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
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..