What Is Social Group In Education?


What Is Social Group In Education
A main focus of sociology is the study of these social groups. A social group consists of two or more people who regularly interact and share a sense of unity and common identity. In other words, it’s a group of people who see each other frequently and consider themselves a part of the group.
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What do you mean by social group?

social group social group, any set of human beings who either are, recently have been, or anticipate being in some kind of interrelation. The term group, or social group, has been used to designate many kinds of aggregations of humans. Aggregations of two members and aggregations that include the total population of a large nation-state have been called groups.

  • One of the earliest and best-known classifications of groups was the American sociologist ‘s distinction between primary and secondary groups, set forth in his Human Nature and the Social Order (1902).
  • Primary group” refers to those personal relations that are direct, face-to-face, relatively permanent, and, such as the relations in a, a group of close friends, and the like.

“Secondary group” (an expression that Cooley himself did not actually use but that emerged later) refers to all other person-to-person relations but especially to those groups or associations, such as work groups, in which the individual is related to others through formal, often legalistic or contractual ties.

Cooley felt that primary groups were the fundamental agencies through which the individual’s character or personality was formed. American sociologist distinguished five factors that primary groups from secondary groups: relations between members of primary groups, as contrasted with secondary groups, tend to be (1) diffuse, rather than specific or delimited, (2) particularistic, rather than universalistic, (3) ascription-based (i.e., based on who or what you are), rather than achievement-based (i.e., based on what you do or have done), (4) other-oriented or group-oriented, rather than self-oriented, (5) affective or emotion-laden, rather than emotionally neutral.

Secondary groups are those in which relations between members tend to fit the opposite poles of the five factors. Historically, many other pairs of terms have been used to classify groups. The German sociologist coined the now-famous distinction between (“community”) and (“society,” or “association”), which for all practical purposes reflect the same distinction as that between primary and secondary.

The American anthropologist distinguished between and, The English jurist talked of societies of status and societies of contract. All of these categories are virtually with the primary-group–secondary-group distinction. There is also a close correspondence between these pairs of terms and the distinction between mechanical solidarity and organic solidarity, which was emphasized by the French sociologist,

Still other sets of terms are used, not as bases for distinguishing types of groups but as bases for describing the individual’s relationship to different groups. Thus, the terms we-group and they-group, as well as the terms in-group and out-group, are used in order to contrast a group of which the referent, or focal person, is a member (often, a primary-type group) and some other group—not necessarily different in kind—of which the focal person (and other members of his in-group, or we-group) is not a member and toward which he feels some degree of or negative affect.

  • Another set of distinctions based on the individual’s relationship to the group is expressed by the terms and,
  • The former has the obvious meaning of a group of which the individual is a member, here and now, by reason of one characteristic or another (such as being a member of a particular family or a member of the sixth-grade in Jefferson School).

The term reference group has been used in two ways, to mean either a group for which the individual aspires to membership or a group whose values, norms, and attitudes serve as points of reference for the individual. In either case, the crucial feature is that the individual adapts his attitudes and behaviour to model those of the members of the reference group.

Obviously, membership groups and reference groups are not mutually, The term group, or social group, has been used to refer to very divergent kinds of aggregations of people. Indeed, the term has been used so broadly as to threaten its fruitfulness as a focal concept. For one thing, the word group has sometimes been used to designate the members of a social category based on possession of a common attribute, even when the members have no meaningful degree of interrelation.

Thus, it has been used to refer to such collections as persons of a particular age, all persons having similar incomes or occupations, and all persons with similar reading habits. These are what might be called statistical groups, as distinct from actual groups, the latter being characterized by interrelatedness of the members.

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  2. Virtually all efforts to classify social groups result in a certain degree of artificiality.
  3. Because of these and other problems of definition and classification, sociologists have attempted to distinguish between various kinds of social, some to be considered groups and others to be identified by other terms—audiences, publics, and the like; there is, however, no generally accepted classification at this time.

: social group
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What is social group in school?

What are social skills groups? – Social skills groups are small groups (typically two to eight kids) led by an adult who teaches the kids how to interact appropriately with others their age. They can help kids learn conversational, friendship, and problem-solving skills.
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What is social group and example?

A social group is described as multiple individuals, usually two or more, who connect, possess similar qualities, and have a feeling of oneness collectively. Clubs, businesses, families, circles of friends, local religious congregations, and fraternity and sorority chapters are examples of social groups.
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What is the role of social group in education?

It means group life is the essential element in learning processes. All the techniques of life are learnt in society. Hence social group is the real teacher. Group life is a must for the continuity of human race.
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What is the importance of social group?

Racial justice is the path to racial progress. Follow us on twitter @GetRaceRight Take a minute to think about some of the social groups to which you belong—groups based on biology (gender and age, for example), family history (religion, perhaps, and ethnicity), or personal choice (occupation, place of residence, or political party).

