As much as the individual is highlighted as the principle social unit, the small group has always played a major role in the formation of the human personality throughout history.
This is especially true of the family and then other small groups. They provide the diversity and structures that make people so different and so interesting. The need for the influence of small groups comes from human nature and thus is found everywhere and in all times including modern society.
Individualists may deny this great influence but it always appears. Sociologist Robert Nisbet reports that, “No matter how vast or impersonal, how regimented and eternally directed a society may be, close investigations reveal that it is quite literally honeycombed with small groups” (Robert A. Nisbet, The Social Bond: An Introduction to the Study of Society, (New York: Alfred A. Knopf), 1970, p. 89).