Reference Groups

Topics: Sociology, Trade union, Person Pages: 1 (359 words) Published: January 11, 2013
Reference Groups
I) Primary and secondary reference groups: A primary reference group is one with which an individual interacts on a regular basis and whose opinion is of importance to him, family, neighbours, close friends, colleagues and co- workers are examples of primary reference groups. Secondary reference groups are those with which an individual interacts only occasionally and does not consider their opinion very important. II) Formal and informal reference groups: Rotary, lions, Jaycees are some of the well – known social reference groups in our society. Labour unions, social clubs and societies are other types of formal reference groups to which individuals may belong. A formal reference group has a highly defined structure, specific roles and authority positions and specific goals. In contrast, an informal reference group is loosely defined and may have no specified roles and goals. Meeting your neighbours over lunch once a month for friendly exchange of news is an instance of an informal reference group. III) Membership and symbolic reference groups: A membership reference group is one to which a person belongs or qualifies for membership. All workers in a factory qualify for membership to the labour union. A symbolic reference group is one which an individual aspires to belong to, but is not likely to be received as a member. 2 types of reference groups-

(1) Primary –students
(2) Secondary – clubs
(1) Aspirational (+ve) ‘want to be’ – idols
(2) Non-inspirational (-ve) ‘don’t want to be’ – bad role model etc Normative reference groups- Group where individuals are motivated to gain or maintain acceptance from others. In order to achieve this they hold their attitudes in conformity with what they perceive to be the norms among the group members. Comparative reference groups- group that individual use as a standard or point of reference in making...
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