List of Different Types of Group

Let's discuss different types of the group . Know more about group here . All of us are simultaneously members of various types of groups. We are members of a family, members of friendship groups, members of work organizations and members of fan club or a even a religious group. Sociologists have attempted to classify is various types of groups as follows:


Primary vs. Secondary Groups

 Cooley described primary groups as collectivities of individuals – as in the case of playgroups, neighbourhood or village – “characterized by intimate, sympathetic face-to-face association and cooperation.” A primary group is a group in which members develop close, personal, intimate and enduring relationships; e.g. family, neighbors, work associates, etc. Here, the members know each other very well, are greatly influenced by one another and feel closely related. On the other hand, secondary groups are characterized by contractual relationships and ‘communication on indirect media’ (Faris, 1937). These are ‘relatively larger, relatively temporary, anonymous; they are also ‘formal, impersonal groups, in which there is little social intimacy or mutual understanding’and ‘based on some interest or activity’, and whose ‘members interact on the basis of some specific roles.’

Natural vs. Formed Groups

Natural groups consist of members coming together in a spontaneous manner, on the basis of naturally occurring events, interpersonal attraction or the mutually perceived needs of members. Family, peer groups and street gangs are examples of natural groups. (Whyte, 1993). On the other hand, formed group are those groups constituted by any influence or intervention external to the group. Such groups are usually formed for a particular purpose. Therapy groups, encounter groups, committees and teams are examples of formed groups.

Formal vs. Informal Groups

Formal groups are those groups that require someone to determine a task that needs to be accomplished, which requires some kind of organizational system, made up of various job roles, for which individuals are recruited (Artherton, 2003). Here, task is what matters, and everything else—particularly the individuals and the roles they occupy—may be changed. Informal groups work the other way round. A group of individuals meet: if they form a group, then they will informally allocate roles depending on individual preferences, and / or on talents. This collection of roles makes a system possible, and so occasionally they may undertake a task together, such as organizing a trip, or a night out or a party. It is the preferences of the Individuals which are paramount; tasks are incidental.


Voluntary vs. Involuntary Groups

 We may join a political party or a particular association (typical of an occupation).Such groups we join through our own choice and effort are voluntary groups. In contrast we are forced to join or are automatically incorporated as members of certain groups without choice; e.g. we are automatically classified in groups as members based on sex, age, nationality, religion and ethnicity. These latter groups in which we become members by birth or without any choice are involuntary groups.

Open vs. Closed Groups

 Open groups are those groups characterized by changing membership. Here, virtually anyone can become a member. As certain members leave, new members are admitted, and the group continues. For instance, anyone can join the Hrithik Roshan fan club.

On the other hand, there are some groups that maintain exclusiveness by restricting the membership and make it much more difficult to join. Only a few qualify to become members in such clubs. Such groups with restrictive membership criteria are closed groups; e.g. the mafia (underworld), Royal Enfield motorcycle clubs, night clubs, etc. Closed groups typically have some time limitation, with the group meeting for a predetermined number of sessions. Generally, members are expected to remain in the group until it ends, and new members are not added.

There are some advantages to open groups that incorporate new members as others leave, one of which is an increased opportunity for members to interact with a greater variety of people. A potential disadvantage of open groups is that rapid changing of members can result in a lack of cohesion, particularly if too many clients leave or too many new ones are introduced at once. Therefore, it will be better to bring in new members one at a time as and when opening occurs.

Vertical vs. Horizontal Groups

There are certain groups, whose membership consists of individuals from all walks of life; e.g. religious groups may have members from all classes. Such a group may be regarded as a vertical group. On the other hand, a horizontal group consists predominantly of members from one social class. Occupational groups of doctors (e.g. IMA); guilds or associations of persons of a trade e.g. electricians, carpenters, non-gazatted officers for instance are composed largely of members from the same social class..



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