Social Groups: Definition, Types, Classification, Terms, Characteristics

Understanding Social Groups – As social beings, humans need interaction with each other. This interaction need is a basic need which, if not fulfilled, humans can feel bored and even stressed.

As a result of the current Covid19 pandemic, many reports state that people’s stress levels have increased. The sudden limitation of social interaction is one reason. Social groups dwindled and gathered as little as they used to. How big is the role of social groups? Sinaumed’s, let’s discuss social groups together.

A. Definition of Social Groups

The following is the opinion of experts regarding social groups:

1. Soerjono Soekanto

The sociology professor from the University of Indonesia defines social groups as units or groups of people who live side by side because they have a reciprocal relationship and influence one another.

2.George Homans

This sociologist from the United States defines a social group as a collection of individuals who interact, carry out activities, and have feelings that encourage them to form something that is thoroughly organized and reciprocal.

3. Paul B. Horton and Chester Chester L. Hunt

Both of these sociologists define a social group as a group of people who are aware of their membership as social beings and then interact with one another.

B. The Process of Forming Social Groups

The longer their interaction, the stronger the bond becomes. The stronger the bond, the stronger the unity and integrity within the group. The strength of feelings within the group is influenced by similarities in goals, thoughts, hobbies, ideals, behavior, and so on.

In addition, there are several drives that make humans need to group. These drivers can be described through the explanation below:

1. The urge to survive

One of the human needs is to socialize with others. This is caused by the human need to help each other. Just carrying out economic activities, humans need other humans, both as producers, distributors, or consumers.

2. The urge to continue the lineage

Another human need that cannot possibly be achieved by himself is to have a bloodline. To have children, one must marry the opposite sex. The marriage will form a small social group in the form of a family.

3. Encouragement to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of work

Work done alone, especially without division of tasks and good management, of course, is very tiring. Imagine me, for example, in a family, a mother has to earn a living, take care of household chores, educate children, cook, etc. and all of that is done by herself, of course tiring. The absence of effectiveness, efficiency, and division of tasks at work causes the work to feel very heavy.

Until various social groups were formed. Some are based on hobbies. Some are based on ideals. Some are thought-based. Some are even based on common fate. They form social groups to mutually reinforce one another. Because basically, humans will find it difficult to fend for themselves.

C. Social Group VS Social Class

D. Kinds of Social Groups

Meanwhile, based on the bonds between its members, social groups are divided into social groups of ethnicity, nation, community, association, patembayan, community, and social organization. We will discuss a more detailed explanation below. Come on Sinaumed’s check it out !

1. Social Groups Based on the Formation Process

a. Pseudo group

Pseudo-groups consist of spontaneously formed temporary people who have no common identity, rules, bonds, or goals. In pseudo groups, interaction and communication are only temporary and not binding. Therefore, pseudo groups do not last long.

See also  33 Names of Original Traditional Weapons from All Provinces in Indonesia

Based on these characteristics, examples of pseudo groups are:

1). Crowd or crowd

The crowd is a collection that occurs spontaneously and irregularly. The crowd is divided into several types, namely:

– Formal crowds ( formal crowds)

A crowd that has the same center of attention. Example: football spectators, moviegoers, and so on.

– Planned expressive crowd (Planned expressive group)

Planned crowds do not have the same center of attention, but have the same goal. For example: people who attend parties, people who have recreation, and so on.

– Relaxed but uncomfortable crowd ( Inconvenient Causal Crowds )

The crowd formed because of the need to use public facilities somewhere. Example: people are waiting for the bus, people are waiting in line, and others.

– Crowd panic ( Causal Crowd Panic )

The crowd formed because of panic and wanted to save themselves from a disaster. For example: crowds at natural disaster evacuation points, and others.

– Spectator Casual Crowd

A crowd formed because of a certain event. Example: a crowd due to a UFO sighting in the sky or the beautiful movement of a group of birds, and so on.

– Crowds against the law ( Acting Lawless Crowds )

The crowd formed because of an action against the law. Example: brawls, beatings, and so on.

– Crowds that are contrary to morals ( Immoral Lawless Crowds )

This crowd is formed because of a group of people who carry out activities that are contrary to the values ​​and norms adopted by certain communities. Example: a crowd of drunken people.

2). Mass

This type of social group is almost the same as a crowd, the difference is that the masses are planned and organized. Mass is not spontaneous. Example: Demonstrations, campaigns, parades, and others.

3). Public

The public is a large group of individuals, but physically they don’t have to be in the same place. The public is usually planned and not infrequently united because of the means of communication. Example: TV and youtube viewers.

b. Real group

Real groups are social groups that are fixed. Most of the groups in society are real groups. Real groups are divided into several types again, namely:

1). Statistics group

Usually, this type of social group exists because of research needs. This group is not organized, let alone planned. There is no group awareness in statistical groups and it exists because it is adjusted according to interests. For example: population groups aged 17-65 years, groups of teenagers who have social media accounts, and others.

