Concept,meaning and definition of Social Group

  1. Concept 
  2. Introduction 
  3. Meaning and Definition
  4. Characteristics  
Concept . 
Once Aristotle has said that Man is a social animal. Man can’t live alone without the fellowship of others. It is universally true that Man is born in a group that is known as a family and become a part of the group (peer group). Gradually he develops so many relationships around him and become one of the members of a larger group that is known as society. The journey of human’s life starts from being in the group and progress with the group. Our lives are influenced and moulded by the group living experience. Our social life is being enhanced and functioned by the group. Social life and social relationship of a person begins when he or she becomes part of any group. Many understood group work is teamwork. It is very often represented as a distribution of work responsibility or dividing the work among the members for productivity. To understand the concept lets read the following.
It is apparently very surprised to understand how the group is always been an important factor in shaping and moulding the growth and development of every personality. Group are a fundamental part of every human experience. They allow people to develop a large and complex activity for socialization and education and provide a platform for the relationship to form and grow and where people can find help and support. Have you ever tried to understand how does a group functions and being administered? In this chapter, we shall gain to understand what is social group and its characteristics in details. Ask yourself the following questions before jumping into the understanding of the group.
  • Is it possible to run a school without a group?
  • Can you imagine winning a cricket match without a group?
  • Can you think of family without the union of an individuals 
  • Have you ever thought of a political party without a group?
I am sure that you have started thinking about this question. This questions will cultivate many ideas and concept to know about the science of group. Till now we see what a group is meant for an individual’s life. To understand the science and geography of a group it is essential to know the following.
Definition and meaning .
Technically, not every collection of individuals are regarded or considered as a group. To understand these notions let’s refer to the  Oxford Dictionary, it says “a  number of persons or things regarded as forming a unit, on account of any kind of mutual or common relations, or classified together on account of a common degree of similarities. According to this dictionary, it defines the group with the following term.
  • There should be a number of persons or things.
  •  It should have common consent and mutual common relations.
  • Or there should have some common degree of similarities
To understand the group more accurately, let’s examine some more definition and different perspective. According to Mujer Sherif  “ A group has to be a social unit consisting of a number of individuals interacting with each other based on certain elements.  
  1. Common motives and goals 
  2. An  accepted division of labour 
  3. Establish status (Social rank and dominance relationship)
  4. Norms and values with reference to the matter relevant to the group.
If we tried to see the important components in his definition we may understand what a group is meant to us. Let’s draw the features of the group.
  1. More than one Individuals.
  2. Continues Interaction. 
  3. Common Goals.
  4. The group should have rules, regulations, values
 From the analysis of the group definition, we reach to the conclusion that all the features can constitute a true sense of group.
Many other social scientists have given many definitions to explain the social group. Analyzing all social group definition we may reach some common characteristics of the social group which we tend to discuss in the following.
  • Group Of People (Collection of Individuals )
  • Continues Interaction (Interpersonal Relationship)
  • Group Membership( Sense of belongings and feel of being a member) 
  • Group Goal ( A collective objectives )
  • Interdependency ( Members dependency on each other)
  • Group Motivation ( Constant Motivation and desires)
  • Structural Relationship (Roles played and distribution of responsibility)
1-Collection of Individual
The prime characteristics of the group are the collection of persons. When more than one person coming together for a particular purpose there a sense of group evolves. group cant be formed without a collection of individuals
2- Continuous Interaction (Interpersonal Communication)
A group can be defined as a group when members of the groups should have interaction and interpersonal communication with each other. Individuals are cant be called a group unless they develop sense purposeful interaction. The interaction may involve verbal, non-verbal communication, networking, forming bonds. Action perform by a group member to influence emotional behaviour and interpersonal bond within the group is known as relationship interaction. That is why continuous interaction is 
3-Group Membership (Sense of Belongingness )
It is the members who define themselves and being defined by others as they belong to a group. There should be a continuous interaction to make the group alive and vibrant. The group member should develop a perception that they belong to the group and the group belongs to the theme.
4-Group Goals  
The group may be defined as a collection of individuals who become part of each other and work together to achieve some common goals. A definite goal can keep group member to engage in achieving the goals. Without the goal, true sense of group meaning will be missed out.
5- Inrerdependce 
 In a group, members are influenced and being affected by each other. It is doubtful to know that group could exist without its member being affected and influenced each other. Hence interdependent important features of a social group.
7-Group Motivation 
As we know that a group is understood as a collection of persons who are trying to meet their requirement by associating with each other. It is apparent that a member of a group is continuously progressed by motivating each other.
8-Structure of the Group 
The structure of the group involves group norms, principles, and roles that emerge over time. Roles involve the performances of individuals according to their roles and responsibility. Hence social structure is an important part of the social group.


  1. Atherton J S (2003) Learning and Teaching: Group Cultures [On-line]UK:Available: uk/~jamesa/teaching/group_cultures.htm 
  3. Jose Sonney, Nair, Lekshmi, Socia Groups, characteristics and significance. 


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