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1. Adaptation and Accommodation

The term adaptation came into vogue with Darwin’s theory of the origin of the species by natural selection. This theory was based upon the observation that no two members of a biological species or of a family are ever exactly alike. Everywhere there is variation and individuality. Darwin’s theory assumed this variation and explained the species as the result of natural selection. The individuals best fitted to live under the conditions of life which the environment offered, survived and produced the existing species. The others perished and the species which they represented disappeared. The differences in the species were explained as the result of the accumulation and perpetuation of the individual variations which had “survival value.” Adaptations were the variations which had been in this way selected and transmitted.

The term accommodation is a kindred concept with a slightly different meaning. The distinction is that adaptation is applied to organic modifications which are transmitted biologically; while accommodation is used with reference to changes in habit, which are transmitted, or may be transmitted, sociologically, that is, in the form of social tradition. The term first used in this sense by Baldwin is defined in the Dictionary of Philosophy and Psychology.

In view of modern biological theory and discussion, two modes of adaptation should be distinguished: (a) adaptation through variation [hereditary]; (b) adaptation through modification [acquired]. For the functional adjustment of the individual to its environment [(b) above] J. Mark Baldwin has suggested the term “accommodation,” recommending that adaptation be confined to the structural adjustments which are congenital and heredity [(a) above]. The term “accommodation” applies to any acquired alteration of function resulting in better adjustment to environment and to the functional changes which are thus effected.

The term accommodation, while it has a limited field of application in biology, has a wide and varied use in sociology. All the social heritages, traditions, sentiments, culture, technique, are accommodations that is, acquired adjustments that are socially and not biologically transmitted. They are not a part of the racial inheritance of the individual, but are acquired by the person in social experience. The two conceptions are further distinguished in this, that adaptation is an effect of competition, while accommodation, or more properly social accommodation, is the result of conflict.

The outcome of the adaptations and accommodations, which the struggle for existence enforces, is a state of relative equilibrium among the competing species and individual members of these species. The equilibrium which is established by adaptation is biological, which means that, in so far as it is permanent and fixed in the race or the species, it will be transmitted by biological inheritance.

The equilibrium based on accommodation, however, is not biological; it is economic and social and is transmitted, if at all, by tradition. The nature of the economic equilibrium which results from competition has been fully described in chapter viii. The plant community is this equilibrium in its absolute form.

In animal and human societies the community has, so to speak, become incorporated in the individual members of the group. The individuals are adapted to a specific type of communal life, and these adaptations, in animal as distinguished from human societies, are represented in the division of labor between the sexes, in the instincts which secure the protection and welfare of the young, in the so-called gregarious instinct, and all these represent traits that are transmitted biologically. But human societies, although providing for the expression of original tendencies, are organized about tradition, mores, collective representations, in short, consensus. And consensus represents, not biological adaptations, but social accommodations.

Social organization, with the exception of the order based on competition and adaptation, is essentially an accommodation of differences through conflicts. This fact explains why diverse-mindedness rather than like-mindedness is characteristic of human as distinguished from animal society. Professor Cooley’s statement of this point is clear:

The unity of the social mind consists not in agreement but in organization, in the fact of reciprocal influence or causation among its parts, by virtue of which everything that takes place in it is connected with everything else, and so is an outcome of the whole.

The distinction between accommodation and adaptation is illustrated in the difference between domestication and taming. Through domestication and breeding man has modified the original inheritable traits of plants and animals. He has changed the character of the species. Through taming, individuals of species naturally in conflict with man have become accommodated to him. Eugenics may be regarded as a program of biological adaptation of the human race in conscious realization of social ideals. Education, on the other hand, represents a program of accommodation or an organization, modification, and culture of original traits.

Every society represents an organization of elements more or less antagonistic to each other but united for the moment, at least, by an arrangement which defines the reciprocal relations and respective spheres of action of each. This accommodation, this modus vivendi, may be relatively permanent as in a society constituted by castes, or quite transitory as in societies made up of open classes. In either case, the accommodation, while it is maintained, secures for the individual or for the group a recognized status.

Accommodation is the natural issue of conflicts. In an accommodation the antagonism of the hostile elements is, for the time being, regulated, and conflict disappears as overt action, although it remains latent as a potential force. With a change in the situation, the adjustment that had hitherto successfully held in control the antagonistic forces fails. There is confusion and unrest which may issue in open conflict. Conflict, whether a war or a strike or a mere exchange of polite innuendoes, invariably issues in a new accommodation or social order, which in general involves a changed status in the relations among the participants. It is only with assimilation that this antagonism, latent in the organization of individuals or groups, is likely to be wholly dissolved.

2. Classification of the Materials

The selections on accommodation in the materials are organized under the following heads: (a) forms of accommodation; (b) subordination and superordination; (c) conflict and accommodation; and (d) competition, status, and social solidarity.

a) Forms of accommodation. There are many forms of accommodation. One of the most subtle is that which in human geography is called acclimatization, “accommodation to new climatic conditions.” Recent studies like those of Huntington in his “Climate and Civilization” have emphasized the effects of climate upon human behavior. The selection upon acclimatization by Brinton states the problems involved in the adjustment of racial groups to different climatic environments. The answers which he gives to the questions raised are not to be regarded as conclusive but only as representative of one school of investigators and as contested by other authorities in this field.

Naturalization, which in its original sense means the process by which a person is made “natural,” that is, familiar and at home in a strange social milieu, is a term used in America to describe the legal process by which a foreigner acquires the rights of citizenship. Naturalization, as a social process, is naturally something more fundamental than the legal ceremony of naturalization. It includes accommodation to the folkways, the mores, the conventions, and the social ritual (Sittlichkeit). It assumes also participation, to a certain extent at least, in the memories, the tradition, and the culture of a new social group. The proverb “In Rome do as the Romans do” is a basic principle of naturalization. The cosmopolitan is the person who readily accommodates himself to the codes of conduct of new social milieus.

The difficulty of social accommodation to a new social milieu is not always fully appreciated. The literature on homesickness and nostalgia indicates the emotional dependence of the person upon familiar associations and upon early intimate personal relations. Leaving home for the first time, the intense lonesomeness of the rural lad in the crowds of the city, the perplexity of the immigrant in the confusing maze of strange, and to him inexplicable, customs are common enough instances of the personal and social barriers to naturalization. But the obstacles to most social adjustments for a person in a new social world are even more baffling because of their subtle and intangible nature.

Just as in biology balance represents “a state of relatively good adjustment due to structural adaptation of the organism as a whole” so accommodation, when applied to groups rather than individuals, signifies their satisfactory co-ordination from the standpoint of the inclusive social organization.

Historically, the organization of the more inclusive society i.e., states, confederations, empires, social and political units composed of groups accommodated but not fully assimilated presents four typical constellations of the component group. Primitive society was an organization of kinship groups. Ancient society was composed of masters and slaves, with some special form of accommodation for the freeman and the stranger, who was not a citizen, to be sure, but was not a slave either.

Medieval society rested upon a system of class, approaching castes in the distances it enforced. In all these different situations competition took place only between individuals of the same status.

In contrast with this, modern society is made up of economic and social classes with freedom of economic competition and freedom in passage, therefore, from one class to the other.

b) Subordination and superordination. Accommodation, in the area of personal relations, tends to take the form of subordination and superordination. Even where accommodation has been imposed, as in the case of slavery, by force, the personal relations of master and slave are invariably supported by appropriate attitudes and sentiments. The selection “Excerpts from the Journal of a West India Slave Owner” is a convincing exhibit of the way in which attitudes of superordination and subordination may find expression in the sentiments of a conscientious and self-complacent paternalism on the part of the master and of an ingratiating and reverential loyalty on the part of the slave. In a like manner the selection from the “Memories of an Old Servant” indicates the natural way in which sentiments of subordination which have grown up in conformity with an accepted situation eventually become the basis of a life-philosophy of the person.

Slavery and caste are manifestly forms of accommodation. The facts of subordination are quite as real, though not as obvious, in other phases of social life. The peculiar intimacy which exists, for example, between lovers, between husband and wife, or between physician and patient, involves relations of subordination and superordination, though not recognized as such. The personal domination which a coach exercises over the members of a ball team, a minister over his congregation, the political leader over his party followers are instances of the same phenomena.

Simmel in his interesting discussion of the subject points out the fact that the relations of subordination and superordination are reciprocal. In order to impose his will upon his slaves it was necessary for the master to retain their respect. No one had a keener appreciation of the aristocracy nor a greater scorn for the “poor white” than the Negro slaves in the South before the war.

The leader of the gang, although he seems to have decisions absolutely in his hand, has a sense of the attitudes of his followers. So the successful political leader, who sometimes appears to be taking risks in his advocacy of new issues, keeps “his ear close to the grass roots of public opinion.”

In the selection upon “The Psychology of Subordination and Superordination” Muensterberg interprets suggestion, imitation, and sympathy in terms of domination and submission. Personal influence, prestige, and authority, in whatever form they find expression, are based, to a greater or less extent, on the subtle influences of suggestion.

The natural affections are social bonds which not infrequently assume the form of bondage. Many a mother has been reduced to a condition of abject subjection through her affection for a son or a daughter. The same thing is notoriously true of the relations between the sexes. It is in social complexes of this sort, rather than in the formal procedures of governments, that we must look for the fundamental mechanism of social control.

The conflicts and accommodations of persons with persons and of groups with groups have their prototypes in the conflicts and accommodations of the wishes of the person. The conflicts and accommodations in the mental life of the person have received the name in psychoanalysis of sublimation. The sublimation of a wish means its expression in a form which represents an accommodation with another conflicting wish which had repressed the original response of the first wish. The progressive organization of personality depends upon the successful functioning of this process of sublimation. The wishes of the person at birth are inchoate; with mental development these wishes come into conflict with each other and with the enveloping social milieu. Adolescence is peculiarly the period of “storm and stress.” Youth lives in a maze of mental conflicts, of insurgent and aspiring wishes. Conversion is the sudden mutation of life-attitudes through a reorganization or transformation of the wishes.

c) Conflict and accommodation. The intrinsic relation between conflict and accommodation is stated in the materials by Simmel in his analysis of war and peace and the problems of compromise. “The situations existing in time of peace are precisely the conditions out of which war emerges.” War, on the other hand, brings about the adjustments in the relations of competing and conflict groups which make peace possible. The problem, therefore, must find a solution in some method by which the conflicts which are latent in, or develop out of, the conditions of peace may be adjusted without a resort to war. In so far as war is an effect of the mere inhibitions which the conditions of peace impose, substitutes for war must provide, as William James has suggested, for the expression of the expanding energies of individuals and nations in ways that will contribute to the welfare of the community and eventually of mankind as a whole. The intention is to make life more interesting and at the same time more secure.

The difficulty is that the devices which render life more secure frequently make it less interesting and harder to bear. Competition, the struggle for existence and for, what is often more important than mere existence, namely, status, may become so bitter that peace is unendurable.

More than that, under the condition of peace, peoples whose life-habits and traditions have been formed upon a basis of war frequently multiply under conditions of peace to such an extent as to make an ultimate war inevitable. The natives of South Africa, since the tribal wars have ceased, have so increased in numbers as to be an increasing menace to the white population. Any amelioration of the condition of mankind that tends to disturb the racial equilibrium is likely to disturb the peace of nations. When representatives of the Rockefeller Medical Foundation proposed to introduce a rational system of medicine in China, certain of the wise men of that country, it is reported, shook their heads dubiously over the consequences that were likely to follow any large decrease in the death-rate, seeing that China was already overpopulated.

In the same way education, which is now in a way to become a heritage of all mankind, rather than the privilege of so-called superior peoples, undoubtedly has had the effect of greatly increasing the mobility and restlessness of the world’s population. In so far as this is true, it has made the problem of maintaining peace more difficult and dangerous.

On the other hand, education and the extension of intelligence undoubtedly increase the possibility of compromise and conciliation which, as Simmel points out, represent ways in which peace may be restored and maintained other than by complete victory and subjugation of the conquered people. It is considerations of this kind that have led men like von Moltke to say that “universal peace is a dream and not even a happy one,” and has led other men like Carnegie to build peace palaces in which the nations of the world might settle their differences by compromise and according to law.

d) Competition, status, and social solidarity. Under the title “Competition, Status, and Social Solidarity” selections are introduced in the materials which emphasize the relation of competition to accommodation. Up to this point in the materials only the relations of conflict to accommodation have been considered. Status has been described as an effect of conflict. But it is clear that economic competition frequently becomes conscious and so passes over into some of the milder forms of conflict. Aside from this it is evident that competition in so far as it determines the vocation of the individual, determines indirectly also his status, since it determines the class of which he is destined to be a member. In the same way competition is indirectly responsible for the organization of society in so far as it determines the character of the accommodations and understandings which are likely to exist between conflict groups. Social types as well as status are indirectly determined by competition, since most of them are vocational. The social types of the modern city, as indicated by the selection on “Personal Competition and the Evolution of Individual Types,” are an outcome of the division of labor. Durkheim points out that the division of labor in multiplying the vocations has increased and not diminished the unity of society. The interdependence of differentiated individuals and groups has made possible a social solidarity that otherwise would not exist.



