Cooperation involves individuals or groups working together for the achievement of their individual or collective goals. In its simplest form, cooperation may involve only two people who work together towards a common goal. Two college students working together to complete a laboratory experiment, or two inter-city youths working together to protect their 'turf' from violation by outsiders are examples. In these cases, solidarity between the collaborators is encouraged and they share jointly the reward of their cooperation. Again at the level of two-person interactions, the goals towards which the cooperation parties work may be consistent with each other, but they may not be identical or shared. From the college experience again, student and professor may cooperate towards the student's mastery of professor's discipline, but the student may be working to make a good grade while the professor is working to establish or reinforce his/her reputation as a good teacher. If some of their rewards are shared, some also are individual but attainable only through joint effort. The cooperating parties in this case may be either neutral or kindly disposed towards one another but their relationship is not likely to have lasting solidarity.
Man can't associate without cooperating, without working together in the pursuit of like to common interests. It can be divided into five principal types.
1. Direct Cooperation:
Those activities in which people do like things together play together, worship together, labor together in myriad ways. The essential character is that people do in company, the things which they can also do separately or in isolation. They do them together because it brings social satisfaction.
2. Indirect Cooperation:
Those activities in which people do definitely unlike tasks toward a single end. Here the famous principle of the 'division of labour' is introduced, a principle that is imbedded in the nature of social revealed wherever people combine their difference for mutual satisfaction or for a common end.
3. Primary Cooperation:
It is found in primary groups such as family, neighborhood, friends and so on. Here, there is an identity end. The rewards for which everyone works are shared or meant to be shared, with every other member in the group. Means and goals become one, for cooperation itself is a highly prized value.
4. Secondary Cooperation:
It is the characteristic feature of the modern civilized society and is found mainly in social groups. It is highly formalized and specialized. Each performs his/her task, and thus helps others to perform their tasks, so that he/she can separately enjoy the fruits of his/her cooperation.
5. Tertiary Cooperation:
It may be found between 2 or more political parties, castes, tribes, religions groups etc. It is often called accommodation. The two groups may cooperate and work together for antagonistic goals.
Cooperation is important in the life of an individual that it is difficult for man to survive without it. C.H. Cooley says that Cooperation arises only when men realize that they have a common interest. They have sufficient theme, intelligence and self control, to seek this interest through united action.