Reference group: characteristics, classifications and typology

The reference group is a social community,It serves as a kind of reporting system for the individual, a standard for others and for oneself. It is the source of the formation of value beliefs, attitudes and social norms.

Classificationthey are carried out for several reasons:

  • on the functions performed, the comparative and normative are different;
  • on the basis of membership - ideal and groups of presence;
  • taking into account the consent or denial of the individual values ​​and norms, there are negative and positive.

Let's consider the selected phenomena in more detail.

A normative reference group is the source of norms that govern human behavior, as a guideline for meaningful problems. Comparative - the standard for assessing others and yourself.

The reference group of presence is a community, a memberwhich will be the individual. It differs significantly from ideal. In its framework, the individual wants to focus on its norms and values ​​in behavior, in evaluating events, in relation to people. But for some reason a person does not enter it, although it is attractive to him. Moreover, an ideal community can be both real and fictitious. In this case, heroes of literary works and historical characters are an example for assessments, life beliefs and ideals.

In the positive reference group, socialvalues ​​and norms correspond completely to the perceptions of each individual. In the negative, the importance and importance of assessments and opinions, which are propagated in a community, are alien and opposite to the convictions of the individual. Therefore, in his behavior, he tries to get negative assessments, "disapproval" of his position on her part.

Typology

1). Reference reference can be real, as well as imaginary, which is the result of design. Its members often do not even suspect that they are one cohesive community.

2). An information reference group is a group of people whose information we trust. It highlights:

  • the carriers of knowledge and experience that used this service or group;
  • experts are usually judged as the most knowledgeable in this field, whose judgments can accurately reflect the available qualities of the product, phenomena, services, and so on.

3). The commonality of self-identification is a group to which a person is forced to belong, being constantly under the pressure of its values ​​and norms. In such a situation, the individual would like to avoid outside influence, but he does not succeed.

4). The most common is the value reference group. Sociology was able to form a rich theoretical and empirical material in its study. The value community is a real or imaginary group of people, which is viewed by the individual as a vivid carrier, an exponent of those beliefs that he shares. But, as she actively professes them with her lifestyle, a person strives to imitate her constantly, following the accepted way of behavior. As a rule, an individual does not belong to this group, being far from it in both social and physical spaces. In this role, "stars" of cinema, sports, heroes, pop musicians, as well as outstanding figures of that sphere, which is significant for a person, act.

5). The utilitarian group is a community that has an arsenal of negative and positive sanctions. It is capable of both punishing and rewarding the individual. It is usually entered by imaginary and real people who share her beliefs.

But you need to keep in mind the following. One and the same reference group can act in different capacities, since this will largely depend on the specific situation and the conditions of its functioning.

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