Reference Group: characteristics, classification and typology

Reference Group is a social community, serving as a kind of human Reporting, the standard for others and themselves.It is a source of formation of valuable beliefs, attitudes and social norms.

Classification they performed on several grounds:

  • of executable functions differ comparatives and regulations;
  • on the basis of membership - the ideal and the presence of the group;
  • given consent or denial of individual values ​​and norms, there are negative and positive.

Consider isolated phenomena in more detail.

normative reference group - a source of rules that govern the behavior of a person, as a reference point in relation to significant problems.Comparison same - the standard for the evaluation of others and themselves.

Reference Group presence - a community which will be a member of the individual.It differs significantly from the ideal.In the framework of the individual wants to be guided by its norms and values ​​behavior, assessments of events in relation to the people.But for some reas

on the person does not enter into it, though it is attractive for him.Moreover, the ideal community can be both real-life and fictional.In this case, for example evaluations of life beliefs and ideals are the heroes of literary and historical characters.

reference group in a positive social values ​​and norms comply fully represent each individual.In the negative - the significance and importance of the estimates and opinions that are promoted in the community, alien and opposed to individual beliefs.So he tries to get in the behavior of negative evaluation, "disapproval" of its position on its part.


1).Reference Reference may be actually existing and imaginary, which is the result of design.Its members often are not even aware that they are a close-knit community.

2).Information Reference Group is a group of people, the information that we trust.It highlights:

  • carriers of knowledge and experience that have used the service in the group;
  • experts usually assessed as the most knowledgeable in the field, the judgment of which can accurately reflect the quality of the goods available, events, services, and so on.

3).The community of identity - a group to which the person is compelled to belong to, being constantly under the pressure of its values ​​and norms.In this situation, the individual would like to avoid influence from the outside, but it is not possible.

4).The most common is the reference group of values.Sociology was able to form a rich theoretical and empirical material in its study.Valuable community is real or imaginary group of people who viewed the individual as a prime vehicle, the spokesman of the opinion that he shared.But since it is actively profess them with their style of life, a person constantly strives to imitate it, following the accepted modes of behavior.As a rule, the individual does not belong to this group, being far away from it as the social and physical space.In such a role are the "stars" of the movie, sports heroes, pop musicians, as well as prominent figures of the sphere, which is significant for humans.

5).Utilitarian group - a community, with its arsenal of positive and negative sanctions.It is able to both punish and reward individual.It usually enter the imaginary and the real people who share her beliefs.

But we must bear in mind the following.The same reference group can act in various capacities, as it will largely depend on the situation and the conditions of its operation.