Material Type:
Community College / Lower Division
Ohio Open Ed Collaborative
Oss0212, Social Groups, Social Life, Sociology
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0
Media Formats:

Education Standards (1)

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

Module Overview

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.  

Section 1: 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.”

“Connecting Communities: On and Offline” by Barry Wellman

Contexts Vol. 3 Iss.4, November 2004, pp.22-28 (NOTE: Available via OhioLINK). Abstract: “The Internet is no longer a separate world for the techno-savvy. Tens of millions of people around the world now go online daily. Rather than isolating users in a virtual world, the Internet extends communities in the real world. People use it to connect in individualized and flexible social networks rather than in fixed and grounded groups.”

“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.

Section 2: Data

The Oracle of Bacon

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