Social groups are everywhere in society. Social groups are two or more people that see and interact with each other regularly and share a sense of unity or common identity. We can be a part of many different social groups such as a sports team, church group, workplace, classroom and more! There are two different types of social groups, primary and secondary groups. No two groups are created equally. Each group has its own purpose, culture, norms, etc.
A Primary Group is a group that is extremely close-knit. These groups are usually smaller and much more intimate. These groups are usually very long lasting, and the members of the group share a strong personal identity with the group. Family members, and close friends usually make up primary groups. These are small groups and the relationships are close-knit and enduring. Primary is used with these groups because they are the primary form of relationships and socialization. We learn our values and norms from these relationships that stay with us for most, if not, all of our lives.
A Secondary Group is a group that can be small or large and are mostly impersonal and usually short term. These groups are typically found at work and school. An example of a secondary group is a team organized to run a fundraiser. Members of the team meet infrequently and for only a short period of time. Although team members may have some similar interests, the purpose of the group is about the task instead of the relationships. Sometimes, secondary groups become pretty informal, and the members get to know each other fairly well. Even so, their friendships exist in a limited context; they won't necessarily remain close beyond the fundraiser.
Both types of social groups are necessary to have in today’s society. For your children at daycare, they are beginning to form strong friendships with each other. These can be the foundation of primary groups they may share for years. Seeing each other each day, learning the same concepts, growing up at the same time, sharing similar experiences, etc.
Blake Kraussel, Director of Administration and Employee Development