Humans have a natural tendency to form groups, and a single person can be a part of several groups at a time.
A person can belong to several groups at once, but not all of those groups will be of the same importance or have the same effect or role in his or her life.
A primary group offers a great deal of intimacy. Members of a primary group meet the following criteria:
A secondary group is more formal and less personal. Members of a secondary group meet the following criteria:
Example: A family is an example of a primary group, and an after-school job in a fast-food restaurant is an example of a secondary group.
Family (primary group)
After-school job (secondary group)
Frequency of meeting
Every day for years or decades
Several hours a week, probably less or none if the person finds a different job
Duration of sense of identity
A lifetime, despite changes in comp-osition (moving out, divorce, remarriage, or death)
Usually disappears when not at place of work
None. A person belongs to family simply by virtue of existence.
A person is there to accomplish a specific task and do his or her job.
Strong. Family members see each other at their best and worst and are privy to one another’s feelings.
It is inappropriate to show strong emotion or to discuss personal problems. Relation-ships are generally impersonal and work-related.