The Comparative Role of the Group Concept in Ward's Dynamic Sociology and Contemporary American Sociology

Part 2

Washington University

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This chapter will endeavor to present the uses of the group concept as they are displayed by some scholars who have become distinguished as writers of sociology in America. The sociological field is too wide for any pretense of giving attention to all to whom reference might be made. The selection is purely arbitrary and personal, but the reviews presented are fairly representative of different standpoints. The rule has been adhered to of selecting for extended discussion only those who have become known as sociologists, and who have definitely been aligned with that division of labor.[1] This does violence, in particular, to one group of social scientists which has been particularly prominent in developing the view which is set forth throughout the paper. That group is the social psychologists, such as Baldwin, Mead, and others who have performed an indispensable work in changing the whole bent of thought in social science. In this case also the selection is arbitrary, and has no justification except the limitations of space and the recognition of a division of labor. No effort will be made to review the whole system of sociology that might be found in all the writings of a given author, but only those selections will be made which seem to be appropriate for the purpose in hand. A steady effort will be made to adopt a policy of liberal rather than strict construction in all cases. The order in which the reviews come is partly chronological and partly that of the importance which is given to the use of the group concept.


As a point of departure for the consideration of Giddings' use of the group concept, it will be well to give his conception of his task as a sociologist. He believes the purpose of sociology to be that of conceiving society in its unity and attempting to explain it in terms of cosmic cause and law.[2] In order to accomplish its purpose it seeks to work out a subjective explanation in terms of some fact of consciousness or motive, and an objective interpretation in terms of a physical process. This does not mean a philosophical dualism, but two ways of viewing reality.[3] The central fact of motive or consciousness is, of course, the consciousness of kind. Around this the whole subjective explanation revolves:

Accordingly, the sociologist has three main quests. First, he must try to discover the conditions that determine aggregation and concourse. Secondly, he must try to discover the law that governs social choices, the law that is of the subjective process. Thirdly, he must try to discover also the law that governs the natural selection and the survival of choices, the law that is of the objective process.[4]

With this brief summary of the general point of view and purpose of sociology we may consider in further detail how far Giddings' makes use of the group in gaining the ends he has devined for his subject. In setting out upon the descriptive analysis of society, one must begin with the study of population, since the physical population is the basis for All society. In such a study the first fact to claim attention is the fact of aggregation or grouping. In other words, the group is assumed as the starting point for any study whatever. " Some degree of aggregation is the indispensable condition to the evolution of society." As will be-shown later on in the review, this position is carried through the whole sociological discussion which occupies our attention. The importance of the group factor, as the initial condition of the explanation of all origins, will appear more clearly when we come to the study of the origin and evolution of society. In support of his contention the author cites examples of group life among animals and the fact that human

(427) beings are always found in groups. "The conception of nature as 'red in tooth and claw' is very dear to moralists and politicians, but, unhappily, moralists and politicians do not know nature intimately. A world of living creatures that fear and hate, shun and attack one another without restraint, is not a fact of observation. It is a pure a priori creation of the 'pure' reason."[5]

The term aggregation as used has a special meaning which is intended to distinguish it from association. Aggregation is the physical foundation of society. It is the mere physical concourse of propinquity. Association, on the other hand, has reference to the psychic process which begins in simple phases of feeling and perception, and develops into activities that ultimately call forth the highest powers of the mind. Aggregation is always supplemented by association if the assembled individuals are not too unlike.[6] While one might easily question whether any forms of higher animals or the ancestors of man ever represent mere aggregation as thus defined, yet the fact that is being emphasized by Giddings is sound, namely, that the first assumption from which a sociological study must start is the group, that is forms of life in some sort of "togetherness." Some of the discussion of the process of aggregation seems to lay him open to the charge of having after all to desert his social hypothesis and proceed to aggregate or gather together his individuals, but a careful reading of the whole book with this query in mind must acquit him of the charge. The emphasis is on the fact of being in a group rather than on the active stage of aggregation. The choice of terms is a bad one on account of the active connotation to which the term "aggregation" so easily lends itself. Giddings starts with an association or group, and does not conceive of the individuals as coming together out of nothingness with varying degrees of isolated evolution.

All human beings, from the lowest savages to civilized men, live in family groups.[7] These family groups range in size from tile simplest family unions up to the larger groups found among polygamous peoples. Human societies are composed of families which are combined to form larger aggregates. These aggregates are of two types, the ethnical and the demotic. Ethnical societies are genetic

(428) aggregations in which the chief bond is blood-kinship. Demotic societies, on the other hand, are those associations which are bound together by habitual intercourse, mutual interests, and co-operation, with little or no regard to origins or genetic relations.[8] The demotic society is the later development, although the family group is found in it as well as in the ethnic type. A more detailed consideration of Giddings' development of the nature and formation of these two types of societies will bring out in a number of ways the part which the group plays in his thinking.

Ethnic societies are divided into three great classes according to the degree of development they have reached. The first class is the horde which is composed of a few families, usually not more than a hundred persons in all. These small groups are not found permanently isolated from other similar groups, consequently there results not only an internal group life, but also an intergroup communication. They do not permanently combine, however, so as to become a single group. The next larger group is the tribe, which is an aggregate of several hordes or a differentiated horde which has become very large. Such groups have one language, occupy one territory, and are pretty thoroughly organized unities. The third class of ethnic societies is the still larger group which is a confederation of tribes into an ethnic nation or a folk. Such groups have not yet developed along commercial, industrial, or intellectual lines to a degree sufficient to make them into the modern states.[9] Whatever the class of ethnic society, it may be organized on either the metronymic or patronymic basis. It will be seen from the above summary of Giddings' discussion of the primitive forms of human life that some kind of group life is always in evidence. Whatever the size or form of the life may be, there is the constant factor of the group which makes possible a more or less active social life.

As before indicated, the demotic societies are defined as being those which have attained a civil basis; the blood bond has largely disappeared. In this class are found all the more highly developed states, including the present civilized nations. The latter represent a higher type of social evolution. The family, however, remains

(429) the unitary group. Families are combined into neighborhoods, hamlets, villages; the latter compose the town and so on up to the highest unit, the state.[10] From the lowest to the highest type of organization in groups, the central subjective factor is the consciousness of kind.

The organization of the different members of society into voluntary groups for specified ends is what is called the constitution of a society. These voluntary organizations are on the basis of the consciousness of kind, that is, those that are in sympathetic agreement as to the purposes of the organization. Those that are not of "kind" are generally refused entrance to the special group. These voluntary organizations are numerous, and increase with the development of society. The most important of all voluntary organizations are the political organizations. In addition to the political are the religious organizations, secret societies, cultural groups, labor organizations, in fact, all voluntary groupings which are found to exist in contemporary society. Giddings does not adequately explain the significance of these groups in the life of the individual nor attempt to explain the processes by which the relation of the individual to the group becomes so important. He does not possess the means to do this, and relies on the principle of the consciousness of kind for whatever explanation is given. In other words, he has no social psychology to interpret the significance of the situation he describes. In spite of these limitations, however, it is of interest to this investigation to note the degree to which emphasis is placed on the presence of numerous groups in the actual life of society. The importance of the groups is implied, but the details of the way in which the groups, particularly the " primary groups," are so important in the creation of the individual, are lacking. It remained for later sociological thought to bring out this point more explicitly. The fact of the group, however, as a central fact in human society is consistently kept in view in the discussion with which we are dealing.

Thus far the discussion has largely concerned existing societies, primitive and civilized. In order to show up more clearly the extent to which the group concept plays a part in Giddings' thought,

(430) it will be of value to consider that part of his sociology which has to do with the evolution of society. The development of society is traced through four stages of association: zoogenic, anthropogenic, ethnogenic, and demogenic. We shall observe the same order in seeking to find out to what extent he has used the group as a factor in the evolutionary process which he attempts to follow.

The term "zoogenic association" suggests that the author conceives association, or the group life, to have been a factor among animals and the precursors of man. We shall try to point out the wide use which is made of this conception in the course of a few pages. The principle upon which he proceeds is stated in this manner: " If animal life in the primeval ages was not wholly different from the animal life now, association had been quietly working its transforming results for millions of years before mankind appeared upon the earth. "[11] In other words, the group life began long before man appeared, and not only that, it had also been a vital factor in preparing for his advent. How this had been done will appear as we proceed with the review. First of all, the group life or association had certain direct effects on the mental life of the associated forms.[12]

These effects were, first, an original development of native susceptibilities and powers, such as susceptibilities to suggestion, capability of imitation, antipathies, sympathies, power of discrimination and co-ordination; secondly, a considerable accumulation of knowledge; and thirdly, a further development of all powers and susceptibilities. Association thus reacted on the whole organism. It gave the social animal an advantage in securing a more adequate food supply, afforded a wider range of sexual selection within the group, and gave the group a greater advantage in struggles with hostile or unfavorable surrounding flora or fauna.