1. Acclimatization

The most important ethnic question in connection with climate is that of the possibility of a race adapting itself to climatic conditions widely different from those to which it has been accustomed. This is the question of acclimatization.

Its bearings on ethnic psychology can be made at once evident by posing a few practical inquiries: Can the English people flourish in India? Will the French colonize successfully the Sudan? Have the Europeans lost or gained in power by their migration to the United States? Can the white or any other race ultimately become the sole residents of the globe?

It will be seen that on the answers to such questions depends the destiny of races and the consequences to the species of the facilities of transportation offered by modern inventions. The subject has therefore received the careful study of medical geographers and statisticians.

I can give but a brief statement of their conclusions. They are to the effect, first, that when the migration takes place along approximately the same isothermal lines, the changes in the system are slight; but as the mean annual temperature rises, the body becomes increasingly unable to resist its deleterious action until a difference of 18 deg. F. is reached, at which continued existence of the more northern races becomes impossible. They suffer from a chemical change in the condition of the blood cells, leading to anemia in the individual and to extinction of the lineage in the third generation.

This is the general law of the relation to race and climate. Like most laws it has its exceptions, depending on special conditions. A stock which has long been accustomed to change of climate adapts itself to any with greater facility. This explains the singular readiness of the Jews to settle and flourish in all zones. For a similar reason a people who at home are accustomed to a climate of wide and sudden changes, like that of the eastern United States, supports others with less loss of power than the average.

A locality may be extremely hot but unusually free from other malefic influences, being dry with regular and moderate winds, and well drained, such as certain areas between the Red Sea and the Nile, which are also quite salubrious.

Finally, certain individuals and certain families, owing to some fortunate power of resistance which we cannot explain, acclimate successfully where their companions perish. Most of the instances of alleged successful acclimatization of Europeans in the tropics are due to such exceptions, the far greater number of the victims being left out of the count.

If these alleged successful cases, or that of the Jews or Arabs, be closely examined, it will almost surely be discovered that another physiological element has been active in bringing about acclimatization, and that is the mingling of blood with the native race. In the American tropics the Spaniards have survived for four centuries; but how many of the Ladinos can truthfully claim an unmixed descent? In Guatemala, for example, says a close observer, not any. The Jews of the Malabar coast have actually become black, and so has also in Africa many an Arab claiming direct descent from the Prophet himself.

But along with this process of adaptation by amalgamation comes unquestionably a lowering of the mental vitality of the higher race. That is the price it has to pay for the privilege of survival under the new conditions. But, in conformity to the principles already laid down as accepted by all anthropologists, such a lowering must correspond to a degeneration in the highest grades of structure, the brain cells.

We are forced, therefore, to reach the decision that the human species attains its highest development only under moderate conditions of heat, such as prevail in the temperate zones (an annual mean of 8 deg.-12 deg. C.); and the more startling conclusion that the races now native to the polar and tropical areas are distinctly pathological, are types of degeneracy, having forfeited their highest physiological elements in order to purchase immunity from the unfavorable climatic conditions to which they are subject. We must agree with a French writer, that “man is not cosmopolitan,” and if he insists on becoming a “citizen of the world” he is taxed heavily in his best estate for his presumption.

The inferences in racial psychology which follow this opinion are too evident to require detailed mention. Natural selection has fitted the Eskimo and the Sudanese for their respective abodes, but it has been by the process of regressive evolution; progressive evolution in man has confined itself to less extreme climatic areas.

The facts of acclimatization stand in close connection with another doctrine in anthropology which is interesting for my theme, that of “ethno-geographic provinces.” Alexander von Humboldt seems to have been the first to give expression to this system of human grouping, and it has been diligently cultivated by his disciple, Professor Bastian. It rests upon the application to the human species of two general principles recognized as true in zoology and botany. The one is that every organism is directly dependent on its environment (the milieu), action and reaction going on constantly between them; the other is, that no two faunal or floral regions are of equal rank in their capacity for the development of a given type of organism.

The features which distinguish one ethno-geographic province from another are chiefly, according to Bastian, meteorological, and they permit, he claims, a much closer division of human groups than the general continental areas which give us an African, a European, and an American subspecies.

It is possible that more extended researches may enable ethnographers to map out, in this sense, the distribution of our species; but the secular alterations in meteorologic conditions, combined with the migratory habits of most early communities, must greatly interfere with a rigid application of these principles in ethnography.

The historic theory of “centres of civilisation” is allied to that of ethno-geographic provinces. The stock examples of such are familiar. The Babylonian plain, the valley of the Nile, in America the plateaus of Mexico and of Tiahuanuco are constantly quoted as such. The geographic advantages these situations offered a fertile soil, protection from enemies, domesticable plants, and a moderate climate are offered as reasons why an advanced culture rapidly developed in them, and from them extended over adjacent regions.

Without denying the advantages of such surroundings, the most recent researches in both hemispheres tend to reduce materially their influence. The cultures in question did not begin at one point and radiate from it, but arose simultaneously over wide areas, in different linguistic stocks, with slight connections; and only later, and secondarily, was it successfully concentrated by some one tribe by the agency, it is now believed, of cognatic rather than geographic aids.

Assyriologists no longer believe that Sumerian culture originated in the delta of the Euphrates, and Egyptologists look for the sources of the civilization of the Nile Valley among the Libyans; while in the New World not one but seven stocks partook of the Aztec learning, and half a dozen contributed to that of the Incas. The prehistoric culture of Europe was not one of Carthaginians or Phoenicians, but was self-developed.

2. Slavery Defined

In most branches of knowledge the phenomena the man of science has to deal with have their technical names, and, when using a scientific term, he need not have regard to the meaning this term conveys in ordinary language; he knows he will not be misunderstood by his fellow-scientists. For instance, the Germans call a whale Wallfisch, and the English speak of shellfish; but a zoologist, using the word fish, need not fear that any competent person will think he means whales or shellfish.

In ethnology the state of things is quite different. There are a few scientific names bearing a definite meaning, such as the terms “animism” and “survival,” happily introduced by Professor Tylor. But most phenomena belonging to our science have not yet been investigated, so it is no wonder that different writers (sometimes even the same writer on different pages) give different names to the same phenomenon, whereas, on the other hand, sometimes the same term (e.g., matriarchate) is applied to widely different phenomena. As for the subject we are about to treat of, we shall presently see that several writers have given a definition of slavery; but no one has taken the trouble to inquire whether his definition can be of any practical use in social science. Therefore, we shall try to give a good definition and justify it.

But we may not content ourselves with this; we must also pay attention to the meaning of the term “slavery” as commonly employed. There are two reasons for this. First, we must always rely upon the statements of ethnographers. If an ethnographer states that some savage tribe carries on slavery, without defining in what this “slavery” consists, we have to ask: What may our informant have meant? And as he is likely to have used the word in the sense generally attached to it, we have to inquire: What is the ordinary meaning of the term “slavery”?

The second reason is this. Several theoretical writers speak of slavery without defining what they mean by it; and we cannot avail ourselves of their remarks without knowing what meaning they attach to this term. And as they too may be supposed to have used it in the sense in which it is generally used, we have again to inquire: What is the meaning of the term “slavery” in ordinary language?

The general use of the word, as is so often the case, is rather inaccurate. Ingram says:

Careless or rhetorical writers use the words “slave” and “slavery” in a very lax way. Thus, when protesting against the so-called “Subjection of Women,” they absurdly apply those terms to the condition of the wife in the modern society of the west designations which are inappropriate even in the case of the inmate of Indian zenanas; and they speak of the modern worker as a “wage-slave,” even though he is backed by a powerful trade-union. Passion has a language of its own, and poets and orators must doubtless be permitted to denote by the word “slavery” the position of subjects of a state who labor under civil disabilities or are excluded from the exercise of political power; but in sociological study things ought to have their right names, and those names should, as far as possible, be uniformly employed.

But this use of the word we may safely regard as a metaphor; nobody will assert that these laborers and women are really slaves. Whoever uses the term slavery in its ordinary sense attaches a fairly distinct idea to it. What is this idea? We can express it most generally thus: a slave is one who is not free. There are never slaves without there being freemen too; and nobody can be at the same time a slave and a freeman. We must, however, be careful to remember that, man being a “social animal,” no man is literally free; all members of a community are restricted in their behavior toward each other by social rules and customs. But freemen at any rate are relatively free; so a slave must be one who does not share in the common amount of liberty, compatible with the social connection.

The condition of the slave as opposed to that of the freeman presents itself to us under the three following aspects:

First, every slave has his master to whom he is subjected. And this subjection is of a peculiar kind. Unlike the authority one freeman sometimes has over another, the master’s power over his slave is unlimited, at least in principle; any restriction put upon the master’s free exercise of his power is a mitigation of slavery, not belonging to its nature, just as in Roman law the proprietor may do with his property whatever he is not by special laws forbidden to do. The relation between master and slave is therefore properly expressed by the slave being called the master’s “possession” or “property” expressions we frequently meet with.

Secondly, slaves are in a lower condition as compared with freemen. The slave has no political rights; he does not choose his government, he does not attend the public councils. Socially he is despised.

In the third place, we always connect with slavery the idea of compulsory labor. The slave is compelled to work; the free laborer may leave off working if he likes, be it at the cost of starving. All compulsory labor, however, is not slave labor; the latter requires that peculiar kind of compulsion that is expressed by the word “possession” or “property” as has been said before.

Recapitulating, we may define a slave in the ordinary sense of the word as a man who is the property of another, politically and socially at a lower level than the mass of the people, and performing compulsory labor.

The great function of slavery can be no other than a division of labor. Division of labor is taken here in the widest sense, as including not only a qualitative division, by which one man does one kind of work and another a different kind, but also a quantitative one, by which one man’s wants are provided for, not by his own work only, but by another’s. A society without any division of labor would be one in which each man worked for his own wants, and nobody for another’s; in any case but this there is a division of labor in this wider sense of the word. Now this division can be brought about by two means. “There are two ways” says Puchta “in which we can avail ourselves of the strength of other men which we are in need of. One is the way of free commerce, that does not interfere with the liberty of the person who serves us, the making of contracts by which we exchange the strength and skill of another, or their products, for other performances on our part: hire of services, purchase of manufactures, etc. The other way is the subjugation of such persons, which enables us to dispose of their strength in our behalf but at the same time injures the personality of the subjected. This subjection can be imagined as being restricted to certain purposes, for instance to the cultivation of the land, as with soil-tilling serfs, the result of which is that this subjection, for the very reason that it has a definite and limited aim, does not quite annul the liberty of the subjected. But the subjection can also be an unlimited one, as is the case when the subjected person, in the whole of his outward life, is treated as but a means to the purposes of the man of power, and so his personality is entirely absorbed. This is the institution of slavery.”

3. Excerpts from the Journal of a West India Slave Owner

Soon after nine o’clock we reached Savannah la Mar, where I found my trustee, and a whole cavalcade, waiting to conduct me to my own estate; for he had brought with him a curricle and pair for myself, a gig for my servant, two black boys upon mules, and a cart with eight oxen to convey my baggage. The road was excellent, and we had not above five miles to travel; and as soon as the carriage entered my gates, the uproar and confusion which ensued sets all description at defiance. The works were instantly all abandoned; everything that had life came flocking to the house from all quarters; and not only the men, and the women, and the children, but, “by a bland assimilation,” the hogs, and the dogs, and the geese, and the fowls, and the turkeys, all came hurrying along by instinct, to see what could possibly be the matter, and seemed to be afraid of arriving too late. Whether the pleasure of the negroes was sincere may be doubted; but certainly it was the loudest that I ever witnessed: they all talked together, sang, danced, shouted, and, in the violence of their gesticulations, tumbled over each other, and rolled about upon the ground. Twenty voices at once enquired after uncles, and aunts, and grandfathers, and great-grandmothers of mine, who had been buried long before I was in existence, and whom, I verily believe, most of them only knew by tradition. One woman held up her little naked black child to me, grinning from ear to ear, “Look, Massa, look here! him nice lilly neger for Massa!” Another complained, “So long since none come see we, Massa; good Massa, come at last.” As for the old people, they were all in one and the same story: now they had lived once to see Massa, they were ready for dying tomorrow, “them no care.”

The shouts, the gaiety, the wild laughter, their strange and sudden bursts of singing and dancing, and several old women, wrapped up in large cloaks, their heads bound round with different-colored handkerchiefs, leaning on a staff, and standing motionless in the middle of the hubbub, with their eyes fixed upon the portico which I occupied, formed an exact counterpart of the festivity of the witches in Macbeth. Nothing could be more odd or more novel than the whole scene; and yet there was something in it by which I could not help being affected; perhaps it was the consciousness that all these human beings were my slaves; to be sure, I never saw people look more happy in my life; and I believe their condition to be much more comfortable than that of the laborers of Great Britain; and, after all, slavery, in their case, is but another name for servitude, now that no more negroes can be forcibly carried away from Africa and subjected to the horrors of the voyage and of the seasoning after their arrival; but still I had already experienced, in the morning, that Juliet was wrong in saying “What’s in a name?” For soon after my reaching the lodging-house at Savannah la Mar, a remarkably clean-looking negro lad presented himself with some water and a towel I concluded him to belong to the inn and, on my returning the towel, as he found that I took no notice of him, he at length ventured to introduce himself by saying, “Massa not know me; me your slave!” and really the sound made me feel a pang at the heart. The lad appeared all gaiety and good humor, and his whole countenance expressed anxiety to recommend himself to my notice, but the word “slave” seemed to imply that, although he did feel pleasure then in serving me, if he had detested me he must have served me still. I really felt quite humiliated at the moment, and was tempted to tell him, “Do not say that again; say that you are my negro, but do not call yourself my slave.”