2). Community Group

Social groups are formed because of the similarity of interests among its members. However, the similarity of these interests does not necessarily lead to common interests in this group. This group is formed naturally and spontaneously, without the need for planning.

Community groups allow for a means of group awareness and interaction because of their unifying means. Its nature is fixed and has the possibility of not being limited by area. Example:

3). Special community groups

This group is formed because of the special and more specific similarities among its members. These similarities can be in the form of age, gender , place of residence, occupation, and others. These groups form naturally and are usually formed due to the availability of means to unite. Its members have group awareness and continuous interaction.

4). Association group

This group has a fixed character. Its existence is deliberately formed and well planned. Usually these groups have a strong organization and have a well-organized system.

2. Social Groups Based on Member Association

a. ethnicity

Ethnicity or tribe is a social group whose grouping is based on similarities in terms of lineage. In addition, ethnicity also has similarities in culture, language, and the same ideology. These similarities determine whether a person is recognized or not in a particular ethnicity.

For example: certain ethnic student unions, certain ethnic brotherhoods, and so on.

See also  difference between abh and gbh

b. Nation

The nation is a social group whose groupings are united by nationalism in the state. Nation is formed because of suffering, history, destiny, and the same struggle.

Example: Indonesian Nation, German Nation, American Nation, and others.

c. Public

This type of social group is a social group that has a broad scope and diverse characteristics. In general, people are grouped based on area of ​​residence, livelihood, progress of civilization, and others.

For example: netizens, village people, city people, people on the island of Java, and others.

d. Association

Paguyuban is a social group that is formed because of a strong inner bond. In practice, it is not uncommon for mutual cooperation and mutual assistance between members to be based on sincerity without interest and strings attached. Some of them have the same lineage. Some others are bound by a sense of togetherness and solidarity.

Paguyuban has the characteristics of being intimate (a close and comprehensive relationship), private (the relationship is personal), and exclusive (only for “us”, other than “us” is not included). Example: nuclear family, extended family, neighborhood, and so on.

e. Patembayan

Patembayan is a social group that has external ties, usually lacking in spiritual ties. So that in practice, interactions are carried out because of the interests of each other. This has the risk that this group bond is not long-term in nature.

The establishment of the Patembayan is based on rational thinking that considers the pros and cons of participating in it. If a member no longer has any interests, he can leave the group at any time. For example: trade associations, employer associations, school alumni associations, trade unions, and so on.

f. Community

Community is a social group consisting of people who share characteristics such as hobbies, geography, profession, religion, race, and others. In the community, it allows for mutually helpful interactions so that the bond of feelings is quite strong in it. For example: mountaineering community, cycling community, photography community, and others.

g. Social organization

Social organization is a social group that has a clear structure. Each member has their own duties and roles. And everything is neatly arranged, specific, and measurable. The membership social organization is official and the nature of the institution has a clear and recognized identity.

E. Classification of Social Groups

  1. Based on the way it is formed , such as pseudo groups and real groups.
  2. Based on the quality of the relationship between members , such as primary groups (relations tend to be informal) and secondary groups (relations tend to be formal).
  3. Based on the strength of the bonds between members , such as associations and patembayan.
  4. Based on the achievement of goals , such as formal groups (have their own rules) and informal groups (have common goals but are not official).

F. Terms of Social Groups 

1. There is interaction between members

The existence of social groups to accommodate the interaction of its members. A group that has no interaction cannot be said to be a group, but only a collection of individuals.

2. Interdependent

Members influence each other’s behavior and attitudes.

3. Awareness

Each member has an awareness of his involvement in the group.

4. There are similarities

The existence of similarities, be it fate, suffering, region, profession, and others, can strengthen the bond between members.

5. A sense of belonging

These feelings and perceptions must be shared by members of the social group. By feeling part of a group, a person can feel the benefits of having a social group.

6. Structure

The existence of a structure will guide members to carry out their roles and duties as part of a group so that the existence of a social group can be felt.

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

G. Characteristics of Social Groups

  1. There is the same motivation, encouragement, and motives between one individual and another.
  2. There is a division of tasks or an affirmation of functions so that each has an awareness of their role and authority within the group.
  3. There is a result of the interaction carried out by one member with another member.
  4. The formation of norms within the group in accordance with the values ​​carried by members.
  5. Interests run and process.
  6. The discovery of a dynamic movement in its activities.

H. Values ​​and Norms Applicable in Social Groups

Activities that are not in accordance with the values ​​and norms of the group will be rejected because they do not reflect the personality of the group and deviate from the purpose of forming the social group. Even when accepting new members, several social groups open recruitment with a selection system for anyone who fits the values ​​and norms that apply.

Even if there is no selection, new members usually adjust to these values ​​and norms so that their presence is socially accepted.