What Is Social Groups And Types Of Social Groups?

Social Studies

  • Meaning Of Social Groups
  • Types Of Social Groups

Meaning Of Social Groups

Social groups or social organisations are groups or association of persons who share common interests and aspirations, objectives and goals. Members relate and interact with one another towards the attainment or the realization of group goals and interests. The shared interests bind members together. Each member of a social group is expected to participate in group activity and to contribute to group goal realization and survival.

For example, a football team, which is a social organisation has members which comprises of players, the coach and management. Their goal is to win matches and football contests. Each team member must play roles towards the realization of the group goal, if the team must win.

For social groups to achieve the objectives for which they are set up, they must put in place, rules and regulations and values which guide the conduct of their members. Accordingly social groups set roles, functions, patterns, values and norms which members must comply with for the sustenance of the groups. Usually when the goals and objectives of a group are not realize or achievable, members may quit the organisation. A good example is a political party that is unable to win elections. Members usually quit to stronger and more viable parties.

Types Of Social Groups

From man’s interaction within his social environment, two major social groups can be identified, which are:

1. Primary Social Groups
2. Secondary Social Groups

1. Primary Social Group: This is a social group in which the members are well known to one another and relate very intimately. The ties that bind them together are very close. Members are generally very few and relate to one another on face to face basis. Members may or may not be related by blood. Examples are the family, kindred, peer groups, age grade and kinship.

Characteristics Of Primary Social Groups

1. Members are usually very few in number.

2. Members are very intimate and relate on face to face basis.

3. Members relate informally.

4. Members may or may not be born into the same families.

5. They have and share common interests and values.

2. Secondary Social Groups: Secondary social groups are usually larger than primary social groups. The member come from different backgrounds. They may not have intimate relationship and are usually formal in their relationship with one another. Examples of secondary social groups include, the school, social clubs, labour unions, market associations, political parties etc.

Characteristics Of Secondary Social Groups

1. Membership is large and consists of people from diverse backgrounds.

2. Secondary social groups can break up easily.

3. The bond of relationship of members is not very strong as in the primary social groups.

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