Giddings carries the group value still further and maintains that the group has been a factor in the origin of species. The extent to which the social factor is carried may be seen from the following quotations: "Association was one of the great co-operating causes of the origin of species";[13] "It is not possible to doubt that

(431) for thousands of years before man existed, natural selection was everywhere supplemented by conscious choice, a direct product of association"; "Association, in short, was a chief cause of variation and of characterization. It created new varieties, and in them it reproduced, in ever-increasing strength, the instinct to associate."[14] In commenting upon the strictly biological approach to the evolutionary problem he demands: Ms there not a fatal lack in the biological philosophy that ignores the social factor and attempts to account for variation through physiological processes only ? Was not animal intelligence a selective agency that combined and recombined the factors of evolution ? And was not association a factor in the development of intelligence?" [15] After citing many examples from Kropotkin (Mutual Aid), he resumes, " On the whole, we may accept M. Kropotkin's conclusion that society has been a more powerful aid than any other in the struggle for existence. But it has been so, not because of any mysterious power in itself, but because it has acted directly on the characters of the associated individuals, transforming them gradually, and by degrees developing mental power."[16] With the defects in the analysis made, we are. not concerned. It is immaterial for our purpose whether, from the side of biology, the details of the plan are sound or not. What the passages do show is, that Giddings had in mind the group as a very important factor in the actual life of the animal forms and of the precursors of man, and that the group played a very important part, not only in the development of the subsequent group life, but also was a factor in the development of the individual forms. The whole of Giddings' view on this point is summarized in this way:

Thus throughout the ages before man, association was zoogenic. It was causing variation and was determining survival. It was differentiating animal life into kinds, and was bringing to a high state of perfection the kinds that were best equipped with a social nature, with habits of mutual aid, and with elementary forms of social organization. In achieving all this, association was preparing the way for man and for human society. Thousands of years, perhaps millions of years, before man was born, the foundations of his empire were being laid in the zoogenic associations of the humblest forms of conscious life.[17]

(432) In other words, human society has its roots in the group life of the distant past, and in order to analyze the evolutionary basis of society and of man, one must have recourse to the fundamental fact of the group.

Under the term anthropogenic association, Giddings discusses the fact of association among prehistoric peoples and its relation to-the development of human beings. It is the next stage above animal, or zoogenic, association described above. No existing societies can be found which are in this stage, but there are enough similarities revealed by the study of primitive tribes to suggest some parallels. These are supplemented by the discoveries of archaeologists which have revealed a good deal of the nature of prehistoric life.

In this type of association, as in the former, the group plays a central part. All evidence points to the conclusion that the prehistoric peoples lived in groups, as did their animal ancestors, and as do their descendants. There is no evidence of a hiatus of a non-group life between the social animals and social man.

All the remains of primitive man show that they lived as savage men live, in groups. The ape-like ancestor of man must have been a social animal. Is there any reason to suppose that between the social anthropoid and the social primitive man there was intercalated a pair living out of social relations and so far differing mentally and physically from all the other creatures that any society with them was impossible? If there is, it would be just as well to go back to the hypothesis of special creation; for the mental and physical differences that mark me off from other creatures are those that are created by social intercourse, and without society they could not have had a natural genesis.[18]

The group, then, is the sine qua non of the evolution of human society and man. It is the group with its interrelations that has produced those qualities which distinguish man from other forms of animal life and has given him his pre-eminence. "If the conclusions hitherto reached in this work are true, it is necessary to believe that association, more extended, more intimate, more varied in its phases, than the association practiced by inferior species, was the chief cause of the mental and moral development, and of the anatomical modifications that transformed a sub-human species into man. " [19]


In his analysis of the nature, origin, and function of language, Giddings displays, in a very clear fashion, the group factor as a part of the social process in evolution. Of the importance of speech in the development of society and of human beings he says: "Speech is the specific attainment that separates man from the brute and is the means to the development of his higher intellectual qualities."[20] As will be shown later, this peculiar achievement is a social product, and therefore is a result of group relations.

Language is defined broadly:

Language, the system of signs by which simple ideas, recepts, and concepts are expressed, may consist of gestures, grimaces and tones, of inarticulate utterances, of articulate sounds, or of articulate sounds, tones and gestures in combination. The language of gesture and tone is the language of recepts; It is well developed among animals and is the natural language of children, mentally deficient adults and savages. Articulation is a secondary language of recepts and the only language of concepts.[21]

Giddings adopts Romanes' classifications of the signs that constitute language, whether such signs are gestures, tones, or articulate sounds, namely: (1) indicative; (2) denotative; (3) connotative; (4) denominative; (5) predicative. These represent an advancing gradation from the simplest expression of sensations up to the expression of concepts. Animals cannot ascend above the third class of signs, and only rarely as far as the third. The fourth and fifth classes of signs are employed only by man. In other words, animals below man have language, but not speech.[22]

The "crucial question in the problem of the origin of human faculty" is, How was the transition made from the lower type of language to the higher type? In trying to answer this crucial question, Giddings follows Donovan in looking for the solution in the intimate relation between speech, on the one hand, and ideation,

(434) with choral music, on the other. Under the stimulus of excitement which occurs at festal occasions and celebrations, with their intense emotion, social interest, and rhythm, "signs were first distinguished in thought from the things signified, and so conventionalized as names, movable types of speech."[23] The inadequacy of this explanation of the problem is quite apparent, but the important point to be noted is not its inadequacy but that it brings in the essential fact of the group, and the emotional tension arising in group life, as the starting-point for all attempts to explain the problem of the origin of language in its higher forms. It was the group which gave the human being a language which enabled him to lift himself above the other forms of life.

The effect of language upon the nature of the developing forms was to develop what Giddings calls human nature.

From the moment that the hominine species began to practice speech, however feebly, however awkwardly, it began to develop a human nature. lie term "human nature" has so long been associated with economic motives and with individualism, that it has acquired a perverted meaning. Human nature is not the unsocial egoistic nature. Self-interest is not the distinctively human trait; it is a primordial animal trait, which man, an animal after all, still possesses and must cultivate if he would continue to live. Human nature is the pre-eminently social nature.[24]

The thought contained here has been developed by other sociologists and is sound.[25] Human nature is a group product and is essentially a human characteristic. The instincts have their roots in the distant past of the physical organism, but the mind or self is created by the group and is a social product; it is human nature.

Giddings criticizes the traditional view of the order of evolution as being unsound in that it reverses the true order. He describes the traditional view as follows: "In the conceptions of evolution that became current after the publication of the Descent of Man, the development of man was pictured as beginning in a physical transformation, continuing in a mental and moral development, and completing itself in an evolution of social relations."[26] Such a view, according to Giddings, reverses the true order of cause and

(435) effect. " Social life enlarged and stimulated the mental life until it created speech and conceptual thought. With the aid of speech and conceptual thought, association continued to develop the mental activity at an ever-accelerating rate until it became the supreme activity and dominant interest of man."[27] By reason of the fact of association in group life there developed language and the resulting power of thought. "To create the human mind was the great work of anthropogenic' association." [28]

Enough has been given to show the central position which in Giddings' view the group occupies in human evolution. As has been suggested, there is an absence of an adequate process to explain the origin of speech and the human mind, but they are properly considered as results of a group mode of life extending back into the dim animal past. Giddings' psychological point of view is that of an intellectualistic dualist, which, from the standpoint of a behaviorist or functionalist, is open to serious criticism, but, for the present, that is outside, the purpose of this review. That purpose is to indicate some of the ways in which Giddings used the group as a fact in constructing his sociology. It is hoped that the purpose has been accomplished.

Concerning the relation of the individual to the group in present societies, Giddings says: " The individual, therefore, is not prior to society, or society to the individual. Community is not precedent to competition, or competition to community. From the first, competition and community, society and the individual, have been co-ordinate. Society and the individual have always been acting and reacting upon each other."[29] This passage suggests the thesis which Cooley followed,[30] and which expresses the starting-point for modern social psychology, namely, the individual and the group are but two phases of the larger whole. The final end of the whole social process is not, however, the ultimate exaltation of the group at the expense of the individual, as implied by Plato and actually carried out in the German state, but rather the reverse: "The function of society is to develop conscious life and to create human personality."[31]


Professor Ross has made his particular contribution to American sociology in the field of what he has defined as social psychology and its subordinate branch, social control. This investigation win, therefore, endeavor to find in his writings bearing on those subjects to what extent he makes use of the group as a tool of thought in the solution of the problems arising in those fields.[32] In doing so, we shall seek out those phases of his discussion which seem to bear upon certain points that may be of aid, rather than attempting to give a résumé of his whole sociological contribution. In order to derive a perspective for the summary it will be well to present Ross's conception of the whole sociological field and of the particular place of each branch in the whole scheme.

In, his Foundations of Sociology Ross attempts to define the scope and function of sociology and to give it its place among the social sciences. The first task he sets himself is to define the subject-matter of the science. The "social organism" will not do because, look where we will, we find no "social body complete with head, limbs, periphery, and viscera." The study of the relation between groups, and between the group and the individual, is not broad enough to constitute the subject-matter of the science, because it must embrace the genesis of the groups and there are many relations between individuals that do not involve the groups. If we turn to the modes or forms of association into groups, after Simmel's notion, we have only one of the provinces of sociology, namely social morphology. Human achievement, which was Ward's subject-matter for the science, is again but one volume of a treatise on sociology. Much of the field of human interaction is not embraced within the subject of achievement. Ross's conception of sociology as the science of association is extended by Ross himself. Sociologists are eager to investigate the "springs of human progress," to find the causes of social transformations, to trace the influence of environment on humanity; but these do not belong to the problem of association. " Social psychology, social morphology, social mechanics .... all of them

(437) are, it seems to me, but convenient segments of a science, the subject-matter of which is social phenomena. I say 'phenomena' in preference to 'activities,' because it embraces beliefs and feelings as well as action.[33] In defining what are " social phenomena," he says: " All phenomena which we cannot explain without bringing in the action of one human being on another.[34]

The science which has social phenomena for its subject-matter is necessarily the master-science; it aspires to the suzerainty of  the special social sciences.[35] The justification for such a claim is found in the interrelatedness of society.

