Social Group and Social Changes Paper

Topics: Sociology, Social sciences, Max Weber Pages: 5 (1660 words) Published: October 10, 2010
Social Group and Social Changes Paper
Society is made up of individual members. These members band themselves into together, at times informally providing a social force that affects the manner of how things are organized. These are the social groups, organizations of people who are on their own individual social agents. This is because any organization, whatever the nature and type is a social agency where people, social agents come together to share ideas, share lives. This sharing, exchanging and giving creates new knowledge, practices & traditions and ultimately leads to the creation of a certain culture - beliefs & practices shared by a group. There are varied changes in society that agencies and agents can influence or cause to happen - economic, political and of course socio-structural (also plainly known as social although economic and political change fall under the heading of social by nature). Every culture and society has its rules and the status quo is dictated by it. One of the biggest social changes America had recently was the election of the first African-American President, Barack Obama which is socio-political in nature. It changed leadership from republican to democratic and also made history what with women joining the race.

Groups are defined in the social sciences as the building block of society. A group is an organization of social agents, people, who come together to share membership and gather. It is in groups that culture and traditions begin. There are 3 classifications of social groups -primary, secondary and referential. It is this groups that make up society. * Primary - basic and intimate, the 'first hand' group whereby the individual experiences socialization first hand & is most his/herself. This is his family, his group of very close friends or relatives/clan. Membership here gives the individual shelter and fulfilment of his most important needs - kinship, belonging, purpose, and support. Here, family traditions happen and contribute greatly to ones identity. * Secondary - bigger than primary and are usually formal and informal in nature. Membership here is a big part of one's socialization and it contributes greatly to one's identity and social status. Examples are school and work - the military, hospitals, government agencies, companies, etc. * Referential - this group could be as small as primary or big as secondary. Membership here is usually voluntary. An example of this is Clubs & unions (fan clubs, book clubs, hobby clubs, etc.).

A Personal Experience

From the day I was born I instantly became a part of a primary group, that of my family. it is from them - my parents, elder siblings, relatives - that I learned my initial social skills that by continued experience & education allowed me to build up my capacity in performing complex & demanding social skills to become a productive individual as part of my family and of the other primary groups & secondary groups I have come to be a part of. My group of friends, an informal yet intimately primary setting. The schools that I have attended where my friends and I a part of as a secondary and formal group as well as the reference groups that I have come to join. In grade school I was part of the Math Club. In High school I joined several clubs including the Math Club, the News Paper and the Photography Club - they are all formal as they were part of the extracurricular activities of the school. But the members are informal in approach with each other and I recall I have created close friends within these clubs making them secondary & reference groups that I have belonged in whereby I can also count a primary circle I am a member of within. These Clubs, despite the primary-group nature of intimacy was governed by a set of officers elected by members. Therefore when we have to function as a group, we function controlled by our hierarchy. The president leads and the rest of the officers - vice...

References: Hare, A. P. (1962), Handbook of small group research, New York: Macmillan.
Kornblum, William (2004), Sociology in a Changing World, Wadsworth Publishing.
Martin, Michael & McIntyre, lee C. (eds.)(1994), Readings in the Philosophy of Social Science, MIT Press.
Schermerhorn, John R. Jr., Hunt, James G., Osborn, Richard N. (2005), Organizational Behavior, (Ninth Edition), John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Sherif, Muzafer & Sherif, Carolyn W. (1956), An Outline of Social Psychology, Harper & Brothers: New York
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