Primary group/Secondary group

Primary group/Secondary group

A primary group is a typically small social group whose members share close, personal, enduring relationships. These groups are marked by members' concern for one another, shared activities and culture, and long periods of time spent together. Examples include family, childhood friends, and highly influential social groups (team sports groups, academic groups, etc...).

People in a secondary group interact on a less personal level than in a primary group, and their relationships are temporary rather than long lasting. Since secondary groups are established to perform functions, people’s roles are more interchangeable.

The theory of primary and secondary groups was put forward by Charles Horton Cooley, a sociologist. He labelled these groups as "primary" because people often experience these sort of groups early in their life. Relationships formed in primary groups are often long-lasting and goals in themselves. They also are often psychologically comforting to the individuals involved and provide a source of support and encouragement. Primary groups play an important role in the development of personal identity.

ee also

* Social group
* Reference group
* SociologyThe distinction between primary and secondary group is based on the nature of the exchange relation. A primary group is a group in which one exchanges implicit items, such as love, caring, concern, animosity, support, and such. Examples, of these would be family groups, love relationships, crisis support groups, church groups and such. Secondary groups are groups in which on exchanges explicit commodities, such as labor for wages, services for payments, and such. Examples of these would be employment, vendor-to-client relationships, and such.

ources and external links

* [ McGraw Hill online Sociology Glossary]

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