Although there are several facets to human nature, although each aspect of social life has some sort of psychic basis of its own, still, the deeper we penetrate into the causes of human affairs, the more impressed are we with the cross relations between social phenomena of different orders.[36]

. . . . The fuller our knowledge, the more impressed we are with the relativity of each class of social phenomena to other classes. Society no longer falls apart into neat segments like a peeled orange. State, law, religion, art, morals, industry, instead of presenting so many parallel streams of development, are studied rather as different aspects of one social evolution.[37]

Although one might dissent from the claim for sociology inferred from this statement, still the latter indicates a clear conception of the fact that human life is a social process, a group, and that the group conception must be held in mind in all attempts to study this thing that we call society in any of its multifarious forms.

What is the unit of investigation with which sociology has to deal ? Is it the group ? Is it the individual ? Is it something else ? To these questions Ross returns very definite answers. There is no use to look for a single elementary social fact: "When the assay is completed, at the bottom of the crucible will probably be found several ultimates."[38] The individual must be rejected as the unit because that is the unit of anthropology. Furthermore, only the spiritual part of man is molded by association, and not everyone is drawn in between the social rollers.[39] The functional group will

(438) not do for the social unit; since many groups are antagonistic to society, they have no part in the division of labor. Groups are temporary and shifting, and while a study of groups and group relations is of very great value, it is not the unit of social investigation. Not can the institution be considered the social unit. It leaves out of account those social relations and those groupings which are temporary and do not become institutions. All these things are products; they have arisen out of the actions and interactions of men. To understand them, " we must ascend to that primordial fact known as the social process."[40] This is the basic unit. It is not single, however, but manifold, social processes.

Leaving the larger sociological field, it is of value to place in that field the particular subjects of study, social psychology and social control. It is in these lines that Ross shows his thinking most clearly, and they will, therefore, merit closer examination. Social psychology, as Ross conceives it, "studies the psychic planes and currents that come into existence among men in consequence of their association."[41] It has to do with psychic uniformities, that is, with uniformities due to social causes. It is distinguished from sociology proper in that the latter deals with groups and structures. It is distinguished from psychological sociology by the fact that it omits the psychology of groups.[42] The problem of social control is but one phase of social psychology, namely, conscious social ascendancy.[43] These differentiations of definition are necessary in order to preserve an honest criticism of Ross's work, and enable us to escape misinterpretation of varying terminologies. With this introduction we pass on to a more concrete study of his use of the group concept in his analysis. In doing so we shall take up several illustrative problems that are especially fitted to display the use to which he puts such a conception, and the failures to use it, if such there be.

In order to see what use is made of the group concept, we may examine the crucial question of the relation of the individual to

(439) the group, as Ross sees it. With reference to the problem of order in society, Ross says:

I began the work six years ago with the idea that nearly all the goodness and conscientiousness by which a social group is enabled to hold together can be traced to such influences [social influences]. It seemed to me then that the individual contributed very little to social order, while society contributed almost everything. Further investigation, however, appears to show that the personality freely unfolding under conditions of healthy fellowship may arrive at a goodness all its own, and that order is explained partly by this streak in human nature and partly by the influence of social surroundings.[44]

In attempting to state the reciprocal relation between the individual and the group, Ross adopts uncritically the thought of Baldwin: "In other words, the ego and the alter are only the same thought with different connotations. I use the same notion of personality, now in thinking of ego, now in thinking of alter. Hence, I must read into the other person the same desires and interests I feel in myself."[45] Upon this basis Ross builds his conception of the sense of justice as one of the agencies of control. The use made of Baldwin's thought in a few such discrete passages indicates that Ross did not grasp the significance of either the process or the implications of the theory which Baldwin was trying to develop. The conception of the self and the alter as being twin phases of a total social situation, which is the basis of all social psychology, was never utilized by Ross. His references in such statements as the above were merely perfunctory. They do show, however, a reaching after the heart of the social process and a consciousness that it is in the group-individual relation that a sound sociological unit must be found. Though lacking in many particulars, the writer of Social Control was getting at the heart of the sociological problem; it was an attempt to interpret the process and significance of the relation of the group to the individual, in so far as the social influences mold and shape the individual into its own likeness. Of the essential part of the group in the formation of the various attitudes of the individual, Ross was well conscious. Thus, for example: 

The fact is, every group of men exhibits a morality corresponding to its place in the hierarchy of groups Many nepotists, sectaries, and

(440) partisans are simply victims of one of these unscrupulous group moralities. Adherents of sects -- anarchists, Jesuits, Jacobins, émigrés -- are induced by the sectego to commit crimes they would not commit for themselves.[46]

Again, the influence of smaller groups on the individuals in them is powerful:

Every party, labor union, guild, lodge, surveying corps, or athletic team will, in the course of time, develop for its special purposes appropriate types of character or observance, which exert on its members an individual pressure subordinating them to the welfare or aims of the association.[47]

These quotations indicate the place which Ross gives to the group in the influencing of the actions of the members of those groups. He does not, however, grasp fully the essentially social nature of the origin of moral codes and moral attitudes. His individual is largely given and, once given, the group has a powerful effect upon him. He does not utilize adequately the place of the group in the creation of moral attitudes arising out of group crises. In fact the individual is the source of all ethical improvements.

Ross does not enter into a study of social origins to any length. He takes society as it is and deals with the problems of association as he finds them. Occasional references, however, disclose his hypothesis as to some of the problem of social origins. He inclines to adopt the view of Ward and Comte that the altruistic attitude is relatively a late development in social evolution: "In the light of the facts collected by many workers, it is no longer difficult to trace the slender stem of altruism rising from the lower levels of mammalian life side by side with the thicker and rougher trunk of egoism."[48] To bridge the chasm he exploits the rôle of sympathy. In addition to sympathy there are certain gregarious instincts that facilitate harmony in social relations, but

we do not yet know whether our simian ancestor was most akin to the solitary ape, or to the sociable chimpanzee, but it is safe to say that man was never so thoroughly sociable as the horse, the prairie dog, or the grass-eating animals generally. With even the best of strains of man, the gregarious instincts do not seem to have very long roots. His social union comes late and is not easy to maintain .... Those enthusiasts, then, who draw charming lessons from the study of gregarious animals and of social insects not only fail to give us

(441) the clew to human association, but are very apt to lead us quite astray as to the real causes of social order.[49]

Ross recognizes, however, that the studies of anthropologists among the primitive communities that exist show a natural community life with a relatively peaceful nature. This is one of the paradoxes of anthropology.[50] How this paradox is to be reconciled with his theory of the origin of altruism and social impulses is not adequately explained. Since primitive times, he continues, the present civilized peoples have gone through a process of evolution which destroyed the primitive attitudes of sociability and replaced them with individualistic ones. Still more recently there is a reversion, through the selective process, to the more sociable type, resulting from the disappearance of the frontier and the creation of an industrial stable life. The older primitive association was a natural one, while the latter is a more rational one following upon the perception of the advantages of association.[51] Ross also finds racial difference when it comes to the matter of sociability. The superior dolichocephalic blond race of North Europe is "mediocre in power of sympathy and weak in sociability " but it has a preeminent sense of justice. It is the protestant race, the race which achieves dominion over others and individual liberty.[52]

In connection with the place of the group or social factor in the explanation of the social process, it is of interest to note that Ross recognizes the fact of the transition from an individualistic type of psychology to a social psychology:

The older psychology was individualistic in its interpretations. The contents of the mind were looked upon as elaborations out of personal experience. It sought to show how from the primary sense-perceptions are built up ideas, at first simple, then more and more complex-ideas of space, time, number, cause, etc. The upper stories of personality, framed on beliefs, standards, valuations and ideals, were comparatively neglected. The psychologists failed to note that for these highly elaborated products we arc more indebted to our fellowmen than to our individual experience, that they are wrought out, as it

(442) were, collectively, and not by each. for himself. The newer psychology, in accounting for the contents of the mind, gives great prominence to the social factor. It insists that without interaction with other minds the psychic development of the child would be arrested at a stage not far from idiocy.[53]

This criticism of the older psychology is certainly sound. It is also true that there has been going on a swing to the social interpretation of the origin of the mind both phylogenetically and ontogenetically. The shift which Ross mentions here is the most significant shift in the social sciences. It is essentially the shift to the group as the center of thought and investigation.

In attempting to apply the newer psychology, which he expressly adopts, Ross follows in the path of Tarde and Baldwin. To the former particularly is he indebted for his thought. If one were to find in his whole sociological system a central thought, it is the explanation of social life in terms of the planes and currents of uniformity which are achieved by means of suggestion and imitation. The rôle of the individual is that of the inventor. The innovator's products are made the possession of the group by the process of imitation or suggestion. Aside from imitation Ross has no clue to explain the social process. Its inadequacy is not recognized, and the tendency is for it to be used uncritically without any attempt to enter into its psychological limitations.[54]

In dealing with that most interesting part of contemporary social psychology, the nature and origin of the self, Ross does not go much farther than to refer with approval occasionally to Baldwin, as suggested above. Such references, however, do not penetrate to the center of Ross's thinking, and they are essentially foreign to his general argument. For all practical purposes, he assumes the self as given, the individual as already formed. His problem is then the rather futile one of attempting to mold and shape this complete individual into social conformity, to bend the individual will into some sort of social order. Such is the central thesis one

(443) finds in the books to which we have referred. Had he mastered the significance of Baldwin's contributions to the problem of social psychology, to say nothing of the advances that have been made upon Baldwin's work, he must have realized that he was neglecting the most fertile field for the utilization of the group concept in the field of social psychology. Underneath the planes and currents of uniformity which we see on the surface of society are vast depths to which he does not apply himself. Professor Mead has put his finger on the weakness just noted, in these words: "Sociality is for Professor Ross no fundamental feature of human consciousness, no determining form of its structure."[55] In other words, he has made only a partial, though stimulating, use of his group concept. His thinking is essentially individualistic. He stands as a transition point in the development of the recognition of the essentially fundamental importance of sociality, of the group, in social interpretations.