Groups meet basic, personal needs for each of us, which is why we take them so seriously, and why we get so emotional about them. Being affiliated with social groups even promotes physical health, what some researchers have called the “social cure.” Why? According to Katharine Greenaway and her colleagues (2015), social groups help us feel supported and esteemed, as we might expect, but they also help us feel capable.

With the support and the esteem comes a stronger sense of personal control over our lives. Minimal groups, maximal effect So what leads us to identify with our social groups, to feel that deep sense of our social self? Henri Tajfel helped answer that question 30 years ago.

  • A Polish Jew who was studying in France at the time of the Nazi invasion, Tajfel joined the French army, was captured, and spent time in German POW camps.
  • He survived only because he was able to pass as a Christian.
  • After the war, he returned to Poland to discover that his family and friends had perished in the Holocaust.

People cope with tragedy in different ways. Tajfel devoted the rest of his life to studying racial hatred. As a professor of psychology at England’s Bristol University, he began a series of experiments designed to identify which of many different variables is most responsible for the development of prejudice and hate. Prof. Tajfel brought people into his laboratory and randomly assigned them to one of two groups. The participants never met anyone else in either group ( Tajfel and Turner, 1979 ). All they knew was that two groups existed, and they belonged to one of them.

  • For his baseline measures, Tajfel asked people about the two “minimal” groups, expecting to find no difference in attitudes or actions because no actual differences existed.
  • But he failed.
  • In spite of the fact that there was no basis even for distinguishing between the groups, Tajfel’s research participants exhibited ingroup favoritism and outgroup prejudice on a variety of measures.

They claimed to like people in their own group more than they liked those in the other group, and they divvied up research payments in such a way that members of their group benefited even when they personally did not. Over the course of many trials, Tajfel found it impossible to create two groups—even artificial, barely-there groups—without engendering preferences for ingroups and prejudice against outgroups. More recently, the brain-scanning techniques of neuroscience have demonstrated that there is significant overlap between the parts of the brain that process information about me and the parts of the brain that process information about us ( Cikara and Van Bavel, 2014 ). It starts early. Preferring our own groups, at the expense of others, is natural and universal, rooted in our life experiences long before we possibly can be consciously aware of it. Researchers in Israel and Ethiopia ( Bar-Haim et al., 2006 ) demonstrated that infants as young as three months have a preference for looking at same-race, as opposed to other-race, faces.

  • Black Ethiopian babies spent more time looking at photographs of Black Ethiopian faces than at photographs of White Israeli faces.
  • White Israeli babies did just the opposite.
  • However, Black Ethiopian babies living with their families in Israeli immigration centers (and therefore exposed to both Black and White faces), spent virtually the same amount of time viewing both kinds of faces.

Any same-race preference, then, was determined by the kinds of people the babies had seen in the first few weeks of life, not by some innate propensity for one over the other. Even as babies, we favor the familiar. The Bottom Line: Ingroup bias and outgroup prejudice are innate human responses, but the specific groups we prefer, and the ones that mean the most to us, result from experience and social context.
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What is social group work in simple words?

‘Social group work is a method through which. individuals in groups in social agency settings are. helped by worker who guides their interaction in. programme activities so that they may relate. themselves to others and experience growth.
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What is social group explain its types?

“Group structure” redirects here. For group structures in business, see Corporate group, Individuals in groups are connected to each other by social relationships. In the social sciences, a social group can be defined as two or more people who interact with one another, share similar characteristics, and collectively have a sense of unity.
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What type of social group is a classroom?

A classroom project group is an example of a secondary social group.
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Which is the best example of a social group?

Social groups and organizations comprise a basic part of virtually every arena of modern life. Thus, in the last 50 years or so, sociologists have taken a special interest in studying these scientific phenomena from a scientific point of view. A social group is a collection of people who interact with each other and share similar characteristics and a sense of unity.

  1. A social category is a collection of people who do not interact but who share similar characteristics.
  2. For example, women, men, the elderly, and high school students all constitute social categories.
  3. A social category can become a social group when the members in the category interact with each other and identify themselves as members of the group.

In contrast, a social aggregate is a collection of people who are in the same place, but who do not interact or share characteristics. Psychologists Muzafer and Carolyn Sherif, in a classic experiment in the 1950s, divided a group of 12‐year‐old white, middle‐class boys at a summer camp into the “Eagles” and the “Rattlers.” At first, when the boys did not know one another, they formed a common social category as summer campers.

  • But as time passed and they began to consider themselves to be either Eagles or Rattlers, these 12‐year‐old boys formed two distinct social groups.
  • In-groups, out-groups, and reference groups In the Sherifs’ experiment, the youngsters also erected artificial boundaries between themselves.
  • They formed in‐groups (to which loyalty is expressed) and out‐groups (to which antagonism is expressed).
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To some extent every social group creates boundaries between itself and other groups, but a cohesive in‐group typically has three characteristics:

Members use titles, external symbols, and dress to distinguish themselves from the out‐group. Members tend to clash or compete with members of the out‐group. This competition with the other group can also strengthen the unity within each group. Members apply positive stereotypes to their in‐group and negative stereotypes to the out‐group.

