What is Social Group, Social GroupsJuly 2, 2021
Social groups are the building blocks of society. There are many groups in society and we do most of our behavior by taking part in these groups. A group can be defined as a community of people who share certain expectations and interact with each other, taking into account each other’s behavior (Kornblum and Smith, 2008:75).
People come together to form various groups to meet similar goals and expectations. People waiting for the bus together at a bus stop are not a group because they are not interacting. However, if these people decide to take a taxi and split the fare among themselves after the bus is delayed, they form a group. In other words, a social group is a group of people who have common goals and interests among their members, whose members are in a mutual relationship and which has a continuity (Özkalp, 2007:257).
Examples of social groups are family, students in a classroom, friends, people working together in a workplace, and each group has its own unique structure, organizational purpose, values, rules and relationship styles. For example, the structure, purpose of establishment, types of relationships etc. between the family as a group and the board of directors of a company. We can talk about significant differences in terms of; While the family is a group in which intimate and emotional relations, namely primary relations, continue, the board of directors is a group in which official relations, that is, secondary relations, continue.
For sociologists, social groups constitute the most basic unit of social life. Because a social group consists of more than one individual and turns into a unit of social relations to represent the whole of society.
Although there is a closeness of time and space between people who have come together by chance and are together, it cannot be called a social group because there is no mutual interaction between them. These are called social heaps. For example, people gathered to watch a match, like those waiting on the sidewalk to cross the street. Communities that do not share the same physical space but are considered as wholes because they have some common characteristics (such as age, gender, occupation, income) are defined as a social category. Primary school children, ethnic minorities, X party supporters are a social category, not a social group.
Although social groups differ in terms of structure, organization and relations, they also have some common goals and functions.
What Are the Functions of Social Groups?
To meet the needs and expectations of the individual such as biological, psychological, health, shelter, nutrition,
To give the individual the culture of the society,
To give a sense of trust to the individual and to ensure that the individual has an identity and personality,
Gaining group awareness and a sense of us,
To be in solidarity,
It is to cause a change of attitude in the individual.
A community consisting of at least two people, who come together for a common purpose, value or need, interact and have a certain continuity, is called a social group. The social group is the most basic element of the society, because the individuals that make up the society come together to meet similar goals, expectations and needs to form groups. Over time, people become members of many different official or unofficial groups such as family, playgroup, professional group, associations, companies, and gain identity and personality within those groups. Groups are classified according to their structure, purpose, continuity, the nature of the relationship between members, and the number of members.
A. By number of members
Small groups: Groups with few members and face-to-face contact. Such as family, travel groups, playgroups.
Large groups: These are the groups where the number of members is high, the members do not know each other, and the relations are more limited and formal. The city is like the nation.
B. By continuity
Permanent groups: Groups that last longer than the lifetime of the group members. Like family, city, village.
Temporary groups: They are groups that are composed of individuals who come together temporarily for a certain purpose and dissolve when the purpose is achieved. Such as game and entertainment groups, students camping, tourist groups.
C. According to the establishment of the group
Official groups: These are the groups formed according to the written rules (law-regulation), the duties and responsibilities of the group members are defined, and the membership is determined by official appointment. Banks, political parties, schools, hospitals are such groups.
Informal groups: They are spontaneous groups that do not require written rules. Like groups of friends, family, playgroup.
D. According to the individual’s participation in the group
Optional groups: These are the groups that the individual joins voluntarily. Such as business groups, associations and foundations, hobby groups.
Mandatory groups: These are the groups that the individual joins without his will. Like family, relatives, nation.
E. According to the type of relationship
C. H. Cooley (Kuliy, 1864-1929) divided groups into primary groups and secondary groups according to the nature of the relationship between members.