Ellwood defines sociology as the science of the origin, development, structure, and function of the reciprocal relations of individuals.[56] As will be found out in later discussion, he makes special mention of the psychic interaction which, in his opinion, is the essence of the social process. In other words, his definition of the subject implies a group relation to start with. In so far as the social origins are to be treated, they must be treated with the primary assumption of a group of social beings in more or less of psychic interaction. " In a psychological interpretation of society, therefore, we must begin with concerted or co-ordinated activity, with the group acting together in some particular way, for it is this which constitutes the group a functional unity, and which is the first psychic manifestation of group life."[57] For Ellwood, this interacting relationship, this psychic stimulus and response, is the central factor in sociological study. In looking for a concrete object which may be adopted as the unit or object of investigation he finds it in the group. " So

(444) far as there is a concrete object of the sociologist's attention, it is the group of associated individuals."[58] As soon as the investigator shifts his attention from interactions to the individuals concerned in the associational process or mental interaction, he becomes a psychologist or biologist and loses the end of the sociologist's quest. We thus see that in Ellwood's general introduction to the sociological problem he has the group in the foreground as the sine qua non of his search. Whether used adequately or not, it is the basic assumption in all his thinking. How it is used in the various problems he meets will appear in later pages of this review.

To bring out more clearly the central place which the group occupies in Ellwood's thought it will be worth while to refer to his discussion of the nature and origin of society. After reviewing several conceptions of society which have been suggested by different writers, he adopts as a tentative definition of society," any group of psychically interacting individuals."[59] " The only criterion by which we may decide whether any group constitutes a society or not is its possession or non-possession of the essential mark of a society, namely, the functional interdependence of its members on the Psychical side." [60] Applying this criterion to various groups such as a family, a nation, a debating club, a civilization, he finds that they are all within the given category. The term society as he uses it is a very broad one, and would come within the meaning of the term group where that term is used to cover social situations in which the actions of one form of life answer to and stimulate activities in another form. The definition given above indicates the bent of Ellwood's thinking along the psychological line of approach to the sociological problem. He does not ignore the biological approach, but feels that the psychological is the more important as the basis for an adequate sociology. Some of the possible criticisms of his stressing of the "psychical" interactions will be mentioned later.

With this view of the nature and definition of society we may proceed to the problem of the origin of society. To begin with, Ellwood points out that the life-process is essentially social. It

(445) involves interaction from the start. This interaction goes through an evolution from a physical to a psychical basis. He expressly repudiates the individualistic approach to the problem of the origin of society and adopts the group as his starting-point.

Life is not, and cannot be, an affair of individual organisms. The processes of both nutrition and reproduction of all higher forms of life involve a necessary interdependence among organisms of the same species, which, except under unfavorable conditions, gives rise to group life and psychical interaction. Society is no more the result of the coming together of individuals in isolation than the multicellular organism is the result of the coming together of cells so developed. Society, that is, the psychical interaction of individuals, is an expression of the original and continuing unity of the life-process of the associating organisms.[61]

We have here then an avowed adoption of what has been called the social hypothesis, or, in other words, the group concept, as the fundamental starting-point in the discussion of the much-discussed problem of the origin of society. The contrast with the position of Ward and much of the earlier sociological thought is abrupt and definite. Ellwood states that the "most serious errors in sociology have been introduced through the assumption of primitive isolation or separateness. "[62]

In carrying out in more detail the development of society, Ellwood shows how social life is a function of the food and reproductive processes. Under ordinary conditions the food process is essentially a social matter or group matter. It is of fundamental importance both to the individual and to the group. The social factor has selective value in the food process.

Now, control over the food process can be more easily established by groups of co-operating individuals than by isolated individuals. Natural selection operates, therefore, from the first in favor of such groups, and toward the elimination of individuals living relatively isolated. It must especially favor those groups in which the interactions between individual units are quick and sure-that is, those groups in which the power of psychic inter-stimulation and response is fully established and in which intelligent co-operation and orderly relations between individuals are highly developed. It is not an accident that the most successful, and, in general the higher animals live in groups with well-ordered relations and highly developed means of inter-stimulation and co-operation.[63]


However important the food process may be in the group life, the reproductory process is still more important as a group factor in the evolution of the higher types of association or society. The presence of the young implies a social situation in which there are at least two persons. The most important of the relations growing out of the reproductive process is not the relation of the male to the female, but of the parent to the child, particularly the relation of the mother and the child. This becomes increasingly important as the period of infancy is prolonged:

In the relationship of the mother to the child we have the beginnings of that sympathetic social life of which the family has remained the highest type, and which has become the conscious goal of civilized human society. Society in the sympathetic sense then has had its beginnings in the family, that is, in the relation of the child form to the mother form.[64]

Human society is but an evolution of animal societies. In other words, the group life was characteristic of the ancestors of man; "animal society is the precursor of human society," and human society is "but a form of animal society." The "whole difference between the two . . . . is in the forms and definiteness of the psychical interaction between individuals." [65] The chief charac teristic distinguishing human from animal society is the possession, by the former, of language and abstract reasoning. All other differences can be reduced to these two.[66] Whatever degree of difference may exist between the two types of society, human society is an inheritance from animal society and may be regarded as a form of animal society. The origin of society has been affected and modified by the intellectual factors that have developed, but "human society is not in any sense an intellectual construction due to the perceptions of the utilities of association."[67] In other words, the intellectual factors are a result of the group life, and their presence assumes the priority of the group as a necessary precedent. This is an exact reversal of the position taken by Ward. The group is thus conceived, in Ellwood's thinking, as the fundamental concept in the explanation of the origin of contemporary social life.


In order to show further the place of the group concept, it is interesting to discover what answer Ellwood gives to the question as to whether man was primitively a social animal. The foregoing discussion implies the emphatic affirmative answer he gives to the question:

There is not the slightest evidence that man was ever a solitary creature, or even that he lived in solitary family groups. The evidence from the highest animals, from prehistoric archaeology, from the lowest existing savages, from human instincts, from language and other sources, points to the conclusion that primitive man lived in hordes of several related families.[68]

This, it will be remembered, is contrary to the argument of Ward. The distinction between the two is that Ellwood maintains the group concept in his theory of origins. With reference to the muchelaborated " anti-social " characteristics, which led Ward and others to predicate a non-social primitive ancestor of man, Ellwood points out that these qualities are a later development, due to the changes in the group life:

The answer is that while man was primitively social, his sociality was narrow, confined largely to the family and to the kindred group, and that consequently be is not as yet well adapted to wider social relations. It is interesting to note, however, that these so-called anti-social traits of man are not found most fully developed among the lowest savages. Rather they characterize peoples that are somewhat advanced in culture, particularly those in the stage of barbarism The lowest peoples in point of culture even at the present time we find again to be essentially peaceful. War with its ferocities, cannibalism, and slavery are relatively late products, then, in social evolution, and incident to man's adjustment to a wide and more complex social environment. It is, therefore, quite within the truth to say that it is the struggle and conflict that have been developed with the species in its more complex stages of evolution that have called forth, sometimes in exaggerated forms, the predatory and anti-social tendencies which we see more or less in human society at present.[69]

In so far then as there is a problem of socialization, it is one of making the individual a factor in the larger and more complex life of the community so as to extend his habitual small group attitudes to the larger groups also. Ellwood's use of the group as the tool for the interpretation of the origin of society and for the explanation of the so-called anti-social characteristics, particularly the latter,

(448) is a real advance over the position of Ward. It displays an adequate grasp of, the place of the group as the fundamental starting-point for sociology and for all social sciences as well. The group concept marks the most significant step in sociological thought since Ward's Dynamic Sociology.

Professor Ellwood emphasizes the importance of the "primary groups" as they are conceived by Cooley. These face-to-face groups constitute the most significant agencies by which social unity is created and continued:

Now, these small primary groups, the family, the neighborhood community, and other groups which involve face-to-face association, are manifestly the natural environment for the development of the social traits of the individual. They are, in other words, the natural medium for the development of our social life; they preserve its unity in time, and hence we shall have to Consider them at length when we consider the problem of social continuity.[70]

These groups are the particular carriers of tradition. It is through them more than through our schools, churches, etc., that the social life, the social inheritance, is transmitted from generation to generation. "So important is tradition in human society that in practically all stages of civilization we find certain institutions whose special work is to be carriers of tradition. In modern civilization these institutions are especially schools, churches, libraries, and the like. However, the real carriers of tradition are not these specialized institutions, but the primary groups of which we have already spoken, especially the family and the neighborhood groups. If human society had to rely upon schools and libraries to conserve its mental life, its continuity on the psychic side would be very imperfectly developed."[71]

The great importance attached to the family group is characteristic of all of Ellwood's writings.

The family is perhaps the chief institutional vehicle of tradition in human society. It has been such in all stages of civilization, and as long as it continues to be the chief environment of children of tender years, it will doubtless continue to be so. In the family the child learns his language, and in learning it he gets with it the fundamental knowledge, beliefs, and standards contained in the tradition of his civilization, or at least of his class. So much does the

(449) child get his essential social traditions from his family life that many educators claim that moral instruction can never be given adequately in our public schools, but that the real foundation of the moral tradition must be gotten while the child is yet of tender age from his family circle.[72]

This small family group with its close association is the source of the primary ideals. From this smaller group life these ideals are carried into the larger groups.