As I was returning this morning from Montego Bay, about a mile from my own estate, a figure presented itself before me, I really think the most picturesque that I ever beheld: it was a mulatto girl, born upon Cornwall, but whom the overseer of a neighboring estate had obtained my permission to exchange for another slave, as well as two little children, whom she had borne to him; but, as yet, he had been unable to procure a substitute, owing to the difficulty of purchasing single negroes, and Mary Wiggins is still my slave. However, as she is considered as being manumitted, she had not dared to present herself at Cornwall on my arrival, lest she should have been considered as an intruder; but she now threw herself in my way to tell me how glad she was to see me, for that she had always thought till now (which is the general complaint) that “she had no massa;” and also to obtain a regular invitation to my negro festival tomorrow. By this universal complaint, it appears that, while Mr. Wilberforce is lamenting their hard fate in being subject to a master, their greatest fear is the not having a master whom they know; and that to be told by the negroes of another estate that “they belong to no massa,” is one of the most contemptuous reproaches that can be cast upon them. Poor creatures, when they happened to hear on Wednesday evening that my carriage was ordered for Montego Bay the next morning, they fancied that I was going away for good and all, and came up to the house in such a hubbub that my agent was obliged to speak to them, and pacify them with the assurance that I should come back on Friday without fail.

But to return to Mary Wiggins: she was much too pretty not to obtain her invitation to Cornwall; on the contrary, I insisted upon her coming, and bade her tell her husband that I admired his taste very much for having chosen her. I really think that her form and features were the most statue-like that I ever met with; her complexion had no yellow in it and yet was not brown enough to be dark it was more of an ash-dove color than anything else; her teeth were admirable, both for color and shape; her eyes equally mild and bright; and her face merely broad enough to give it all possible softness and grandness of contour: her air and countenance would have suited Yarico; but she reminded me most of Grassini in “La Vergine del Sole,” only that Mary Wiggins was a thousand times more beautiful, and that, instead of a white robe, she wore a mixed dress of brown, white, and dead yellow, which harmonized excellently with her complexion; while one of her beautiful arms was thrown across her brow to shade her eyes, and a profusion of rings on her fingers glittered in the sunbeams. Mary Wiggins and an old cotton tree are the most picturesque objects that I have seen for these twenty years.

I really believe that the negresses can produce children at pleasure, and where they are barren, it is just as hens will frequently not lay eggs on shipboard, because they do not like their situation. Cubina’s wife is in a family way, and I told him that if the child should live, I would christen it for him, if he wished it. “Tank you, kind massa, me like it very much: much oblige if massa do that for me, too.” So I promised to baptize the father and the baby on the same day, and said that I would be godfather to any children that might be born on the estate during my residence in Jamaica. This was soon spread about, and, although I have not yet been here a week, two women are in the straw already, Jug Betty and Minerva: the first is wife to my head driver, The Duke of Sully, but my sense of propriety was much gratified at finding that Minerva’s husband was called Captain. I think nobody will be able to accuse me of neglecting the religious education of my negroes, for I have not only promised to baptize all the infants, but, meeting a little black boy this morning, who said that his name was Moses, I gave him a piece of silver, and told him that it was for the sake of Aaron; which, I flatter myself, was planting in his young mind the rudiments of Christianity.

On my former visit to Jamaica, I found on my estate a poor woman nearly one hundred years old, and stone blind. She was too infirm to walk, but two young negroes brought her on their backs to the steps of my house, in order, as she said, that she might at least touch massa, although she could not see him. When she had kissed my hand, “that was enough,” she said: “now me hab once kiss a massa’s hand, me willing to die tomorrow, me no care.” She had a woman appropriated to her service and was shown the greatest care and attention; however, she did not live many months after my departure. There was also a mulatto, about thirty years of age, named Bob, who had been almost deprived of the use of his limbs by the horrible cocoa-bay, and had never done the least work since he was fifteen. He was so gentle and humble and so fearful, from the consciousness of his total inability of soliciting my notice, that I could not help pitying the poor fellow; and whenever he came in my way I always sought to encourage him by little presents and other trifling marks of favor. His thus unexpectedly meeting with distinguishing kindness, where he expected to be treated as a worthless incumbrance, made a strong impression on his mind.

4. The Origin of Caste in India

If it were possible to compress into a single paragraph a theory so complex as that which would explain the origin and nature of Indian caste, I should attempt to sum it up in some such words as the following: A caste is a marriage union, the constituents of which were drawn from various different tribes (or from various other castes similarly formed) in virtue of some industry, craft, or function, either secular or religious, which they possessed in common. The internal discipline, by which the conditions of membership in regard to connubial and convivial rights are defined and enforced, has been borrowed from the tribal period which preceded the period of castes by many centuries, and which was brought to a close by the amalgamation of tribes into a nation under a common scepter. The differentia of caste as a marriage union consists in some community of function; while the differentia of tribe as a marriage union consisted in a common ancestry, or a common worship, or a common totem, or in fact in any kind of common property except that of a common function.

Long before castes were formed on Indian soil, most of the industrial classes, to which they now correspond, had existed for centuries, and as a rule most of the industries which they practiced were hereditary on the male side of the parentage. These hereditary classes were and are simply the concrete embodiments of those successive stages of culture which have marked the industrial development of mankind in every part of the world. Everywhere (except at least in those countries where he is still a savage), man has advanced from the stage of hunting and fishing to that of nomadism and cattle-grazing, and from nomadism to agriculture proper. Everywhere has the age of metallurgy and of the arts and industries which are coeval with it been preceded by a ruder age, when only those arts were known or practiced which sufficed for the hunting, fishing, and nomad states. Everywhere has the class of ritualistic priests and lettered theosophists been preceded by a class of less-cultivated worshipers, who paid simple offerings of flesh and wine to the personified powers of the visible universe without the aid of a hereditary professional priesthood. Everywhere has the class of nobles and territorial chieftains been preceded by a humbler class of small peasant proprietors, who placed themselves under their protection and paid tribute or rent in return. Everywhere has this class of nobles and chieftains sought to ally itself with that of the priests or sacerdotal order; and everywhere has the priestly order sought to bring under its control those chiefs and rulers under whose protection it lives.

All these classes had been in existence for centuries before any such thing as caste was known on Indian soil; and the only thing that was needed to convert them into castes, such as they now are, was that the Brahman, who possessed the highest of all functions the priestly should set the example. This he did by establishing for the first time the rule that no child, either male or female, could inherit the name and status of Brahman, unless he or she was of Brahman parentage on both sides. By the establishment of this rule the principle of marriage unionship was superadded to that of functional unionship; and it was only by the combination of these two principles that a caste in the strict sense of the term could or can be formed. The Brahman, therefore, as the Hindu books inform us, was “the first-born of castes.” When the example had thus been set by an arrogant and overbearing priesthood, whose pretensions it was impossible to put down, the other hereditary classes followed in regular order downward, partly in imitation and partly in self-defence. Immediately behind the Brahman came the Kshatriya, the military chieftain or landlord. He therefore was the “second-born of castes.” Then followed the bankers or upper trading classes (the Agarwal, Khattri, etc.); the scientific musician and singer (Kathak); the writing or literary class (Kayasth); the bard or genealogist (Bhat); and the class of inferior nobles (Taga and Bhuinhar) who paid no rent to the landed aristocracy. These, then, were the third-born of castes. Next in order came those artisan classes, who were coeval with the age and art of metallurgy; the metallurgic classes themselves; the middle trading classes; the middle agricultural classes, who placed themselves under the protection of the Kshatriya and paid him rent in return (Kurmi, Kachhi, Mali, Tamboli); and the middle serving classes, such as Napit and Baidya, who attended to the bodily wants of their equals and superiors. These, then, were the fourth-born of castes; and their rank in the social scale has been determined by the fact that their manners and notions are farther removed than those of the preceding castes from the Brahmanical ideal. Next came the inferior artisan classes, those who preceded the age and art of metallurgy (Teli, Kumhar, Kalwar, etc.); the partly nomad and partly agricultural classes (Jat, Gujar, Ahir, etc.); the inferior serving classes, such as Kahar; and the inferior trading classes, such as Bhunja. These, then, were the fifth-born of castes, and their mode of life is still farther removed from the Brahmanical ideal than that of the preceding. The last-born, and therefore the lowest, of all the classes are those semisavage communities, partly tribes and partly castes, whose function consists in hunting or fishing, or in acting as butcher for the general community, or in rearing swine and fowls, or in discharging the meanest domestic services, such as sweeping and washing, or in practicing the lowest of human arts, such as basket-making, hide-tanning, etc. Thus throughout the whole series of Indian castes a double test of social precedence has been in active force, the industrial and the Brahmanical; and these two have kept pace together almost as evenly as a pair of horses harnessed to a single carriage. In proportion as the function practiced by any given caste stands high or low in the scale of industrial development, in the same proportion does the caste itself, impelled by the general tone of society by which it is surrounded, approximate more nearly or more remotely to the Brahmanical idea of life. It is these two criteria combined which have determined the relative ranks of the various castes in the Hindu social scale.

5. Caste and the Sentiments of Caste Reflected in Popular Speech

No one indeed can fail to be struck by the intensely popular character of Indian proverbial philosophy and by its freedom from the note of pedantry which is so conspicuous in Indian literature. These quaint sayings have dropped fresh from the lips of the Indian rustic; they convey a vivid impression of the anxieties, the troubles, the annoyances, and the humors of his daily life; and any sympathetic observer who has felt the fascination of an oriental village would have little difficulty in constructing from these materials a fairly accurate picture of rural society in India. The mise en scene is not altogether a cheerful one. It shows us the average peasant dependent upon the vicissitudes of the season and the vagaries of the monsoon, and watching from day to day to see what the year may bring forth. Should rain fall at the critical moment his wife will get golden earrings, but one short fortnight of drought may spell calamity when “God takes all at once.” Then the forestalling Baniya flourishes by selling rotten grain, and the Jat cultivator is ruined. First die the improvident Musalman weavers, then the oil-pressers for whose wares there is no demand; the carts lie idle, for the bullocks are dead, and the bride goes to her husband without the accustomed rites. But be the season good or bad, the pious Hindu’s life is ever overshadowed by the exactions of the Brahman “a thing with a string round its neck” (a profane hit at the sacred thread), a priest by appearance, a butcher at heart, the chief of a trio of tormentors gibbeted in the rhyming proverb:

Blood-suckers three on earth there be,
The bug, the Brahman, and the flea.

Before the Brahman starves the king’s larder will be empty; cakes must be given to him while the children of the house may lick the grindstone for a meal; his stomach is a bottomless pit; he eats so immoderately that he dies from wind. He will beg with a lakh of rupees in his pocket, and a silver begging-bowl in his hand. In his greed for funeral fees he spies out corpses like a vulture, and rejoices in the misfortunes of his clients. A village with a Brahman in it is like a tank full of crabs; to have him as a neighbor is worse than leprosy; if a snake has to be killed the Brahman should be set to do it, for no one will miss him. If circumstances compel you to perjure yourself, why swear on the head of your son, when there is a Brahman handy? Should he die (as is the popular belief) the world will be none the poorer. Like the devil in English proverbial philosophy, the Brahman can cite scripture for his purpose; he demands worship himself but does not scruple to kick his low-caste brethren; he washes his sacred thread but does not cleanse his inner man; and so great is his avarice that a man of another caste is supposed to pray “O God, let me not be reborn as a Brahman priest, who is always begging and is never satisfied.” He defrauds even the gods; Vishnu gets the barren prayers while the Brahman devours the offerings. So Pan complains in one of Lucian’s dialogues that he is done out of the good things which men offer at his shrine.

The next most prominent figure in our gallery of popular portraits is that of the Baniya, money-lender, grain-dealer, and monopolist, who dominates the material world as the Brahman does the spiritual. His heart, we are told, is no bigger than a coriander seed; he has the jaws of an alligator and a stomach of wax; he is less to be trusted than a tiger, a scorpion, or a snake; he goes in like a needle and comes out like a sword; as a neighbor he is as bad as a boil in the armpit. If a Baniya is on the other side of a river you should leave your bundle on this side, for fear he should steal it. When four Baniyas meet they rob the whole world. If a Baniya is drowning you should not give him a hand: he is sure to have some base motive for drifting down stream. He uses light weights and swears that the scales tip themselves; he keeps his accounts in a character that no one but God can read; if you borrow from him, your debt mounts up like a refuse heap or gallops like a horse; if he talks to a customer he “draws a line” and debits the conversation; when his own credit is shaky he writes up his transactions on the wall so that they can easily be rubbed out. He is so stingy that the dogs starve at his feast, and he scolds his wife if she spends a farthing on betel-nut. A Jain Baniya drinks dirty water and shrinks from killing ants and flies, but will not stick at murder in pursuit of gain. As a druggist the Baniya is in league with the doctor; he buys weeds at a nominal price and sells them very dear. Finally, he is always a shocking coward: eighty-four Khatris will run away from four thieves.

