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Groups, Aggregates
and Categories All we saw in Chapter 5. a social group is a collection of two or more people who interact frequently with one another. share a sense of belonging. 'and have a feeling of interdependence. Several people waiting for a traffic light to change constitute an aggregate-a collection of people who happen to be in the same  place at the same time but share little else in common. Shoppers in a department store and passengers on an airplane flight are also examples of aggregates  People in aggregates share a common purpose (such as purchasing items or arriving at their destination) but generally do not interact with one another. except perhaps briefly. The first-year graduate students. at least initially constitute  category a number of people who may never have met one another but share a similar characteristic (such as education level. age. race. or gender). Men and women make up categories. as do Native Americans and Latinos as and victims of sexual or racial harassment. Categories are not social groups because the people in them usually do not create a social structure or have anything in common other than a particular trait. Occasionally. people in aggregates and categories form social groups. For instance, people within the category known as "graduate students" may become an aggregate when they get together for an orientation to graduate school Some of them may form social groups as they interact with one another in classes and seminars. find that they have mutual interests and concerns. and develop a sense of belonging to the group. Information. technology raises new and interesting questions about what constitutes a group. For example. some people question whether we can form a social group on the Internet

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