Thesis: Primary groups are practically universal and are, accordingly, a chief basis of what is universal in human nature and human ideals.
Summary:
Primary groups are fundamental in the formation of an individuals social nature. Primary groups are generally close family and friends, play groups, and neighborhoods, but are not limited to those specific examples. Although primary groups experiences are generalized to be a positive experience, not all are, and every experience is different. Primary groups are universal in nature, and appear in every group of people.
Play groups, and later on gangs, are a very important part of the formation of young children. Young men, especially after age 12, start to form gangs that allow for these fellowships to influence them more than the parents can.
The neighborhoods are important as well. They are close in proximity and, until recently, were relatively permanent allowing for large amounts of influence. A larger assortment of personal contacts has created a breaking up of the neighborhood influence.
But common interests play an important role in what influences a person. Having a common goal allows for greater intimacy and more freedom in exchange amongst individuals. The main reason family, playgroups and neighborhoods are more influential than a club structure is that they are during the formative childhood years.
Because specific feelings, such as love, resentment, ambition, and vanity, are universal, it must be concluded that these traits are taught through a universal structure. Human nature is taught through primary groups, as both are the only universal connection between societies otherwise unconnected. Higher levels of society are transient and diverse, yet the same basic human nature extends beyond, making individuals an inseparable part of a whole. The whole of mankind.

  • Take a few word notes for every paragraph
  1. Primary groups are fundamental in forming the social nature and ideals of the individual, the 'I' is actually a 'we'
  2. The primary group is not always a happy place, competition is natural, but the group will share common aims
  3. The most important primary groups: family, play groups, and neighborhood community. They are practically universal
  4. Children, especially boys around age 12, are influenced more by fellowships more than family.
  5. These fellowships are not English or American: the "gang" is almost universal
  6. The neighborhood group has always been a main part of peoples lives, and still is today(1909) in Russia
  7. The intimacy of the neighborhood group has started breaking up due to a wider mesh of contacts
  8. Common interests can foster greater intimacy. Clubs or occupations could be primary groups.
  9. But family and neighborhood groups are more influential because they are there during formative years
  10. Primary groups give the individual his earliest and completest experience of social unity, and are comparatively permanent.
  11. Current(1909) events have started harming primary groups, but they show vitality and are determined to regain health
  12. Other countries may seem alien to us, but are mainly the same within primary groups
  13. Feelings such as love, resentment, ambition, vanity, hero-worship and right and wrong belong to humans as a whole
  14. Human nature is regarded as comparatively permanent, and universal
  15. Man does not have human nature at birth, only fellowship can give it to him, through primary groups, and it will decay in isolation.
  16. Society and individuals are inseparable phases of a common whole
  17. Because primary groups are mostly universal, and human nature is mostly universal, it must be gained from the primary groups. Higher degrees of society are transient and diverse, so they are not what gives you human nature.
  18. The whole of mankind is connected, not separate.

1-3. These paragraphs introduce the idea of the primary group. We learn about what may be considered a primary group and that these groups are universal in nature. An important thought is also brought up. The primary groups do not have to be solely of a positive nature, negative influences still influence.
4-5. The play group is discussed. The notion of 'gangs' is used to represent teenage play groups. The self-governance is seen as important, as at this age children tend to be more influenced by fellows than their parents.
6-7. Neighborhood groups have been a structure used by mankind for thousands of years. They have been a main part of every day life, but that is beginning to diminish due to the increase in personal contacts of the average person.
8. Clubs are generally formed because of a common interest. This may allow for a greater amount of intimacy between members thus making it a possible primary group.
9-10. Primary groups are so important because they give the individual their completest sense of social unity. These bonds are comparatively permanent making them even more important to focus on as children develop.
11. Even though primary groups are diminishing they will not disappear.
12-14. The primary groups are so basic of a concept, and so universal, that the things that build human nature, being universal as well, must be taught by primary groups.
15-18. The primary groups allow us to see people as connected. We do not have human nature at birth, it must be taught to us through primary groups, and we will lose it if isolated for too long.


  • Identify connected paragraphs of unified thought
  • Write a one sentence summary for each unit of paragraphs
  • Write a thesis for the piece
  • Combine at top of the page, thesis and stage summaries(#3)
  • Revise summary