What are Social groups and types

Social groups are groups of people who come together and interact due to common values, norms, beliefs and / or social interests .

Since the beginning of humanity there have been social groups. To form a social group, a minimum of two people is required, not having a maximum limit of members. The sociologist Georg Simmel (1858-1918) was dedicated to the investigation of small group dynamics by classifying them into:

  • Driadas : composed of two members, it is extremely fragile since if one of the members leaves the group, the group falls apart.
  • Triads : a social group consisting of three people whose dynamics are more flexible than the dryads.

The social interaction between the members of a social group is defined by the communication that exists between them and not by proximity. Social networks, in this sense, has helped to expand social groups beyond physical boundaries.

Types of groups

Primary group

Characterized by an association and intimate cooperation, face to face, they are primary in many ways but above all by the fact that they are fundamental to form the social nature and ideals of the individual, the result of the association is Intimate, it is a certain fusion of the individualities in a whole common, so that the self. Their characteristics are:

  • The relationships are more intimate
  • Roles and status form a narrow structure
  • The rules are learned, practiced and reinforced
  • Members can manifest without departures.

Secondary groups

The secondary group is characterized by a functional relationship based on a specific interest which, when lost or terminated, leads to dissolution, its duration is short. They are usually formal and characterize modern society.

Open groups

We call open to the flexible group that allows the entry and exit of members, the latter either leaving the group or activity definitively or to move to another in which you can enter easier.

Closed groups

Closed group is one that offers resistance to the change of participants, not wishing to receive new members to preserve prestige and for power or fear of changes (common in adolescents). In some, rules for admission (gang) are established, and in others The discharge is working (delinquent group).

Homogeneous groups

It is one in which the members have characteristics in common, in terms of age, sex, socioeconomic status.

Heterogeneous groups

Heterogeneity in a group is when there are diverse inequalities between the members that make it up. It can be in age, sex.

Organized groups

We call those groups where there is a division of labor in pursuit of a productive goal, in which they are established together in which positions and roles are established. Each member assuming that solidary part of the structure. The leader the boss or counselor is the most trained.

Disorganized groups

Each one assumes roles independently with the other, there is no division of labor . It is permissive and therefore scarcely productive.

Formal groups

Formal groups develop shared norms regarding material objects, members, the community and the institution. In some groups, these rules are determined before the members enter. Roles are prescribed, security is given by regulations, etc.

Informal groups

Each member acts as he wishes and with freedom, there may be mismatches and tensions in the members who are not able to comply with the required conduct; frustrates by not allowing expression.

Social group and social class

It has connotations with social stratification, which manifests itself in the social class; These are property, prestige and power. But its scope is more determined, it has other properties, such as internal cohesion with more rigid rules and greater perception of belonging and even more so when the group is small and primary like the family, couple or dyad, which changes its function, stability and intimacy with One more member or triad.

It can belong to a social class, according to economic and cultural criteria, and at the same time to one or more groups where the person is actually carried out and socialized and social purposes are developed and where he will not be discriminated against by social class.


Its structured form and its long duration in time are the characteristics that most distinguish them as such, because those who compose it, basically, act through the same standards, values ​​and for the same purposes, which will be the ones that ultimately they bring the common welfare to the group in question

In a social group there is a common identity or sense of belonging as the main engine, regardless of level. When what balances and inclines the balance when it comes to integrating a social group or not is an economic criterion, then, we will really be facing a social class and not a group.

The typical social groups are defined by a common activity: work or culture, mainly, but the activity of communicating among the members and with society is also essential.

From a microsociology point of view, a group acts as such when it is an effective means of carrying out a specialized activity and as an example of extreme denominations in more specialized formations, bands and volunteering that have different internal behavior, from very rigid and defensive to more Relaxed and creative.

In addition to being the main integral part of the social structure, it turns out to be the first space in which individuals put roles and status into practice. Once in the group, the rules that will regulate it will only come from within, that is, some will be promoted, then they will be dictated and finally accepted for themselves or yes to be fulfilled.


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