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Classification of Social Group

A person; is a member of different groups and these groups satisfy our desires we may either start a group or become a member. Many sociologists have classified

According to G.Simmel he has divided group on basis of number of people in the group. He is a German sociology. According to him there are two groups (i) smaller collection of people (ii) larger scale collection of people

Dwright Sanderson classifies group on the basis of structure of the group. According to him there are three groups.

  1. involuntary group
  2. voluntary group
  3. delegate group
  4. in which people become the member involuntarily. People have no choice like family.If we are born in the family we belong to the family.
  5. people have their own choice membership of one's own choice to become or join any group like professional group (can join or resign)
  6. Representative - If a person becomes a member he has to represent the whole group or whole group should make him the representative of the group like Parliament (M.P.), Legislative Assembly (M.L.A.)

Miller Classifies group on the basis of stratification in the society 1. Vertical 2. Horizontal

  1. Differences in position, ranks, status vertically. Like class or caste. Some think that there is higher caste. Caste is divided into sub-caste and even in that they think they are above in the society, post and prestige.
  2. All equal. Every member is equal like teachers same qualification (economic position may differ a criciticsm).

Summer- On the basis of intimacy of relationship 1. In group 2. Out group.

  1. Intimacy in your own, oneness on feeling. I am in this group i.e. we feeling. Any person of any group should be in group (a member of), friendliness, solidarity, loyalty among members & sympathy towards each other, pleasure on feeling should also be there. Members do not like to hurt anyone and to be hurt by anyone.
  2. There is indifference. The group from which I maintain a distance and out group (in which I don't like to be a member). These express themselves as 'they'. We are democratic and they are communist. Lack of sympathy to an extent, solidarity, avoidance, indifference, competition instead of co-operation, conflict. All this is found in out group. Eg. Caste, color difference. – White think that they are superior. In religion there are social distances. We are Indian and he is Chinese. So caste, religion, nationality are its example.

F,Tonms – basis of community and society. His classification into 2 is :

  1. Gemienschaft – Urban character – industrialization
  2. Gesselschaft – Mental standard low – rural
  3. Temporary group which is formed for some time like crowd, public mob-
  4. Permanent group – Village, State – we live permanently.
  5. Regional group – State, nation
  6. Cultural group – groups for some cultural purpose, recreational, educational group, religion.

Fichter – in his book "Sociology" describes about 4 types of group.

  1. Common Ancestry Group (related with blood group, almost same to Gillin)
  2. Common Territory Group (regional group, permanent group) same as Gillin only leading different.
  3. Similar bodily characteristic age sex , social group
  4. Common interest group related with cultural group fulfill some Common culture purpose – Recreation group, education group, religious group, economic group, political group.

According to Mac Iver & Page – He mentions 3 groups

  1. On the basis of territory and interest territorial unities (you live in a particular territory like village, town, country or city).
  2. Interest conscious unities without definite organization – people have the same interest and are conscious about the aim but they don't have a definite organism. Like Refugee group. People have different psychological group.
  3. Interest conscious unities with definite organization (here they have responsibility towards each other. Members are limited in this group. Everyone one same aim like cricket club, relationship with each other good.

Murdock – into 3 groups

  1. Structural or quasi – structural group. Any group has some structure, organized and developed spontaneously developed automatically. Here he says about tribes, state or class group.
  2. Occasional or circumstantial group – Transitory group, temporary public mob (we feeling but no definite organization) crowd.
  3. Artificial group – The groups formed and we become members deliberately like political group, educational group etc.

George Hasan – into 3 groups

  1. Unsocial group - Aloof from other groups, you don't go to other group
  2. Pseudo social group - People in that group go to other group but for their own interest.
  3. Antisocial group - against the interest of society. You become against the interest of society and make your own group e.g. Terrorist, strike group etc.

Charles Cooley: On the basis of relationship (1) primary and (2) secondary. He classified these 2 groups in his book "Social Organization". He is an American sociologist in 1909.

C.H. Cooley: American sociologist classified group as primary and secondary in 1909 in his book "Social organization". Primary group small in size, intimate relationship, co-operation among members – family, play group. There should be limited, own interest, should fulfill the need of others, mutual understanding direct (face to face) relationship for a common decision, closeness is there, spirit of give and take. 'Face to face' is not a characteristic of primary group – some sociologists have said. R.C. Farris has criticized – he says physical proximity is not primary group like Kinship. In this we do not have a face to face relation but while taking a decision we keep everyone in mind with whom we have blood relationship. R.C. Farris another e.g. in a court the judge lawyer, criminal – all are face to face but not a primary group because there is no feeling.

Definition of Primary Group

Cooley – "By primary group I mean those characterized by intimate face to face association and co-operation. They are primary in several senses, but chiefly they are fundamental informing social nature & ideals of the individual"

Lundberg in his book "Sociology" – "Primary group means two or more person behaving in relation to each other in a way that is intimate, cohesive and personal.

Bierstead – in his book 'social order' says – "By primary group meant the intimate personal face to face groups in which we find our companions and comrades the members of our family and our daily associates.

Definition of Secondary Group

Secondary Group: Always goal oriented. There is co-operation but this co-operation is indirect. Impersonal and indirect relationship. It is optional membership. Eg. Trade Union, City, person, etc. Large in size. There is seldom face to face relationship no mutual identification.

According to Cooley – There are groups wholly backing in intimacy of association and usually most of the other primary and quasi – primary characteristic.
According to Kinsley Davis – "Secondary group can roughly be defined as opposite of everything said about primary group".
Oglourn & Nimkoff – "The group which provides experience lacking in intimacy are called secondary group.
(If difference between primary and secondary group is asked then start the answer with K. Davis's difference.)

Characteristics of secondary group –

  1. To fulfill some common goal
  2. Lacking in intimacy
  3. Indirect relationship
  4. Optional membership.

  1. Social Groups
  2. Definitions of group
  3. Characteristics of the Group
  4. Reference Group