In the beginning, the Eagles and Rattlers were friendly, but soon their games evolved into intense competitions. The two groups began to call each other names, and they raided each other’s cabins, hazed one another, and started fights. In other words, loyalty to the in‐group led to antagonism and aggression toward the out‐group, including fierce competitions for the same resources.

  • Later in the same experiment, though, Sherif had the boys work together to solve mutual problems.
  • When they cooperated with one another, the Eagles and Rattlers became less divided, hostile, and competitive.
  • People may form opinions or judge their own behaviors against those of a reference group (a group used as a standard for self‐appraisals).

Parishioners at a particular church, for instance, may evaluate themselves by the standards of a denomination, and then feel good about adhering to those standards. Such positive self‐evaluation reflects the normative effect that a reference group has on its own members, as well as those who compare themselves to the group.

  • Still, reference groups can have a comparison effect on self‐evaluations.
  • If most parishioners shine in their spiritual accomplishments, then the others will probably compare themselves to them.
  • Consequently, the “not‐so‐spiritual” parishioners may form a negative self‐appraisal for not feeling “up to par.” Thus, reference groups can exert a powerful influence on behavior and attitudes.

Primary and secondary groups Groups play a basic role in the development of the social nature and ideals of people. Primary groups are those in which individuals intimately interact and cooperate over a long period of time. Examples of primary groups are families, friends, peers, neighbors, classmates, sororities, fraternities, and church members.

These groups are marked by primary relationships in which communication is informal. Members of primary groups have strong emotional ties. They also relate to one another as whole and unique individuals. In contrast, secondary groups are those in which individuals do not interact much. Members of secondary groups are less personal or emotional than those of primary groups.

These groups are marked by secondary relationships in which communication is formal. Members of secondary groups may not know each other or have much face‐to‐face interaction. They tend to relate to others only in particular roles and for practical reasons.

  1. An example of a secondary relationship is that of a stockbroker and her clients.
  2. The stockbroker likely relates to her clients in terms of business only.
  3. She probably will not socialize with her clients or hug them.
  4. Primary relationships are most common in small and traditional societies, while secondary relationships are the norm in large and industrial societies.

Because secondary relationships often result in loneliness and isolation, some members of society may attempt to create primary relationships through singles’ groups, dating services, church groups, and communes, to name a few. This does not mean, however, that secondary relationships are bad.

  • For most Americans, time and other commitments limit the number of possible primary relationships.
  • Further, acquaintances and friendships can easily spring forth from secondary relationships.
  • Small groups A group’s size can also determine how its members behave and relate.
  • A small group is small enough to allow all of its members to directly interact.

Examples of small groups include families, friends, discussion groups, seminar classes, dinner parties, and athletic teams. People are more likely to experience primary relationships in small group settings than in large settings. The smallest of small groups is a dyad consisting of two people.

A dyad is perhaps the most cohesive of all groups because of its potential for very close and intense interactions. It also runs the risk, though, of splitting up. A triad is a group consisting of three persons. A triad does not tend to be as cohesive and personal as a dyad. The more people who join a group, the less personal and intimate that group becomes.

In other words, as a group increases in size, its members participate and cooperate less, and are more likely to be dissatisfied. A larger group’s members may even be inhibited, for example, from publicly helping out victims in an emergency. In this case, people may feel that because so many others are available to help, responsibility to help is shifted to others.

Similarly, as a group increases in size, its members are more likely to engage in social loafing, in which people work less because they expect others to take over their tasks. Leadership and conformity Sociologists have been especially interested in two forms of group behavior: conformity and leadership,

The pressure to conform within small groups can be quite powerful. Many people go along with the majority regardless of the consequences or their personal opinions. Nothing makes this phenomenon more apparent than Solomon Asch’s classic experiments from the 1950s and 1960s.

Asch assembled several groups of student volunteers and then asked the subjects which of the three lines on a card was as long as the line on another card. Each of the student groups had only one actual subject; the others were Asch’s secret accomplices, whom he had instructed to provide the same, though absurdly wrong, answer.

The experimenter found that almost one‐third of the subjects changed their minds and accepted the majority’s incorrect answer. The pressure to conform is even stronger among people who are not strangers. During group‐think, members of a cohesive group endorse a single explanation or answer, usually at the expense of ignoring reality.

The group does not tolerate dissenting opinions, seeing them as signs of disloyalty to the group. So members with doubts and alternate ideas do not speak out or contradict the leader of the group, especially when the leader is strong‐willed. Group‐think decisions often prove disastrous, as when President Kennedy and his top advisors endorsed the CIA’s decision to invade Cuba.

In short, collective decisions tend to be more effective when members disagree while considering additional possibilities. Two types of leaders normally emerge from small groups. Expressive leaders are affiliation motivated, That is, they maintain warm, friendly relationships.