Nor does the clerical caste fare better at the hands of the popular epigrammatist. Where three Kayasths are gathered together a thunderbolt is sure to fall; when honest men fall out the Kayasth gets his chance. When a Kayasth takes to money-lending he is a merciless creditor. He is a man of figures; he lives by the point of his pen; in his house even the cat learns two letters and a half. He is a versatile creature, and where there are no tigers he will become a shikari; but he is no more to be trusted than a crow or a snake without a tail. One of the failings sometimes imputed to the educated Indian is attacked in the saying, “Drinking comes to a Kayasth with his mother’s milk.”

Considering the enormous strength of the agricultural population of India, one would have expected to find more proverbs directed against the great cultivating castes. Possibly the reason may be that they made most of the proverbs, and people can hardly be expected to sharpen their wit on their own shortcomings. In two provinces, however, the rural Pasquin has let out very freely at the morals and manners of the Jat, the typical peasant of the eastern Punjab and the western districts of the United Provinces. You may as well, we are told, look for good in a Jat as for weevils in a stone. He is your friend only so long as you have a stick in your hand. If he cannot harm you he will leave a bad smell as he goes by. To be civil to him is like giving treacle to a donkey. If he runs amuck it takes God to hold him. A Jat’s laugh would break an ordinary man’s ribs. When he learns manners, he blows his nose with a mat, and there is a great run on the garlic. His baby has a plowtail for a plaything. The Jat stood on his own corn heap and called out to the King’s elephant-drivers, “Hi there, what will you take for those little donkeys?” He is credited with practicing fraternal polyandry, like the Venetian nobility of the early eighteenth century, as a measure of domestic economy, and a whole family are said to have one wife between them.

The Doms, among whom we find scavengers, vermin-eaters, executioners, basket-makers, musicians, and professional burglars, probably represent the remnants of a Dravidian tribe crushed out of recognition by the invading Aryans and condemned to menial and degrading occupations. Sir G. Grierson has thrown out the picturesque suggestion that they are the ancestors of the European gypsies and that Rom or Romany is nothing more than a variant of Dom. In the ironical language of the proverbs the Dom figures as “the lord of death” because he provides the wood for the Hindu funeral pyre. He is ranked with Brahmáns and goats as a creature useless in time of need. A common and peculiarly offensive form of abuse is to tell a man that he has eaten a Dom’s leavings. A series of proverbs represents him as making friends with members of various castes and faring ill or well in the process. Thus the Kanjar steals his dog, and the Gujar loots his house; on the other hand, the barber shaves him for nothing, and the silly Jolahaa makes him a suit of clothes. His traditions associate him with donkeys, and it is said that if these animals could excrete sugar, Doms would no longer be beggars. “A Dom in a palanquin and a Brahman on foot” is a type of society turned upside down. Nevertheless, outcast as he is, the Dom occupies a place of his own in the fabric of Indian society. At funerals he provides the wood and gets the corpse clothes as his perquisite; he makes the discordant music that accompanies a marriage procession; and baskets, winnowing-fans, and wicker articles in general are the work of his hands.

In the west of India, Mahars and Dheds hold much the same place as the Dom. In the walled villages of the Maratha country the Mahar is the scavenger, watchman, and gate-keeper. His presence pollutes; he is not allowed to live in the village; and his miserable shanty is huddled up against the wall outside. But he challenges the stranger who comes to the gate, and for this and other services he is allowed various perquisites, among them that of begging for broken victuals from house to house. He offers old blankets to his god, and his child’s playthings are bones. The Dhed’s status is equally low. If he looks at a water jar he pollutes its contents; if you run up against him by accident, you must go off and bathe. If you annoy a Dhed he sweeps up the dust in your face. When he dies, the world is so much the cleaner. If you go to the Dheds’ quarter you find there nothing but a heap of bones.

This relegation of the low castes to a sort of ghetto is carried to great lengths in the south of India where the intolerance of the Brahman is very conspicuous. In the typical Madras village the Pariahs “dwellers in the quarter” (para) as this broken tribe is now called live in an irregular cluster of conical hovels of palm leaves known as the parchery, the squalor and untidiness of which present the sharpest contrasts to the trim street of tiled masonry houses where the Brahmáns congregate. “Every village,” says the proverb, “has its Pariah hamlet” a place of pollution the census of which is even now taken with difficulty owing to the reluctance of the high-caste enumerator to enter its unclean precincts. “A palm tree,” says another, “casts no shade; a Pariah has no caste and rules.” The popular estimate of the morals of the Pariah comes out in the saying, “He that breaks his word is a Pariah at heart”; while the note of irony predominates in the pious question, “If a Pariah offers boiled rice will not the god take it?” the implication being that the Brahman priests who take the offerings to idols are too greedy to inquire by whom they are presented.


1. The Psychology of Subordination and Superordination

The typical suggestion is given by words. But the impulse to act under the influence of another person arises no less when the action is proposed in the more direct form of showing the action itself. The submission then takes the form of imitation. This is the earliest type of subordination. It plays a fundamental rôle in the infant’s life, long before the suggestion through words can begin its influence. The infant imitates involuntarily as soon as connections between the movement impulses and the movement impressions have been formed. At first automatic reflexes produce all kinds of motions, and each movement awakes kinesthetic and muscle sensations. Through association these impressions become bound up with the motor impulses. As soon as the movements of other persons arouse similar visual sensations the kinesthetic sensations are associated and realize the corresponding movement. Very soon the associative irradiation becomes more complex, and whole groups of emotional reactions are imitated. The child cries and laughs in imitation.

Most important is the imitation of the speech movement. The sound awakes the impulse to produce the same vocal sound long before the meaning of the word is understood. Imitation is thus the condition for the acquiring of speech, and later the condition for the learning of all other abilities. But while the imitation is at first simply automatic, it becomes more and more volitional. The child intends to imitate what the teacher shows as an example. This intentional imitation is certainly one of the most important vehicles of social organization. The desire to act like certain models becomes the most powerful social energy. But even the highest differentiation of society does not eliminate the constant working of the automatic, impulsive imitation.

The inner relation between imitation and suggestion shows itself in the similarity of conditions under which they are most effective. Every increase of suggestibility facilitates imitation. In any emotional excitement of a group every member submits to the suggestion of the others, but the suggestion is taken from the actual movements. A crowd in a panic or a mob in a riot shows an increased suggestibility by which each individual automatically repeats what his neighbors are doing. Even an army in battle may become, either through enthusiasm or through fear, a group in which all individuality is lost and everyone is forced by imitative impulses to fight or escape. The psychophysical experiment leaves no doubt that this imitative response releases the sources of strongest energy in the mental mechanism. If the arm lifts the weight of an ergograph until the will cannot overcome the fatigue, the mere seeing of the movement carried out by others whips the motor centers to new efficiency.

We saw that our feeling states are both causes and effects of our actions. We cannot experience the impulse to action without a new shading of our emotional setting. Imitative acting involves, therefore, an inner imitation of feelings too. The child who smiles in response to the smile of his mother shares her pleasant feeling. The adult who is witness of an accident in which someone is hurt imitates instinctively the cramping muscle contractions of the victim, and as a result he feels an intense dislike without having the pain sensations themselves. From such elementary experiences an imitative emotional life develops, controlled by a general sympathetic tendency. We share the pleasures and the displeasures of others through an inner imitation which remains automatic. In its richer forms this sympathy becomes an altruistic sentiment; it stirs the desire to remove the misery around us and unfolds to a general mental setting through which every action is directed toward the service to others. But from the faintest echoing of feelings in the infant to the highest self-sacrifice from altruistic impulse, we have the common element of submission. The individual is feeling, and accordingly acting, not in the realization of his individual impulses, but under the influence of other personalities.

This subordination to the feelings of others through sympathy and pity and common joy takes a new psychological form in the affection of tenderness and especially parental love. The relation of parents to children involves certainly an element of superordination, but the mentally strongest factor remains the subordination, the complete submission to the feelings of those who are dependent upon the parents’ care. In its higher development the parental love will not yield to every momentary like or dislike of the child, but will adjust the educative influence to the lasting satisfactions and to the later sources of unhappiness. But the submission of the parents to the feeling tones in the child’s life remains the fundamental principle of the family instinct. While the parents’ love and tenderness mean that the stronger submits to the weaker, even up to the highest points of self-sacrifice, the loving child submits to his parents from feelings which are held together by a sense of dependence. This feeling of dependence as a motive of subordination enters into numberless human relations. Everywhere the weak lean on the strong, and choose their actions under the influence of those in whom they have confidence. The corresponding feelings show the manifold shades of modesty, admiration, gratitude, and hopefulness. Yet it is only another aspect of the social relation if the consciousness of dependence upon the more powerful is felt with fear and revolt, or with the nearly related emotion of envy.

The desire to assert oneself is no less powerful, in the social interplay, than the impulse to submission. Society needs the leaders as well as the followers. Self-assertion presupposes contact with other individuals. Man protects himself against the dangers of nature, and man masters nature; but he asserts himself against men who interfere with him or whom he wants to force to obedience. The most immediate reaction in the compass of self-assertion is indeed the rejection of interference. It is a form in which even the infant shows the opposite of submission. He repels any effort to disturb him in the realization of the instinctive impulses. From the simplest reaction of the infant disturbed in his play or his meal, a straight line of development leads to the fighting spirit of man, whose pugnaciousness and whose longing for vengeance force his will on his enemies. Every form of rivalry, jealousy, and intolerance finds in this feeling group its source of automatic response. The most complex intellectual processes may be made subservient to this self-asserting emotion.

But the effort to impose one’s will on others certainly does not result only from conflict. An entirely different emotional center is given by the mere desire for self-expression. In every field of human activity the individual may show his inventiveness, his ability to be different from others, to be a model, to be imitated by his fellows. The normal man has a healthy, instinctive desire to claim recognition from the members of the social group. This interferes neither with the spirit of co-ordination nor with the subordination of modesty. In so far as the individual demands acknowledgement of his personal behavior and his personal achievement, he raises himself by that act above others. He wants his mental attitude to influence and control the social surroundings. In its fuller development this inner setting becomes the ambition for leadership in the affairs of practical life or in the sphere of cultural work.

The superficial counterpart is the desire for self-display with all its variations of vanity and boastfulness. From the most bashful submission to the most ostentatious self-assertion, from the self-sacrifice of motherly love to the pugnaciousness of despotic egotism, the social psychologist can trace the human impulses through all the intensities of the human energies which interfere with equality in the group. Each variation has its emotional background and its impulsive discharge. Within normal limits they are all equally useful for the biological existence of the group and through the usefulness for the group ultimately serviceable to its members. Only through superordination and subordination does the group receive the inner firmness which transforms the mere combination of men into working units. They give to human society that strong and yet flexible organization which is the necessary condition for its successful development.

2. Social Attitudes in Subordination: Memories of an Old Servant

Work is a great blessing, and it has been wisely arranged by our divine Master that all his creatures should have a work to do of some kind. Some are weak and some are strong. Old and young, rich and poor, there is that work expected from us, and how much happier we are when we are at our work.

There are so many things to learn, so many different kinds of work that must be done to make the world go on right. And some work is easier than others; but all ought to be well done, and in a cheerful, contented manner. Some prefer working with hands and feet; they say it is easier than the head work; but surely both are heavy work, for it does depend on your ability.

Boys and girls do not leave school so early as they did fifty or sixty years ago. The boys went out quite happy and manly to do their herding at some farm, and would be very useful for some years till they preferred learning some trade, etc.; then a younger boy just filled his place; and by doing this they did learn farming a good bit, and this helped them on in after years if they wanted to go back to farming again. We regret to see that the page-boy is not wanted so much as he used to be; and what a help that used to be for a young boy. He learns a great deal by being first of all a while in the stable yard or garage before he goes into the gentleman’s house, and he is neat and tidy at all times for messages. We have seen many of them in our young days; and even the waif has been picked up by a good master, and began in the stables and worked his way up to be a respected valet in the same household, and often and often told the story of his waif life in the servants’ hall.

The old servant has seen many changes and in many cases prefers the good old ways; there may be some better arrangements made, we cannot doubt that, but we are surprised at good old practices that our late beloved employers had ignored by their own children after they have so far grown up. Servants need the good example from their superiors, and when they hear the world speak well of them they do look for the good ways in the home life. We all like to hold up an employer’s good name, surely we do if we are interested at all in our work, and if we feel that we cannot do our duty to them we ought to go elsewhere and not deceive them. We are trusted with a very great deal, and it is well for us if we are doing all we can as faithful servants, and in the end lay down our tools with the feeling that we have tried to do our best.

We must remember that each one is born in his station in life, wisely arranged by “One Who Knows and Who Is Our Supreme Ruler.” No one can alter this nor say to him, “What Doest Thou?” so we must each and all keep our station and honor the rich man and the poor man who humbly tries to live a Christian life, and when their faults are seen by us may we at once turn to ourselves and look if we are not human, too, and may be as vile as they.

