A group is an association of two or more individuals who have a shared sense of identity and who interact with each other in structured ways on the basis of a common set of expectations about each other.

Human social life is group life. Individuals are involved in families, work groups, social groups, recreational groups, and so on. A social group is two or more people who identify with and interact with one another.

Human beings come together in couples, families, and circles of friends, clubs, businesses and large organizations. A group is made up of people with shared experiences, loyalties, and interests.

According to MacIver and Page, “Social group as any collection of human beings who are brought into human relations with one another.”

According to Harry M. Johnson, “A social group is a system of social interaction.”

Features of social groups

  • Collection of individuals
  • Interaction Among members
  • Mutual Awareness
  • We Felling
  • Group unity and solidarity
  • Common Interest
  • Similar Behavior
  • Groups norms
  • Size of the groups
  • Groups are dynamics
  • Stability
  • Influence on personality

Types of Social Groups

Social groups are two types, depending on their members’ degree of personal concern for one another. i.e. Primary and Secondary Group.

A Primary group is a small social group whose members share personal and lasting relationship. Joined by primary relationships, people spend a great deal of time together; engage in a wide range of activities, and feel that they know one another pretty well. In short, they show real concern for one-another. The family is every society’s most important primary group.

Characteristics of Primary Groups

  • Dominance of face-to-face relations
  • Small size
  • Physical proximity or nearness
  • Stability of the group
  • Similarity of background
  • Limited self-interest
  • Intensity of shared interest
  • Communication
  • Unspecialized character of the primary group
  • Direct cooperation

A secondary group is a large and impersonal social group whose members pursue a specific goal or activity. Secondary relationships involve weak emotional ties and little personal knowledge of one another. It includes a college, class, or a corporation etc.

Characteristics of secondary groups

  • Dominance of secondary relations
  • Largeness of the size
  • Membership
  • No physical Basis
  • Specific ends or interests
  • Indirect communication
  • Nature of group control
  • Group structure
  • Limited influences on personality

Organization (Meaning and Definition)

A social organization is a pattern of relationships between and among individuals and social groups. Social organization is used to refer to the interdependence of parts in groups. Social organization can be thought of as the pattern and processes of relations among individuals and among groups.

According to H.M. Johnson, “Organization refers to an aspect of interaction systems”.

According to C.H. Cooley, social organization is the result of the shared activities and understandings of the people.

Nature and Characteristics of Organization

  • A definite purpose.
  • Unanimity or Consensus among the members.
  • Harmony between statues and role.
  • Control of the organization on the behavior of the individuals.

Types of Organization

  1. Formal Organization
  2. Informal Organization

Formal Organization

Formal organizations represent those organizations which are characterized by a specific function, division of labor. A hierarchy of authority, rationality and a proper arrangement of statuses and role. They are carefully planned and systematically worked out. Examples: Banks, Colleges, Corporations, Government, Political parties etc. Formal organizations, large secondary groups organized to achieve their goals efficiently.

Max Weber’s Bureaucracy: It was Max Weber who for the first time made a sociological analysis of formal organization. He has provided his conception of formal organization, particularly of Bureaucracy:

Bureaucracy is an organizational model rationally designed to perform task efficiently. Bureaucratic officials regularly create and revise policy to increase efficiency.

Max Weber identified six key elements of the ideal bureaucratic organization:

  1. Specialization
  2. Hierarchy of positions
  3. Rules and regulations
  4. Technical competence
  5. Impersonality
  6. Formal, written communications                           

Informal Organization

Informal organization refers to a small group the members of which are tied to one another as persons. The group is characterized by informal and face to face relations, mutual aid, cooperation, and companionships.

Examples: Friendship groups, Bands, peer group etc.