BALLB Sociology Social Group Sample Model Practice Question Answer Papers : If you are doing BALLB then Social Group is one of the most important topic.
Ans. . Definition of Social Group
The social group has been defined in a variety of ways by sociologists and social psychologists. Each of these definitions emphasizes someone or other features of the social group, according to the viewpoint of the scholar who has advanced the particular definition. An analytical description and discussion of the definitions of the social group will bring out its nature. Some main desinitions of the social group are the following:
1. Opinion of R.M. William’s. “A social group is a given aggregate of people playing inter-related roles and recognised by themselves or others as a unit of interaction.” In this way, the social group is an aggregate of some people. The roles of those people are related to each other. The group is considered a unit, by every number of it, in which the conduct of the people is interrelated. It is recognised in the same light even by individuals external to it.
2. View of Ogburn and Nimkoff. “Whenever two or more individuals come together and influence one another, they may be said to constitute a social group”, write Ogburn and Nimkoff in their treatise A Handbook of Sociology. This definition of the social group is over simplified but the least it does is to convey the information that a collection of individuals can be considered a group only when they influence each other, in other words, they should have an awareness of each other.
3. Definition by MacIver. “By group we mean any collection of social beings, who enter into distinctive social relationships with one another.” This definition makes it abundantly clear that there must be social relationships between the individual members of a group.
4. Opinion expressed by Gillin. “A social group thus grows out of and requires a situation which permits meaningful response between the individuals involved in common focussing of attention on common drives, motivations or emotions.” This definitions of the social group treats as essential the mutual actions and reactions as well as mutual stimulations between the members. Some motives, drives, interests, emotions and stimuli are common within the group.
5.Edward Sapir’s viewpoint. “A social group is constituted by
the fact that there is some interest which holds its members together.” The members should also be persuaded to co-operate with each other through some common interest.
6. Definition by Elredge and Merrill. “Any group may be defined as two or more persons who are in communication over an appreciable period of time and who act in accordance with a common function or purpose.” According to this definition, besides a common purpose, communication for an adequate and proper period is also essential.
Ans. Classification of Groups
Different sociologists have classified groups in different ways. The chiel bases of these classifications of groups are functions, scope and stability. George Simmel, Von Wise and Becker have taken number as basis. Tonnies has taken social interaction as basis. Lovie and Malinowski have preferred age, sex and other signs and Monier has classified on the basis of blood-relationship, place and action. Similarly the groups have been classified on the basis of size, duration and choice
Bogardus has classified groups into the following types :
(1) Informal, Formal and Burcaucratic, (ii) Voluntary and Involuntary, (1) Genetic and Congregate, (iv) Primary and Pseudo-social, Anti-social, Pro-social and Socialized that
Some other important classisication of groups are following:
1. Cooley’s Classification. (i) Primary Groups. In which there are face to face, strong and co-operative relations between the persons such as family.
(ii) Secondary Groups. Where strong personal and warm relations are found as in political parties.
2. Sumner’s Classification. (i) In groups. In these groups the
members have common object and common interest and a sense of we-feeling. The members of the in-groups treat others as outsiders. These groups can be formed on the basis of relation, country, political aterests and economic interests, etc..
(ii) Out-groups. Groups other than in-groups are out groups. 3. Miller’s Classification. (i) Vertical, (ii) Horizontal. 4. Giddings Classification. (i) Public, (ii) Private.” 5. Elwood’s Classification. (i) Sanctioned, (ii) Unsanctioned.
6. Gillin and Gillin’s Classification. (i) Based on blood-relationship, (ii) Based on Physical traits, (iii) Based on situation proximity, (iv) Based on cultural interests.
7. Ward’s Classification. (i) Voluntary, (ii) Involuntary.
In fact, to classify groups is a difficult task. In this connection, Cuber has rightly written, “Sociologists have devoted a great deal of esfort to ihe difficult problem of classifying groups into types. At first. though this would seem easy to do but perhaps aster further reslection, it will be found to present numerous difficulties. These difficulties are so great, in fact, that at present we have no over-all systematic classification of groups which is entirely acceptable to all sociological scholars.”
Chief Characteristics of Group-Life
Just as to classify the groups is a difficult task, similarly to point out the characteristics of group life is also a difficult problem. Even them some characteristics of group-life can be described. They are as follows:
1.Inter-relation. The members of a group are related to each other. Simply a gathering of persons cannot be called a group. The members of the group should be inter-related. In fact group is any number of human beings is reciprocal communication.” Maclver and some other sociologists have also admitted the social relations to be the fundamentals of the group-life.
2. Group implies a feeling of unity. A feeling is unity is essential for every group. By virtue of such feeling, members of a group treat each other as their own and a sense of sympathy between them develops
3. Members of group have a sense of we-feeling. By a sense o we-feeling, the members of a group help each other in performing their duties, and they defend collectively against the harmful powers. They treat others as the outsiders and try to make their group prosperous and self-sufficient.