It is from the family group that we get, in the main, our notions of love, service and self-sacrifice; and we learn these ideals in the family the more effectively, because the life of the normal family group usually illustrates the practices which these ideals stand for. Taking these primary ideals from the family life, we apply them to the social life generally, and even to humanity at large. The family then, we may say, is the natural medium for the development and transmission of the ideals and standards of the social life. It has been the cradle of civilization in the past, and something like its organization seems to be the normal goal which men set up for society at large to realize. Two traditional ideals which are potent in our civilization, for example the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man, are quite sufficient in themselves to illustrate the importance of the family as a maker and conserver of social ideals.[73]

From the neighborhood groups certain ideals are gathered by the child which are fundamental for its participation in any social group.

In the same way, we have received from our neighborhood group the ideals of freedom, fair play, justice and good citizenship. The very ideal of social solidarity itself comes, as Professor Cooley shows, from the unity experiences in these small primary groups. Inasmuch as these groups have certain traits which are found in all stages of civilization, there is certainly much to be said for Professor Cooley's idea that what we ordinarily call "human nature" is largely acquired there.[74]

The reason why those groups are so important and powerful in engrafting the fundamental social traditions on the growing generation is that the meanings of these traditions are accompanied, to a large extent, by actual behavior. They are thus a part of the activity of the child rather than being merely precepts.

The meaning of essential traditions is clearer in these groups to the young because they are accompanied, to a large extent, by actual behavoir (sic) correlated with the tradition. In other words, these groups are also the carriers of custom,

(450) in the sense of definite habits of social behavior. The child therefore can get the meaning of a certain tradition regarding government, religion or morality, for example, from the family life, better than he can from the printed page or even the spoken word. He can get the meaning, too, better in the close and intimate relations of the family group than he can in the more partial and uncertain associations of the school or the neighborhood.[75]

Professor Ellwood might have carried this suggestion of his functional psychology further. It is a logical "planation coming from one whose express psychological point of view is that the act is the proper unit of thought.

The use of the primary group in tracing so large a part of social evolution thus constitutes one of the most important uses of the group concept possible. In emphasizing these small groups, Ellwood is recognizing in social theory one of the striking developments in contemporary practical life, namely, the growing consciousness of the small local group as the center of so many phases of social activity.[76]

One of the interesting and fruitful ways in which Ellwood applies his psychology to group situations is shown in his discussion of the problem of the origin and function of social consciousness. Applying the analogy of the rôle of consciousness in individual life, he finds that social consciousness arises when a group crisis arises, that is, when the old and hitherto useful habits have broken down and are no longer able to meet the situation. In such cases social consciousness enters, and like individual consciousness, its rôle is to create a new adjustment in a conflict situation. He describes the process in this manner:

One can say, in a general way, perhaps, and be approximately near the truth, that all social changes start in an unconscious way; that they are then brought to consciousness, and later conscious efforts are made to guide and control them. In other words, social changes start, as a rule, with some change in the environment or in the inner make-up of the group, which makes old social habits and institutions no longer well adjusted, or even altogether unworkable. Thus, changes in the mere numbers of a group may make some social custom, adapted to a smaller group, unworkable. In some cases where the new adjustments to be made are slight, or take place very slowly, they may not come vividly into the consciousness of the members of a group. But when

(451) the changes are great, rapid, or complex, they come into the consciousness of the members of the group, and some attempt to control them usually takes place.[77]

Now it is evident that what is called social consciousness in human groups has to do with the adaptation of the group as a whole to some situation, just as individual consciousness has to do with adaptation. It is only by developing such a state that the activities of the members of a group can be accurately co-ordinated in the way required by a complex social life. The more complex groups, therefore, show more social consciousness. The city group shows more than the rural group, and the civilized group more than the uncivilized.[78]

Some light for our discussion may be gained in considering Ellwood's conception of the nature and function of the mind. This is one of the crucial points in the problems of social origins and is significant for our purposes, since it reveals pretty clearly just what the point of view of a particular writer under discussion may be. In any given case it displays whether the group conception is the fundamental one, or whether the author has recourse to an individualistic explanation for the difficult problem he faces. The significance of this for social control and for social theory will be pointed out later, The mind, according to Ellwood, is a part of the life-process and a part of the general evolutionary stream.[79] Its function is that of control over complex adaptive processes.[80] Consciousness arises where new adjustments or adaptations to a complex situation are made necessary by the failure or inadequacy of pre-existing co-ordinations.[81] Mind thus comes to be a thing having distinct survival value, and as such giving human beings an enormous advantage.[82] From the very first, since it is selective, it assumes a teleological or purposeful rôle.[83] This purposive activity increases in scope and importance until at the present complex stage of the higher civilizations, it may be said to be the dominant type.[84]

This résumé of Ellwood's discussion is sufficient to show that his effort is to follow the general lines of a functional psychology. His footnote acknowledgments express his definite nominal adherence to that point of view. His adherence to a consistent functional psychology is apparent, rather than real. The mind, with

(452) is still a thing in itself. Consciousness "comes in" to mediate difficult conflict situations. Both mind and consciousness remain entities which are unexplained, and, except when making an effort to class himself as a functionalist, he is using a structural point of view. His writing exhibits an interesting halfway station between an earlier structural-metaphysical point of view and a later functional point of view, with the former predominating.[85]

As a supplementary fact to this criticism one may add the more or less recurring dualism running through that part of Ellwood's discussion dealing with social psychology. This probably is a natural result of his conception of mind or consciousness as an entity. He carefully distinguishes between physical interaction and psychic interaction.[86] "Each mind is, so far as we know, wholly unconnected with other minds except through the intervention of physical media."[87] This unconscious dualism pervades both of Ellwood's major works, and is never unified. just why the glance of the eye, the movement of the body of one form, and the reciprocal gestures and cries of another form, are not as much a part of the psychical as any other part of the total activity circuit is hard to see.[88] To take the act and not an isolated segment called psychic as the unit seems the only way out of the dualism. The act is social, and in so far as it has significance for sociology it involves the group. To segment the act is to make an inadequate use of the group concept in approaching the very interesting and difficult problem of the "mind."[89]

Before leaving this phase of the discussion it should be noted that Ellwood recognizes and emphasizes the fact that the mind is a social product:

We cannot doubt the social character of the individual mind. While consciousness exists only in the individual, every aspect of consciousness has been socially conditioned. This is true even of the racially inherited aspects of consciousness, the instincts, emotions, and practically all native impulses. The higher human instincts and emotions, especially, show very plainly their reference to the social life, and function quite as much with reference to the life of the group as they do with reference to the life of the individual. The acquired traits of consciousness practically all come to us through our social environment. From it we get not only our knowledge, our beliefs, our ideals, but even our precepts and concepts, in the strict sense of these term. It is in the "give and take" of the social life that we learn and develop practically all of the phases of the consciousness of adult life. In a word, mind has been developed through interaction of mind with mind in the carrying on and controlling of common life processes. Mental life belongs, therefore, quite as much to the group as to the individual.[90]

This point of view, which one might denominate the prevailing one in contemporary sociology in America, is adhered to pretty consistently throughout Ellwood's writings. He does not, however, furnish any sufficient process whereby the result arrived at in the group relation, namely, the development of the mind, the self, or consciousness, is explained. just what the process is, in terms of functional psychology, whereby language, meaning, and mind have been created by the group is not set forth. Imitation is stressed, but it cannot suffice.[91] Until this gap is filled, it would seem there can be no complete social psychology. It is the missing link in the application of the group concept to the problems of sociology.

On the whole, Ellwood has made one of the distinguished contributions to sociological thought in America. The group concept is

(454) one of his fundamental concepts. One is struck by the frequency with which the word recurs on almost every page of his writings. He has gone a long distance in attempting to bring to sociology the results and methods of a newer type of psychology. That he left some gaps and unexplored comers, or that he failed to apply his tools in the proper way at all times, is not surprising. The chief criticism that might be made is that he did not go far enough. What he lacks may be ascribed to the mixture of an older psychology with his functional superstructure, or "the endeavor to adapt the rubrics of introspective psychology to the facts of objective associated life."[92]

Cooley's writings have given him rank as one of the real contributors to sociological thought in America. The three books under consideration may all be ranked as studies in social psychology rather than in general sociology or social origins.[93] The subject which formed the problem of investigation for his first book, society and the individual, may be looked upon as the subject of his writings in general. The situation before him is always one involving a group. This summary will not attempt to present a review of his whole system, but will select out salient parts which seem to display most clearly the use of the group concept in his analysis of the various problems that he attempts to treat. Such problems, for example, as the relation of society to the individual, the nature of the mind in so far as it is both social and individual, the nature and formation of the self, the nature and origin and importance of primary groups, freedom, pecuniary valuation, will give a fairly good insight into the use made of the group concept.

We may begin, as he does in his first book, with the long-debated problem of the relation of the individual to the group, or society and the individual. Of the fundamental nature of his conception

(455) of this relation he does not leave one long in doubt, although the whole book is but an elaboration of the principles laid down in the first chapter.

