unit 4 sociology Social groups and Processes For Nursing Students
SOCIAL GROUPS AND
Mrs. Geetha S R
State Institute Of Health & Family Welfare
• The meaning and classification of groups
• Primary & Secondary group
• In-group V/s. Out-group, class tribe, caste
• Economic, Political, Religious, groups, Mob,
Crowd, Public and Audience Interaction & Social
• Co-operation, Competition, Conflict
• Accommodation, Assimilation & Isolation
• Man’s life is a group life to a large extent. If a person lives
in society, he typically is also a member of a number of
groups which may themselves be considered as existing in a
society. A group is a number of people involved in a pattern
of association with one another. Typical groups are a clique
of friends, a political party, and a sports club.
• The key to the nature of human grouping is the notion of
• Groups are created and maintained because they enable
individual members to attain certain goals or interests which
they hold in common.
• Our social behaviour and personalities are shaped by the
groups to which we belong. Throughout his life, individual
is a member of various groups, some are chosen by him,
others are assigned to him at birth.
Meaning of social groups
• Social group is a collection of human beings
who are brought into social relationship with
one another with a common goal under a
common set of codes.
• It may be a pair, number of persons or even a
collection of millions of people
ex. Sports club, a political party, a family etc
• According to Green, “A group is an aggregate of
individuals which persist in time, which has one
or more interests and activities in common and
which is organised.”
• According to Maclver and Page “Any collection of
human beings who are brought into social
relationship with one another
• Ogburn and Nimkoff – “Whenever two or more
individual come together and influence one
another, they may be said to constitute a social
Characteristics of social group
1. Mutual Awareness:
The members of a social group must be mutually related
to one another
2. One or more Common Interests:
Groups are mostly formed for the fulfillment of certain
interests. The individuals who form a group should
possess one or more than one common interests and
3. Sense of Unity:
Each social group requires sense of unity and a feeling of
sympathy for the development of a feeling or sense of
A sense of we-feeling refers to the tendency on the part
of the members to identify themselves with the group.
We-feeling generates sympathy, loyalty and fosters
cooperation among members.
5. Similarity of Behaviour:
For the fulfillment of common interest, the members of a
group behave in a similar way. Social group represents
6. Group Norms:
Each and every group has its own ideals and norms and
the members are supposed to follow these. These
norms may be in the form of customs, folk ways,
mores, traditions, laws etc. They may be written or
Classification of Social Groups
Simmel considered size as a criterion for classifying
• Small size group
• Large size group
Dwight Sanderson suggested a three fold
classification of social groups by structure.
• Involuntary group
• Voluntary group
• Delegate group
Cooley classified groups on the basis of kind of contacts.
• Primary group
• Secondary group
F.H. Giddings classified group into
• Genetic (involuntarily. Ex: family)
• Congregate (voluntarily. Ex: union)
Sumner made distinction between an in group and out
The groups with which the individual identifies himself
are his in-groups such as his family, tribe, college,
occupation etc. All other groups to which he does not
belong are his out-groups.
• The groups with the individual indentifies himself are
his in-group, his family or tribe or sex or college or
occupation or religion.
• Usually expressed in the contrast between “they” and
• Every group they are communists; we are Hindu, they
are Muslims; we are Brahmins, they are others not my
• Its opposite of in-group
IN-GROUP OUT - GROUP
1. The groups with which the individual
identifies himself are his in-groups
An outgroup is defined by an individual
with reference to his in-group
2. Ex. his family or tribe or sex or college or
occupation or religion
Ex. Club members
3. Produces sense of belonging The relationship of an individual to his
out-group is marked by detachment and
sometimes even of hostility.
