Social Aggregates

Meaning of Social Aggregates

Social aggregates constitute a gathering of people loosely clustered who, despite physical proximity, have a minimum of communication and social relationships. They have the following characteristics: anonymity, non-organized, limited social contact, insignificant change in the behavior of the components, they are territorial and temporary. The main aggregates are:

  • Public demonstrations:(aggregates of people deliberately gathered for a specific purpose);
  • Residential aggregates:(although their components are close, they remain relatively strange; there is no contact and interaction between them and they also have no organization);
  • Functional aggregates:(constitute a territorial area where individuals have specific functions);
  • Crowds:(peaceful or tumultuous aggregates of people occupying a certain physical space).

Society, like all reality, is necessarily dynamic, it is always in process. Individuals, groups, categories, households, subcultures, social strata continuously act and react on each other.

In other words, they are always in interaction . For this reason, the scientific analysis of society requires not only the classification of its parts – positions, roles, groups, aggregates, categories, layers, subcultures – in order to make it possible to understand the functioning of the whole, but also to classification of its processes.

Social process is any action between two or more social agents – individuals, groups, households, etc. -, contributing to bring them closer or further away from each other. For this reason, social processes are classified as cohesive or positive, those that contribute to bringing social agents together, on the one hand, and, on the other, disjunctive or negative, those that contribute to alienating social agents.

The most important social process is interaction . All social processes are different types of interaction. For this reason, interaction is the general social process. Interaction is the process of reciprocal or unilateral influence between two or more social agents.

The influence between social agents is reciprocal when the agents are physically close to each other, in direct contact, or when there is, in any case, the possibility of reaction on the part of all the agents involved in the process: when I talk to a person, either in face-to-face contact, either by phone, or even when I communicate with someone by letter, for example.

The influence is unilateral when one of the agents in interaction is present in the process only indirectly and, in this way, can influence, but cannot be influenced by the other. When, for example, I read a book, I am influenced, but, in general, I do not influence its author, either because I have no way of contacting him or because he is dead. The same tends to happen when I watch a movie or watch television.

The one-sided predominance in the interaction made with the intermediation of modern mass media – cinema, radio, television, newspaper – is an extremely efficient and, for this very reason, dangerous instrument of domination and manipulation of the masses, through the transmission of beliefs and values , as well as, as a consequence, the formation of opinions and attitudes ”.

Social Aggregates

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