A separate individual is an abstraction unknown to experience, and so likewise is society when regarded as something apart from individuals. The real thing is Human Life, which may be considered either in an individual aspect or in a social, that is to say, a general, aspect; but is always, as a matter of fact, both individual and general. In other words, "society" and "individuals" do not denote separable phenomena, but are simply collective and distributive aspects of the same thing, the relation between them being like that between other expressions, one of which denotes a group as a whole, and the other the members of the group, such as the army and the soldiers, the class and the students, and so on.[94]

The point of view suggested is so thoroughly a part of Cooley's general thought that it will be well to cite further statements explaining and elucidating it. Each will serve of itself to show the prominent place which the group occupies in the assumptions from which he starts his discussions. Continuing the thought that the individual and society are one, he says still more emphatically:

And just as there is no society or group that is not a collective view of persons, so there is no individual who may not be regarded as a particular view of social groups. He has no separate existence; through both the hereditary and the social factors in his life a man is bound into the whole of which he is a member; and to consider him apart from it is quite as artificial as to consider society apart from individuals.[95]

Consequently any view which sets society over against the individual, or vice versa, as its fundamental assumption is false to the facts.

I think, then, that the antithesis, society versus the individual, is false and hollow whenever used as a general or philosophical statement of human relations. Whatever ideas may be in the minds of those who set these words and their derivatives over against each other, the notion conveyed is that of two separable entities or forces; and certainly such a notion is untrue to fact.[96]

In order to clarify his conception of the indissoluble relationship which he has described, Cooley expressly repudiates four traditional conceptions that have prevailed or do prevail in current thought. The first of these is what he calls "'mere individualism," in which the

(456) collective aspect is as nearly as possible ignored: "Each person is held to be a separate agent, and all social phenomena are thought Of as originating in the action of such agents. The individual is the source, the independent, the only human source, of events."[97] This view enters into the current thought of the day, being congenial to the "ordinary material view of things and corroborated by theological and other traditions." The second view which he repudiates is the "double causation," in which society and the individual are thought of as separate causes with a division of power between them. This is the view "ordinarily met with in social and ethical discussion." It is not advance, philosophically, upon the one first mentioned:

There is the same premise of the individual as a separate unrelated agent; but over against him is set a vaguely conceived general or collective interest and force. It seems that people are so accustomed to thinking of themselves as uncaused causes, special creators on a small scale, that when the existence of general phenomena is forced upon their notice they are likely to regard these as something additional, separate, and more or less antithetical.[98]

Another view which is inadequate, according to Cooley, is " the social faculty view." This view regards the social as including a part only of the individual. "Human nature is thus divided into individualistic or non-social tendencies or faculties, and those that are social. Thus, certain emotions, such as love, are social; others, as fear, or anger, are unsocial or individualistic."[99] In contrast to this particular-faculty view, Cooley presents the thesis that "man's psychical outfit is not divisible into the social and the non-social; but that he is all social in a large sense, is all a part of the common human life."[100] A fourth view which must be discarded is "primitive individualism":

This expression has been used to describe the view that sociality follows individuality in time, is a later and additional product of development. This view is a variety of the preceding and is, perhaps, formed by a mingling of individualistic preconceptions with a somewhat crude evolutionary philosophy. - - . . Man was a mere individual, mankind a mere aggregation of such; but he has gradually become socialized, he is progressively merging into a social whole. Morally speaking, the individual is bad, the social the good, and we must push on the work of putting down the former and bringing in the latter.[101]

(457) In contrast to this view of the priority of the individual in point of time, Cooley asserts that

individuality is neither prior in time nor lower in moral rank than sociality; but that the two have always existed side by side as complementary aspects of the same thing, and that the line of progress is from a lower to a higher type of both, not from the one to the other . . . . . If we go back to a time when the state of our remote ancestors was such that we are not willing to call it social, then it must have been equally undeserv;ing to be described as individual or personal.[102]

If the person is thought of primarily as a separate material form, inhabited by thoughts and feelings conceived by analogy to be equally separate, then the only way of getting a society is by adding on a new principle of socialism, social faculty, altruism, of the life. But if you start with the idea that the social person is primarily a fact in the mind, and observe him there, you find at once that he has no existence apart from a mental whole of which all personal ideas are members, and which is a particular aspect of society.[103]

The foregoing statements are sufficient to show the nature of Cooley's point of view in his approach to the social problem. The unit which he has in mind is always a group, of which one may take either an individual aspect or a total or collective aspect. The group and the individual are but two phases of the same or total social situation. To attempt to approach the study of society, as Ward did for instance, from the standpoint of the individual, and then attempt to create a social superstructure on the basis of that individual approach is an abstraction that the facts do not warrant. From the beginning, according to Cooley, there must have been a group situation. It is the fundamental hypothesis upon which he constructs his whole subsequent thought. The further points of inquiry which we shall pursue are in reality but amplifications of this fundamental one, but they will serve to illustrate and clarify it and will, to some extent, show the process which is found to exist in them all. We may begin with the closely related discussion of the individual and social aspects of the mind and of the nature of the mind in general.

In defining the term mind in its social and individual aspects, Cooley carries his synthetic view, elaborated above, into every part

(458) of the discussion. To understand his discussion we must discover his definition of the mind. This he gives in the following words:

Mind is an organic whole made up of co-ordinating individualities, in somewhat the same way that the music of an orchestra is made up of divergent but related sounds. No one would think it necessary or reasonable to divide the music into two kinds, that made by the whole and that of the particular instruments; and no more are there two kinds of mind, the social mind and the individual mind. When we study the social mind we merely fix our attention on larger aspects and relations rather than on the narrower one of ordinary psychology.[104]

In other words, the conception of a separate and isolated individual entity, which can be called the mind, is an abstraction which has no real existence. The point will become clearer as we go on to discuss Cooley's treatment of the problem of consciousness and the self. It will be noted that the group relation is kept consistently in view throughout.

Consciousness, whether one is treating of social consciousness or self-consciousness, is invariably a product of a group relation. Neither can arise without the other.

Social consciousness or awareness of society is inseparable from self-consciousness, because we can hardly think of ourselves excepting with reference to a social group of some sort, or of the group except with reference to ourselves. The two things go together, and what we are really aware of is a more or less complex personal or social whole, of which now the particular, now the general, aspect is emphasized. In general then most of our reflective consciousness, of our wide-awake state of mind, is social consciousness, because a sense of our relation to other persons, or of other persons to one another, can hardly fail to be a part of it. Self and society are twin-born, we know one as immediately as we know the other, and the notion of a separate and independent ego is an illusion. This view, which seems to me quite simple and in accord with common-sense, is not the one most commonly held, for psychologists and even sociologists are still much infected with the idea that self-consciousness is in some way primary, and antecedent to social consciousnew, which must be derived by some recondite process of combination or elimination.[105]

The view here enunciated is so vitally a part of all Cooley's thinking that it will bear repetition in different forms. It would be difficult to find a more complete statement of the growing view of social

(459) psychology as to the essentially social nature of the individual and of the self.

Cooley criticizes Descartes' well-known maxim, Cogito, ergo sum, upon the ground that it is an abstraction of the individual aspect of a social situation and a positing of that as the primary fact, to the neglect of the other pole of the dialectic. It is "one-sided or 'individualistic' in asserting the personal or 'I' aspect to the exclusion of the social or 'we' aspect, which is equally original with it."[106] Descartes' error was a result of a too narrow introspection. A broader introspection reveals the fact "that the 'I'-consciousness does not explicitly appear until the child is, say, about two years old, and that when it does appear it comes in inseparable conjunction with the consciousness of other persons and of those relations which make up a social group."[107] In other words, Descartes lacked an adequate conception of the group as a fact in mental development. The consciousness of self implies the consciousness of others and vice versa. "Self and society go together, as phases of a common whole. I am aware of the social groups in which I live as immediately and authentically as I am aware of myself."[108]

Closely connected with the social nature of the self and of consciousness, is the problem of thought as a social process. Thought, according to Cooley's explanation, is essentially an implication of the group process. In other words, thought is a social process. "Our thoughts are always, in some sort, imaginary conversations; and when vividly felt they are likely to become quite distinctly so."[109] Thought has grown up out of the interrelations of living forms. Whether we view it as it develops in the case of the child, or in the most highly developed type of reflection, thinking always implies the other forms of life. Thought is essentially internal conversation, internal dialogue. That is, it is a group product, and always implies a group both for its inception and for it-, development. It is true of adults as it is of children that "the mind lives in perpetual conversation." "The fact is that language, developed by the race through personal intercourse and

(460) imparted to the individual in the same way, can never be dissociated from personal intercourse in the mind; and since higher thought involves language, it is always a kind of imaginary conversation. The word and the interlocutor are correlative ideas."[110] This implication of the fundamental relation of the group to both language and thought, and the very close relation, one might say identity, between language and thought, is one of the most important implications of the group concept which modern social psychology has developed. Cooley has performed a real service in pointing out some suggestive ways in which the problem may be followed up. The radical contrast that this view presents to that of Ward, in which thought was assumed to antedate group or social life, is -quite apparent. It symbolizes one of the most important differences in the rôle of the group concept and its implications. It is true, of course, that Cooley does not discover any process whereby self-consciousness arises and functions, nor does he show the process by which the self it, created or by which the social product, language, becomes reflective thought. He does, however, by calling attention to the essentially social nature of self, language, and thought, establish the basis for his sociological approach to the problems which he discusses. Some such presumption, it would seem, is necessary for the founding of a real claim for sociology as a social technique.

