Material Type:
Community College / Lower Division
Ohio Open Ed Collaborative
  • Oss0212
  • Social Groups
  • Social Life
  • Sociology
    Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial
    Media Formats:

    Education Standards

    Describe the types of social groups and their importance in social life


    OER Text Material

    Social Groups

    Sociology: Understanding and Changing the Social World, 6.1.1. This section defines and differentiates social groups from categories and aggregates. It also defines primary groups, secondary groups, reference groups, in/out-groups, and networks.  

    Supplementary Material (Videos and Reading)

    Social Groups: Crash Course Sociology (Video)

    Video Summary: “How do the groups that you're part of affect you? How do you, in turn, affect those groups? Today we are talking about how people in society come together with a look at social groups. We’ll look at what social groups are, the different kinds of groups that exist, group dynamics, leadership, conformity, networks and more!”

    “Social Networks: the Value of Variety” by Bonnie Erickson

    Contexts Vol. 2, Iss. 1, February 2003, pp. 25-31 (NOTE: Available via OhioLINK). Abstract: “People are healthier and happier when they have intimates who care about and for them. But they also do better when they know many different people casually.”

    “Why Hazing Happens” by Neeraj Rajasekar

    There’s Research on That!, November 24, 2015. This blog entry catalogues sociological research on hazing that suggests hazing is a part of in-group dynamics that foster greater social cohesion and sense of membership in spite of individual opposition to the practice.


    The Oracle of Bacon

    The “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” game provides an easily comprehensible introduction to the logic of social networks.