(i) The size of the primary group is small; secondarily group is bigger.

(ii) There exists a personal and intimate relationship among members of a primary group while the relationship among the members of the secondary group is impersonal.

(iii) There is much face-to-face communication among members of a primary group while in the secondary group the members have little face-to face communication.

(iv) Members have a strong sense of loyalty of “we” feeling in a primary group but in case of a secondary group anonymity prevails.


(v) Informality is most common in a primary group. The group usually does not have a name, officers or regular meeting place, but in secondary group such formalities prevails.

(vi) Primary group are relationship-oriented but secondary groups are goal-oriented

(vii) In the primary groups, the relations are inclusive and this is why the absence of one person cannot be fulfilled by another. Inclusiveness of relations is not found in secondary groups and therefore a person can very easily be substituted for another.

(viii) Virtues like love, sympathy, mutual help etc. flourish in the primary groups while secondary groups promote self-interest and individuality.


(ix) Group decisions are mare traditional and non-rational in primary group while in secondary group decisions are more rational and the emphasis is on efficiency.

(x) The position of a person is fixed according to his birth-order and age in the primary groups while it is fixed according to roles in the secondary groups.

(xi) Primary groups are primary in time and importance. As such, they are the foundation stones of the society while the secondary groups are always secondary in importance.

Very briefly, .we now looks at the main characteristics of both types of group.