CHARACTERISTICS OF A SOCIAL GROUP STRUCTURE
Pre Primary Teacher Training feels that an organised social group may have a definitive structure. There is a hierarchy of a positions and roles. The more organised the group, the greater is its degree of structure. Hence, the crowd being an unorganised group has no structure, but the family and the community being more organised, have a structure, though in varying degrees. Parents in the family and leaders in the community assume positions of great responsibility.
The hierarchy of structure influences the behaviour of the individual. A teenage boys is free to enjoy life, he has few cares. But his behaviour and attitudes undergo a great change when he graduates to the status of a working man and finally to that of a married man. The hierarchy of status also implies definite relationship between the different roles. Some of the roles are in fact interlocking. The roles of the father as the bread winner and the leader of the family group are closely linked. Another result of the structure is the growth of definite channels of communication. The informal mode of communication between a father and a son cannot be extended to the office when the son communicates with his boss.
Cohesiveness literally means sticking together. It implies a since of loyalty and belongingness to a group. This is found in organised groups like the family or the club, but not in the crowd. This is because the crowd is a mere collection of people who just happened to be together at a particular spot. According to Montessori Training Online each individual in a crowd is a stranger to the other and hence no bond can bind them permanently. The more highly cohesive the group, the greater is its ability to withstand adverse circumstances.
What makes a group cohesive?
There are many factors affiliation to a particular institution, a need to achieve group goals and the need for power and status. Thus, members of a club or students of a school from a highly cohesive group due to their affiliation to a particular institution .They work towards the achievement of common goalslike winning a football match or the interschoolsports championship. Cohesiveness promoted by a need for power and status is seen when a threat to the sovereignty of a nation makes warring forces within the country forget all strife and unite to face the enemy. But this need for power and status may also act as a divisive force. This need has broken up many joint families. Cohesiveness assures cooperation between members of the group. Therefore, the more cohesive the group, the greater is the degree of harmony in it.
This is another characteristic of the social group. Members have similar attitudes, beliefs and modes of behaviour. This factor exists in varying degrees in different types of groups. Similarity of behaviour is also found among members of a family or a community. But in the latter the similarity is more enduring. It is more similarity stimulated by a momentary excitement. It has grown out of an acceptance of long standing traditions and mores. This tact of common interests promotes the solidarity of the group.