1. Primary Group-A Great Humanising Agent: The primary group enacts the role of a humanising agency. Family is the immediate primary group in which a child finds itself as soon as it is born. The family, peer groups and the neighbourhood play an important role in socialising or humanising the child.
Primary groups teach the child the social norms, standards, morals, beliefs, values and ideas of the society. They introduce to the child the culture of the society. They emotionally condition the child’s personality. The animal drives of man become human only through constant training. The primary groups,-as MacIver says, are ‘the nursery of human nature.’ 2. Development of Personality: C.H.
Cooley is of the opinion that the primary group, particularly the family, is the chief moulder of the human personality. The primary group is the source of ‘our notions of love, freedom, justice and the like’. The qualities of behaviour that a child picks up during the early years in primary groups find their expression in his adult life. Fair play, equality, free expression, submission to the will of the group and willingness to sacrifice for it are characteristics of family groups. These have a great impact on the personality development of the individuals. Primary groups mould our opinions, guide our affections, influence our actions, and in large measure determine our loyalties.
These are not the groups in which we merely work or play. These are the groups in which we live and have our being. 3. Satisfaction of Psychological Needs: Primary groups satisfy many psychological needs of the individuals. Individuals get mental happiness, contentment and security from the primary groups. They get the advantages of companionship, sympathy and exchange of thoughts and feelings. They reduce mental tensions and emotional stresses and strains.
An individual finds his nearest and the dearest companions in the primary groups. He also realises from his experiences that the primary group is his noble centre of human affection, love and sympathy. 4. Provision of Stimulus: The primary group not only provides satisfaction and happiness to the individuals, but it also provides a stimulus to pursue their interests.
With confidence and courage the individual members work, strive and struggle to achieve their goals. Everyone feels that he is not alone pursuing the interest but there are others who along with him are devoted to same pursuit. This feeling stimulates him to keener efforts. 5. United in Process: The primary group is a cohesive group. Direct cooperation characterises the face-to-face group.
Hence the members participate in the same group process. The group is essentially a “mode of sharing a common experience”. There is a unity in the performance of its function. Hence it meets the physical as well as psychological needs of its members. It is better equipped to face crisis also.
6. Strengthens the Democratic Spirit: The primary group serves the needs of society also. Primary groups help the individual to acquire basic attitudes towards people, social institutions and the world around him. The attitudes of kindness, sympathy, love, tolerance, mutual help and sacrifice which provide the cementing force to social structure are developed in the primary groups.
From such experiences and attitudes spring the desire for democracy and freedom. The very democratic spirit is developed and reinforced in primary groups. 7.
Acts as an Agent of Social Control: From the point of view of society the primary group acts as an agency of social control. Primary groups not only provide security to the members but also control their behaviour and regulate their relations. For example, family, neighbourhood, peer group or friends’ group control much of the activities of their members.