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two or more people come together

social group

a number of people who have a common identity, some feeling of unity, and certain common goals and shared norms

social aggregate

people who temporarily happen to be in physical proximity to each other but share little else

primary groups

interaction among members who have an emotional investment in one another and in a situation, who know one another intimately, and who interact as total individuals rather than through specialized roles

secondary group

characterized by much less intimacy among its members. It usually has specific goals, is formally organized, and is impersonal


someone who occupies a central role or position of dominance and influences in a group

instrumental leadership

in which a leader actively proposes tasks and plans to guide the group toward achieving its goals

expressive leadership

in which a leader works to keep relations among group members harmonious and moral high

reference group

a group or social category that an individual uses to help define beliefs, attitudes, and values and to guide behavior

small group

many kinds of social groups, such as families, peer groups, and work groups, that actually meet together and contain few enough members so that all members know one another


contains only two member


the addition of a third member


splinter groups within the larger group


purposefully created special-intest groups that have clearly defined goals and official ways of doing things

formal structure

planned highly institutionalized, and clearly defied statuses and role relationships

informal structure

networks of people who help one another by bending rules and taking procedural shortcuts


(rural areas) relationships and intimate, cooperative, and personal/exchange of goods is based on reciprocity and barter, and people look out for the well being of the group as a whole


(urban society) relationships are impersonal and independent. People look out for their own interests, good are bought and sold, and formal contracts govern economic exchanges

Émile Durkheim

devised ideas about mechanical and organic solidarity

collective conscience

a system of fundamental beliefs and values

social solidarity

emerges from the people's commitment and conformity to the society's collective conscience

mechanically integrated society

a society's collective conscience is strong and there is a great commitment to that collective conscience-common goals and values/personal involvement in community

organically integrated society

social solidarity depends on he cooperation of individuals in many positions who perform specialized tasks-formal and functionally determined


Robert K. Merton defined this as a formal, rationally organized social structure clearly defined patterns of activity in which, ideally, every series of actions is functionally related to the purposes of the organization

ideal type

Max Weber's model of bureaucracy is this-a simplified, exaggerated model of reality used to illustrate a concept


Robert Michels' bureaucracy is this-under which organizations that were originally idealistic and democratic eventually come to be dominated by a small self-serving group of people who achieved positions of power and responsibility/small groups given responsibility of making decisions

social institutions

the ordered social relationships that grow out of the values, norms, statuses, and roles that organize the activities that fulfill society's fundamental needs

social organization

the relativity stable pattern of social relationships among individuals and groups in society

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