Human being by nature and necessity a social animal. As a social animal he meets with other human beings, interacts with them and establishes social relationship. Thus, when individuals and groups meet and establish social relationships they interact with each other. Such interaction is known as social interaction. Dawson and Getly say that “Social interaction is the process whereby I inter-penetrate the minds of each other. This interaction can take place between two or more individuals or groups. Interaction occurs in the form of social processes. The social processes are the fundamental in which people interact and establish social relationships. Definitions:
Gillin and Gillin: “By social process we mean those ways of interacting which we can observe when individuals and groups meet and establish system of relationships or what happens when changes disturb already existing modes of life.”
Ginsberg: “Social processes mean the various modes of interaction between individuals or groups including co-operation and conflict, social differentiation and integration, development, arrest and decay”.
Horton and Hunt: “The term Social process refers to the repetitive form of behavior which is commonly found in social Life”.
Thus, Social Process consists of sequence of events, repetition of events, relationships between the events, continuity of events and special result.
There is lack of unanimity among the Sociologists regarding the types or forms of social processes. In 1905, Ross had listed thirty eight Social Process. Gillin divided social processes into six categories. Park and Burgess reduced the list to four fundamental types. However, social processes can broadly be categories into two types i.e. Associative and Dissociative. The German Sociologist George Simmel was the first thinker for the first discussed theoretically the associative and dissociative processes. Associative processes always work for the integration and benefit of society. Therefore, they are called as integrative social processes; these social processes bring progress and stability in the society. Cooperation, accommodation, assimilation etc. are the examples of associative social processes.
Dissociative social processes are just apposite of associative social processes. These social processes always work for the disintegration of society and hinder the progress and development of society. These types of social processes are also known as disintegrative social processes. Competition and conflict are the examples of dissociative social processes.