Examples of Social Groups: Definition, Types, Functions, and Their Characteristics

Examples of Social Groups – As individuals who always interact with other people or are often referred to as social beings, the term “social group” is certainly not foreign to them. According to Soerjono Soekanto, social groups are associations or units where people live together because they are interconnected and influence each other.

Ordinary community groups are formed naturally by individuals or by accident. Proximity and similarity are the most important factors in the formation of social groups.

Apart from geographical location, everyone can communicate easily. Also, the person often interacts with others who have something in common with them. Eventually they form social groups.

Basically everyone is part of a social group. The role of social groups in human life is very important. There are many forms of social groups around us without us realizing it. A social group is usually formed for a common goal or just an ordinary association to spend free time and seek pleasure together.

So, from this explanation of social groups, we will further discuss the characteristics, types, and examples of social groups that exist in society in general.

Further discussion of these social groups can be seen below!

Definition of Social Groups

A social group is a group of people or a community that is structured and has a common goal so that they can form social institutions/organizations by not violating the laws and regulations in force in that country, whether established or not. Social groups function as a means for people to participate in the development of the nation and state.

Social institutions are procedures that are made to regulate the relationships of people in a group called the Association. Associations and social institutions have a very close relationship. Organizations that do not have permanent members have followers in a group called an association. In other words, associations are expressions of social institutions. Associations have charters, laws, membership and clear operational objectives.

Here are some definitions of social groups according to experts:

1. Soerjono Soekanto

According to Soerjono Soekanto, social groups are also called social institutions. The term social group is a foreign term for social institutions. However, there are people who use the term social organization to translate social organization. Indeed, social institutions refer to the factors that govern the behavior of members of a society.

2. Koentjaraningrat

According to Koentjaraningrat, a social group is a system of behavior and relationships that focuses on activities aimed at meeting the needs of a very complex community life. Another term is social construction, a translation of the German word soziale gebilde which describes the form and structure of these institutions.

3. Robert Mac Iver and Charles H. Page

According to Robert Mac Iver and Charles H. Page, explaining social groups as procedures or processes designed to regulate human relations within a community group.

4. Leopold von Wiese and Howard Becker

While Leopold von Wiese and Howard Becker saw social groups from their functional point of view, they interpreted social groups as networks of relational processes between people and between functional groups of people, the ability to maintain these relationships, and patterns, according to Humanity. flowers and lots.


In addition, sociologist Summer looks at social groups from a cultural perspective. Summer defines social groups as actions, ideals, and attitudes that are cultural devices, are permanent, and are intended to meet the needs of society.

Types of social groups

Social groups are social units consisting of two or more individuals who carry out social interactions and have division of tasks, structures, and existing norms. Here are some types of social groups that you can know:

1. Primary Group (Main)

A group in which social interaction occurs whose members know each other very closely and are closely related in life. Meanwhile, according to George Homans, a primary group is a group of people who are in regular contact with each other so that everyone can communicate directly (face to face) without intermediaries. For example: family, RT, playmates, church groups and others.

2. Secondary Group

Secondary organizations usually contain intellectual, logical, and contractual relationships. Organizations like this are not intended to provide inner satisfaction, but they have members because they can provide tools in the form of salaries or awards to their members. For example, an organization is a cooperation contract between an employer and a prospective employee in which they must agree on a salary.

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If social interaction takes place indirectly, remotely, and is a bit of a kinship relationship. The relationships that are created are generally more objective. For example: political parties, trade unions, and other organizations.

3. Formal Groups

A formal/official group is a group formed by a group of people/society with a well-defined structure that explains the relationship of authority, power, responsibility and responsibility, duties and has legal force. The current structure also describes how channels are formed through which communication takes place.

It then displays specific tasks for each of its members. The hierarchy of formal organizational goals is clearly stated. Status, prestige, rewards, rank and position, and other requirements are simplified and controlled. In addition, formal organizations are long-lived and planned, and because they emphasize order, they are relatively rigid.

Within this group is marked by the existence of regulations or basic references (AD) that apply, and the Bylaws (ART). Its members are appointed by the organization. Examples of this group are all associations with AD/ART such as: Schools, Universities, Government Agencies etc.

4. Informal Groups

Informal groups are groups that appear within formal groups. The difference is, informal groups do not use binding rules. Examples of informal groups are play groups, study groups, and work groups. The formation of informal groups is carried out on the basis of similarities between members. For example, similarities in types of work, interests, gender, regional origin, ethnicity, and religion.

If the formal group is a group that is formed without affiliation, then the informal group actually has an emotional bond that exists. For example, production department workers gather after work. They gathered because they had a break or wanted to talk about matters other than work. These informal groups arise from the diverse needs of workers. This type of group arises from social needs such as friends, affection, training, and education

As a group that grows out of its interactions, attractions, and needs. Group membership is often irregular and membership is determined by mutual attraction between individuals and groups. This group has a clear but informal division of tasks and is based solely on kinship and interests. For example: fishing community, anime lover community, etc

Social Group Functions

Therefore, the existence of social groups is functional for social life. These functions include:

  • Provide guidance to community members regarding attitudes towards community problems, especially those related to basic needs.
  • Maintain the integrity of the community involved.
  • Provide guidance to community members to monitor member behavior.

