Terms, Concepts And Their Use In Sociology

  • Question

    Differentiate between primary and secondary groups.


    Differentiation between Primary and Secondary Groups:

    (i) Primary groups are generally small in size while on the other hand secondary groups are often big in size. Family is an example of primary group, while Political Party is an example of secondary group.

    (ii) In primary groups the members (its persons or individuals) have intimate (as in family) relations and peer groups where individuals have direct contact. While in secondary groups there are no intimate relations among each and every member. There is lackness of direct contact also.

    (iii) Members the primary group interact and have concern for each other. The membership in primary group is the essential link between the individual and soceity. The secondary groups are just the opposite of primary group.

    Impersional, formal and indirect relationships exists among the members of secondary groups. For example, the relationship among the members of club, professional group, political party or trade unions come under the category of secondary groups. These relationships are based on mutual interest. The basis of these relationships are located in unity or common interests.

    (iv) In secondary groups, goals are more specific and organizations more structural than in primary groups; also there is lesser intimacy and personal interactions than in primary groups.

    (v) Secondary groups are generally regulated by a set of formal rules, there is a formal authority set up with designated power and sharp division of labour. Within the orbit of secondary groups, it may also be possible to form primary group. For instance in a cricket team, players may develop an intimate friendship.

    (vi) In brief, the primary group is a personal group, the secondary group an impersonal one; we have personal relations with members of the primary group and impersonal relations with members of secondary group.

    (vii) In the primary group, we evaluate members extrinsiceally in terms of the social categories, or statuses, they occupy.

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