What is Social Process? Types of Social Process

Social process is the ways in which individuals and groups interact, adjust and readjust and establish relationships and pattern of behaviour which are again modified through social interactions. The concept of social process refers to some of the general and recurrent forms that social interaction may take. The interaction or mutual activity is the essence of social life. Interaction between individuals and groups occurs in the form of social process. It refers to forms of social interaction that occur again and again.

Meaning of Social Process

It refer to forms of social interaction that occur repeatedly. By social processes we mean those ways in which individuals and groups interact and establish social relationships. There are various of forms of social interaction such as cooperation, conflict, competition and accommodation etc.

According to Maclver___ “Social process is the manner in which the relations of the members of a group, once brought together, acquire a distinctive character”.

According to Ginsberg__ “Social processes mean the various modes of interaction between individuals or groups including cooperation and conflict, social differentiation and integration, development, arrest and decay”.

According to Horton and Hunt___ “The term social process refers to the repetitive form of behaviour which are commonly found in social life”.

Types of Social Process

There are hundreds of social processes. But we find some fundamental social processes that are found to appear repeatedly in society. These fundamental processes are socialization, cooperation, conflict, competition, accommodation, acculturation and assimilation etc. Loomis classified social processes into two categories; the elemental and the comprehensive or master processes.

He describes elemental processes are those by which the separate elements of the social system are articulated and comprehensive processes are those by which several or all of the elements are articulated or involved. These elements are beliefs, sentiment, end or goal, norm, status-role (position), rank, power, sanction, and facility.

The elemental process are (1) Cognitive mapping and validation, (2) Tension management and communication of sentiment, (3) Goal attaining and concomitant ‘latent’ activity, (4) Evaluation, (5) Status-role performance, (6) evaluation of actors and Allocation of status-roles, (7) Decision-making and initiation of action (8) Application of sanctions, (9) Utilization of facilities. The comprehensive or master processes are (1) Communication, (2) Boundary maintenance, (3) System linkage, (4) Social control, (5) Socialization and (6) Institutionalization.

It can be positive or negative. Accordingly, social process have been classified into two broad categories, variously entitled ‘conjunctive and disjunctive, ‘associative and disassociate’.