10 Advantages And Disadvantages Of Belonging To A Social Group

Advantages and disadvantages of belonging to a social group

One of the main characteristics of human beings is that we have a clear tendency to live in groups, and not individually. In fact, for millions of years, our evolutionary lineage has been made up of hominids who have lived in tribes, groups in which several families coexist.

However, as with virtually any psychological propensity, this lifestyle not only provides benefits; It also entails certain risks and inconveniences. In this article we will see what they are The advantages and disadvantages of belonging to a social group with explanations.

Advantages of belonging to a group

In this section we will see What are the benefits of having one or more groups? that accept us and consider us another member of the community.

1. They represent a protection factor

The first advantage is obvious and has to do with a very material fact: being part of a group makes it more difficult for many of us to expose ourselves to dangerous situations that can end us.

For example, it means that if someone attacks us, others will probably come to our defense, or that if we are left without a basic livelihood with which to live, others will give us shelter.

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2. It provides us with role models

Furthermore, another advantage of being part of a group is that we are constantly exposed to role models, people who have characteristics and objectives similar to ours and who They are stimulating when it comes to directing our actions towards a goal

In this way, being surrounded by people like this will make it more likely that we will feel motivated to perfect certain qualities that, if we work, will provide us with a better livelihood and that at the same time will surely benefit the rest of the members of the group.

3. They reinforce our self-esteem

The feeling of belonging It is one of the aspects that positively reinforce people’s self-esteem.

On the one hand, seeing how the rest of the people consider us a part of the group implies that they recognize our importance, given that the same efforts that these people dedicate to looking after the community are, indirectly, efforts from which oneself benefits. .

On the other hand, being part of a group means that other people identify with us, that they are predisposed to make sacrifices to defend us against attacks from elements outside the group, which emulates the functioning of the emotional ties that arise in families and love relationships in general.

4. Fight loneliness

Loneliness is one of the life situations most related to harmful lifestyle habits and physical or psychological illness.

Therefore, the simple fact of having a community is beneficial, since encourages us to leave the house and socialize which keeps us active and gives us reasons not to abandon ourselves.

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5. You provide us with information

Information is another resource, and belonging to a group, with the possibility of contacting many people, represents important social capital.

This, for example, it makes us not need to memorize everything we need to live since this information is distributed among the individuals with whom we deal (this is what is known as transactive memory).

Disadvantages of being part of a group

Although it is considered that in the balance between benefits and disadvantages the former have more weight than the latter (among other things because we depend on social relationships to survive), it is true that Belonging to a group also has its negative elements Let’s see what they are.

1. Risk of contagion

Groups are means of contagion of epidemics. However, in modern societies, belonging to a group in which adequate prevention measures are taken minimizes this risk, assuming that one can not be part of a group and at the same time interact with others.

2. Effect of social pressure

Another disadvantage of belonging to a group is that the simple fact of being part of one exposes us more to group pressure given that the rest of its members share certain characteristics with us and through this identification initiatives can be legitimized to create uniformity among individuals.

For example, using as an excuse that all members of the group share a language, you can try to associate clothing and symbols that express that identity, causing those who do not adopt this aesthetic to be singled out.

3. Penalization of dissent

Enter the dynamics of the groups using exemplary punishments against those who were previously part of the group and later adopted behaviors that are considered contrary to group identity.

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4. Appearance of default leadership

Another disadvantage of belonging to groups is that if we do not make an effort to avoid it using democratic mechanisms, A leader appears who has more power than the rest in decision making and the distribution of roles, regardless of their degree of skill in the task to be addressed collectively.

5. Confrontation towards the outside

The feeling of belonging has various degrees of intensity, and at the most extreme it can legitimize hostility towards those who are not part of the group just for being out of bounds.

But even when the feeling of belonging is not very strong, the simple fact of being part of one tends to predispose us to not be as supportive of those outside it.