chapter  5
31 Pages

A sociological view of large groups

WithEarl Hopper, Anne Weyman

This chapter introduces certain elements of the sociological perspective which may clarify the nature, or ontological status, of social phenomena and processes, to isolate several properties of large groups as distinct from their members, to provide concepts for their denotation and to discuss their interrelationships. The term 'social' refers to two interrelated properties of human collectivities, the recognition of which is axiomatic to sociology. The sociological perspective is based on the acknowledgement of the social as real and that it affects human action. The sociological perspective is based on the acknowledgement of the social as real and that it affects human action. The concept 'social system' is a particularly valuable tool for this work. The term fundamental problem describes any problem which people must attempt to solve if they are to survive. Interaction patterns are the actual affiliations and relationships between people and normative patterns are the rules which specify the form and content which these interactions should take.