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group (social group)

Definition of Group

(noun) A collection of two or more people who share an identity.

Types of Group

Group Pronunciation

  • IPA Pronunciation
    • American English
      • /ɡrup/
    • British English
      • /ɡruːp/
  • Syllabification: (group)

Usage Notes

  • Plural: groups
  • The terms group and social group are used interchangeably in a sociological context.
  • Some sociologists and texts differentiate between groups and social groups. Groups are more impersonal (e.g., crowds or aggregates where members may not know each other), whereas social groups are more personal (e.g., families or co-workers, where members depend on each other and have a shared identity). This dictionary combines the two terms.
  • Also called:
    • grouping
    • social unit

Related Quotations

  • “All groups have norms, values, beliefs, ways of life, and codes of conduct that identify the group and define its boundaries” (McNamee and Miller 2013:58).
  • Culture consists of patterns, explicit and implicit, of and for behaviour, acquired and transmitted by symbols, constituting the distinctive achievement of human groups, including their embodiments in artifacts; the essential core of culture consists of traditional (i.e., historically derived and selected) ideas and especially their attached valuesculture systems may, on the one hand, be considered as products of action, on the other as conditioning elements of further action” (Kroeber and Kluckhohn 1952:181).
  • Conflict perspectives argue that society is a continuous power struggle among competing groups, often based on class, race, ethnicity, or gender” (Kendall 2006:37).
  • “In addition to prejudices, the dominant group also applies various actions against minority ethnic groups, including avoidance, denial, threat, or physical attack. At different times, all of these forms of coercion may be used, depending on how threatening the minority group is perceived to be. These actions are collectively called discrimination” (Marger 1985:45).
  • “The kind of person we become depends greatly on what we learn during our formative years from our surrounding social groups and social environment” (Kendall 2006:105).

Additional Information

Related Terms


References

Kendall, Diana. 2006. Sociology in Our Times: The Essentials. 5th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Kroeber, Alfred L., and Clyde Kluckhohn. 1952. Culture: A Critical Review of Concepts and Definitions. Cambridge, MA: Peabody Museum of American Archæology and Ethnology.

Marger, Martin. 1985. Race and Ethnic Relations: American and Global Perspectives. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

McNamee, Stephen J., and Robert K. Miller, Jr. 2013. The Meritocracy Myth. 3rd ed. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

Works Consulted

Abercrombie, Nicholas, Stephen Hill, and Bryan Turner. 2006. The Penguin Dictionary of Sociology. 5th ed. London: Penguin.

The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language. 5th ed. 2011. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Andersen, Margaret L., and Howard Francis Taylor. 2011. Sociology: The Essentials. 6th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Branscombe, Nyla R., and Robert A. Baron. 2017. Social Psychology. 14th ed. Harlow, England: Pearson.

Brinkerhoff, David, Lynn White, Suzanne Ortega, and Rose Weitz. 2011. Essentials of Sociology. 8th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Bruce, Steve, and Steven Yearley. 2006. The SAGE Dictionary of Sociology. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

Ferrante, Joan. 2011a. Seeing Sociology: An Introduction. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Ferrante, Joan. 2011b. Sociology: A Global Perspective. 7th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Ferris, Kerry, and Jill Stein. 2010. The Real World: An Introduction to Sociology. 2nd ed. New York: Norton.

Griffiths, Heather, Nathan Keirns, Eric Strayer, Susan Cody-Rydzewski, Gail Scaramuzzo, Tommy Sadler, Sally Vyain, Jeff Bry, Faye Jones. 2016. Introduction to Sociology 2e. Houston, TX: OpenStax.

Henslin, James M. 2012. Sociology: A Down-to-Earth Approach. 10th ed. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

Hughes, Michael, and Carolyn J. Kroehler. 2011. Sociology: The Core. 10th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Jary, David, and Julia Jary. 2000. Collins Dictionary of Sociology. 3rd ed. Glasgow, Scotland: HarperCollins.

Kimmel, Michael S., and Amy Aronson. 2012. Sociology Now. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

Kornblum, William. 2008. Sociology in a Changing World. 8th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Macionis, John, and Kenneth Plummer. 2012. Sociology: A Global Introduction. 4th ed. Harlow, England: Pearson Education.

Oxford University Press. (N.d.) Oxford Dictionaries. (https://www.oxforddictionaries.com/).

Schaefer, Richard. 2013. Sociology: A Brief Introduction. 10th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Scott, John, and Gordon Marshall. 2005. A Dictionary of Sociology. New York: Oxford University Press.

Shepard, Jon M. 2010. Sociology. 11th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Shepard, Jon M., and Robert W. Greene. 2003. Sociology and You. New York: Glencoe.

Stolley, Kathy S. 2005. The Basics of Sociology. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.

Thompson, William E., and Joseph V. Hickey. 2012. Society in Focus: An Introduction to Sociology. 7th ed. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

Tischler, Henry L. 2011. Introduction to Sociology. 10th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Turner, Bryan S., ed. 2006. The Cambridge Dictionary of Sociology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Wikipedia contributors. (N.d.) Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation. (https://en.wikipedia.org/).

Cite the Definition of Group

ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “group.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved October 15, 2019 (https://sociologydictionary.org/group/).

APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)

group. (2013). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/group/

Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “group.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed October 15, 2019. https://sociologydictionary.org/group/.

MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)

“group.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2013. Web. 15 Oct. 2019. <https://sociologydictionary.org/group/>.