Persistence of Primary Groups
The secondary group has not replaced the primary group. In fact, the two major primary groups’, the clique and the family, appear to be more essential than ever. The clique is a small group of intimates with strong in-group feelings based. on common sentiments and interests. It may develop in almost any group situation. Nearly every secondary group shelters a large number of cliques which provide personal intimacy within a large personal organization.Despite. a high divorce rate and some experimentation with communal living, most of the world’s population still live in families and probably always will. Furthermore today’s family is steadily becoming less directed toward work-related .goals and more- concerned with human relationships Yesterday family was primarily a.work crew, sometimes a brutally. repressive one; today’s family is primarily a companionship group and a perfect example of primary-group persistence. Primary groups persist in a secondary-group dominated world because of the human need for intimate, sympathetic association. Extensive research literature shows the human need for affection and intimate response. Loneliness, isolation, and the breaking of treasured human relationships are among our ‘prime causes of illness and death [Lynch, 1977].A nine-year longitudinal study of 7,000 adults finds that people with a strong “social network”, of friends and relatives are less than half as likely to die in a given year as persons with no’ such network [Berkman, 1980]. Even , . having a pet is associated with longevity, although whether the relationship is causative . or selective in not known [Curtis, 1982]. (That is, people with pets may live longer because – pets improve their emotional lives [causative relationship], or it may be that the healthy people are. more likely to want and keep pets . [selective relationship Most people cannot function well unless they belong to a small group of people who really care what happens to them. When a factory. moves, workers often accept unemployment rather than relocate, even when relocation casts are paid for them. Fer man .  states .that blue collar families rely .heavily on a,’network’ of neighbors and relatives for friendship and exchange of services. To pick up and move he.says, “they may have the same job instability in the new place, but they’re not going to have the same network to fall back on.” Whenever people are . ripped from family and friends and thrust into large, impersonal, anonymous groups as in a college dormitory or an army camp they feel such great need for primary groups that they promptly form them.