We have noticed some visitors very rude to the servants and so different to our own employers, and we set a mark on them, for we would not go to serve them. We remember once when our lady’s brother was showing a visiting lady some old relics near the front door they came upon the head housemaid who was cleaning the church pew chairs (they were carried in while the church was being repaired), and she was near a very old grand piano. The lady asked in such a jeer, “And is this the housemaid’s piano”? The gentleman looked very hard at the housemaid, for we were sure that he was very annoyed at her, but we did not hear his answer; but the housemaid had the good sense to keep quiet, but she could have told her to keep her jeers, for we were not her class of servant, neither was she our class of employer. We heard her character after, and never cared to see her. Some servants take great liberties, and then all are supposed to be alike; but we are glad that all ladies are not like this, for the world would be poor indeed; they would soon ruin all the girls and no wonder her husband had left her. We heard of a gentleman who fancied his laundry-maid, so he called his servants together and told them that he was to marry her and bring her home as the lady of his house, and he hoped they would all stay where they were; but if they felt that they could not look upon her as their mistress and his wife, they were free to go away. And not one of them left, for they stayed on with them for years. This is a true story from one who knew them and could show us their London house. Now we have lived with superior servants, and we would much rather serve them even now in our old age than serve any lady who can never respect a servant.

Nothing brings master and servant closer together than the sudden sore bereavement, and very likely this book could not be written so sad were it not for the many sad days that have been spent in service, and now so very few of the employers are to be seen; and when they are with us we feel that we are still respected by them, for there is the usual welcome for they would look back the same as we do on days that are gone by. In our young days the curtsy was fashionable; you would see every man’s daughter bobbing whenever they met the lady or gentlemen or when they met their teacher. The custom is gone now, and we wonder why; but the days are changed, and some call it education that is so far doing this; it cannot be education, for we do look for more respect from the educated than from the class that we called the ignorant.

How well off the servants are in these years of war, for they have no rent to worry about and no anxiety about their coal bill, nor how food, etc., is to be got in and paid for, no taxes nor cares like so many poor working men; they are also sure of their wages when quarter day comes round. It is true she may have a widow mother who requires some help with rent, coals, or food, but there are many who ought to value a good situation, whether in the small comfortable house as general or in larger good situations where a few servants are, for we have seen them all and know what they have been like, and so, we say that all as a rule ought to be very thankful that they are the domestic servant and so study to show gratitude by good deeds to all around, as there is work just now for everyone to do.

A great deal more could easily be written, and we hope some old servant may also speak out in favor of domestic service, and so let it be again what it has been, and when both will look on each other as they ought, for there has always been master and servant, and we have the number of servants, or near the number, given here by one who knows, 1,330,783 female domestic servants at the last census in 1911, and so the domestic service is the largest single industry that is; there are more people employed as domestic servants than any other class of employment. Before closing this book the writer would ask that a kinder interest may be taken in girls who may have at one time been in disgrace; many of them have no homes and we might try to help them into situations. This appeal is from the old housekeeper and so from one who has had many a talk with young girls for their good; but they have often been led far astray. We ought to give them the chance again, by trying to get them situations, and if the lady is not her friend, nor the housekeeper, we pity her.

3. The Reciprocal Character of Subordination and Superordination

Every social occurrence consists of an interaction between individuals. In other words, each individual is at the same time an active and a passive agent in a transaction. In case of superiority and inferiority, however, the relation assumes the appearance of a one-sided operation; the one party appears to exert, while the other seems merely to receive, an influence. Such, however, is not in fact the case. No one would give himself the trouble to gain or to maintain superiority if it afforded him no advantage or enjoyment. This return to the superior can be derived from the relation, however, only by virtue of the fact that there is a reciprocal action of the inferior upon the superior. The decisive characteristic of the relation at this point is this, that the effect which the inferior actually exerts upon the superior is determined by the latter. The superior causes the inferior to produce a given effect which the superior shall experience. In this operation, in case the subordination is really absolute, no sort of spontaneity is present on the part of the subordinate. The reciprocal influence is rather the same as that between a man and a lifeless external object with which the former performs an act for his own use. That is, the person acts upon the object in order that the latter may react upon himself. In this reaction of the object no spontaneity on the part of the object is to be observed, but merely the further operation of the spontaneity of the person. Such an extreme case of superiority and inferiority will scarcely occur among human beings. Rather will a certain measure of independence, a certain direction of the relation proceed also from the self-will and the character of the subordinate. The different cases of superiority and inferiority will accordingly be characterized by differences in the relative amount of spontaneity which the subordinates and the superiors bring to bear upon the total relation. In exemplification of this reciprocal action of the inferior, through which superiority and inferiority manifests itself as proper socialization, I will mention only a few cases, in which the reciprocity is difficult to discern.

When in the case of an absolute despotism the ruler attaches to his edicts the threat of penalty or the promise of reward, the meaning is that the monarch himself will be bound by the regulation which he has ordained. The inferior shall have the right, on the other hand, to demand something from the lawgiver. Whether the latter subsequently grants the promised reward or protection is another question. The spirit of the relation as contemplated by the law is that the superior completely controls the inferior, to be sure, but that a certain claim is assured to the latter, which claim he may press or may allow to lapse, so that even this most definite form of the relation still contains an element of spontaneity on the part of the inferior.

Still farther; the concept “law” seems to connote that he who gives the law is in so far unqualifiedly superior. Apart from those cases in which the law is instituted by those who will be its subjects, there appears in lawgiving as such no sign of spontaneity on the part of the subject of the law. It is, nevertheless, very interesting to observe how the Roman conception of law makes prominent the reciprocity between the superior and the subordinate elements. Thus lex means originally “compact,” in the sense, to be sure, that the terms of the same are fixed by the proponent, and the other party can accept or reject it only en bloc. The lex publica populi Romani meant originally that the king proposed and the people accepted the same. Thus even here, where the conception itself seems to express the complete one-sidedness of the superior, the nice social instinct of the Romans pointed in the verbal expression to the co-operation of the subordinate. In consequence of like feeling of the nature of socialization the later Roman jurists declared that the societas leonina is not to be regarded as a social compact. Where the one absolutely controls the other, that is, where all spontaneity of the subordinate is excluded, there is no longer any socialization.

Once more, the orator who confronts the assembly, or the teacher his class, seems to be the sole leader, the temporary superior. Nevertheless everyone who finds himself in that situation is conscious of the limiting and controlling reaction of the mass which is apparently merely passive and submissive to his guidance. This is the case not merely when the parties immediately confront each other. All leaders are also led, as in countless cases the master is the slave of his slaves. “I am your leader, therefore I must follow you,” said one of the most eminent German parliamentarians, with reference to his party. Every journalist is influenced by the public upon which he seems to exert an influence entirely without reaction. The most characteristic case of actual reciprocal influence, in spite of what appears to be subordination without corresponding reaction, is that of hypnotic suggestion. An eminent hypnotist recently asserted that in every hypnosis there occurs an actual if not easily defined influence of the hypnotized upon the hypnotist, and that without this the effect would not be produced.

4. Three Types of Subordination and Superordination

Three possible types of superiority present themselves. Superiority may be exercised (a) by an individual, (b) by a group, (c) by an objective principle higher than individuals.

a) Subordination to an individual. The subordination of a group to a single person implies a very decided unification of the group. This is equally the case with both the characteristic forms of this subordination, viz.: (1) when the group with its head constitutes a real internal unity; when the superior is more a leader than a master and only represents in himself the power and the will of the group; (2) when the group is conscious of opposition between itself and its head, when a party opposed to the head is formed. In both cases the unity of the supreme head tends to bring about an inner unification of the group. The elements of the latter are conscious of themselves as belonging together, because their interests converge at one point. Moreover the opposition to this unified controlling power compels the group to collect itself, to condense itself into unity. This is true not alone of the political group. In the factory, the ecclesiastical community, a school class, and in associated bodies of every sort it is to be observed that the termination of the organization in a head, whether in case of harmony or of opposition, helps to effect unification of the group. This is most conspicuous to be sure in the political sphere. History has shown it to be the enormous advantage of monarchies that they unify the political interests of the popular mass. The totality has a common interest in holding the prerogatives of the crown within their boundaries, possibly in restricting them; or there is a common field of conflict between those whose interests are with the crown and those who are opposed. Thus there is a supreme point with reference to which the whole people constitutes either a single party or, at most, two. Upon the disappearance of its head, to which all are subordinate with the end of this political pressure all political unity often likewise ceases. There spring up a great number of party factions which previously, in view of that supreme political interest for or against the monarchy, found no room.

Wonder has often been felt over the irrationality of the condition in which a single person exercises lordship over a great mass of others. The contradiction will be modified when we reflect that the ruler and the individual subject in the controlled mass by no means enter into the relationship with an equal quantum of their personality. The mass is composed through the fact that many individuals unite fractions of their personality one-sided purposes, interests and powers, while that which each personality as such actually is towers above this common level and does not at all enter into that “mass,” i.e., into that which is really ruled by the single person. Hence it is also that frequently in very despotically ruled groups individuality may develop itself very freely, in those aspects particularly which are not in participation with the mass. Thus began the development of modern individuality in the despotisms of the Italian Renaissance. Here, as in other similar cases (for example, under Napoleon I and Napoleon III), it was for the direct interest of the despots to allow the largest freedom to all those aspects of personality which were not identified with the regulated mass, i.e., to those aspects most apart from politics. Thus subordination was more tolerable.

b) Subordination to a group. In the second place the group may assume the form of a pyramid. In this case the subordinates stand over against the superior not in an equalized mass but in very nicely graded strata of power. These strata grow constantly smaller in extent but greater in significance. They lead up from the inferior mass to the head, the single ruler.

This form of the group may come into existence in two ways. It may emerge from the autocratic supremacy of an individual. The latter often loses the substance of his power and allows it to slip downward, while retaining its form and titles. In this case more of the power is retained by the orders nearest to the former autocrat than is acquired by those more distant. Since the power thus gradually percolates, a continuity and graduation of superiority and inferiority must develop itself. This is, in fact, the way in which in oriental states the social forms often arise. The power of the superior orders disintegrates, either because it is essentially incoherent and does not know how to attain the above-emphasized proportion between subordination and individual freedom; or because the persons comprising the administration are too indolent or too ignorant of governmental technique to preserve supreme power. For the power which is exercised over a large circle is never a constant possession. It must be constantly acquired and defended anew if anything more than its shadow and name is to remain.

The other way in which a scale of power is constructed up to a supreme head is the reverse of that just described. Starting with a relative equality of the social elements, certain elements gain greater significance; within the circle of influence thus constituted certain especially powerful individuals differentiate themselves until this development accommodates itself to one or to a few heads. The pyramid of superiority and inferiority is built in this case from below upward, while in the former case the development was from above downward. This second form of development is often found in economic relationships, where at first there exists a certain equality between the persons carrying on the work of a certain industrial society. Presently some of the number acquire wealth; others become poor; others fall into intermediate conditions which are as dependent upon an aristocracy of property as the lower orders are upon the middle strata; this aristocracy rises in manifold gradations to the magnates, of whom sometimes a single individual is appropriately designated as the “king” of a branch of industry. By a sort of combination of the two ways in which graded superiority and inferiority of the group come into being the feudalism of the Middle Ages arose. So long as the full citizen either Greek, Roman, or Teutonic knew no subordination under an individual, there existed for him on the one hand complete equality with those of his own order, but on the other hand rigid exclusiveness toward those of lower orders. Feudalism remodeled this characteristic social form into the equally characteristic arrangement which filled the gap between freedom and bondage with a scale of classes.

A peculiar form of subordination to a number of individuals is determination by vote of a majority. The presumption of majority rule is that there is a collection of elements originally possessing equal rights. In the process of voting the individual places himself in subordination to a power of which he is a part, but in this way, that it is left to his own volition whether he will belong to the superior or the inferior, i.e., the outvoted party. We are not now interested in cases of this complex problem in which the superiority is entirely formal, as, for example, in resolves of scientific congresses, but only with those in which the individual is constrained to an action by the will of the party outvoting him, that is, in which he must practically subordinate himself to the majority. This dominance of numbers through the fact that others, though only equal in right, have another opinion, is by no means the matter of course which it seems to us today in our time of determinations by masses. Ancient German law knew nothing of it. If one did not agree with the resolve of the community, he was not bound by it. As an application of this principle, unanimity was later necessary in the choice of king, evidently because it could not be expected or required that one who had not chosen the king would obey him. The English baron who had opposed authorizing a levy, or who had not been present, often refused to pay it. In the tribal council of the Iroquois, as in the Polish Parliament, decisions had to be unanimous. There was therefore no subordination of an individual to a majority, unless we consider the fact that a proposition was regarded as rejected if it did not receive unanimous approval, a subordination, an outvoting, of the person proposing the measure.

When, on the contrary, majority rule exists, two modes of subordination of the minority are possible, and discrimination between them is of the highest sociological significance. Control of the minority may, in the first place, arise from the fact that the many are more powerful than the few. Although, or rather because, the individuals participating in a vote are supposed to be equals, the majority have the physical power to coerce the minority. The taking of a vote and the subjection of the minority serves the purpose of avoiding such actual measurement of strength, but accomplishes practically the same result through the count of votes, since the minority is convinced of the futility of such resort to force. There exist in the group two parties in opposition as though they were two groups, between which relative strength, represented by the vote, is to decide.

