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Paper Topic:

Week 4 - Sociology

A group consists of people who regularly and consciously interact with one another . Ordinarily , the members of a group share similar values norms and expectations . Just as our actions are influenced by out social class , status uses and roles the groups we belong represent powerful forces in our lives . To belong to a group is to yield to others the right to make certain decisions about our behavior . If we belong to a group , we assume an obligation to act according to the expectations of other members of that group . Our first group

gives us our basic orientation to life this would be my family . Then later with friends we find more intimacy and additional sense of belonging . These are called primary groups . Through intimate , face to face interaction they give us an identity , a feeling of who we are . Charles Cooley (1909 ) calls primary groups the springs of life . By this he means that primary groups , such as family , friendship groups and even gangs are essential to our emotional well-being . As humans we have an intense need for face to face interaction that generates feelings of self-esteem . By offering a sense of belonging , a feeling of being appreciated and sometimes even love , primary groups are uniquely equipped to meet this basic need

Another reason primary groups are so significant is that their values and attitudes become fused into our identity . We internalize their views , which become the lens through which we view life . Even as adults , no matter how far we may have come from our childhood roots early primary groups remain inside us where they continue to form part of the perspective from which we look out onto the world . Ultimately then , it is difficult , if not impossible , for us to separate the self from our primary groups , for the self and our groups merge into a we . Compared with primary groups , secondary groups are larger , more anonymous , formal , and impersonal . Secondary groups are based on some interest or activity , and their members are likely to interact on the basis of specific roles such as students like me , my workplace , being a member of the American Sociological Association or even the Democratic Party are good examples . Contemporary society could not function without secondary groups . They are part of the way we get our education , make our living and spend our money and leisure time

As necessary as they are for contemporary life , secondary groups often fail to satisfy our deep needs our intimate association . Consequently secondary groups tend to break d won into primary groups . A hundred years ago sociologist Max Weber also noted the emergence of a new type of group , the bureaucracy . With the goal of achieving maximum efficiency and results , this new type of social organization shifted the emphasis from personal loyalties to the bottom line . Bureaucracies have become so common that we now take them for granted , unaware that they are fairly new on the human scene . Characteristics of Bureaucracies are shown in examples...

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