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On correlation of categories “social unity” and “social group”


The problem which is debatable in sociological literature is considered. For the modern sociology the question about correlation of such fundamental categories as “social unity” and “social group” is important. There are three approaches to solve this question. Some researches consider “social unity” as genetic term, the other give such status to “social group”. The third point of view is that the named categories are treated as interchangeable, being essentially synonyms. The authors aimed to research these approaches. The views of the famous Russian and foreign sociologists such as F. Tönnies, Y. Shchepanskiy, R. Merton, K. Mannheim, T.M. Mills, P.A. Sorokin, V.A. Yadov and many others are considered. The own vision of the issues are described and justified. Its essence is to delimit the category of “social unity” and “social group”. The intensity of social interactions, strength of social ties, degree of direct influence on personality, controllability, self-identity, etc. are used as distinction criteria. It is concluded that the above mentioned categories are self-contained, relatively independent of each other. They reflect the real structural elements of society as a social system. Own definitions of social community and social groups are given.


social unity; social group; cooperation; solidarity

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