Quite another principle is in force, however, in the second place, where the group as a unity predominates over all individuals and so proceeds that the passing of votes shall merely give expression to the unitary group will. In the transition from the former to this second principle the enormously important step is taken from a unity made up merely of the sum of individuals to recognition and operation of an abstract objective group unity. Classic antiquity took this step much earlier not only absolutely but relatively earlier than the German peoples. Among the latter the oneness of the community did not exist over and against the individuals who composed it but entirely in them. Consequently the group will was not only not enacted but it did not even exist so long as a single member dissented. The group was not complete unless all its members were united, since it was only in the sum of its members that the group consisted. In case the group, however, is a self-existent structure whether consciously or merely in point of fact in case the group organization effected by union of the individuals remains along with and in spite of the individual changes, this self-existent unity state, community, association for a distinctive purpose must surely will and act in a definite manner. Since, however, only one of two contradictory opinions can ultimately prevail, it is assumed as more probable that the majority knows or represents this will better than the minority. According to the presumptive principle involved the minority is, in this case, not excluded but included. The subordination of the minority is thus in this stage of sociological development quite different from that in case the majority simply represents the stronger power. In the case in hand the majority does not speak in its own name but in that of the ideal unity and totality. It is only to this unity, which speaks by the mouth of the majority, that the minority subordinates itself. This is the immanent principle of our parliamentary decisions.

c) Subordination to an impersonal principle. To these must be joined, third, those formations in which subordination is neither to an individual nor yet to a majority, but to an impersonal objective principle. Here, where we seem to be estopped from speaking of a reciprocal influence between the superior and the subordinate, a sociological interest enters in but two cases: first, when this ideal superior principle is to be interpreted as the psychological consolidation of a real social power; second, when the principle establishes specific and characteristic relationships between those who are subject to it in common. The former case appears chiefly in connection with the moral imperatives. In the moral consciousness we feel ourselves subject to a decree which does not appear to be issued by any personal human power; we hear the voice of conscience only in ourselves, although with a force and definiteness, in contrast with all subjective egoism, which, as it seems, could have had its source only from an authority outside the subject. As is well known, the attempt has been made to resolve this contradiction by the assumption that we have derived the content of morality from social decrees. Whatever is serviceable to the species and to the group, whatever on that account is demanded of the members for the self-preservation of the group, is gradually bred into individuals as an instinct, so that it asserts itself as a peculiar autonomous impression by the side of the properly personal, and consequently often contradictory, impulses. Thus would be explained the double character of the moral command. On the one side it appears to us as an impersonal order to which we have simply to yield. On the other side, however, no visible external power but only our own most real and personal instinct enforces it upon us. Sociologically this is of interest as an example of a wholly peculiar form of reaction between the individual and his group. The social force is here completely grown into the individual himself.

We now turn to the second sociological question raised by the case of subordination to an impersonal ideal principle. How does this subordination affect the reciprocal relation of the persons thus subordinated in common? The development of the position of the pater familias among the Aryans exhibits this process clearly. The power of the pater familias was originally unlimited and entirely subjective; that is, his momentary desire, his personal advantage, was permitted to give the decision upon all regulations. But this arbitrary power gradually became limited by a feeling of responsibility. The unity of the domestic group, embodied in the spiritus familiaris, grew into the ideal power, in relation to which the lord of the whole came to regard himself as merely an obedient agent. Accordingly it follows that morals and custom, instead of subjective preference, determine his acts, his decisions, his judicial judgments; that he no longer behaves as though he were absolute lord of the family property, but rather the manager of it in the interest of the whole; that his position bears more the character of an official station than that of an unlimited right. Thus the relation between superiors and inferiors is placed upon an entirely new basis. The family is thought of as standing above all the individual members. The guiding patriarch himself is, like every other member, subordinate to the family idea. He may give directions to the other members of the family only in the name of the higher ideal unity.


1. War and Peace as Types of Conflict and Accommodation

It is obvious that the transition from war to peace must present a more considerable problem than the reverse, i.e., the transition from peace to war. The latter really needs no particular scrutiny. For the situations existing in time of peace are precisely the conditions out of which war emerges and contain in themselves struggle in a diffused, unobserved, or latent form. For instance, if the economic advantage which the southern states of the American Union had over the northern states in the Civil War as a consequence of the slave system was also the reason for this war, still, so long as no antagonism arises from it, but is merely immanent in the existing conditions, this source of conflict did not become specifically a question of war and peace. At the moment, however, at which the antagonism began to assume a color which meant war, an accumulation of antagonisms, feelings of hatred, newspaper polemics, frictions between private persons, and on the borders reciprocal moral equivocations in matters outside of the central antithesis at once manifested themselves. The transition from peace to war is thus not distinguished by a special sociological situation. Rather out of relationships existing within a peaceful situation antagonism is developed immediately, in its most visible and, energetic form. The case is different, however, if the matter is viewed from the opposite direction. Peace does not follow so immediately upon conflict. The termination of strife is a special undertaking which belongs neither in the one category nor in the other, like a bridge which is of a different nature from that of either bank which it unites. The sociology of struggle demands, therefore, at least as an appendix, an analysis of the forms in which conflict is terminated, and these exhibit certain special forms of reaction not to be observed in other circumstances.

The particular motive which in most cases corresponds with the transition from war to peace is the simple longing for peace. With the emergence of this factor there comes into being, as a matter of fact, peace itself, at first in the form of the wish immediately parallel with the struggle itself, and it may without any special transitional form displace struggle. We need not pause long to observe that the desire for peace may spring up both directly and indirectly; the former may occur either through the return to power of this peaceful character in the party which is essentially in favor of peace; or through the fact that, through the mere change of the formal stimulus of struggle and of peace which is peculiar to all natures, although in different rhythms, the latter comes to the surface and assumes a control which is sanctioned by its own nature alone. In the case of the indirect motive, however, we may distinguish, on the one hand, the exhaustion of resources which, without removal of the persistent contentiousness, may instal the demand for peace; and, on the other hand, the withdrawal of interest from struggle through a higher interest in some other object. The latter case begets all sorts of hypocrisies and self-deceptions. It is asserted and believed that peace is desired from ideal interest in peace itself and the suppression of antagonism, while in reality only the object fought for has lost its interest and the fighters would prefer to have their powers free for other kinds of activity.

The simplest and most radical sort of passage from war to peace is victory a quite unique phenomenon in life, of which there are, to be sure, countless individual forms and measures, which, however, have no resemblance to any of the otherwise mentioned forms which may occur between persons. Victory is a mere watershed between war and peace; when considered absolutely, only an ideal structure which extends itself over no considerable time. For so long as struggle endures there is no definitive victor, and when peace exists a victory has been gained but the act of victory has ceased to exist. Of the many shadings of victory, through which it qualifies the following peace, I mention here merely as an illustration the one which is brought about, not exclusively by the preponderance of the one party, but, at least in part, through the resignation of the other. This confession of inferiority, this acknowledgment of defeat, or this consent that victory shall go to the other party without complete exhaustion of the resources and chances for struggle, is by no means always a simple phenomenon. A certain ascetic tendency may also enter in as a purely individual factor, the tendency to self-humiliation and to self-sacrifice, not strong enough to surrender one’s self from the start without a struggle, but emerging so soon as the consciousness of being vanquished begins to take possession of the soul; or another variation may be that of finding its supreme charm in the contrast to the still vital and active disposition to struggle. Still further, there is impulse to the same conclusion in the feeling that it is worthier to yield rather than to trust to the last moment in the improbable chance of a fortunate turn of affairs. To throw away this chance and to elude at this price the final consequences that would be involved in utter defeat this has something of the great and noble qualities of men who are sure, not merely of their strengths, but also of their weaknesses, without making it necessary for them in each case to make these perceptibly conscious. Finally, in this voluntariness of confessed defeat there is a last proof of power on the part of the agent; the latter has of himself been able to act. He has therewith virtually made a gift to the conqueror. Consequently, it is often to be observed in personal conflicts that the concession of the one party, before the other has actually been able to compel it, is regarded by the latter as a sort of insult, as though this latter party were really the weaker, to whom, however, for some reason or other, there is made a concession without its being really necessary. Behind the objective reasons for yielding “for the sake of sweet peace” a mixture of these subjective motives is not seldom concealed. The latter may not be entirely without visible consequences, however, for the further sociological attitude of the parties. In complete antithesis with the end of strife by victory is its ending by compromise. One of the most characteristic ways of subdividing struggles is on the basis of whether they are of a nature which admits of compromise or not.

2. Compromise and Accommodation

On the whole, compromise, especially of that type which is brought to pass through negotiation, however commonplace and matter of fact it has come to be in the processes of modern life, is one of the most important inventions for the uses of civilization. The impulse of uncivilized men, like that of children, is to seize upon every desirable object without further consideration, even though it be already in the possession of another. Robbery and gift are the most naïve forms of transfer of possession, and under primitive conditions change of possession seldom takes place without a struggle. It is the beginning of all civilized industry and commerce to find a way of avoiding this struggle through a process in which there is offered to the possessor of a desired object some other object from the possessions of the person desiring the exchange. Through this arrangement a reduction is made in the total expenditure of energy as compared with the process of continuing or beginning a struggle. All exchange is a compromise. We are told of certain social conditions in which it is accounted as knightly to rob and to fight for the sake of robbery; while exchange and purchase are regarded in the same society as undignified and vulgar. The psychological explanation of this situation is to be found partly in the fact of the element of compromise in exchange, the factors of withdrawal and renunciation which make exchange the opposite pole to all struggle and conquest. Every exchange presupposes that values and interest have assumed an objective character. The decisive element is accordingly no longer the mere subjective passion of desire, to which struggle alone corresponds, but the value of the object, which is recognized by both interested parties but which without essential modification may be represented by various objects. Renunciation of the valued object in question, because one receives in another form the quantum of value contained in the same, is an admirable reason, wonderful also in its simplicity, whereby opposed interests are brought to accommodation without struggle. It certainly required a long historical development to make such means available, because it presupposes a psychological generalization of the universal valuation of the individual object, an abstraction, in other words, of the value for the objects with which it is at first identified; that is, it presupposes ability to rise above the prejudices of immediate desire. Compromise by representation, of which exchange is a special case, signifies in principle, although realized only in part, the possibility of avoiding struggle or of setting a limit to it before the mere force of the interested parties has decided the issue.

In distinction from the objective character of accommodation of struggle through compromise, we should notice that conciliation is a purely subjective method of avoiding struggle. I refer here not to that sort of conciliation which is the consequence of a compromise or of any other adjournment of struggle but rather to the reasons for this adjournment. The state of mind which makes conciliation possible is an elementary attitude which, entirely apart from objective grounds, seeks to end struggle, just as, on the other hand, a disposition to quarrel, even without any real occasion, promotes struggle. Probably both mental attitudes have been developed as matters of utility in connection with certain situations; at any rate, they have been developed psychologically to the extent of independent impulses, each of which is likely to make itself felt where the other would be more practically useful. We may even say that in the countless cases in which struggle is ended otherwise than in the pitiless consistency of the exercise of force, this quite elementary and unreasoned tendency to conciliation is a factor in the result a factor quite distinct from weakness, or good fellowship; from social morality or fellow-feeling. This tendency to conciliation is, in fact, a quite specific sociological impulse which manifests itself exclusively as a pacificator, and is not even identical with the peaceful disposition in general. The latter avoids strife under all circumstances, or carries it on, if it is once undertaken, without going to extremes, and always with the undercurrents of longing for peace. The spirit of conciliation, however, manifests itself frequently in its full peculiarity precisely after complete surrender to the struggle, after the conflicting energies have exercised themselves to the full in the conflict.

Conciliation depends very definitely upon the external situation. It can occur both after the complete victory of the one party and after the progress of indecisive struggle, as well as after the arrangement of the compromise. Either of these situations may end the struggle without the added conciliation of the opponents. To bring about the latter it is not necessary that there shall be a supplementary repudiation or expression of regret with reference to the struggle. Moreover, conciliation is to be distinguished from the situation which may follow it. This may be either a relationship of attachment or alliance, and reciprocal respect, or a certain permanent distance which avoids all positive contacts. Conciliation is thus a removal of the roots of conflict, without reference to the fruits which these formerly bore, as well as to that which may later be planted in their place.


1. Personal Competition, Social Selection, and Status

The function of personal competition, considered as a part of the social system, is to assign to each individual his place in that system. If “all the world’s a stage,” this is a process that distributes the parts among the players. It may do it well or ill, but after some fashion it does it. Some may be cast in parts unsuited to them; good actors may be discharged altogether and worse ones retained; but nevertheless the thing is arranged in some way and the play goes on.