They show concern for members’ feelings and group cohesion and harmony, and they work to ensure that everyone stays satisfied and happy. Expressive leaders tend to prefer a cooperative style of management. Instrumental leaders, on the other hand, are achievement motivated, That is, they are interested in achieving goals.

These leaders tend to prefer a directive style of management. Hence, they often make good managers because they “get the job done.” However, they can annoy and irritate those under their supervision.
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What are the 4 main social groups?

In the social sciences, social groups can be categorized based on the various group dynamics that define social organization, In sociological terms, groups can fundamentally be distinguished from one another by the extent to which their nature influence individuals and how.

A primary group, for instance, is a small social group whose members share close, personal, enduring relationships with one another (e.g. family, childhood friend). By contrast, a secondary group is one in which interactions are more impersonal than in a primary group and are typically based on shared interests, activities, and/or achieving a purpose outside the relationship itself (e.g.

coworkers, schoolmates). Four basic types of groups have traditionally been recognized: primary groups, secondary groups, collective groups, and categories.
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What are the elements of social group?

Key Takeaways –

  • The major components of social structure are statuses, roles, social networks, groups and organizations, social institutions, and society.
  • Specific types of statuses include the ascribed status, achieved status, and master status. Depending on the type of master status, an individual may be viewed positively or negatively because of a master status.

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What is the most important social group?

Types of Groups – Sociologist Charles Horton Cooley (1864–1929) suggested that groups can broadly be divided into two categories: primary groups and secondary groups (Cooley 1909). According to Cooley, primary groups play the most critical role in our lives.

  1. The primary group is usually fairly small and is made up of individuals who generally engage face-to-face in long-term emotional ways.
  2. This group serves emotional needs: expressive functions rather than pragmatic ones.
  3. The primary group is usually made up of significant others, those individuals who have the most impact on our socialization.

The best example of a primary group is the family. Secondary groups are often larger and impersonal. They may also be task-focused and time-limited. These groups serve an instrumental function rather than an expressive one, meaning that their role is more goal- or task-oriented than emotional.
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Why are social groups formed?

Sharing and Cooperation a Group – People are usually careful who they pick as teammates. However, there is never enough time nor enough opportunity to know every member well and realize which group is really the best choice. Thus, people form groups based on a few positive criteria, and then develop biases in favor of their group and against the others.

  • Consequently, each person thinks their group is the best, according to their biases and prejudices.
  • People form groups to use its numerous benefits.
  • Members of a group help each other in need, cooperate to reach goals, share resources, and, last but not least, provide opportunities for social interaction, companionship, and support.

However, the members only receive the benefits that reflect their behavior. What Is Social Group In Education Sharing and cooperation are common among the members of groups, and the rules usually prevent taking advantage of others. (Image: Jacob Lund/Shutterstock) If a group member treats others badly, nobody will be willing to share with them anymore. At the same time, an exploiter can easily take advantage of others in a group.
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What is the activities of social group?

Social Activity Groups Social relationships are an integral and critical part of life. For all people, social skills deficits are associated with peer acceptance and school performance in childhood and later with mental health issues and employment success in adulthood.

  • Social deficits are a defining characteristic of autism spectrum disorders.
  • Individuals with autism spectrum disorders do not typically learn appropriate behavior through exposure to socially competent peers.
  • Most social skills have to be systematically taught and consistently practiced.
  • Opportunities to practice social skills are lacking for many individuals on the spectrum.

This lack of knowledge, opportunity and practice leads to continued social skills deficits, and a continued cycle of peer rejection and isolation. Teaching social skills to individuals on the autism spectrum can be a daunting challenge for professionals and families.

There are many aspects to understanding, acquiring, and performing social skills. Currently there is a major shortage of formal social skills training group opportunities. Some parents whose children have received formal social skills training still find the need for a variety of opportunities to practice new skills that have been taught.

Parents are expressing the need to start their own social activity groups as an avenue to provide social opportunities and practice as well as to help facilitate social networks for their children. Some parents and professionals are now taking the lead in establishing social activity groups.

  1. The Indiana Resource Center for Autism continues to receive an increasing number of calls about social skills instruction.
  2. Presently, professionals and parents express the need for information on both formal social skills training groups and informal social activity groups.
  3. Both types of groups are important avenues for individuals with autism spectrum disorders to develop and practice social skills.

Social skills training groups typically provide a systematic approach which includes assessment, development of goals, selection of strategies and techniques, and then instruction. A trained professional leads the group and monitors progress toward mastery of designated goals.

  • To provide planned and organized opportunities for social activities and experiences with others;
  • To provide opportunities to informally practice social skills with others;
  • To provide an accommodating environment to experience successful social interactions; and
  • To provide opportunities for various types of recreational events with others.

Often there are additional outcomes such as the development of long-term friendships, and/or mentoring relationships, and of course just plain fun! Groups can be developed for individuals of all ages and functioning levels. The suggestions outlined here were informally gathered from those who have had successful experiences establishing a social activity group for individuals on the autism spectrum.