4. In-group attitudes contain some element of
sympathy and a sense of attachment to the
other members of the group
Outgroup contains a sense of remoteness
among the members
5. It embodies the collective pronoun ‘we’ It embodies the word “”They” or other”
6. The members of the in-group display
cooperation, goodwill, mutual help and
respect for one another’s rights
Toward the members of out-group we
feel a sense of indifference, avoidance,
disgust, hostility, competition or outright
7. They possess a sense of solidarity, a feeling of
brotherhood and readiness to sacrifice
themselves for the sake of the group.
Cooley classified groups on the basis of kind of
• Primary group
• Secondary group
Sl. no Primary Group Secondary Group
1. Meaning: Groups which re characterized by face-to-
face relations, mutual aid are primary group. Ex:
family, friends etc.,
Groups which provide experience lacking in intimacy are
secondary group. Ex: political parties, unions etc.,
2. Nature of Social Relations: social relations are face-
to- face, direct intimate, personal, non-partisan in
Social relations are indirect, impersonal, contractual,
specialized, and more economic nature.
3. Size: primary groups are smaller in size. Secondary groups are relatively bigger in size.
4. Physical proximity: group are confined to a small
Groups are not characterized by physical area. .
5. Communication: its not only direct but also quick
Members are spread over a vast area direct communication
6. Group interest: interest of members are not specific
Interest of members are more specific
7. Nature of co-operation: co- operation is direct. Co-operation is mostly indirect
8. Group structure: its very informal. The group is not
very much organized in the modern sense
Group structure is formal. The organization of the group is
carefully planned and worked out.
9. .Durability: groups are relatively durable. Groups may be temporary or permanent.
10. Effects on personality: the group has a long-lasting
influence upon the personality.
The impact of group on the personality of the members is
11. Nature of group control: informal means of social
Formal means of control.
Social class, also called class, a group of people
within a society who possess the same
Sociologists generally posit three
upper, working (or lower), and middle.
• The upper class in modern capitalist societies is often
distinguished by the possession of largely inherited wealth.
• The working class are those persons who hold low-paying,
low-skilled, are characterised by lack of property and
dependence on wages associated with low living standards.
• The middle class may be said to include the middle and
upper levels of clerical workers, supervisors and managers,
and such self-employed workers as small-scale
shopkeepers, businesspersons, and farmers.
• ‘Tribe’ is defined as a social group bound together by
kin and duly associated with a particular territory;
members of the tribe share the social cohesion and
associated with the family together with the sense of
political autonomy of the nation.
• W.H.R. Rivers defined a tribe as 'a social group of
simple kind, the members of which speak a common
dialect, have a single government, and act together for
such common purposes as warfare’.
• The tribes in India are also called as “adivasis” The
tribal population accounts for 8.2% of the total
population of the country.
Characteristics of a Tribal
1. Common territory- Tribal people live in a definite
2. Common name- Each and every tribe has their own names Ex-
3. Common Dialect- EachTribe has its own Dialect( Spoken
language with no script)
4. Common culture – Tribal communities have their own distinct
culture that differs from culture of civilized people.
5. Common religion- Tribal communities have their
own religion and members of a tribe worship a
6. Authority of the Chief – Each tribe has its own
political set up. The tribal chief occupies an
important place in the tribal organization.
7. Endogamy- Tribal people marry within their own
tribal organization but they practice clan exogamy
that is why they are endogamous in nature.
8. Blood relatives- The members of the tribe are
related by blood because of practicing endogamy.
Problems of tribals in India
Six Main Problems Faced by the Indian Tribes
• Loss of Control over Natural Resources
• Lack of Education
• Displacement and Rehabilitation
• Problems of Health and Nutrition
• Gender Issues
• Erosion of Identity
• A clan is the group of individuals who believe themselves to be the
descendents of a common ancestor real or mythical ancestor.
• Mazumdar – A Clan or sib is after the combination of few lineage
and descent traced to a mythical ancestor. Clans are exogamous in
• A clan is constituted of all the relatives of either the patriarchal or
matriarchal . The ancestor is considered to be the founder of the
family. All the descendents are known by his name.
