Groups, Characteristics Of


There is no consensus among social psychologists on the defining characteristics of a group. Nearly all definitions, however, emphasize that a group is not a mere aggregation of individuals. Rather, two or more individuals become a group to the extent that they are bonded together in some way, which generally means that they interact and influence one another and share perceptions of themselves as a group. By these criteria, one's immediate family is a group, and so are a sport team, an airline flight crew, and a support group. But a social category such as members of the same race or gender is not a group—nor is an audience attending a concert, the line of people at a ticket window, or all the students at ...

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