Importance of groups Groups are important due to the following reasons: 1. The group is a transmitter of culture. 2. The group is a means of social control. 3. The group socializes the individual. 4. The group is the source of fundamental ideas. 5. The group trains the individual in communications.
CLASSIFICATION OF GROUPS According to Social Boundaries and Adherence to a Special Set of Norms Some sociologists do not consider these kinds of organization per se as mentioned in the succeeding section while other sociologists classify them as types of organization based on social boundaries and their adherence to a special set of norms (Zulueta, 2002). 1. Categorical Group
A categorical group refers to a social grouping where members tend to share certain characteristics and interests and are aware of their similarities with other in their own social category. Ex. Students, teachers, farmers, senior citizens, fish vendors and other related groups. 2. Aggregate Group
An aggregate group denotes a social grouping whose members stay in one place, but do not necessarily interact with each other. The members of this group are concerned only with their own feelings and attitudes. Ex. People forming a single line in the Araneta Center to buy tickets for the basketball game of their favorite player in the Philippine Basketball Association. 3. Collective Group
A collective group refers to a crowd whose members are not governed with laws or norms, but share the same beliefs that motivates them to action. Examples are the EDSA People Power 1 and 2, a mass demonstration for a common cause and others. 4. Associational Group
An associational group is composed of a group of people who organize themselves to pursue a common interest with a formal organizational structure such as the Philippine Association of State Universities and Colleges (PASUC), Philippine Basketball Association (PBA), Philippine Association for Teacher Education (PAFTE) and many others. In an associational group, there is a set of officers elected by its members which is responsible for running the association.
According to Interaction and Relationship General classifications of groups according to their manner of interaction and relationship are:
1. Primary Group A primary group refers to small, informal group of people who interact in a more personal, intimate manner and who always have direct and face-to-face communication with each other. It includes the family, neighborhood and play groups. The primary group is characterized by Cooley as the nursery of human nature because it is the group where the child is socialized, acquires and experiences love, affection, sympathy, kindness, tolerance, fairness, loyalty and justice. The individual learns the meaning of personal worth and dignity of a person.
2. Secondary Group
A secondary group involves indirect, impersonal interaction where members are forced to interact because of business transactions and the like. The business-like, impersonal and formal interactions of secondary groups allow the members to focus on their special skills. The members of secondary groups can function effectively because of the absence of the touch of familiarity where subjectivity comes in.
According to Membership Other classifications of groups which are more specific as to membership are as follows:
1. In-group An in-group refers to a group of people whose sense of belongingness is strong. The members have a strong “we-feeling”, share common orientation, come from the same background, roots and origin and adhere to the ideology. An in-group is further characterized by a feeling of companionship and a great sense of loyalty.
The out-group is exactly the opposite of the in-group. This group is made up of people whose feelings are antagonistic to the group itself. There is physical membership but in mind and heart, the members dislike the group because of the concept that another group is superior to their group. An out-group is a stereotype where members of the group have specialized trademarks. 3. Reference Group
A reference group is a group where people identify themselves physically and psychology to which other people refer in evaluating their behavior and actions. The group becomes the individual’s frame of reference in relation to his/her motivations, aspirations, experiences, attitudes and social affiliations. Oftentimes, a reference group tends to give an impression to a particular person as to his/her social, economic and even political status in the community. Sometimes, individual try to identify themselves with groups whose standing is well-known regionally, nationally or even internationally to demand high respect and special treatment from others. 4. Peer Group
A peer group refers to a small kind of grouping whose members have the same level, interests and economic standing in the community. This is exemplified in school among students. Consciously and unconsciously, the members group themselves because they share the same interests and talents and perhaps their parents also share the same. There is also a sense of belongingness, sympathy and loyalty among themselves. 5. Voluntary Association
A voluntary association, as the name suggests, is an organization where membership is free and voluntary. Though voluntary in nature, members follow some sets of rules or policies. Examples are civic-oriented groups whose primary purpose is to deliver some social benefits to the deprived, depressed and underserved (DDU) sectors of our society. Voluntary associations are found in some relatively simple societies composed of members with varied and competing interests. Here are some voluntary associations:
* Military Associations Military associations are noncommercial societies whose goals are to unite members through their common experiences.
* Secret Societies Secret societies are characterized principally by limited membership and by secret rituals generally believed to increase the supernatural powers of its members.
* Regional Associations Regional associations are clubs that bring together migrants from common geographical backgrounds. Regional groupings actually give rise to out-groups, particularly when in a foreign milieu. According to Their Nature, Form, Objectives and Interaction
Some sociologists have identified other social groupings based on their nature, form and objectives and how members relate with each other. These are the formal and informal groups. 1. Informal Group
The informal group is the most common type of grouping based on nature, form, objectives and interaction. It occurs when two or more people interact with each other on issues affecting their welfare. An informal group can be a product of an impulsive act but later on grows into a partnership endeavor with the constant sharing of emotions and sentiments of the members. The group ensures cooperation from each member because of their sense of belongingness and self-confidence. 2. Formal Group
A formal group is an organization where the specific organizational structure is constructed to achieve specific goals and objectives. This group has to fulfill a variety of specialized social and personal needs that influence one’s personality. Regardless of its nature, a formal organization has established philosophy, mission, vision and goals as its guiding premises in the discharge of its function. It is in this concern that formal organizations meet their fundamental needs to continue their collaborative efforts to attain these aspirations in a highly complex, industrial and business society.