Features of Clan
1.It is an exogamous group. The members of a clan
donot marry any member of their clan.
2.The members of a clan believe in one common
ancestor real or mythical.
3.It is a unilateral group. It consists of all the
families either on the mothers side or fathers side.
Functions of Clan
• Clan is an important group. Its members possess a “we
• They consider themselves the descendents from a
• The clan exercise great control over its members.
• It helps in maintaining peace and order within the clan.
• Head of the clan settles disputes among the members
of a clan.
Difference between Tribe and Clan
Tribe lives on a definite geographical
Clan has no definite territory.
Tribe has a common language Clan has no common language
Tribe is an endogamous group Clan is an exogamous group
Tribe has number of clans Clan is a part of tribe.
Caste, any of the ranked, hereditary,
endogamous social groups, often linked with
occupation, that together constitute
traditional societies in South Asia, particularly
among Hindus in India.
1.The highest-ranked among the varnas, the
Brahmans- priests and the masters and teachers
of sacred knowledge (veda)
2. Kshatriya- warriors, responsible for the
protection of the dominion (kshatra).
3. Vaishyas - agriculturists and merchants
4. Shudras, lowest-ranked varna. They were
considered untouchables.provide menial services.
Some of the major religious groups in India are as
The crowd may be defined as a collection of
individuals united temporarily and in close
proximity to each other. Their objects may be
diverse kinds. It is an unorganized
After the people collected in a garden for a
picnic are called crowd. A crowd is quickly
created and quickly dissolved
Definition of Crowd
• MacIver it as a physically compact aggregation of
human being brought into direct, temporary and
un-organized contact with one another.
• Kimball and Young a crowd is a gathering of a
considerable number of persons around a center
or point of common attraction.
• Lundberg a crowd is a temporary collection of
persons who react to a common focus of
attention, and engage in spontaneous interaction.
Characteristics of Crowd
• Anonymity -because its large and temporary.
• Narrow attention -one or two things at one time.
• Suggestibility -crowd are not open to conviction.
• Credulity -easily believe others words.
• Low mental level- ideas not deep and wide.
• Emotional -crowd are highly emotional.
• Irresponsibility- crowd sense very poor of it.
• The crowd is always a transitory(not permanent) and
unstable organization. Thus a group of students
recreating by the seashore are an aggregate; if they
hear a film actor they become a crowd. But if the actor
makes insulting remarks to the country they may
become unruly and turn into a mob.
• Mob is a violent group it concern more emotional
people, they are creating problem they dont maintain a
peace . They have some struggle mind. Ex: Caste
• Public is a part of the people.
• The public is merely a psychological group
who think and feel about social issues.
• They are diffused, and are found in far off
• They are psychologically united due to some
Definition of Public
• Kingsley Davis A dispersed group; it is a
feeling and thinking group.
• Schettler The public is a group of individuals
who are united together by common interest
• Horton & Hunt A public is a scattered group of
people who share an interest in a particular
Characteristics of Public
• Public is disposed(willing) group It is a
psychological group. It thinks, feels, and
experiences certain common things.
• In public, all people do not have unanimous
• The members of the public communicate each
other through mass media.
• Public is an organized group.
• There is no personal contact in public
Differences between Crowd and Public
The very constitution of a crowd
necessitates the presence of its members in
one particular area
No such physical proximity is essential
Crowd gives the impression of being
collective and compact
Public is obviously scattered.
In a crowd the media of mutual exchange
are direct and present on the spot
While the unity of the public increases
through such media as the newspapers,
Crowd is more fickle A public is relatively constant or
In a crowd relations are established
through the direct stimulation and
In a public the basis of these reaction is
more indirect stimulation.
An individual member of a crowd can be a
member of only one crowd at any given
period of time.
There is no restrictions on the members of
a public since his physical presence
within the public is not required.