Thus, social groups are a series of procedural processes designed to regulate human relations in social life. Therefore, there are social institutions in all societies, simple societies as well as modern societies. That’s because every society wants an orderly life.

Characteristics of Social Groups

A group can be said to be a social group if it has the following characteristics:

  • There are similar patterns among individuals. (leading to interaction or cooperation to achieve the same goal)
  • There are consequences of different interactions between individuals (consequences depend on the preferences and skills of the individuals involved)
  • There is a clear assignment and establishment of a group or organizational structure that includes the roles and positions of each person.
  • There is an affirmation of norms that guide the behavior of group members that regulate the interaction of group member activities to achieve common goals.

Examples of Social Groups

1. Program/Event Committee

This type of group includes secondary social groups imposed on its members and does not apply to society as a whole.

2. Village Cooperative

Village cooperatives are formal social groups in society. This group interacts with each other to achieve common health goals.

Each member must follow the rules to join, deposit or borrow and be trained.

In addition, in craft village cooperatives there is a clear division of structures and tasks so that each member can carry out the role according to his position.

3. Combined RT/RW

The RT/RW association is an example of a social group in society. A social group whose members are part of the village community.

This type of social group includes social groups within groups that provide opportunities for all community members who are in a certain RT/RW area.

4. Student Association

Student associations are a form of social group in society on campus.

The task of this organization is to ensure that all elements incorporated in the set can easily achieve their respective goals. The structure of the student association usually includes the chairman of the association, the deputy association, the head of the field, and the members of the field.

5. School Alumni

Every graduate from an institution usually forms a group of graduates that we call alumni.

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This Alumni Agenda can provide access to the lower classes of society and build relationships in the form of social networks with one another.

6. PKK women’s group

This group is a collection of women from the Empowerment and Family Welfare Movement (PKK).

Each member has the same goal, namely family happiness. Moms come together to share tips, share information, work together, and more. to achieve this goal.

7. Community

The association is called gemeinschaft. This social group is a social group that has close, intimate and harmonious ties to each of its members.

They have bonds and relationships that take place informally.

8. Patembayan (gesellschaft)

Patembayan is the main physical link for a short time, is imaginary and has a mechanical structure like that of a machine. Patembayan is only a form in the spirit. For example, the relationship between merchants, organization in factories, etc.

Requirements for Formation of Social Groups

A group can be said as a social group if it fulfills the following conditions:

1. There is interaction between members

The existence of social groups allows its members to interact with each other. A group without interaction cannot be considered a group, but only a collection of individuals.

2. Interdependence

Members influence the behavior and attitudes of others. Members of each other are also dependent on other members in the sense that they need each other’s help or assistance to achieve certain goals.

3. Self-awareness

Each member is aware of his participation in the group. A social group must realize its position in the members is to participate actively contribute instead of being a passive member who has no contribution at all in the social group.

4. There are similarities

The existence of similarities, be it fate, suffering, region, profession, etc., can strengthen the relationship between members. This similarity is the basis of the close relationships that are built within a social group that is formed.

5. Feelings and Perceptions

These feelings and perceptions must be shared by members of the social group. When a person feels part of a group, he can feel the benefits of belonging to a social group. The importance of having the same perception is also an important basis for the formation of a social group in order to avoid divisions within the social group itself.

6. Structure

The existence of a structure will guide members to carry out their roles and duties in the group so that the existence of a social group can be felt. In a clear social group there must be a membership structure in the social group so that the goals and roles of the members are also clearly channeled and each member’s position in the group is understood.

7. Have a system and continue to run the growth process

A social group also needs to have a system so that the group has clear directions and goals and has a sense of wanting to continue to grow and develop in the process of forming a social group so that each member of the group also gets benefits by joining themselves into a social group.

Reasons for the creation of social groups

It is human nature to interact with each other or in other words, humans really need one another.

Due to this natural reason, social groups can easily form.

With this interaction, they come together and feel the frequency. Then they will form groups and then create activities within them.

So, the longer someone interacts, the stronger their relationship will be. It’s like you and your best friend Sinaumed’s buddy.

Because over time your relationship with the people around you will find saturation if you don’t have a goal, therefore a social group is created to channel activities, ideas, creative ideas, hobbies etc. to be collected for positive and profitable common goals.


This is a brief discussion of the meaning of social groups. The discussion this time does not only discuss the meaning of social groups but also discusses the types, functions, characteristics and examples of several existing social groups.

Understanding the meaning of social groups can give us education that every human being needs other human beings in finding identity and channeling their activities. With the existence of a social group, each individual does not need to be afraid to be alone in channeling their talents because together with the group they will try to achieve common goals according to the vision of their respective groups.

Thus a review of the notion of social groups. For Sinaumed’s who want to learn all about the notion of social groups and other knowledge related to sociology, you can visit sinaumedia.com to get related books.

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Author: Pandu Akram

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