  1. The information is summarized briefly and includes hints and resources that others have found to be helpful to the planning and ultimate success of their groups.
  2. First, before sharing the suggestions and resources that others have found helpful, I will briefly describe two social activity groups in Bloomington that have been very successful over the past several years.
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Initially an adult group for individuals 16+ years old was started. The adult group was the result of the persistence of a young man with an autism spectrum disorder who continually shared with the local Autism Society of America (ASA) chapter information about the need for such a group.

He also provided information on similar groups for adults that he found around the country. Shortly thereafter parents in the local ASA chapter developed a social activity group for their children ages 10 through early teens. Both groups were formed and maintained by a small group of dedicated volunteers associated with the local ASA chapter.

The volunteers are 2-3 professionals and 2-3 parents who organize and facilitate the groups. Both groups continue to be supported in part by the local ASA. For example, funding for activities and/or transportation is subsidized if a participant needs assistance.

A scrapbook of pictures taken during activities is maintained by the local chapter. Initially when both social activity groups were started, they met at the same facility as the ASA chapter, sometimes at the same date and time. At times there has been discussion of forming a group for younger children ages 6-10, though no volunteers have committed to actually starting a group.

Both groups were formed as social activity groups for individuals with autism spectrum disorders. Age groups were targeted as mentioned above and no limits were imposed as to the number of members. Recruitment of members was done by informing those on the local ASA contact list.

Initially, for each group, two hours was set aside with a clear start and finish time. Currently the length of meetings depends on the activity scheduled. Each group schedules monthly meetings with both groups occasionally meeting together for activities such as a trip to a local lake, museum, or an Indiana University sporting event.

The adult group generally has two meetings a month; one meeting at a local restaurant for dinner (the group usually chooses to meet at the same one each month) and the second meeting is an activity. The activity for the month is decided upon by the members attending the dinner.

Those not attending the dinner are informed and invited to attend the newly scheduled event. Many of the adults in the group do live independently or with support in their own apartment. Others live with their parents or are college students who may, or may not, live in town. Information about meetings is sent out via email to parents of the younger group and frequently to both individuals and parents of the adult group.

Occasionally phone calls are made as reminders for an upcoming event or to get a response before an event to gage attendance. Sometimes more exact numbers of those planning to attend are needed so arrangements for transportation, tickets to an event, or chaperones can be made in advance.

  1. Most activities scheduled for the younger group are also open to attendance by siblings and friends of group members.
  2. Parents are always welcome and generally make the decision as to whether or not their child needs their support.
  3. Contact with parents and/or support personnel is rather informal; group email messages and phone chains as needed and/or individual phone calls, emails, or discussion at pick up/drop off times.

There is a lot of informal instruction and practice of social skills but this instruction is clearly not the focus of these social activity groups. Regardless, there have been many positive social benefits for members of both groups. Invitations to the birthday parties of group members, the increased knowledge and desire to use the phone, expanded interest in community activities, events, and places, and an expanded network of playmates and peers to interact with on a regular basis are positive benefits seen among members of the younger group.
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What do you mean by social groups Class 10?

“Group structure” redirects here. For group structures in business, see Corporate group, Individuals in groups are connected to each other by social relationships. In the social sciences, a social group can be defined as two or more people who interact with one another, share similar characteristics, and collectively have a sense of unity.
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What is a social group Class 11?

Sociology Class 11 Notes Chapter 2 Terms, Concepts and their Use in Sociology

As opposed to commonsensical knowledge, Sociology like any other science has its own body of concepts, theories and methods of data collection. Asa social science, Sociology does need to have certain agreed upon meanings of social realities and processes it is studying. Sociological concepts help in defining as well as in understanding social realities.It becomes all the more important to discuss sociological terms so as to distinguish what they mean from commonsensical usage which may have varied meanings and connotations. Some of the basic concepts used in Sociology are:

Social Group: A social group is a collection of two or more persons who are continuously interacting and share common interests and a sense of loyalty within a given society. It has the following characteristics:

Persistent interaction among its members. A shared sense of belonging amongst its members. Shared interests. Acceptance of Common norms and values. Membership of the group may be formal or informal.

Difference between a social group and other forms of collectivities (Quasi-Groups) All forms of human gatherings and collectivities do not constitute a social group. A social group is different from the related concepts of Aggregates and Social Category.

Aggregates are collection of people who temporarily share the same physical space but do not see themselves as belonging together and do not have sustained or persistent interaction For example: A crowd, or a number of commuters stuck in a traffic jam. Social Category: It refers to a statistical grouping of people or classification of people on the basis of similar characteristics.

For example, all men having the same occupation, or all girls having a height of 5 ft. and above. Unlike a social group, people who make up a social category do not interact with one another. In fact, they may not even know of each other’s existence. Both Aggregates as well as Social Category are quasi-groups which can sometimes become a social group over time.

