primary and secondary groups characteristics

Describe the characteristics of primary and secondary groups and how these groups function in society. Humans are social beings. They live together and form a society. Although they make society, neither they can see it nor can they touch it. But what all they can do is that they can perceive the society, they can feel the presence of society all around them. It is the basic reason behind calling society as an abstract entity

primary and secondary groups: Social Relations

The elaboration of idea of social relations within a group of individuals can be seen in the writings of German Sociologist Max Weber. He opines that it is the mutual awareness or mutual recognition that establishes the relations among the group members. And it is the system of social relations that serves as a mean to fulfill the common interests of all the members. Talcott Parsons (1951) considers culture as a basic element behind social relationships.

It is the culture which defines the patterns of behaviour in a group which are shared by all the members of the group. These shared norms or patterns define the roles of the members and differentiate them from non-members.


Since, group is a collection of interacting individuals, the level of interaction can be of many types and group membership can be acquired in a number of ways. So social groups can be classified in a variety of ways. Different scholars have seen group from different point of views and classified groups in different ways. Thus, There is broad range of facts on whose basis groups have been classified. Hence, Some of the chief basis include functions, size, stability, status, rule of membership, degree of interaction and many more.


  • Explain the main differences between primary and secondary groups.
  • Describe the different aspects of group dynamics that influence social groups.

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