4. The interests, ideals and values of the group members are common, A group includes those persons who are related to each other in such a way that they should be treated as one. For it the interests, ideals and values of the persons of a group should tend to be common because this similarly promotes unity.
5. There is similarity of behaviour in a group. As the interests, ideals and values of the persons of a group are common, similarly the behaviour of the members also tends to be similar. A social group not merely a group of persons, but it is continuation of their behaviour.
6. Control of group over the actions of members. The main reason behind the similarity of behaviour in group life is that actions of the members are controlled by the group. In each group there are some customs, norms and procedures which are acceptable to everyone and the members of the group have to obey them. Whenever these are neglected, the group gives punishment. Even if the group sails to punish a person disobeying these, he shall be severely criticised by the public. In this way, every one has to obey the social norms. In fact, without some norms, the existence of group lise is practically impossible.
7. The members of a group are affected by its characteristics. Each group possesses some special characteristics which distinguish it from similar and dissimilar groups. These characteristics affect the members constituting the groups. This effect may be of different nature for different persons, but still all the members are affected by the group.
The above mentioned characteristics can be observed in a family group. In a family group, the members are related to each other by intimate relations such as husband-wife, father-son, brother-sister, etc., and all work together extending mutual help for the common good of the family and in the interest of the family. All members treat each other as their own and though their interests may be different, still their ideals and interests tend to be similar. A family works as a separate unit by the virtue of this similarity of ideals and interest. All the members are controlled by the family and if they don’t obey the family norms, they are rebuked.
Primary Group Meaning of Primary Group
Explaining the meaning of the ‘Primary Group’, the sociologists C.H. Cooley has written, “By primary group I mean those characterised by intimate fact 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 ideals of the individuals. The result of intimate association … is a certain fusion of individualities in a common whole, that one’s very self for many purposes at least is the common life and purpose of the group. Perhaps the simplest way of describing this wholeness is by saying that it is ‘we’, it involves the sort of sympathy and mutual identification or which ‘we’ is the natural expression.” According to Cooley, the best examples are neighbourhood of village, etc. These groups affect the life of human beings more vitally than other groups. Regarding play group MacIver has written, “It is the group through which as playmates and comrades we give first creative expression to our social impulses. It is the breeding ground of our mores, the nurses of our loyalties. It is the first and generally remains the chief focus of our social satisfaction. In these respect the face group is primary in our lives.” External Characteristics of Primary Group
. For better understanding of primary group, it is necessary to understand its characteristics. Some of these characteristics are internal and some of them are external. The external characteristics are as follows :
J. Physical closeness among members. It is necessary for a primary group that the members constituting it should be physically close to each other. It will be very difficult to exchange thoughts or to help each other it they are not physically close. The members of the primary groups are very closely related. Therefore, physical closeness is essential for them.
2. Small Size. The size of the primary group should be so small that the desired relationship can be developed. Intimacy diminishes when the number of persons is increased in a class, family, team or other group. On the other hand, the smaller the size of family the greater the intimacy there is. If the audience is in excess, everybody cannot see the speaker and also cannot listen to him clearly.
3. Stability. To promote closeness in a primary group, it should be stable to some extent. New friends increase and old ones decrease if a person tends to change places too often.
Internal Characteristics of Primary Group
Internal characteristics of primary group are those which relate to the inner relations to the members, Due to the external characteristics, gradually these internal characteristics also develop. Main internal characteristics are as follows:
1. Common aims among the members. Members of a primary group have common aims and purposes. In primary group like family etc., every member’s pleasure and pain is shared by the whole family group, and all the members work for some common aims.
2. Relations are ends in themselves. As the relations of the members of the primary groups are ends in themselves, so they are also spontaneous. There is nothing like compulsion or pressure between them. Every member of the group feels intimacy for others in a natural way.
3. Members liave personal relations. Members of primary groups have personal relations and this is why the gap of one member’s absence is not filled completely by the other. After the death of wife, a person may marry again, but the memory of the first wife does not end. Kingley Davis has rightly written, “A new personal relationship can be established, an old one can be abondened but no substitution can be made of one individual for another in the same relationship.”
4. Relations of the members are inclusive. The relations of the members of a primary group are inclusive, their whole personality takes active part in these relations.
5. Maximum control over the members. Because of the intimacy, spontaneity, physical closeness, stability and the small size of the group, all the members of a primary group know each other very well, and it is difficult to separate the affairs of any member from the others. Therefore, there is maximum control of the group on the affairs of the members of the group. The group cannot permit any-body to follow
any wrong path and it stops him against the affairs contradictory to group traditions and ideals.
