Quick Reference

Large collections of people may act as groups, with some degree of common purpose, but they may also act as non-organized collectivities, or aggregates. For example, an audience or crowd may be said to be an aggregate, in so far as its members lack any organization or persisting pattern of social relationships. The term is also used more broadly in reference to research or analysis that deals only with aggregate data, which consist of statistics produced for broad groups or categories (for example certain types of persons, households, or companies), and in which the characteristics of individual respondents (persons, households, or companies) are no longer identifiable. See also collective behaviour; microdata.

Subjects: Sociology.

Reference entries