For example, all domestic workers in a locality may over time form a union and become organized and develop a. common identity as a social group. Types of Social Group: Different sociologists have classified social groups differently. In their classifications they take different criterion into account.

Primary Group and Secondary Group on basis of size/type of relationship. It is the most well known classification given by Cooley on the basis of size and type of relationship shared among its members.

Primary Group Secondary Group
(i) Primary group is small group of people. (i) Secondary group is relatively large in size.
(ii) It is characterized by intimate, face face, and emotional relationships. (ii) It is marked by formal, and impersonal relationships
(iii) For example, family and peer group (iii) For example, Club, Residents Welfare Association

Primary groups are “primary” because they are central in our lives and they play an important role in influencing our lives. Very often Primary groups are formed within the orbit of secondary groups. For example, a group of friends within an office. In-Group and Out Group—not on basis of size but sense of belonging/attachment. Classification of In-Group and Out-Group has nothing to do with size.

In Group Out Group
(i) The group with which an individual identifies himself/herself, has a sense of belonging with. (i) A group to which an individual feels individual has no sense of belonging/ identification.
(ii) It is a “we-group”. (ii) It is a “they group”.
(iii) There is a sense of attachment members of In-group. (iii) There is a sense of indifference and at times may be even hostility towards members of out-group

Reference Group: It is that group to which we do not belong but we aspire to be like them and therefore we try to emulate their lifestyles. For example, for many Indian youths, Americans or Bollywood stars are a reference group. Peer Group: A type of primary group composed of individuals who are either of similar age or who share a common profession.

  • Peer groups have a very strong influence on the life of an individual.
  • Status And Role: Status: It is refers to the position an individual occupies in a group or in society.
  • Each status has certain defined rights and duties assigned to it.
  • Examples of status—Doctor, mother, teacher etc.
  • Status set: Each individual occupies status in the society.

The totality of the status occupied by an individual in the society is called a Status Set. For example, the status set of Nimisha is – daughter, friend, student, sister, club member etc. Prestige: Status has a certain amount of prestige or social value attached to it.

Achieved Status Ascribed Status
(i) It is achieved by an individual on merit and effort (i) It is assigned to us on the basis of birth, biological inheritance, parents’ status etc.
(ii) It is based on individual’s choice (ii) A person does not choose this status.
(iii) It can change qualifications, income etc. (iii) It is difficult to change status
(v) It plays an important role in modern societies Eg. Class (iv) It plays an important role in traditional societies. Eg. Caste

Role: Status and role are inter-connected because role is the behavioural aspect of status. It is the expected behaviour associated with a status. For example, the status of a student has certain expected behaviour attached to it. However, while a status is occupied, role is played.

Socialisation: Role Conflict: Each individual performs a number of roles in society. Role conflict occurs when performance of one role conflicts with that of another. Eg. Modern working woman very often finds that her role as a professional conflicts with that of a mother and wife. Role Stereotyping: It refers to reinforcing of certain roles.

For example, the role of breadwinner for the husband and that of homemaker for the wife is often stereotyped in ads and films. Social roles and status are not fixed. People do make efforts to change the role and status (even ascribed status) assigned to them by society.

  • For example, Dalits have been opposing the low status assigned to them on the basis of caste.
  • Social Stratification: According to Giddens, social stratification refers to division of members of a society into different social categories or strata which are ranked into a hierarchy, according to their relative power, prestige and wealth.

According to Tumin, “Social stratification refers to arrangement of society into hierarchies of strata of social categories that command unequal amounts of property, power and honour.” Social stratification is not an individual fact, it is rather a social fact.

Caste Class Gender Slavery Estate

The privileges or social rewards enjoyed by any individual depends upon his or her caste, class, gender and position in society. Social stratification and natural differences: Stratification systems have a social and not a biological bases. They are socially created inequalities.

  1. Social inequality occurs when biological differences are culturally assigned and subjected to prejudices.
  2. For example, racism and gender based equalities have little to do with biological differences.
  3. Blacks are not “naturally unfit” for high ranking jobs, neither a woman “naturally inferior” in intellectual abilities.

Another example is that of old age. Old age is evaluated differently in different societies. In traditional societies, old age is given power and prestige, but in modern societies old age is not associated with much respect. Social Mobility: It refers to the movement of individuals and groups between different socio-economic positions.

Open System of Stratification Closed system of Stratification
1. Social mobility is easy. 1. There is limited social mobility,if at all.
2. Individual position in the society depends on achieved status. 2. Individual position is based on ascribed status.
3. It is prominent in modem societies 3. It is prominent in traditional societies
4. Example – class 4. Example – caste, slavery

Class as a System of Stratification:

Class refers to a group based on sharing of similar economic resources, that is, wealth, income or property. Members of the same class share:

Similar economic interests so that they may form organizations. For example, Trade Unions are formed by factory workers in an industrial society. They share similar lifestyles.

They would also share similar life chances as they have similar kinds of access to health, education etc.

