant
interaction in modern societies.
However a complete contrast is
probably not an accurate description
of reality.
Primary and Secondary
Social Groups
The groups to which we belong are not
all of equal importance to us. Some
groups tend to influence many aspects
of our lives and bring us into personal
association with others. The term
primary group is used to refer to a
small group of people connected by
intimate and face-to-face association
and co-operation. The members of
primary groups have a sense of
belonging.  Family, village and groups
Contrast the two types of groups.
Activity 3
Discuss the age group of teenagers. Is it a quasi group or social group?  Were
ideas about ‘teenage’ and ‘teenagers’ as a special phase in life always there? In
traditional societies how was  the entry of children into adulthood marked? In
contemporary times do marketing strategies and advertisement have anything
to do with the strengthening or weakening of this group/quasi group? Identify
an advertisement that targets teenagers or pre-teens. Read the section on
stratification and discuss how teenage may mean very different life experiences
for the poor and rich, for the upper and lower class, for the discriminated and
privileged caste.
2019-20
Read More
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