Types of Groups: Primary Social

Concept: Types of Groups: Primary Social

Definition: A Social group is a collection of people who interact with each other and share characteristics and a sense of unit. But if you place Primary in front then you will get groups in which individuals intimately interact and cooperate over a long period of time. For example families, friends, peers, neighbors, classmates, sororities, fraternities, church members, etc… These groups can be characterized by a large level of member-to-group interdependence and identification; “Charles Cooley believed such groups serve as the primary source of socialization for members by shaping their attitudes, values, and social orientation.” (Critical Thinking in Communication, 79) It is the Primary Social Groups who shape us as the human beings to this day.

Example: The article “Primary groups and cosmopolitan ties, The rooftop pigeon flyers of New York City” shows a group of working-class men who fly and breed pigeons from their rooftops within New York City. Within the article there is a study that highlights how animal practices can bring together social relationships and cause connections to the environment along with demonstrate that a shared everyday activity, like flying pigeons  can be as vital as an ethnicity or class within a primary group formation. (Jerolmack, Colin)


Jerolmack, Colin. “Primary Groups and Cosmopolitan Ties: The Rooftop Pigeon Flyers of New York City.” SAGE Journals. Enthnograpghy, 18 Nov. 2009. Web. 24 Sept. 2012. <http://eth.sagepub.com/content/10/4/435.full.pdf html>.


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