The members of a crowd exhibit physical
contiguity rather than mental unity or
The members of the public
evince(indicates) a mental unity.
• Includes class rooms, pubic meetings, etc.
• It is a group that sees, listens, and thinks.
• They dont have any leader but the organizer
control for all the participants or people. Ex:
theatre, programme etc.
Definition of Audience
V.V. Akolkar An audience is a temporary
assembly whose members have gathered for a
definite and similar purpose, each one come
to the spot on account of his individual
Classification of Audience
• Information audience: seeking audience. e.g.
class room, TV hall etc.,
• Conversational audience: discussion audience.
• Recreational audience: we have cinema, sports
• Religious audience: religious worship, as in
churches, temples and mosques.
• Political audience: audience are addressed
usually by political leaders.
Difference between Public and
Sl no Public Audience
1 Public is generally a group of people. Audience” refers to a crowd seeing or
listening to any speech or performance.
2 It doesn’t define any particular group
It defines a particular group of people.
3 “Public” refers to all types of people
and it means sharing something
without any concealment(hiding).
“Audience” refers to a crowd seeing or
listening to any speech or performance.
Social Interaction and Social
• Man is a socio-cultural being and society is necessary
• They always live in various groups and associations.
• As members of this group they act and behave in a
• This behaviour of individual is affected by the
behaviour of others.
• This behaviour we call as a social interaction.
• This interaction is essential of social life. Without
interaction there would be no social life.
• Dawson and Gettys Social interaction is the
process where by man interpreted the minds
of each other.
• Ginsberg - Social processes means the various
modes of interaction between individuals or
groups including co-operation and conflict,
social differentiation and integration,
development, arrest and decay.
Social Interaction and Social
Social Interaction and Social Processes takes place
in the forms of
Co-operation is an Integrating activity it generally
means that working together in the pursuit of
• Merril and Eldredge - Co-operation is a form of
social interaction wherein two or more persons
work together to gain a common interest.
• Fairchild- Co-operation is the process by which
individual or groups combine their effort in a
more or less organized way for the attainment of
Types of Co-operation
Five Types co-operation:
• Direct Co-operation
• Indirect Co-operation
• Primary Co-operation
• Secondary Co-operation
• Tertiary Co-operation
• Competition is the most fundamental form of
• Struggle for existence and better life. It is one
aspects of struggle which is universal not only
in human society but also in the animal
• Its a source of motivation conducive to
Definition of Competition
• Sutherland Competition is an impersonal,
unconscious, continuous, struggle between
individuals or group which because of their
limited supply all may not have.
• Biesanz Competition is the struggling between
two or more persons for the same goal which
is limited so that all cannot share it.
Characteristics of competition
• Competition is impersonal(not influenced)
• Competition is an unconscious activity.
• Competition is universal
ADVANTAGES OF COMPETITION
1. Helps in assigning the individuals to proper places
2. Competition is a source of motivation for the individual.
3. It stimulates achievements by lifting the level of aspiration
from lower level to higher level.
4. Competition brings about progress in society
5. It helps improvement in the quality of production and service
6. Healthy competition helps the full development of personality
of the members of the society.
7. Competition encourages hardwork by people.
NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF
1.Competition may result in conflicts,
2.Competition may lead to frustration,
suicide and social disorganisations of
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CO
OPERATION AND COMPETITION
Sl no Co Operation Competition
It is a form of social interaction
where 2 or more persons work
together to gain common end.
It is a struggle between 2 or more
persons for the same goal which is
limited so that all cannot share it.
It requires qualities such as
others, mutual understanding
It requires qualities such as strong
aspiration,self confidence,spirit of
adventure and readiness to suffer
Brings about satisfaction in people May lead to dissatisfaction,anxiety
It is the anti-thesis of co-operation. It is a
process of seeking to obtain rewards by
eliminating or weakening the competitors.