Features of class:

As opposed to caste system, class does not have any religious or legal sanction. It is an open system of stratification. Social mobility is relatively easy. Membership of class is primarily based on achieved status.

Caste as a System of Stratification:

Caste refers to inequalities in terms of social honour/prestige. Castes are ascriptive groups, membership to which is determined by birth. Each caste is ranked as higher or lower as compared to the others in the social hierarchy.

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It is an institutional characteristic of Hindu society, but it has spread to other non-Hindu communities too such as the Muslims, Christians and Sikhs. Although it was very important in traditional India it holds its way in modern India too in political as well as social life.

  1. Origin of Caste and Varna Scheme: There are no authentic historical records to show the exact age of caste system.
  2. The caste system stood for different things in different time periods.
  3. In facts, it is believed that the caste system originated in the varna system of the Rig Vedic society.
  4. In its earliest phase (the late Vedic period between 900-500 BC), the caste system was actually the Varna system.

Varna system: Varna literally means “colour”. The Varna system divided the Hindu society into four categories on the basis of occupation and colour.

Brahmins-priests Kshatriyas-warriors and kings Vaishyas-traders Shudras-service castes like artisans, peasants etc.

(The so called “untouchables” or the panchamas – the fifth category – were outside the varna scheme). Initially these divisions were not very rigid, they represented mere occupational division. Therefore, mobility across categories was possible. For example, Vishwamitra, a Kshatriya, became a Brahmin through achievements.

The number of sub-divisions within each Varna increased due to growth in trade and increasing specialization of labour. Consequently new sub-groups emerged within the Varna scheme. Caste became rigid, i.e., it came to be defined on birth. Each Varna (and its sub-divisions) was ranked hierarchically, with strict rules governing their life and relations between different castes. The first three Varnas became the “twice born” castes. The rigid and hierarchical division of society got religious justification throughthe ancient religious texts like the Dharmashastras as well as the Manusmritis. These texts set out caste rules, unequal duties of the four Varnas and their sub-divisions. In fact the religious notions of Karma and Dharma strengthened the caste system.

Ideas of purity and pollution—In traditional India, the caste hierarchy was based on ideas of “purity and pollution” derived from the religious texts. It was believed that the “most pure” Brahmins are close to sacred, and therefore are superior to all others.

The “Untouchables” are the “most polluting” and therefore the most inferior. Even the mere touch of the Brahmin was considered to be pure while everything related to the so-called untouchables’ touch, shadow, and occupation – was “impure”. Features of Caste It is important to note that the above-mentioned features are only the prescribed rules found in ancient texts.

We have no firm evidence telling us the way. These rules actually or empirically determined the life of different castes.

Caste is ascribed: Caste is determined by birth. A person is bom into the caste of one’s parents. Caste is not a matter of choice. One can not change one’s caste or leave it. Caste is endogamous, i.e., marriage is restricted to members of the group. Strict rules about food and food sharing: Caste membership involves rules about food and food sharing, what kind of foods may or may not be eaten is prescribed and whom one may share food with is also prescribed. Hierarchy of rank and status: All castes are arranged in a hierarchy of rank and status while the hierarchical position of many castes may vary from region to region. Segmental organization: Caste involves sub-divisions within themselves, that is, caste almost always have sub-castes and sub-castes may have sub-sub castes.7. Traditionally linked to occupation: A person born into a caste could only practice the occupation associated with that caste. So, occupations were hereditary under caste system.

Varna and Jati: Sociological studies of villages in 1950s-70s revealed that caste as it actually functions at local level is different from the Varna scheme. Varna Jati, a broad pan-Indian aggregative are actually existing hierarchies at classification and is uniform throughout level, but varies from region to region.

  1. In India there are only four Varnas —a complex division in each area.
  2. There are actually hundreds of castes and sub-castes in contemporary Indian villages.
  3. Studies show that the caste system in contemporary India has two main aspects: 1.
  4. Ritual aspect: It is based on ideas of purity.
  5. It is derived from religious texts.2.

Secular aspect: It takes both the economic and political aspects into account. Therefore, caste position in local hierarchies depends on a number of factors.

Rituals and customs of a caste Food habits (vegetarian or non-vegetarian. Pork eating or non-pork eating) Occupation Land holding. Political power etc.

At local level, very often intermediate and lower level castes try to rise up in the caste hierarchy through the process of Sanskritisation. Sanskritisation

Concept of Sanskritisation was introduced by Mr.M.N. Srinivas. It refers to the process by which a “low” Hindu caste or tribe tries to achieve upward mobility in the local hierarchy by emulating the customs, rituals, and way of life of the “twice born castes”. For example, giving up liquor, taking up vegetarianism etc.

