Social Groups - Social Groups .Thus ,

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Social Groups Social groups and organizations comprise a basic part of virtually every arena of modern life. Thus,  in the last 50 years or so, sociologists have taken a special interest in studying these scientific  phenomena from a scientific point of view. A social  group  is a collection of people who interact with each other and share similar characteristics  and a sense of unity. A social  category  is a collection of people who do not interact but who share  similar characteristics. For example, women, men, the elderly, and high school students all constitute  social categories. A social category can become a social group when the members in the category  interact with each other and identify themselves as members of the group. In contrast, a social  aggregate  is a collection of people who are in the same place, but who do not interact or share  characteristics.  Psychologists  Muzafer  and  Carolyn Sherif , in a classic experiment in the 1950s, divided a group of  12-year-old white, middle-class boys at a summer camp into the “Eagles” and the “Rattlers.” At first,  when the boys did not know one another, they formed a common social category as summer  campers. But as time passed and they began to consider themselves to be either Eagles or Rattlers,  these 12-year-old boys formed two distinct social groups.  In-groups, out-groups, and reference groups In the Sherifs' experiment, the youngsters also erected artificial boundaries between themselves.  They formed  in-groups  (to which loyalty is expressed) and  out-groups  (to which antagonism is  expressed).  To some extent every social group creates boundaries between itself and other groups, but a  cohesive in-group typically has three characteristics:  Members use titles, external symbols, and dress to distinguish themselves from the  out-group. Members tend to clash or compete with members of the out-group. This competition  with the other group can also strengthen the unity within each group. Members apply positive stereotypes to their in-group and negative stereotypes to the  out-group. In the beginning, the Eagles and Rattlers were friendly, but soon their games evolved into intense 
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This note was uploaded on 12/04/2011 for the course ANTHRO 2000 taught by Professor Monicaoyola during the Fall '10 term at Broward College.

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Social Groups - Social Groups .Thus ,

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