Definition of conflict
Gillin and Gillin - Conflict is the social process in
which individuals or groups seeks their ends
by directly challenging the enemy by violence
or threat of violence.
Characteristics & Causes of Conflicts
Characteristics of conflict:
• conscious action
• it is a personal activity
• lacking continuity
• universal one
Causes of conflict
• Individual differences
• Cultural differences
• Clash of interests
• Social change
Types of Conflicts
Gillin and Gillin mentioned five types of conflict
• Personal conflict
• Racial conflict
• Class conflict
• Political conflict
• International conflict
WAYS TO RESOLVE THE CONFLICT
Conflict can be resolved in 2 main ways-
• 1. Accomodation
• 2. Assimilation
Accomodation refers to the adjustment of hostile individuals or groups. It is a
temporary solution to the conflict.
• It either suspends, stops or postpones the conflict for some time.
• It may assume various forms such as coercion, compromise, arbitration and
conciliation, toleration, rationalization, sublimation and conversion
Assimilation is a process whereby individuals or groups once dissimilar becomes
similar and identified in their interests and outlook. It is a permanent way of settling
• Accommodation is resolution of conflicts
which generally means adjusting oneself to
the new environment.
• Adjustment may be to the physical or social
• Accommodation denotes acquired changes in
the behaviour of individuals which enable
them to adjust to their environment.
Definition of Accommodation
• MacIver The term accommodation refers
particularly to the process in which man
attains a sense of harmony with his
• Ogburn and Nimkoff Accommodation is a
term used by the sociologists to describe the
adjustment of hostile (unfriendly) individuals
Characteristics of Accommodation
• Accommodation is the natural result of conflict.
• Accommodation is mainly an unconscious
• Accommodation is universal.
• Accommodation is a continuous process.
• Accommodation is a mixture of both love and
• It is more permanent than accommodation.
• It is a process by which persons and groups
acquire the culture of the other group in which
they come to live by adopting its attitudes and
values . In short, its way of life.
Definition of Assimilation
• Bogardus Assimilation is a process whereby
attitudes of many persons are united, an thus
develop into a united group.
• Biesanz Assimilation is the social process
whereby individuals or groups come to share
the same sentiments and goals.
Characteristics of Assimilation
• Its not confined to single field only its applied to
• It is a slow and gradual process cannot take place
all of suddenly.
• It is an unconscious process we cannot see the
• It is a two way process its principle of give and
Factors Hindering Assimilation
The following factors are weakening the process of
2. Racial difference
3. Cultural difference
5. Dominants and sub ordination.
Factors favouring Assimilation
The following factors help the process of assimilation
2. Intimate social relationship
3. Intercaste marriage
4. Cultural similarity
6. Equal social and economic opportunity.
• It is the process of adapting to a new culture
• May involve learning the dominant language ,adopting
new values and bahaviours
• Acculturation refers to those processes whereby the
culture of the society is modified as the result of contact
with the culture of one or more other societies.
• If the communicative interaction or social
contact is absent that condition can be called
• It occurs among individuals and groups.
• Absolute isolation is impossible.
TYPES OF ISOLATION
Spatial & organic
• Spatial isolation is external.
• Organic defects of individual such as deafness
• Shyness- partial isolation
Negative effects of social isolation
Social isolation can lead to feelings of loneliness, fear
of others, or negative self-esteem. Lack of consistent
human contact can also cause conflict with the
(peripheral) friends. The socially isolated person may
occasionally talk to or cause problems with family
Hearing loss and isolation
Inability to effectively communicate
Difficult to maintain interpersonal relationships
Health effects of social isolation
• Social isolation is associated with increased risk in
physical health conditions including high blood
pressure, high cholesterol, elevated stress hormones,
and weakened immune systems.
• social isolation increases the risk of mental health
issues like depression, anxiety and substance abuse,
as well as chronic conditions like high blood
pressure, heart disease and diabetes. It also raises the
risk of dementia in older adults.
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