Importance of Primary Group
The reason behind the foundation of social structure on primary groups is their advantages. The members of the groups get many advantages which they cannot achieve by their individual actions. From the point of view of an individual, the main points regarding the importance of a primary group are as follows :
Development of personality. Freud, Adler and other
psychologists have maintained that the personality of a child is developed in the family and playmate groups and it does not change appreciably afterwards, only it develops. Thus the development of per depends, in most cases, upon the primary groups.
2. Increase in efficiency. With the development of personality in primary groups, the efficiency is also increased. Persons of a group get help, inspiration and co-operation from the others. In a family, a person works so efficiently for his children that he can never work with such an efficiency for himself.
3. Satisfaction of psychological needs. Primary groups satisfy many psychological needs of the individuals. They provide a sense of contentment and security of the person and satisfy their desires of loving and being loved. By virtue of primary group, a person gets the benefits of companionship, sympathy, exchange of thoughts and satisfies most of the psychological needs.
Primary groups are equally important from the point of view of the society. They realise socialization of the individuals. They maintain the control of society over the persons. Social structure is consolidated by them and the working of the society remains smooth. They teach the persons to work in the society according to their roles. The whole society is dissolved by their dissolution. The primary groups are the foundations of the whole society. In the words of Landis, “From primary groups the individual acquires basic attitudes towards the world around him, people and social institutions. From these groups attitudes of tolerance, kindness, love and generosity are derived, probably more by imitation and absorption of group attitude than by direct teaching, although direct teaching often takes place. Mutual concern and affection are characteristics. Love and consideration for the other person is placed above competition and sell-advantage. Mutual help in time of trouble is freely given. Group members gossip about each other, showing interest in and concern for the absent members. If jealousies or hatred should develop, they are intense and bitter for betrayal is unforgivable.”
What is a Secondary Group ?
Defining a secondary group, Landis has written, “Secondary
groups represent the Cold World’ into which parents in rural community have always thought of their young people going when they leave home. Secondary groups are those that are relatively casual and impersonal in their relationship. Because secondary groups make only specialised demands on the person, they receive only a segment of his loyalty and usually require little of his time and attention. Relationship in them are usually competitive rather than mutually helpful.” Ogburn and Nimkoff have desined the secondary groups by saying that, “The groups which provide experience lacking in intimacy are called secondary groups.” In this way, the secondary groups are opposite to the primary groups. Physical closeness, intimacy and individuality are not desired in them.
They are constituted for some purposes and aims after achieving which they are no more required. Relations in them are indirect, short and-temporary_Paul Landis has called them the representative of cold world. In fact, the warmth of the relations in primary groups cannot be found in the indirect relations in secondary groups. The spontaneity which is obvious in primary groups is not found in the secondary groups. The relations in the secondary groups are of touch and go type. Moreover, the behaviour in secondary groups is formal. They type of ‘cold behaviour’ can be seen among members of an office. The members do not have any interest in the pleasure and pain and problems of others.
Characteristics of Secondary Group
The characteristics of a secondary group throw light on its nature. The chief characteristics are as follows :
1. Position of a person depends upon his role. In the secondary group, the position of every person depends upon his role. The persons are not treated on the basis of their birth.
2. Individuality in persons. Individuality develops in the persons in the secondary groups because their relations are based on self-interest. After satisfying their interest, they are no longer interested in the group.
3. Self-dependence among members. Therefore, the members of a secondary group are self-dependent. They have to safeguard their interests themselves. Because of the big size of the group, the relations are indirect Contrast of Primary and Secondary Group
The chief points of difference between a primary and a secondary
group are as follows:
1. the size of a primary group is small while that of a secondary group is big. .
2. The relationship in primary groups are close and direct while in the secondary groups these are indirect and formal.
4. In the primary groups, the relations are inclusive and this is why the absence of one person cannot be fulfilled by another. Inclusiveness of relations is not found in the secondary groups and so a person can very easily take the place of any other person..
5. Primary groups are the foundation stones of the society. Secondary groups are not so important.
6. Primary groups are generally found in old and rural societies while the secondary groups are generally found in the urban areas.
7. Primary groups do not include older groups in them. Secondary groups may include several groups because of their big size.
8. the position of a person is fixed according to his birth order and age in the primary groups while it is fixed according to roles in the secondary groups.
9. Primary group is concerned with the total personality of a person and it develops his personality. Secondary group is concerned with a particular aspect of the personality and it develops only that aspect.
10. Qualities like love, sympathy, mutual help, etc., flowers in the primary groups while secondary groups promote self-interests and individuality.
11. There is fixed routine in the primary groups which is controlled by the aged person and the rules of which have to be obeyed by all the members, compulsorily. There is lesser control on the affairs of the person on the secondary group and these are controlled by policy, jail government, courts, etc.
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