Primary group

Primary Group and Secondary Group

Primary Group and secondary group

Primary Group

A primary group is a small group that is recognized by intimacy, sentiment of loyalty, intensive cooperation, and emotional involvement. Cooly uses the terms “members of a family living in the same house” and “playgroup in a school” as examples to define primary groups.

Typically, it is smaller but emotionally more significant. Because the individual has the chance to become familiar with humanity and social relationship through the primary group. Human nature does not exist independently of each individual; however, it is generated in individual character by primary or fundamental societal groups. Primary groups are undoubtedly an important resource for emotional security.

Primary group

A group of children plays with their playmates in Jakarta.

Human beings develop their positive and honest qualities from their families, neighbors as well as playmates. This, in turn, leads to hatred, intolerance, and other negative emotions as a result of a lack of a group and a cordial relationship. People are gradually learning more about each other’s relationships as communication improves; hatred is reduced through the social organization, and so on. People’s emotions and awareness grow as they learn about the role of primary groups.

However, many researchers believe that with the proliferation of social media, communication with the primary group or the exchange of emotions has become more virtual, even in South Asian traditional society. But in 2019-2020, when the world became stable due to lockdown in countries due to coronavirus epidemic, people can understand the role of primary groups like family, neighbors, etc.

Secondary group

Secondary groups are more formal and impersonal in nature, with little social intimacy or mutual understanding. These groups are also larger in size. Industrial workers or office coworkers are examples of secondary groups.

Organizationally, friendly relationships do not exist among the members of the secondary group, and the level of acquaintance between the group’s members is very low. Demographically, all members of any secondary group do not share a similar emotional bond; rather, they feel isolated from the primary group. In modern society, the identity of individuals in the secondary group is fading, and a sense of isolation is emerging among them which also affect mental health.

For example- U.S. military suicide rates have peaked since war in Afghanistan at about one death a day.

People are gradually drifting away from family, friends, and neighbors for professional or educational purposes. Living in a new environment fosters a different type of social relationship but it’s nothing like a primary group relationship.

Secondary Groups

A group of students in University class

Despite the fact that these two groups are identified differently, one cannot be empirically distinguished from the other. With the examples below, we can understand this interrelation in detail-

A Bangladeshi student can come to study and fall in love with a girl in Europe. He can marry and begin a new family here. Despite his feelings of isolation from the primary group, over time he also established a new primary group in a new society from a secondary group.

Difference between Primary and Secondary Group

Primary Group Secondary Group
Examples Family, Playmate University, City, Protestor
Size Small Large
Relationship Personal Formal
Attachment Socio Emotional (Gemeinschaft) Instrumental (Gesellschaft)
Duration Long Term Short term
Decision Traditional Rational
Group

Group, Types of Group and Differences

Group

Group is a fundamental sociological term that has existed since the beginning of society. A human child is born from a group known as a family. Humans have been living in groups since the beginnings of hunting and gathering society because they realized that it was impossible to survive without living together. People have also lived in groups to protect their existence, gather food, and defend themselves against wild animal attacks.

Just because a band of people is gathered together does not make them a group. Initially, a group can only be called if there is a certain relationship and fellow feeling between multiple people.

In sociology, we can define it more specifically-

A group is reciprocity of more than one person, who interact basis on a goal with similar norms, ethics, values, and perceptions.

It play an important role in modern society’s socialization process. According to Richard T Schaefer

“Groups play a vital part in a society’s social structure. Much of our social interaction takes place within groups and is influenced by their norms and sanctions. Being a teenager or a retired person takes on special meanings when we interact within groups designed for people with that particular status. The expectations associated with many social roles, including those accompanying the statuses of brother, sister, and student, become more clearly defined in the context of a group.”  (Schaefer, 2013)

Sociologist Gisbert in his book Fundamentals of Sociology discussed as-

“A social group is a collection of individuals interacting on or each other under a recognizable structure.” (Gisbert, 1956)

Group

Social Group

Is there any difference between group and social group?

When we talk about any group of people, it will be-

  • a number of people with common objectives,
  • to interact with one another
  • to accomplish their objective and
  • are aware of each other

A social group also needs these fundamental elements. It is therefore hard to distinguish group from social group. But with social group, it may be put some emphasis as a sociological term.

Types of Group

Sociologist Charles Horton Cooley proposed that groups can be broadly classified into two types and coined the terms Primary and Secondary Group (1909).

Primary Group

A primary group is a small group that is recognized by intimatcy, sentiment of loyalty, intensive cooperation and emotional involvement. Cooly uses the terms “members of a family living in the same house” and “play group in a school” as examples (more..).

Secondary Group

Secondary groups are more formal and impersonal in nature, with little social intimacy or mutual understanding. These groups are also larger in size. Industrial workers or office coworkers are examples  (more..).