That such a process must exist can hardly, it seems to me, admit of question; in fact, I believe that those who speak of doing away with competition use the word in another sense than is here intended. Within the course of the longest human life there is necessarily a complete renewal of the persons whose communication and co-operation make up the life of society. The new members come into the world without any legible sign to indicate what they are fit for, a mystery to others from the first and to themselves as soon as they are capable of reflection: the young man does not know for what he is adapted, and no one else can tell him. The only possible way to get light upon the matter is to adopt the method of experiment. By trying one thing and another and by reflecting upon his experience, he begins to find out about himself, and the world begins to find out about him. His field of investigation is of course restricted, and his own judgment and that of others liable to error, but the tendency of it all can hardly be other than to guide his choice to that one of the available careers in which he is best adapted to hold his own. I may say this much, perhaps, without assuming anything regarding the efficiency or justice of competition as a distributor of social functions, a matter regarding which I shall offer some suggestions later. All I wish to say here is that the necessity of some selective process is inherent in the conditions of social life.

It will be apparent that, in the sense in which I use the term, competition is not necessarily a hostile contention, nor even something of which the competing individual is always conscious. From our infancy onward throughout life judgments are daily forming regarding us of which we are unaware, but which go to determine our careers. “The world is full of judgment days.” A and B, for instance, are under consideration for some appointment; the experience and personal qualifications of each are duly weighed by those having the appointment to make, and A, we will say, is chosen. Neither of the two need know anything about the matter until the selection is made. It is eligibility to perform some social function that makes a man a competitor, and he may or may not be aware of it, or, if aware of it, he may or may not be consciously opposed to others. I trust that the reader will bear in mind that I always use the word competition in the sense here explained.

There is but one alternative to competition as a means of determining the place of the individual in the social system, and that is some form of status, some fixed, mechanical rule, usually a rule of inheritance, which decides the function of the individual without reference to his personal traits, and thus dispenses with any process of comparison. It is possible to conceive of a society organized entirely upon the basis of the inheritance of functions, and indeed societies exist which may be said to approach this condition. In India, for example, the prevalent idea regarding the social function of the individual is that it is unalterably determined by his parentage, and the village blacksmith, shoemaker, accountant, or priest has his place assigned to him by a rule of descent as rigid as that which governs the transmission of one of the crowns of Europe. If all functions were handed down in this way, if there were never any deficiency or surplus of children to take the place of their parents, if there were no progress or decay in the social system making necessary new activities or dispensing with old ones, then there would be no use for a selective process. But precisely in the measure that a society departs from this condition, that individual traits are recognized and made available, or social change of any sort comes to pass, in that measure must there be competition.

Status is not an active process, as competition is; it is simply a rule of conservation, a makeshift to avoid the inconveniences of continual readjustment in the social structure. Competition or selection is the only constructive principle, and everything worthy the name of organization had at some time or other a competitive origin. At the present day the eldest son of a peer may succeed to a seat in the House of Lords simply by right of birth; but his ancestor got the seat by competition, by some exercise of personal qualities that made him valued or loved or feared by a king or a minister.

Sir Henry Maine has pointed out that the increase of competition is a characteristic trait of modern life, and that the powerful ancient societies of the old world were for the most part non-competitive in their structure. While this is true, it would be a mistake to draw the inference that status is a peculiarly natural or primitive principle of organization and competition a comparatively recent discovery. On the contrary the spontaneous relations among men, as we see in the case of children, and as we may infer from the life of the lower animals, are highly competitive, personal prowess and ascendency being everything and little regard being paid to descent simply as such. The regime of inherited status, on the other hand, is a comparatively complex and artificial product, necessarily of later growth, whose very general prevalence among the successful societies of the old world is doubtless to be explained by the stability and consequently the power which it was calculated to give to the social system. It survived because under certain conditions it was the fittest. It was not and is not universally predominant among savages or barbarous peoples. With the American Indians, for example, the definiteness and authority of status were comparatively small, personal prowess and initiative being correspondingly important. The interesting monograph on Omaha sociology, by Dorsey, published by the United States Bureau of Ethnology, contains many facts showing that the life of this people was highly competitive. When the tribe was at war any brave could organize an expedition against the enemy, if he could induce enough others to join him, and this organizer usually assumed the command. In a similar way the managers of the hunt were chosen because of personal skill; and, in general, “any man can win a name and rank in the state by becoming ‘wacuce’ or brave, either in war or by the bestowal of gifts and the frequent giving of feasts.”

Throughout history there has been a struggle between the principles of status and competition regarding the part that each should play in the social system. Generally speaking the advantage of status is in its power to give order and continuity. As Gibbon informs us, “The superior prerogative of birth, when it has obtained the sanction of time and popular opinion, is the plainest and least invidious of all distinctions among mankind,” and he is doubtless right in ascribing the confusion of the later Roman Empire largely to the lack of an established rule for the transmission of imperial authority. The chief danger of status is that of suppressing personal development, and so of causing social enfeeblement, rigidity, and ultimate decay. On the other hand, competition develops the individual and gives flexibility and animation to the social order, its danger being chiefly that of disintegration in some form or other. The general tendency in modern times has been toward the relative increase of the free or competitive principle, owing to the fact that the rise of other means of securing stability has diminished the need for status. The latter persists, however, even in the freest countries, as the method by which wealth is transmitted, and also in social classes, which, so far as they exist at all, are based chiefly upon inherited wealth and the culture and opportunities that go with it. The ultimate reason for this persistence without very serious opposition in the face of the obvious inequalities and limitations upon liberty that it perpetuates is perhaps the fact that no other method of transmission has arisen that has shown itself capable of giving continuity and order to the control of wealth.

2. Personal Competition and the Evolution of Individual Types

The ancient city was primarily a fortress, a place of refuge in time of war. The modern city, on the contrary, is primarily a convenience of commerce and owes its existence to the market place around which it sprang up. Industrial competition and the division of labor, which have probably done most to develop the latent powers of mankind, are possible only upon condition of the existence of markets, of money and other devices for the facilitation of trade and commerce.

The old adage which describes the city as the natural environment, of the free man still holds so far as the individual man finds in the chances, the diversity of interests and tasks, and in the vast unconscious co-operation of city life, the opportunity to choose his own vocation and develop his peculiar individual talents. The city offers a market for the special talents of individual men. Personal competition tends to select for each special task the individual who is best suited to perform it.

The difference of natural talents in different men is, in reality, much less than we are aware of; and the very different genius which appears to distinguish men of different professions, when grown up to maturity, is not upon many occasions so much the cause, as the effect of the division of labour. The difference between the most dissimilar characters, between a philosopher and a common street porter, for example, seems to arise not so much from nature, as from habit, custom and education. When they came into the world, and for the first six or eight years of their existence, they were perhaps very much alike, and neither their parents nor playfellows could perceive any remarkable difference. About that age, or soon after, they come to be employed in different occupations. The difference of talents comes then to be taken notice of, and widens by degrees, till at last the vanity of the philosopher is willing to acknowledge scarce any resemblance. But without the disposition to truck, barter, and exchange, every man must have procured to himself every necessary and conveniency of life which he wanted. All must have had the same duties to perform, and the same work to do, and there could have been no such difference of employment as could alone give occasion to any great difference of talent.

As it is the power of exchanging that gives occasion to the division of labour, so the extent of this division must always be limited by the extent of that power, or, in other words, by the extent of the market.... There are some sorts of industry, even of the lowest kind, which can be carried on nowhere but in a great town.

Success, under conditions of personal competition, depends upon concentration upon some single task, and this concentration stimulates the demand for rational methods, technical devices, and exceptional skill. Exceptional skill, while based on natural talent, requires special preparation, and it has called into existence the trade and professional schools, and finally bureaus for vocational guidance. All of these, either directly or indirectly, serve at once to select and emphasize individual differences.

Every device which facilitates trade and industry prepares the way for a further division of labor and so tends further to specialize the tasks in which men find their vocations.

The outcome of this process is to break down or modify the older organization of society, which was based on family ties, on local associations, on culture, caste, and status, and to substitute for it an organization based on vocational interests.

In the city every vocation, even that of a beggar, tends to assume the character of a profession, and the discipline which success in any vocation imposes, together with the associations that it enforces, emphasizes this tendency.

The effect of the vocations and the division of labor is to produce, in the first instance, not social groups but vocational types the actor, the plumber, and the lumber-jack. The organizations, like the trade and labor unions, which men of the same trade or profession form are based on common interests. In this respect they differ from forms of association like the neighborhood, which are based on contiguity, personal association, and the common ties of humanity. The different trades and professions seem disposed to group themselves in classes, that is to say, the artisan, business, and professional classes. But in the modern democratic state the classes have as yet attained no effective organization. Socialism, founded on an effort to create an organization based on “class consciousness,” has never succeeded in creating more than a political party.

The effects of the division of labor as a discipline may therefore be best studied in the vocational types it has produced. Among the types which it would be interesting to study are: the shopgirl, the policeman, the peddler, the cabman, the night watchman, the clairvoyant, the vaudeville performer, the quack doctor, the bartender, the ward boss, the strike-breaker, the labor agitator, the school teacher, the reporter, the stockbroker, the pawnbroker; all of these are characteristic products of the conditions of city life; each with its special experience, insight, and point of view determines for each vocational group and for the city as a whole its individuality.

3. Division of Labor and Social Solidarity

The most remarkable effect of the division of labor is not that it accentuates the distinction of functions already divided but that it makes them interdependent. Its rôle in every case is not simply to embellish or perfect existing societies but to make possible societies which, without it, would not exist. Should the division of labor between the sexes be diminished beyond a certain point, the family would cease to exist and only ephemeral sexual relations would remain. If the sexes had never been separated at all, no form of social life would ever have arisen. It is possible that the economic utility of the division of labor has been a factor in producing the existing form of conjugal society. Nevertheless, the society thus created is not limited to merely economic interests; it represents a unique social and moral order. Individuals are mutually bound together who otherwise would be independent. Instead of developing separately, they concert their efforts; they are interdependent parts of a unity which is effective not only in the brief moments during which there is an interchange of services but afterward indefinitely. For example, does not conjugal solidarity of the type which exists today among the most cultivated people exert its influence constantly and in all the details of life? On the other hand, societies which are created by the division of labor inevitably bear the mark of their origin. Having this special origin, it is not possible that they should resemble those societies which have their origin in the attraction of like for like; the latter are inevitably constituted in another manner, repose on other foundations, and appeal to other sentiments.

The assumption that the social relations resulting from the division of labor consist in an exchange of services merely is a misconception of what this exchange implies and of the effects it produces. It assumes that two beings are mutually dependent the one on the other, because they are both incomplete without the other. It interprets this mutual dependence as a purely external relation. Actually this is merely the superficial expression of an internal and more profound state. Precisely because this state is constant, it provokes a complex of mental images which function with a continuity independent of the series of external relations. The image of that which completes us is inseparable from the image of ourselves, not only because it is associated with us, but especially because it is our natural complement. It becomes then a permanent and integral part of self-consciousness to such an extent that we cannot do without it and seek by every possible means to emphasize and intensify it. We like the society of the one whose image haunts us, because the presence of the object reinforces the actual perception and gives us comfort. We suffer, on the contrary, from every circumstance which, like separation and death, is likely to prevent the return or diminish the vivacity of the idea which has become identified with our idea of ourselves.

Short as this analysis is, it suffices to show that this complex is not identical with that which rests on sentiments of sympathy which have their source in mere likeness. Unquestionably there can be the sense of solidarity between others and ourselves only so far as we conceive others united with ourselves. When the union results from a perception of likeness, it is a cohesion. The two representations become consolidated because, being undistinguished totally or in part, they are mingled and are no more than one, and are consolidated only in the measure in which they are mingled. On the contrary, in the case of the division of labor, each is outside the other, and they are united only because they are distinct. It is not possible that sentiments should be the same in the two cases, nor the social relations which are derived from them the same.

We are then led to ask ourselves if the division of labor does not play the same rôle in more extended groups; if, in the contemporaneous societies where it has had a development with which we are familiar, it does not function in such a way as to integrate the social body and to assure its unity. It is quite legitimate to assume that the facts which we have observed reproduce themselves there, but on a larger scale. The great political societies, like smaller ones, we may assume maintain themselves in equilibrium, thanks to the specialization of their tasks. The division of labor is here, again, if not the only, at least the principal, source of the social solidarity. Comte had already reached this point of view. Of all the sociologists, so far as we know, he is the first who has pointed out in the division of labor anything other than a purely economic phenomenon. He has seen there “the most essential condition of the social life,” provided that one conceives it “in all its rational extent, that is to say, that one applies the conception to the ensemble of all our diverse operations whatsoever, instead of limiting it, as we so often do, to the simple material usages.” Considered under this aspect, he says:

It immediately leads us to regard not only individuals and classes but also, in many respects, the different peoples as constantly participating, in their own characteristic ways and in their own proper degree, in an immense and common work whose inevitable development gradually unites the actual co-operators in a series with their predecessors and at the same time in a series with their successors. It is, then, the continuous redivison of our diverse human labors which mainly constitutes social solidarity and which becomes the elementary cause of the extension and increasing complexity of the social organism.

If this hypothesis is demonstrated, division of labor plays a rôle much more important than that which has ordinarily been attributed to it. It is not to be regarded as a mere luxury, desirable perhaps, but not indispensable to society; it is rather a condition of its very existence. It is this, or at least it is mainly this, that assures the solidarity of social groups; it determines the essential traits of their constitution. It follows even though we are not yet prepared to give a final solution to the problem, we can nevertheless foresee from this point that, if such is really the function of the division of labor, it may be expected to have a moral character, because the needs of order, of harmony, of social solidarity generally, are what we understand by moral needs.

