Sociology assignment on primary and secondary groups
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A primary group is basically those who really get to see who you are and what you are about. With a primary group the people involved get to see many sides of you and more personal things about you are exposed. Examples of a primary group would be your family, close friends, peer groups, neighborhood circles, social clubs, and other things such as those. Another thing about primary groups is that the relationships in these groups are usually long lasting. With a secondary group, those are the people who only know just very basic things about you. The relationships are very practical and simple and little personal information is shared. These relationships are short termed usually, just there to focus on the goal at hand. An example of this is secretary and boss, student and teacher, or senator and constituents.
Some experience I have had in primary groups would be of course, my first primary group I was introduced to, my family. My family and I are generally very close and they know almost everything about me. If there is one source you want to go to other than me to find out about me, it would be my family. My family has influenced many different aspects of my life. For one they formed my morals and the main way I see the world. Although, there are some things I like to see differently than my family, there is a general outline of their beliefs weaved in with my own. My family had laid down the basis of who I am today. The choices I make are a lot because of the influence my family has had on the development of my morals and ideas.
Another primary group is my friends. I don’t have a wide circle of friends like some people do. I do have a small group that knows me well, just as much as I know them. Their influence is almost as great as my families. After all, after a certain age the people you are around more is your friends more than your family. So the interest and morals of the people I choose as my friends guide me a lot their life. Even though I am very strong willed and am not easily influenced, it’s almost impossible to be around people a large amount of time without some kind of influence rubbing off. Luckily for me, I have had a good judge of character most of the time, and I don’t believe I have had much bad influences rubbed off on me.
Besides friends and family, there is another primary group which I guess reaches in the same direction as friends is I volunteer at a nursing home a few hours a week. And from this, I have grown to know certain individuals on a personal basis. The influences they give to my life are big. I guess before volunteering there I was scared of the people who lived there. I thought they all were out of their mind that’s why they were living there. However, I was wrong, and a lot of them are just really sweet nice people with lot of interesting things to share. So, it really opened my mind to not always prejudge things, before actually knowing about them.
The main difference between primary and secondary non-membership reference groups is basically that primary are those people who you do see face to face and know on a personal basis. Secondary is those that you don’t know personally, but might know some about and admire in that way, such as a celebrity of some kind.
I have been effected by non-membership, secondary, reference groups in my life. I used to admire a writer that I started to like around the age of 11. At that time I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life, I didn’t even have an idea about it. But after lots of reading I became a really big fan and taking it further than the books but actually finding out about the author. I was highly influenced by this writer, he soon became someone I wanted to be like, someone I looked up to, because I realized I wanted to do what he did, I wanted to be a writer and reach someone like he had reached me.
At the time I had even joined a fan club and even went to a book signing and it became a huge hobby of mine collecting and learning about the author and reading his books. I think this was healthy for me and it kept me occupied in something that was positive in my life. Till this day I am still wanted to do the same thing with my life, only I have outgrown the books I used to love so much but they still hold a special place in my life and I still kept my whole collection. And till this day, that author is still a positive role model for me.
This author effected my behavior norms, at the time when I went to the book signing I actually cried later on that day. It was a very emotional thing for me, to meet the person I idolized so much and wanted to be like. It was my biggest hobby so of course my behavior and things I was into changed. Instead of watching so much TV, I was reading or looking up new stuff about the books or author on the Internet.
By getting into those books and that author some life goals were presented. Mostly, the biggest one it got me into the idea of writing more because I had so much fun reading the books I started having just as much fun making up my own stories. And that is a life goal that I still carry with me today. I would and hope to still write a few books in my time and share some stories that I made up with others. It also made me want so badly to go to New York, which I got to do twice when I was in high school. That was one of the biggest experiences of my life. The reason I had wanted to go so bad was because I had heard that lots of writers go to New York. And I found out in my Journalism class they took a trip to New York each year to attend writing seminars at Columbia University so I was overjoyed. I went twice on this trip and because of the whole reading and author thing it became one of my life goals.
The kinds of human needs that are less likely to be met through the Internet is human face-to-face contact, which is important, I think. The Internet is a little less personal and it’s not as personal as face-to-face meeting and I think more and more people turn to the Internet sometimes depriving themselves of this social contact. However, the Internet is a wonderful source of information and sharing ideas and meeting groups than any other.
For instance, if you want to be totally anonymous and talk about something with others you can go into a chat room about it without even having to step out of your house or expose yourself to anyone about it. So, in that sense it’s pretty good. Another thing that the internet is good for is that you could go and ask advice from people, and keep that secret of who you are and be able to talk about things that otherwise you might have kept inside.
So basically, I think there is good in the Internet. You can talk to many people and keep yourself anonymous at the same time. This is good because you can sometimes talk about things you might not otherwise be able to talk about and explore. The bad thing is, if you spend too much time just socializing on the Internet you miss out on the face-to-face people skills that are so important. I think if you spent too much time you’d be left behind and have a harder time making it in the society.
I believe that the Internet can strengthen primary groups if you let them. For example, I have family and friends that live very far away. Well, we all know that long distance can sometimes be very costly. So it isn’t really affordable to make long distance calls very much. Also, sending letters through the mail can take a while. However, the Internet makes it possible for me to keep in constant contact with these people. We can send each other emails everyday or meet up on chat. I even have some friends that have a web cam and we talk by that together so we can talk and see each other, the next best thing to in person. So, the Internet has strengthened the relationships I have with those who live far away and for that I am thankful for the Internet. It makes it easy and affordable to keep in constant contact.