Two very significant applications of the group concept remain to be pointed out. They constitute two very significant and important contributions to social theory in general. They are Cooley's elaboration of the nature and importance of "primary groups" and his group or social approach to the problem of pecuniary valuation. The meaning and significance of the term "primary groups" as developed by Cooley are so well recognized that it is hardly necessary to do more than to call attention to the point. The importance of the family, the playground, the neighborhood was not unknown before his treatment of them, but their real importance could be pointed out only on the basis of an adequate social psychology. So long as the self, the individual, was looked upon as a datum rather than as a creation of social or group life, the intimate

(461) face-to-face groups, while more or less important as secondary factors, could not assume a primary rôle. Once, however, the newer social psychology has taken upon itself to regard the self, thought, and the individual as products of a group relation, then the intimate associational groups become primary in importance. In other words, the significance of Cooley's contribution in this respect is not in calling attention to certain universal forms of group life, but in reinterpreting that group life in terms of a social psychology. The degree to which the local group life is coming to have a recrudescence of emphasis in various fields of thought is, to some extent at least, influenced by Cooley's able use of the group concept in this part of his thinking.

With reference to the other point mentioned, the discussion of the problem of value, it is not within the province of this paper to attempt to present a résumé of the argument presented. The relevant point for us is that, in taking up the problem of pecuniary valuation, Cooley approaches it from the social point of view rather than from the individual point of view as is common in economic theory. In other words, it is an effort to deal with the problem of pecuniary valuation in particular from the group point of view. In carrying out his purpose, Cooley makes use of the fundamental social psychology which runs through all his work. In doing this he is making, a contribution to the, as yet, young attempt to apply the group concept, the social point of view, to the province of valuation in economic theory, which has for so long been the preserve of the individualist. The usual treatment of the problem in economic theory, according to Cooley,

starts with demand as a datum, assuming that each individual has made up his mind what he wants and how much he wants it. There is seldom, I believe, any serious attempt to go back of this, it being assumed, apparently, that these wants spring from the inscrutable depths of the private mind. At any rate it has not been customary to recognize that they are tile expression of an institutional development.[111]

What Cooley attempts to do is to go back of these individual wants, as found in the individual minds of economic theory, and show that the minds themselves, as well as the wants or demands, are

(462) socially created; that the group has formed and made them as they are. A treatment of value which ignores this fundamental part of the valuation process as at best a half-truth. The market is an institution and as such creates its values and demands, shapes the types of wants and tends, like any institution, to preserve itself and its wants from changes and modifications. The result of the individualistic treatment of valuation which has been current is to saddle the whole institution of the market on human nature:

The accepted economic treatment would seem to be equivalent to a renunciation of any attempt to understand the relation of value to society at large; or, in other words, of any attempt to understand value itself, since to understand a thing is to perceive its more important relations.[112]

The truth of the situation is that the problem is a social one, valuation is a social process rather than an individual one. The market itself is the main factor in creating values. This does not mean merely

that pre-existing individual estimates are summed up and equilibrated in accordance with the formulas of economic science; though this is one phase of the matter, but also that the individual estimates themselves are moulded by the market, at first in a general way and then, in the process of price making, drawn toward mechanical uniformity. The individual and the system act and react upon each other until, in most cases, they agree, somewhat as in fashion, in religious belief and the like. The influence of the market is not secondary either in time or importance to that of the person; it is a continuous institution in which the individual lives and which is ever forming his ideas.[113]

From these quotations one may see that what Cooley is attempting to do is to apply his psychology of the relation of the individual and the group to the particular social problem of valuation. It is merely, by way of summary, an application of the newer social psychology to the province of economic theory in so far as it has to do with valuation. We are not concerned with the further details of the application. It is enough to point out that the overwhelming number of writers in political economic theory are individualistic in their thinking, but that, in his latest book, Cooley is attempting to proceed logically from the prevailing point of view in contemporary social psychology. In a word, it is an effort to approach the heart of economic theory from the group

(463) standpoint. That this has not been done with any degree of success by economists themselves is but an illustration of the way in which sciences fix the attitudes and values of the workers in their respective fields.[114] The individualistic prepossessions which were woven into economic theory early in the formation of economics as a separate science will tend to survive long after new points of view have become commonplaces in social psychology.

Miss Follett's book, The New State, is the most important analysis of the group concept and its significance for social practice that has recently appeared.[115] Like some of the other books that have been noted in the discussions of this chapter, the group concept forms such a large part of the text that to attempt to show in any adequate way the details of its treatment would involve a repetition of almost the whole of the work. The effort will be confined, therefore, to an attempt to select out those parts of the discussion which show most clearly the prominence of the group in the author's, mind, and the uses to which the concept is put. Such a plan necessarily will do violence to a book which is so thoroughly permeated with the group idea that it merits bodily inclusion in this essay. We shall have occasion to refer to it again in the next chapter.[116]

In order properly to approach the point of view with which Miss Follett sets about her task, it will be well to inquire into the psychological point of view with which she begins. That is, we must find out what is meant by the " new psychology " as contrasted with the discarded "old psychology." The key to the former is

(464) that it refuses to recognize the legitimacy of the separation of the individual from the group:

We have long been trying to understand the relation of the individual to society; we are only just beginning to see that there is no "individual," and that there is no "society." It is not strange, therefore, that our efforts have gone astray, that our thinking yields small returns for politics. The old psychology was based on the isolated individual as the unit, on the assumption that a man thinks, feels, and judges independently. Now that we know that there is no such thing as a separate ego, that individuals are created by reciprocal interplay, our whole study of psychology is being transformed.[117]

In other words, the new psychology is a social psychology which recognizes the interacting socii in a total social situation as the unit. Such a psychology must be more than an "application of individual psychology to a number of people."[118] The new psychology, on the, other hand, "must take people with their inheritance, their 'tendencies,' their environment, and then focus its attention on their interrelatings."[119] Again, we must distinguish a proper social psychology from that so-called social psychology which makes "socially minded" tendencies on the part of individuals the subject of its study. "Such tendencies still belong to the field of individual psychology."[120] " A social action is not an individual initiative with a social application, neither is social psychology the determination of how far social factors determine individual consciousness. Social psychology must concern itself primarily with the interaction of minds."[121] In other words, it is group psychology.

Still another distinction is to be made between the latter and what has sometimes passed for group psychology, namely, crowd psychology. "Social psychology may include both group psychology and crowd psychology, but of these two group psychology is much the more important."[122] This distinction between the group and the crowd is conceived to be fundamental. The crowd and the group "represent entirely different modes of association." "Crowd action is the outcome of agreement based on concurrence of emotion rather than of thought, or if on the latter, then on a

(465) concurrence of emotion produced by becoming aware of similarities, not by a slow and gradual creating of unity."[123] The process by which this creation of unity is secured will be explained later. The point to be noted here is that a crowd psychology, while it has received more study, is to be distinguished from a group psychology or social psychology as used by the author. The latter is the more important, not only for present analysis of group life, but for a constructive program in a democracy. In a word, the essence of the theme of the book is that the group process must be substituted for the "crowd fallacy." With these preliminary remarks on the general psychological point of view we may pass to other matters which will serve to illustrate and amplify the suggestions contained in the foregoing quotations.

In order to understand the further references to the group as the fundamental concept with which the book deals, it is necessary to sketch briefly what is meant by the term "the group process" as it is used. The group process is the heart of the group psychology, and is represented as the only solution of the problem of democracy. In its essence it is a stimulus-and-response situation in a group, whereby a real group mind is created out of integration of the attitudes of the co-operating persons. This process is not one of mere addition or subtraction of individual attitudes. The attitudes are not fixed. The result of group discussion and activity is a composite whole which is something new. It is not secured by the acquiescence of the member of the group but by his contribution. It is not compromise or a striking of averages. It is not suppression of one part by the other members. The group process is found only when there is an integration of differences and agreements into a new whole. "It is an acting and reacting, a single and identical process which brings out differences and integrates them into a unity. The complex reciprocal action, the intricate interweavings of the members of the group, is the social process." [124]


In contrast to the group process as thus sketched, two theories of the group process are criticized, namely, "the imitation theory and the like-response-to-like-stimuli theory."[125] Imitation is a part of our social life but it is only a part, and a "part that has been fatally over-emphasized."[126] It has been made the bridge to span the gap "between the individual and society, but we now see that there is no gap, therefore no bridge is necessary."[127] The chief error in making imitation the basis of a social psychology is that it stresses likenesses to the neglect of the other very important factor, difference:

The core of the social process is not likeness, but of harmonizing difference through interpenetration. But to be more accurate, similarity and difference cannot be opposed in this external way-they have a vital connection. Similarities and differences make up the differentiated reactions of the group; that is what constitutes importance, not their likeness or unlikeness as such. I react to a stimulus; that reaction may represent a likeness or an unlikeness. Society is the unity of these differentiated reactions . . . . . Unity is brought about by the reciprocal adaptings of the reactions of and this reciprocal adapting is based on both agreement and difference.[128]

This does not mean that there is not uniformity. The distinction to be made is between uniformity as given, and the unity which we achieve. Uniformity means stagnation. Similarity is a doctrine of degeneration. "Unity, not uniformity, must be our aim. We attain unity only through variety. Differences must be integrated, not annihilated, nor absorbed."[129] "The unifying of difference is the eternal process of life-the creative synthesis, the highest act of creation, the at-onement."[130]

Closely connected with the unification of thought through what has been described as the group process of integration is the unification of feeling, or "collective" feeling as it is called. It is recognized by Miss Follett that the unification of thought which she has described is only part of the group process. Here again, it is pointed out, the older individualistic psychology is inadequate to give a true explanation of the origin and nature of sympathy:

Particularistic psychology, which gave us ego and alter, gave us sympathy going across from one isolate being to another. Now we begin with the group.

