Category: Group Work

Characteristics of Groups

Characteristics of the group define the basics of a group to call a group as a group. Understanding of group is easy when you explain the characteristics of a group. A thorough understanding of each characteristic makes you differentiate between a group and mobs, crowd, audience, spectators.

Lets study the characteristics of groups one by one

  1. Group has a size

size of the group is the basic feature of the group otherwise it becomes an individual. To call a group a group, you need a minimum of 2 members in the group. A good example is a couple (husband and wife) and it is also an example of a primary group. There are also big-sized groups like a political party. But other factors also matter since we do not call mobs, the crowd as groups

2. Group has a continuos interaction

Continuous interaction is another feature or characteristic to call a group a group. Man cannot live in isolation without any interaction with other people. Through continuous interaction, he will be in touch with other people. Sharing of feelings happens only through interaction. Both positive and negative changes happen only there is a continuous interaction. Correction of mistakes will be done through training, coaching, and counseling with a definite pattern of interaction. We witness both formal and informal interactions in a group. Stress and anxiety are also a result of unpleasant interactions between the members of the group.

3. Group is Stable

The group is stable for a certain and long period of time. Mobs, crowd, audience, spectators, etc are not stable. They scatter within a short period of time. The intimacy amongst the members of the group lasts for a long time making the group stable. Interaction and we-feeling make the group more stable.

4. Members of the group always show we-feeling

As the group develops, continuous interaction also develops. We- feeling is a result of continuous interaction. Bonding Facilitates we-feeling. We feeling is belongingness among the members of the group. We-feeling develops a positive relationship, love, and affection between the members of a group. When the we-feeling is strong, definitely cooperation is strong among the members of the group.

5. Development of sense of identity

Identity shows the affiliation of group members towards that group. Identity develops a sense of psychological safety and support for the members. It also develops a sense of pride to relate himself/herself towards that group. Group is a reference point to show identity.

6. Impact on Personality

A group may be described as a collection of people who have an impact on one another. Individuals are not a group unless they influence and are influenced by one another. Social groups influence the personalities of their members directly or indirectly.

7. Group Norms

Every group has its own set of rules or standards that members must adhere to. Customs, folkways, mores, traditions, and laws, for example, are examples of norms. Norms and standards can be written or unwritten. Every group has its own set of norms and methods for disciplining or correcting individuals who break them. Without some rules, man’s ongoing group existence becomes nearly impossible.

8. Common Interests

Groups have shared interests and ideals. The majority of groups are founded or organised to pursue certain goals. The composition of the groups varies based on the group’s mutual interests. As aresult, there are political, religious, and economic groupings.

9. Collection of Individuals

Social Groups always have the membership of people . There can be no groups without people.

10. Behaviour will be Similar

For the sake of pursuing shared goals, group members operate in a more or less identical manner. Collective behaviour is representation of Social Groups.

11. Solidarity and Unity in the Group

A sense of belonging binds the members of a group. The Solidarity and Unity of a group’s interaction is primarily determined by the frequency, variety, and emotional quality of its members’ interactions.

12. Goals

Every group has its own goals on which it works. People or members always join a group to achieve their goals which is through groups. A group may be described as a group of people who work together to achieve a common purpose.

13. Motivation by members

A group may be described as a group of people who are all striving to meet some personal need through their shared association. Individuals are not a group unless they are driven to be a part of one for personal reasons.

Categories: Group Work

Definition of Group

  We live in groups. Every day’s interactions happen in the groups. Social activities, economic activities, and any other transactions happen only in the groups. But we are yet to know about groups.

  When any person generally thinks about a group, a group is a collection of people who can interact with each other. Their interaction, behaviour, and body language significantly impact the members of the group. It will have objectives or goals. Members of the group are interdependent.

According to Sherif and Sherif

“A group is a social unit consisting of a number of individuals who stand in role and status of relationship to one another, stabilizing in some degree at the time and who process a set of values or norms of their own behaviour, at least, in matters of consequence to the group”

By the above definition it is sure that a group is a social unit  having number of persons playing their own roles and they are related to one another in one or the other way. It has stability over  a period of time with a set of rules and values to depict their behaviour.

R M Williams (1951) explains group as –

“A social group is a given aggregate of people playing inter-related roles and recognised by themselves or other as a unit of interaction.”

The above definition explains group as a collection of people and they are inter-related by delivering their roles. Each member has recognition in the group because of the interaction with other members.

Wilson & Hanna define group as – 

“A collection of three or more individuals who interact about some common problem or interdependent goal and can exert mutual influence over one another” 

When there are three or more than three person, it will be called as a group. They always interact with each other to solve their problems and they are mutually dependent. Personality of one member influences on the personality of other member.

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Categories: Group Work
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