Importance of primary groups in sociology!
Primary groups are important in several senses. They are equally important for individual as well as society. It is also equally important for child, youth and adults.
Because they prepare individuals to lead a successful social life. Primary group is the first group with which a child comes in contact at the prime stage of his life. It is the birth place of human nature. Primary group plays a very important role in the socialization process and exercises social control over them. With the help of primary group we learn and use culture. They perform a number of functions for individual as well as society which show their importance.
(1) Primary group shapes personality of individuals. It plays a very important role in molding, shaping and developing the personality of an individual. Because individual first come in contact with primary group. Individual is socialized in a primary group. It forms the social nature, ideas and ideals of individuals. His self develops in primary groups. A child learns social norms, standards, beliefs, morals, values, sacrifice, co-operation, sympathy and culture in a primary group.
(2) Primary group fulfills different psychological needs of an individual such as love, affection, fellow feeling, co-operation, companionship and exchange of thought. In primary group he lives among his near and dear ones. It plays an important role in the reduction of emotional stresses and mental tensions. Participation with primary groups provides a sense of belongingness to individuals. He considers himself as an important member of group.
(3) Individual lives a spontaneous living in a primary group. Spontaneity is more directly and clearly revealed in a primary group. Because of this spontaneous living members of a primary group come freely together in an informal manner. These informal groups satisfy the need for spontaneous living.
(4) Primary group provide a stimulus to each of its members in the pursuit of interest. The presence of others i.e. near and dear ones in a group acts as a stimulus to each. Here members get help, co-operation and inspiration from others. The interest is keenly appreciated and more ardently followed when it is shared by all the members. It is effectively pursued together.
(5) Primary group provides security to all its members. Particularly it provides security to the children, old and invalids. It also provides security to its members at the time of need. A member always feels a kind of emotional support and feels that there is someone on his side.
(6) Primary groups acts as an agency of social control. It exercises control over the behavior of its members and regulates their relations in an informal way. Hence there is no chance of individual member going astray. It teaches individuals to work according to the prescribed rules and regulations.
(7) Primary group develops democratic spirit within itself. It develops the quality of love, affection, sympathy, co-operation, mutual help and sacrifice, tolerance and equality among its members.
(8) Primary group introduces individuals to society. It teaches them how to lead a successful life in a society. It is the breeding ground of his mores and nurses his loyalties. K. Davis is right when he opines that “the primary group in the form of family initiates us into the secrets of society”. It helps the individual to internal social norms and learns culture.
(9) Primary group increases the efficiency of individuals by creating a favorable atmosphere of work. It provides them security and teaches many good qualities.
(10) Primary groups also fulfill different needs of society. It is the nucleus of all social organizations.