Dominant Caste: Dominant caste is a term introduced by M.N. Srinivas to understand the process of change in rural India. Dominant castes are those intermediate castes (Dominant castes need not be Brahmins. In parts of Punjab, U.P. and Haryana non-Brahmin castes are dominant castes) that exercise domination at local or regional level is due to the presence of following characteristics:

Economic Power: They own large amount of cultivable land. A large number of them managed to get land rights after the Land reforms. They, therefore, dominate the agrarian economy. Also they have greater access to urban sources of income, western education and jobs in govt and administration. Political Power: Dominant castes are numerically preponderant. This leads to dominance in regional politics. Examples of Dominant castes; Yadavs of Bihar and U.P., Reddys of Andhra Pradesh, Jats of Punjab and Haryana.

Social Control: Society is a harmonious organisation of humans. Individuals are expected to discharge their roles and perform functions accordingly. In order to exist and progress society has to exercise a certain control over its members. Such controls are termed as social control.

It is an influence: The influence may be excessive through public opinion, question, social suggestion, religion, appeal to reason and any other method found suitable by the group. The influence is exercised by society: It means that the group is better able to exercise influence over the individual than any single individual. The group may be the family, the church, the state, the club, the school, the trade union etc. The effectiveness of influence however depends upon variable factors. However sometimes the influences of the family may be vice-versa —the influence of the clan may be more effective than that of the church. The influence is exercised for promoting the welfare of the group. As a whole social control is exercised with some specific end in view. The end is always the others in the group thus an outing to the welfare of the whole group. The individual is made conscious of the other existence and their interest. Thus it is required to promote the interest of all.

Need for social control: Social control is essential for the existence of society. Every individual has a separate personality. No two persons are alike in their nature, ideas, interests, habits and attitudes. There is so much difference in the ways of living of the people that at every moment there is a possibility of clash between them.

  1. Therefore, social control is necessary to protect the interests of all the people living in society.
  2. To develop cooperative views: With the help of social control individuals are able to come in contact with each other according to their interests, habits, position and status.
  3. Thus they develop the cooperative nature which is the basic element for the development of society.

To provide social sanction: Social control provides social sanction and social ways of behaviour. There are many norms and customs in every society. Every individual has to follow them. If an individual violates the social norms, he is compelled by the social control to observe them.

The above reasons show the need for social control. In modem society the need is greater. Means and agencies of social control: The means by which individuals are compelled to conform to the usages and life values of the group are numerous. The most important ones are custom, law, public opinion, religion, morality, social suggestion and norms.

Custom and Laws: Custom, law and fashion play an important role in bringing about social control, out of them custom is an important means of controlling social behaviour and its importance in society cannot be minimised. They are very powerful and regulate social life.

Custom is a social phenomena. Custom is socially recognized. Custom is normative. Custom has great social significance. Custom maintains social order. Custom is inherited. Custom has an external sanction.

Law: In primitive society, the norms and customs were sufficient to control the individual behaviour since there was an almost unquestioned compliance with them but in modern civilized societies custom tends to lose their hold with the result that laws are enacted by the state to control the individual.

Laws are the general conditions of human activity prescribed by the state for its members. It is a product of conscious and thorough planning and a deliberate formulation. Law is definite, clear and precise. They are equal to all without exception in identical circumstances. The violation of law is followed by penalties determined by the authorities of the state,

Factors of social change: There are numerous factors that bring about social change. Ecological factors: Man has stepped into space but his control over geographical phenomena is negligible. Nature as if to prove its might has jnany a time shown its devastating power. Human history is full of examples where flourishing civilizations were wiped out by natural calamities e.g.

Civilization of Mohen-jo-daro and Harappa are said to have been lost as a result of an earthquake. To a large extent the geographic conditions include the kind of clothes the people wear, food they eat, the language they speak etc. However, earthquakes, floods, storms and other natural events are known to change the social structure suddenly.

important terms:

Social groups: A number of individuals, defined by formal or informal criteria of membership, who share a feeling of unity or are bound together in relatively stable patterns of interaction are called social groups. Social system: A system in any structured or patterned relationship between any number of elements, where the system forms a whole or unity. Social trend: A notable pattern of change displayed by a social indicator or index. Social work: A generic term applied to the various organised methods for promoting human welfare through the prevention and relief of suffering. Socialization: A process by which we learn to become members of society, by internalizing the norms and values of society also by learning to perform our social roles. Social problems: A generic term applied to the range of conditions and aberrant behaviors which are held to be manifestations of social disorganization and to warrant changing we mean social engineering. Social order: Explanation of social order, of how and why societies where, are the control concern of sociology. Social fact: Ways of thinking, feeling and acting that are experienced by individuals as external and constraining, and that are general throughout a social group. Social control: It refers to the social processes by which the behavior of individuals or groups is regulated. Social role: Social expectations attached to particular social positions and analyses the working of such expectations. Ritual: An often repeated pattern of behavior which is performed at appropriate time. Social status: It refers to the position that a person occupies in the social structure. It may be ascribed or achieved. Identity: Distinctive characteristics of a person or character of a group which relate to why they are and what is meaningful to them. Sanctions: A mode of reward or punishment that reinforces socially expected forms of behavior. Norms: Written or unwritten rules of behavior which reflects cultural values.

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