What Are Examples of Formal Groups?

By Staff WriterLast Updated Apr 7, 2020 4:56:20 PM ET
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Examples of formal groups, or formal organizations, in society include military units, corporations, churches, court systems, universities, sports teams and charities. Formal organizations denote a social system defined by clearly stated rules, norms and goals. Formal groups have several sets and subsystems that work to achieve these goals for both short- and long-term processes.

For instance, the U.S. military consists of five branches whose common goal is the defense of the United States. Each branch achieves the goal differently, through air, sea or land power. Within each branch of the armed forces, special units attain smaller goals. For instance, armored cavalry in the U.S. Army consists of tank divisions designed to remove heavily defensed armaments. Bombers for the U.S. Air Force may have the same goal of destroying heavily fortified positions, except airplanes use bombs and missiles.

Sports teams also have special goals and units. An American football team's goal is to win a game by scoring more points than the opposition. The job of the offense is to score points. The defense prevents the other team's offense from scoring. Special teams provides field position for the offense. Within the defense, three distinct divisions occur with the defensive line, linebackers and the secondary. Defensive line players try to stop the quarterback and running backs from moving past the line of scrimmage. Linebackers stop runners before they get farther down the field. Secondary defensive players prevent forward pass completions.