Social Group Meaning, Definition, Characteristics & types of Social Group

Wed, 09/03/2014 - 23:20 -- Umar Farooq

What is Social Group

A group is became social when interaction interplays among its participants. Social interaction is its basic condition. People walking in markets, in fairs, travelling in train are not social groups. Because social interaction among them does not exist. Two persons, in Amsterdam and New York, having interaction on telephone form it although they are far away from each other. Therefore social interaction is the basic condition of social groups.

Meaning of Social Group

Social group is the foundation of society and culture. Man is also a product of group life. Most of the Anthropologists believe that man started his life on this earth by living together. Man has always been dependent upon his fellow beings in defence, food and shelter. The satisfaction of various needs could be done only by cooperation among various people in society. This reciprocal help brought them into social contact with one another and here the social group was founded. It was the real foundation of human society. Imam Ghazali is also of the view that for the satisfaction of various needs the people formed social groups. Shah Wali Ullah Mohaddis Dehlvi said that for continuity of human race and satisfaction of other needs of food, house and clothes the human society was founded.

Social Group Definition

According to Merrill: "Two or more persons are in communication over an appreciable period of time and who act in accordance with common function or purpose".

A.W. Green says "An aggregate of individuals which persists in time, which has one or more interests or activities in common and which is organized".

Emory S. Bogardus: "a number of persons, two or more who have common objects of attention, who are stimulating to each other, who have common loyalty and participate in related activities are called as group".

Characteristics of Social Groups

The basis of grouping may be numerous but the division of population on the basis of age, sex, income, profession and other gave them various types of social groups. Following are the

  1. Given number of Individual two or more
  2. Reciprocal Relations exists among the its members
  3. These are formed for Common Goals and Objectives
  4. Having Sense of unity and solidarity which results loyalty and sympathy
  5. A strong sense of awe-feeling which develop cooperation
  6. Group Norms and regulations (written or unwritten) must be followed for group control
  7. Similar Behavior to achieve common goals
  8. Awareness about its membership to differentiate them from other groups
  9. These are dynamic instead static
  10. Group Control (direct or indirect control) for members activities

Types of Social Groups

  1. Primary Groups
  2. Secondary Groups
  3. In & Out
  4. Formal and Informal
  5. Reference
  6. Ethnic
  7. Caste
  8. Pressure
  9. Vested Interest