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What role do groups play in a society’s social structure? Provide 2 examples of groups, describing how these groups are influenced by their norms and sanctions.

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besure77 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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A group consists of two or more individuals interacting together and sharing a common identity.  They play a very important role in the structure of society because they are what forms the society in general.

There are many different kinds of groups. Here are some of them:

  1. Peer groups-a group of friends who usually share the same interests, social status, and are usually about the same age
  2. Clubs-clubs are groups that people join in order to share one common interest such as politics
  3. Gangs-this is usually an urban group that gathers in the same area and are usually associated with some criminal activity
  4. Franchise-an organization that have businesses in many locations
  5. Squad- a small group of people who work together to accomplish a set of goals

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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I would say that the most important function of groups in a society is to provide their members with a sense of belonging.  This allows people to feel connected to one another and helps society cohere.

One clear example of a group is a family.  Familes are influenced mainly by the norms that are set by the family leaders (parents or grandparents, usually).  Sanctions vary, but they are meant to keep the younger members (usually) from behaving in ways that are unacceptable to the family.

Less intimate groups, such as companies, have norms and sanctions as well.  Management can sanction workers for failing to live up to the firm's norms.  This can take the form, for example, of suspending a worker for breaking rules.

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