Differentiate between Peer Group and Reference Group


B.Ed First Year Notes English Medium

Q. Differentiate between Peer Group and Reference Group.

Introduction

There are several factors and stimulants that play a crucial role in the education, growth and progress of a child and the choices that he makes. Peer groups and Reference groups are 2 such influences.

Peer Group

As Per Brown – “The peer group exists independently of a specific activity and selects the various activities in which it will engage itself.”

Peer group consists of all those people of about the same age and status in society who have aggregated together to form a sociological group with a homogeneous system of values.

Peer relationships provide a unique context for cognitive, social, and emotional development, with equality, reciprocity, cooperation, and intimacy maturing and enhancing children’s reasoning abilities and concern for others.

The peer group provides emotional or instrumental support, fosters friendships and facilitates social interaction and development.

It develops the ability to go beyond one’s ego-centric interest into concern for the group activity.

Reference Group

“It is a specific group or personality by which/whom the person is so impressed that he tries to accept their ideals and follow them.”.

Reference groups are those from which an individual receives his attitudes and learns his behaviors. It is a form of low end hero-worship wherein the individual relates himself to them or has aspirations to relate to them.

Reference groups influence the person sociologically as well psychologically. The reference group may be the peer group, or family, or church or youth clubs, recreation centres, drama club, sports team and others and generally consists of people whom the person looks up to.

The individual may have a number of reference groups at a time.

Peer Group Versus Reference Group

Both the groups are motivated for socialization but they have some individual differences.

Peer Group:-

1. It is a group of children having same types of hobbies and interests.

2. It is an activity group which operates by social recreational values.

3. All members are generally of the same age.

4. Hobbies and interests are same.

5. Here the objective is only one that is playing and personal interaction .

6. They start developing their group through cooperation and respect towards each other.

7. They spend maximum time with each other.

8. The responsibilities are divided among the members.

9. They are emotionally attached to each other.

10. Friendship is there.

Reference Group:-

1. It is a group or a person whose values and ideals are inculcated by the students.

2. It is that group from which a person draws inspirations for the development of his attitudes and personality.

3. They may or may not be of the same age.

4. Hobbies and interests may differ.

5. There are many ideals and objectives to be followed.

6. The values, ideals, thoughts of reference group are imitated. Eg. Ways of living.

7. They may or may not spend maximum time together.

8. No questions of sharing responsibility is there.

9. They are not so emotionally attached.

10. Friendship may or may not be there.

Conclusion

Thus Peerage groups and Reference groups are vital in bringing about socialization of the individual which is a main aim of education.

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