Primary and Secondary Groups
A primary group is a group in which members share close, personal relationships. There is often a collective sense of identity within a primary group that replaces the individuality people often feel in other groups. Members in primary groups share strong emotional and intimate connections. Primary groups are small in size, typically consisting of no more than a half dozen members. They are key agents of socialization, the process through which people learn the norms and values of their society. The members of primary groups are noninterchangeable. Common examples of primary groups are family and close friendship groups.
A secondary group is characterized by impersonal relationships among people who cooperate to achieve a common goal. People join secondary groups intentionally, for an explicit purpose. Secondary groups are larger in size than primary groups, and communication with other members may be limited. They also contribute to socialization, although they have less of an influence than primary groups. Examples of secondary groups would be a group of coworkers, a classroom of students, a scout troop, or an athletic team. Members of secondary groups sometimes transition to form a primary group. For example, people who meet at work may eventually become close friends or may marry and form a family.
|Characteristics of Primary Groups||Characteristics of Secondary Groups|