Social life is derived from a double source: (a) from a similarity of minds, and (b) from the division of labor. The individual is socialized in the first case, because, not having his own individuality, he is confused, along with his fellows, in the bosom of the same collective type; in the second case, because, even though he possesses a physiognomy and a temperament which distinguish him from others, he is dependent upon these in the same measure in which he is distinguished from them. Society results from this union.

Like-mindedness gives birth to judicial regulations which, under the menace of measures of repression, impose upon everybody uniform beliefs and practices. The more pronounced this like-mindedness, the more completely the social is confused with the religious life, the more nearly economic institutions approach communism.

The division of labor, on the other hand, gives birth to regulations and laws which determine the nature and the relations of the divided functions, but the violation of which entails only punitive measures not of an expiatory character.

Every code of laws is accompanied by a body of regulations purely moral. Where the penal law is voluminous, moral consensus is very extended; that is to say, a multitude of collective activities is under the guardianship of public opinion. Where the right of reparation is well developed, there each profession maintains a code of professional ethics. In a group of workers there invariably exists a body of opinion, diffused throughout the limits of the group, which, although not fortified with legal sanctions, still enforces its decrees. There are manners and customs, recognized by all the members of a profession, which no one of them could infringe without incurring the blame of society. Certainly this code of morals is distinguished from the preceding by differences analogous to those which separate the two corresponding kinds of laws. It is, in fact, a code localized in a limited region of society. Furthermore, the repressive character of the sanctions which are attached to it is sensibly less accentuated. Professional faults arouse a much feebler response than offenses against the mores of the larger society.

Nevertheless, the customs and code of a profession are imperative. They oblige the individual to act in accordance with ends which to him are not his own, to make concessions, to consent to compromises, to take account of interests superior to his own. The consequence is that, even where the society rests most completely upon the division of labor, it does not disintegrate into a dust of atoms, between which there can exist only external and temporary contacts. Every function which one individual exercises is invariably dependent upon functions exercised by others and forms with them a system of interdependent parts. It follows that, from the nature of the task one chooses, corresponding duties follow. Because we fill this or that domestic or social function, we are imprisoned in a net of obligations from which we do not have the right to free ourselves. There is especially one organ toward which our state of dependencies is ever increasing the state. The points at which we are in contact with it are multiplying. So are the occasions in which it takes upon itself to recall us to a sense of the common solidarity.

There are then two great currents in the social life, collectivism and individualism, corresponding to which we discover two types of structure not less different. Of these currents, that which has its origin in like-mindedness is at first alone and without rival. At this moment it is identified with the very life of the society; little by little it finds its separate channels and diminishes, whilst the second becomes ever larger. In the same way, the segmentary structure of society is more and more overlaid by the other, but without ever disappearing completely.


1. Forms of Accommodation

The literature upon accommodation will be surveyed under four heads; (a) forms of accommodation; (b) subordination and superordination; (c) accommodation groups; and (d) social organization.

The term accommodation, as has been noted, developed as a differentiation within the field of the biological concept of adaptation. Ward’s dictum that “the environment transforms the animal, while man transforms the environment" contained the distinction. Thomas similarly distinguished between the animal with its method of adaptation and man with his method of control. Bristol in his work on Social Adaptation is concerned, as the subtitle of the volume indicates, “with the development of the doctrine of adaptation as a theory of social progress.” Of the several types of adaptation that he proposes, however, all but the first represent accommodations. Baldwin, though not the first to make the distinction, was the first student to use the separate term accommodation. “By accommodation old habits are broken up, and new co-ordinations are made which are more complex."

Baldwin suggested a division of accommodation into the three fields: acclimatization, naturalization, and equilibrium. The term equilibrium accurately describes the type of organization established by competition between the different biological species and the environment, but not the more permanent organizations of individuals and groups which we find in human society. In human society equilibrium means organization. The research upon acclimatization is considerable, although there is far from unanimity of opinion in regard to its findings.

Closely related to acclimatization but in the field of social naturalization are the accommodations that take place in colonization and immigration. In colonization the adjustment is not only to climatic conditions but to the means of livelihood and habits of life required by the new situation. Historic colonial settlements have most infrequently been made in inhospitable areas, and that involved accommodations to primitive peoples of different and generally lower cultural level than the settlers. Professor Keller’s work on Colonization surveys the differences in types of colonial ventures and describes the adjustments involved. It includes also a valuable bibliography of the literature of the subject.

In immigration the accommodation to the economic situation and to the folkways and mores of the native society are more important than in colonization. The voluminous literature upon immigration deals but slightly with the interesting accommodations of the newcomer to his new environment. One of the important factors in the process, as emphasized in the recent “Americanization Study” of the Carnegie Corporation, is the immigrant community which serves as a mediating agency between the familiar and the strange. The greater readiness of accommodation of recent immigrants as compared with that of an earlier period has been explained in terms of facilities of transportation, communication, and even more in the mobility of employment in large-scale modern industry with its minute subdivision of labor and its slight demand for skill and training on the part of the employees.

The more subtle forms of accommodation to new social situations have not been subjected to analysis, although there is a small but important number of studies upon homesickness. In fiction, to be sure, the difficulties of the tenderfoot in the frontier community, or the awkward rural lad in an urban environment and the nouveau riche in their successful entree among the social elite are often accuately and sympathetically described. The recent immigrant autobiographies contain materials which throw much new light on the situation of the immigrant in process of accommodation to the American environment.

The whole process of social organization is involved in the processes by which persons find their places in groups and groups are articulated into the life of the larger and more inclusive societies. The literature on the taming of animals, the education of juveniles and adults, and on social control belongs in this field. The writings on diplomacy, on statescraft, and upon adjudication of disputes are also to be considered here. The problem of the person whether in the narrow field of social work or the broader fields of human relations is fundamentally a problem of the adjustment of the person to his social milieu, to his family, to his primary social groups, to industry, and to cultural, civic, and religious institutions. The problems of community organization are for the most part problems of accommodation, of articulation of groups within the community and of the adjustment of the local Community to the life of the wider community of which it is a part.

Adjustments of personal and social relations in the past have been made unreflectively and with a minimum of personal and social consciousness. The extant literature reveals rather an insistent demand for these accommodations than any systematic study of the processes by which the accommodations take place. Simmel’s observation upon subordination and superordination is almost the only attempt that has been made to deal with the subject from the point of view of sociology.

2. Subordination and Superordination

Materials upon subordination and superordination may be found in the literature under widely different names. Thorndike, McDougall, and others have reported upon the original tendencies in the individual to domination and submission or to self-assertion and self-abasement. Veblen approaches nearer to a sociological explanation in his analysis of the self-conscious attitudes of invidious comparison and conspicuous waste in the leisure class.

The application of our knowledge of rapport, esprit de corps, and morale to an explanation of personal conduct and group behavior is one of the most promising fields for future research. In the family, rapport and consensus represent the most complete co-ordination of its members. The life of the family should be studied intensively in order to define more exactly the nature of the family consensus, the mechanism of family rapport, and minor accommodations made to minimize conflict and to avert tendencies to disintegration in the interest of this real unity.

Strachey’s Life of Queen Victoria sketches an interesting case of subordination and superordination in which the queen is the subordinate, and her adroit but cynical minister, Disraeli, is the master.

Future research will provide a more adequate sociology of subordination and superordination. A survey of the present output of material upon the nature and the effects of personal contacts reinforces the need for such a fundamental study. The obsolete writings upon personal magnetism have been replaced by the so-called “psychology of salesmanship,” “scientific methods of character reading,” and “the psychology of leadership.” The wide sale of these books indicates the popular interest, quite as much as the lack of any fundamental understanding of the technique of human relations.

3. Accommodation Groups

The field of investigation available for the study of accommodation groups and their relation to conflict groups may perhaps be best illustrated by the table on page 722.

The existence of conflict groups like parties, sects, nationalities, represents the area in any society of unstable equilibrium. Accommodation groups, classes, castes, and denominations on the other hand, represent in this same society the areas of stable equilibrium. A boys’ club carries on contests, under recognized rules, with similar organizations. A denomination engages in fraternal rivalry with other denominations for the advancement of common interests of the church universal. A nation possesses status, rights, and responsibilities only in a commonwealth of nations of which it is a member.

Conflict Groups Accommodation Groups

1. Gangs 1. Clubs 2. Labor organizations, employers’ 2. Social classes, vocational
associations, middle-class unions, groups
tenant protective unions
3. Races 3. Castes 4. Sects 4. Denominations 5. Nationalities 5. Nations

The works upon accommodation groups are concerned almost exclusively with the principles, methods, and technique of organization. There are, indeed, one or two important descriptive works upon secret organizations in primitive and modern times. The books and articles, however, on organized boys’ groups deal with the plan of organization of Boy Scouts, Boys’ Brotherhood Republic, George Junior Republics, Knights of King Arthur, and many other clubs of these types. They are not studies of natural groups.

The comparative study of social classes and vocational groups is an unworked field. The differentiation of social types, especially in urban life, and the complexity and subtlety of the social distinctions separating social and vocational classes, opens a fruitful prospect for investigation. Scattered through a wide literature, ranging from official inquiries to works of fiction, there are, in occasional paragraphs, pages, and chapters, observations of value.

In the field of castes the work of research is well under way. The caste system of India has been the subject of careful examination and analysis. Sighele points out that the prohibition of intermarriage observed in its most rigid and absolute form is a fundamental distinction of the caste. If this be regarded as the fundamental criterion, the Negro race in the United States occupies the position of a caste. The prostitute, in America, until recently constituted a separate caste. With the systematic breaking up of the segregated vice districts in our great cities prostitution, as a caste, seems to have disappeared. The place of the prostitute seems to have been occupied by the demimondaine who lives on the outskirts of society but who is not by any means an outcast.

It is difficult to dissociate the materials upon nationalities from those upon nations. The studies, however, of the internal organization of the state, made to promote law and order, would come under the latter head. Here, also, would be included studies of the extension of the police power to promote the national welfare. In international relations studies of international law, of international courts of arbitration, of leagues or associations of nations manifest the increasing interest in the accommodations that would avert or postpone conflicts of militant nationalities.

In the United States there is considerable literature upon church federation and the community church. This literature is one expression of the transition of the Protestant churches from sectarian bodies, engaged in warfare for the support of distinctive doctrines and dogmas, to co-operating denominations organized into the Federal Council of the Churches of Christ in America.

4. Social Organization

Until recently there has been more interest manifested in elaborating theories of the stages in the evolution of society than in analyzing the structure of different types of societies. Durkheim, however, in De la division du travail social, indicated how the division of labor and the social attitudes, or the mental accommodations to the life-situation, shape social organization. Cooley, on the other hand, in his work Social Organization conceived the structure of society to be “the larger mind,” or an outgrowth of human nature and human ideals.

The increasing number of studies of individual primitive communities has furnished data for the comparative study of different kinds of social organization. Schurtz, Vierkandt, Rivers, Lowie, and others in the last twenty years have made important comparative studies in this field. The work of these scholars has led to the abandonment of the earlier notions of uniform evolutionary stages of culture in which all peoples, primitive, ancient, and modern alike, might be classified. New light has been thrown upon the actual accommodations in the small family, in the larger family group, the clan, gens or sib, in the secret society, and in the tribe which determined the patterns of life of primitive peoples under different geographical and historical conditions.

At the present time, the investigations of social organization of current and popular interest have to do with the problems of social work and of community life. “Community organization,” “community action,” “know your own community” are phrases which express the practical motives behind the attempts at community study. Such investigations as have been made, with a few shining exceptions, the Pittsburgh Survey and the community studies of the Russell Sage Foundation, have been superficial. All, perhaps, have been tentative and experimental. The community has not been studied from a fundamental standpoint. Indeed, there was not available, as a background of method and of orientation, any adequate analysis of social organization.

A penetrating analysis of the social structure of a community must quite naturally be based upon studies of human geography. Plant and animal geography has been studied, but slight attention has been given to human geography, that is, to the local distribution of persons who constitute a community and the accommodations that are made because of the consequent physical distances and social relationships.

Ethnological and historical studies of individual communities furnish valuable comparative materials for a treatise upon human ecology which would serve as a guidebook for studies in community organization. C. J. Galpin’s The Social Anatomy of an Agricultural Community is an example of the recognition of ecological factors as basic in the study of social organization.

In the bibliography of this chapter is given a list of references to certain of the experiments in community organization. Students should study this literature in the light of the more fundamental studies of types of social groups and studies of individual communities listed in an earlier bibliography. It is at once apparent that the rural community has been more carefully studied than has the urban community. Yet more experiments in community organization have been tried out in the city than in the country. Reports upon social-center activities, upon community councils, and other types of community organization have tended to be enthusiastic rather than factual and critical. The most notable experiment of community organization, the Social Unit Plan, tried out in Cincinnati, was what the theatrical critics call a succès d’estime, but after the experiment had been tried it was abandoned. Control of conditions of community life is not likely to meet with success unless based on an appreciation and understanding of human nature on the one hand, and of the natural or ecological organization of community life on the other.