In sociology, a group is usually defined as a collection consisting of a number of people who share certain aspects, interact with one another, accept rights and obligations as members of the group and share a common identity. Using this definition, society can appear as a large group.
While an aggregate comprises merely a number of people, a group in sociology exhibits cohesiveness to a larger degree. Aspects that members in the group may share include interests, values, ethnic/linguistic background and kinship.
Primary groups consist of small groups with intimate, kin-based relationships: families, for example. They commonly last for years. The term was coined by Charles Horton Cooley. They are small and display face to face interaction.
Secondary groups, in contrast to primary groups, are large groups whose relationships are formal and institutional. Some of them may last for years but some may disband after a short lifetime. The formation of primary groups happens within secondary groups.
In sociology, a group is usually defined as a collection of humans or animals, who share certain characteristics, interact with one another, accept expectations and obligations as members of the group, and share a common identity.
Secondary groups, in contrast to primary groups, are large groups whose relationships are formal and institutional.
Muzafer Sherif (1916-1982) was a founder of the discipline of social psychology.
Social software, software that supports group communications, includes everything from the simple CC: line in email to vast 3D game worlds like EverQuest, and it can be as undirected as a chat room, or as task-oriented as a wiki (a collaborative workspace).
The social tools of the internet, lightweight though most of them are, have a kind of fluidity and ease of use that the conference call never attained: compare the effortlessness of CC:ing half a dozen friend to decide on a movie, versus trying to set up a conference call to accomplish the same task.
If a group uses software that encourages constant forking of topics, so that conversations become endless and any given conversation peters out rather than being finished, each participant might enjoy the conversation, but the software may be harming the group goal by encouraging tangents rather than focus.
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