Groups Sociology Help

Groups
Groups are another important component of social structure. To sociologists, a social group consists of two or more people who interact frequently and share a common identity and a feeling of inter de pendence. Th roughout our lives, most of us 'participate in groups: our families and childhood friends, our college classes, our work and community organizations, and even society. Primary and secondary groups are the two basic types of social groups. A primary group is a small, less specialized group in which members engage in face-to-face, emotion-based interactions over an extended period of time. Primary groups include our farnlly, close friends. and school- or work-related peer groups. By contrast. a secondary group is a larger, more specialized group in which members engage in more impersonal, goal-oriented relationships for a limited period of time. Schools, churches. and corporations are examples of secondary groups. ill secondary groups. people have few. if any. emotional ties to one another. Instead. they come together for some specific, practical purpose. such as getting a degree or a paycheck. Secondary groups are more specialized than primary ones individuals relate to one another in terms of specific roles (such as professor and student) and more-limited activities (such liS course-related endeavors).

Primary and secondary groups are further discussed in Chapter 6 ("Groups and Organizations"), Social solidarity or cohesion. relates to a group's ability to maintain itself in the face of obstacles. Social solidarity exists when social bonds, attractions. or other forces hold members of a group in interaction over a period of time  and Jary. 1991). For example, if a local church is destroyed h)' fire and congregation members still worship together in a makeshift setting. then they have a high degree of social solidarity. Many of us build social networks that involve our personal friends in primary groups and our acquaintances in secondary groups. A social network is a series of social relationships that links an individual to others. Social networks work differently for men and women. for different races ethnicity, and for members of different social classes. Traditionally. people of color and white women have been excluded from powerful "old-boy" social networks. At the middle- and upper-class levels. individuals tap social networks to find employment. make business deals. and win political elections. However. social networks typically do not work effectively for poor and homeless individuals. Snow and Anderson (1993) found that homeless men have fragile social networks that are plagued with instability. Homeless men often do not even know one another's 'real- names.

Sociological research on the homeless has noted the social isolation experienced by people on the streets. Sociologist Peter H. Rossi (1989) found that a high degree of social isolation exists because the homeless are separated from their extended family and former friends. Rossi noted that among the homeless who did have  families. most either did not wish to return or believed that they would not be welcome. Most of the avenues for exiting the homeless role and acquiring housing are intertwined with the large-scale. secondary groups that sociologists refer to as formal organizations, Fontanel organization is a highly structured group finned for the purpose of completing certain tasks Sociological research on the homeless has noted the social isolation experienced by people on the streets. Sociologist Peter H. Rossi (1989) found that a high degree of social isolation exists because the homeless are separated from their extended family and former friends.

Rossi noted that among the homeless who did have families. most either did not wish to return or believed that they would not be welcome. Most of the avenues for exiting the homeless role and acquiring housing are intertwined with the large-scale. secondary groups that sociologists refer to as formal organizations, Fontanel organization is a highly structured group fonned for the purpose of completing certain tasks

Posted on September 7, 2014 in Society,Social,Structure And Interaction

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