Login
Copyright

In-Group in Sociology: Definition & Overview

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: Outgroup Homogeneity: Definition & Effects

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
 Replay
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:00 In-Groups Defined
  • 1:40 Out-Groups Defined
  • 3:24 Biases
  • 4:00 Lesson Summary
Add to Add to Add to

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Login or Sign up

Timeline
Autoplay
Autoplay
Create an account to start this course today
Try it free for 5 days!
Create An Account

Recommended Lessons and Courses for You

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Yolanda Williams

Yolanda has taught college Psychology and Ethics, and has a doctorate of philosophy in counselor education and supervision.

An in-group is a group that we belong to and strongly identify with. Learn about in-groups, how they differ from out-groups, the type of biases that affect group formation, and more.

In-Groups Defined

Lonnie is a college freshman at Duke University, which was her first choice for undergraduate study. Both of Lonnie's parents and her older brother attended Duke. It was there that her father first saw her mother.

Lonnie loves to watch the Duke Blue Devils play basketball and football. Lonnie and her family have attended almost every game for the past 20 years. Lonnie's new roommate Sally and her family are just as supportive of Duke's sports teams as Lonnie and her family are. Lonnie and Sally share a room with Becca, who is a big fan of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) Tar Heels. Lonnie and Sally tend to team up on Becca and exclude her from activities that are sports-related, i.e. going to a sports bar to watch a game.

Lonnie and Sally are both a part of the same in-group, which is a group that a person is a part of, strongly identifies with, and is loyal to. Once we have identified ourselves as belonging to a group, we perceive ourselves and the other members of our group as being different from other groups. In other words, we tend to think of the world in terms of 'us' and 'them.'

In-groups distinguish themselves from other groups based on certain membership criteria and boundaries that the members establish. For example, the fans of Duke Blue Devils might distinguish themselves from other groups by wearing school colors to all of the games and only sitting on one side of the bleachers during games. Membership criteria might include attending all of the home and away games, keeping up with sports statistics, and a dislike for the Tar Heels.

Out-Groups Defined

If the 'us' refers to the in-group, then the 'them' refers to the out-group. The out-group is a group to which a person is not a member and is not loyal to. The out-group includes everyone who is not a part of your in-group. It follows that the out-group of one person serves as the in-group for another person. It is important to note that the identity of an in-group depends on its ability to distinguish itself from those in out-groups. This includes cases where the out-group has a similar purpose to the in-group.

We know that Lonnie and Sally are both a part of the Blue Devils fan club, which is an in-group for Lonnie. The Blue Devils have a long-standing sports rivalry with the UNC Tar Heels, which is the sports team that roommate Becca supports. Even though the Tar Heels fan club is an out-group for Lonnie, it is an in-group for Becca because this is a group that Becca belongs to and identifies with. We also tend to view members of an out-group more negatively than members of our in-group; we identify more with in-group members than out-group members, and we tend to treat in-group members better.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register for a free trial

Are you a student or a teacher?
I am a teacher
What is your educational goal?
 Back

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 95 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 2,000 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it free for 5 days!
Create An Account
Support