(467) We see in the self-unifying of the group process, and all the myriad unfoldings involved the central and all-gerniinating activity of life. The group creates. In the group, we have seen, is formed the collective idea, "similarity" is there achieved, sympathy also is born within the group-it springs forever from interrelation. The emotions I feel when apart belong to the phantom ego; only from the group comes the genuine feeling with-the true sympathy, the vital sympathy, the just and balanced sympathy.[131]

We have here an excellent statement of the relation of the group to the feeling of sympathy, as well as a clear conception of the central position of the group as opposed to the older separation of one independent individual from another, with the consequent necessity of getting them together through the invention of a bond of feeling. The necessity of the assumption of the priority of the group as the basis for the appearance of sympathy is clearly set forth in the following passage:

It has been thought until recently by many writers that sympathy came before the social process. Evidences were collected among animals of the "desire to help" other members of the same species and the conclusion drawn that sympathy exists and that the result is "mutual aid." But sympathy cannot antedate activity. We do not, however, now say that there is an the feeling "instinct" to help and then sympathy is the result of the helping; and the activity are involved one in the other.[132]

The reason why we have had difficulties in trying to find out whether self-interest or love for one's fellows is the chief motor force in society has been because "we have thought of egoistic or altruistic feelings as pre-existing; we have studied action to see what precedent characteristics it indicated. But when we begin to see that men possess no characteristics apart from the unifying process, then it is the process we shall study."[133] The recognition of the group life as the center and starting-point for social analysis is quite apparent from the older views criticized. This emphasis which Miss Follett places upon activity as the key to the interpretation of the group process, is one of the cardinal characteristics of functional psychology. One of the significant suggestions, in a practical application of the point of view that has been presented, is contained in the following words:

This means that we must live the group life. This is the solution of our problems, national and international. Employers and employed cannot be

(468) exhorted to feet sympathy for one another; true sympathy will come only by creating a community or group of employers and employed. Through the group you find the details, the filling out of Kant's universal law. Kant's categorical imperative is general, it is empty; it is only a blank check. But through the life of the group we learn the content of universal law.[134]

This recognition of the importance of the implications of the relation of group activity to the formation of the feeling of sympathy and all other moral qualities can hardly be exaggerated. The empty attempts to form moral character by the repetition of moral precepts, which has been the common theory of educational and religious leaders and institutions, find in the above statement a much-needed corrective. The educational application of the theory that the group activity is the center from which education must proceed will be pointed out later. Attention is called to it here to show the significance of the group concept as a basis for the analysis of the feelings of sympathy as suggested by the passage last quoted above.

Although the author's point of view has been suggested, it will be well to take up in some specific details her conception of the relation of the individual to society. We shall have occasion to point out that a distinction is made between the old individualism and the new individualism; we shall take up the former first and deal with it and the category "society" at the same time. The key to Miss Follett's position is given in these words: "A man is a point in the social process rather than a unit in that process, a point where forming forces meet straightway to disentangle themselves and stream forth again. In the language of the day, 'man is at the same time a social factor and a social product." [135] The sundering of the individual from the larger whole is as "artificial and late an act as the sundering of consciousness into subject and object." The same view of the group as the reality is set forth more fully in the following statement of it

The individual is the unification of a multiplied variety of reactions. But the individual does not react to society. The interplay constitutes both society on the one hand and individuality on the other; individuality and society are evolving together from this constant and complex action and reaction. Or, more accurately, the relation of the individual to society is not action and reaction, but infinite interactions by which both individual and society are

(469) forever a-making; we cannot say, if we would be exact, that the individual acts upon and is acted upon, because that way of expressing it implies that he is a definite, given, finished entity, and would keep him apart merely as an agent of the acting and being acted on. We cannot put the individual on one side and society on the other, we must understand the complete interrelation of the two. Each has no value, no existence without the other.[136]

The above summary of the view of the relation of the individual to the group and its condemnation of the older individualistic viewpoint suggests the author's conception of the " new individualism," or the proper and sound individualism. Individualism, in this latter sense, is a late social product. It consists in the development of the individual to the highest power in a collective or intense group life. The development of a true social life is not antagonistic to the development of an individual, but is a part of the same process. In other words, the two develop together. The new view of individualism does not destroy the individual, as has been charged. Those who advocate the newer view are giving "the fullest value to the individual that has ever been given, are preaching individual value as the basis of democracy, individual affirmation as its process, and individual responsibility as its motor force."[137] This conception of individualism suggests a criticism of the older conception of freedom or liberty. That conception was that the "solitary man was the free man, that the man outside society possessed freedom but that in society he had to sacrifice as much of his liberty as interfered with the liberty of others."[138] Such a conception of freedom involves the fallacies of the older psychology with its assumption of the priority of the individual. The true idea of freedom, the argument runs, is found only in that view which conceives of the individual and the group developing together; a man "gains his freedom through perfectly complete relationship because thereby he achieves his whole nature."[139] Freedom is found in what has been described as the group process, in the integration process whereby a social unity is created out of differences and agreements. One becomes free as one enters into the intense social life and becomes an actual part of it:

That we are free only through the social order, only as fast as we identify ourselves with the whole, implies practically that to gain our freedom we must

(470) take part in all the social life around us; join groups, enter into many social relations, and begin to win freedom for ourselves. When we are the group in feeling, thought and will we are free.[140]

We see, then, that the group is the central concept in the working out of the ideas of freedom and of individualism. Freedom and individualism, in, the proper sense of the term, are not opposed to the group, but are implied in the group conception of life. It is only in a group that individuality and freedom are possible.. They are corollaries of a group conception of the human process. Both are achievements.

Before leaving the discussion of the relation of the individual to the group or to society, it may be well to notice briefly Miss Follett's view of the concept "society," and her criticism of the social-organism theory. With reference to the first, she very properly observes that there is no such thing as society en masse. In that, sense the term is a misnomer. The reality is a number of groups to which one is more or less intimately attached:

I am always in relation not to "society," but to some concrete group. . . . Practically, "society" is for every one of us a number of groups. The recognition of this constitutes a new step in sociology, analogous to the contribution William James made in regard to the individual The vital relation of the individual to the world is through his groups; they are the potent factors in shaping our lives.[141]

In other words, the study of society becomes the study of groups.

With reference to the organic conception of society, Miss Follett takes the position that it is inadequate, although containing one essential truth. That truth is that it attempts to stress the fundamental unity of the thing it is describing. The term is valuable as a metaphor but is lacking in psychological accuracy.[142] The criticisms made of the analogy set forth nothing that has not been brought forth by other writers in attacking the theory. Most of the defects have been acknowledged even by the sponsors for the theory in American sociology. They need not be repeated here.

In order to bring out more clearly the position of the writer we are now reviewing, it will be helpful to summarize the application of her view. to the theory of human progress. Two of the older

(471) theories of progress are examined; first, that progress depends on individual invention and crowd imitation; and second, that progress is the result of struggle and survival of the fittest. Taking up the first of these theories, it is pointed out that the second half of it has been disposed of above in connection with the criticism of the theory of imitation as the process of social psychology. The first half of the theory, individual invention, is briefly treated. The individual does not invent or originate in the older sense of the terms. The older view committed the error of ignoring the fact that the individual is himself a group product. Conceding all that may be true of inborn ability, still, according to Miss Follett, the " individual " idea one brings to a given group " is not really an 'individual' idea; it is the result of the process of interpenetration, but by bringing it to a new group and soaking it in that the interpenetration becomes more complex."[143] "There wells up in the individual a fountain of power, but this fountain has risen underground, and is richly fed by all the streams of the common life."[144] The place of the group in invention, though not generally a part of the common thought, has been so fully elaborated by other writers that it is hardly necessary to suggest the soundness of Miss Follett's application of the group view to the invention theory.

The second theory of progress, struggle and survival, is subjected to several criticisms. In the first place, it has been placed upon an individualistic basis, pictured as a struggle between individuals. The equally important fact of co-operation and group life was ignored. Not only among men, but in the animal world as well, "biologists tell us that 'mutual aid' has from the first been a strong factor in evolution,"[145] giving to those animals which exhibit it an advantage over the solitary type. Assuming correction of the individualistic conception of struggle, does the conception of group struggle suffice as an adequate process of progress ? To this question a negative answer is given because group struggle implies a subjection of one group by the other; it violates the principle that progress is achieved by the integration of differences, by the extension of membership in ever higher groups. Even if the struggle idea is extended no further than the intellectual world it is invalid, because

(472) the true way to progress is not through argument or struggle but through the process of group integration of differences, that is, through what has been called the " group process. " True discussion is not struggle, but "an experiment in co-operation."[146] "We must learn co-operative thinking, intellectual teamwork. There is a secret here which is going to revolutionize the world." [147]

The failure to take into account the group process is the error in both the older notions of progress which have just been criticized. The true approach, according to Miss Follett, to an adequate theory of progress is to be found in the group process: " Progress then must be through the group process. Progress implies respect for the creative process, not the created thing; the created thing is forever and forever being left behind us."[148] Out of the group life alone comes the creative power. "No individual can change the disorder or the iniquity of this world. No chaotic mass of men and women can do it. Conscious group creation is to be the social and political force of the future. Our aim is to live consciously in more and more group relations and to make each group a means of creating. It is the group which will teach us that we are not puppets of fate."[149] Progress, in other words, is to be secured by the application of the group conception to our whole life. Thus will it "revolutionize the world."

Thus far in the summary, attention has been directed to the problem of setting forth the fundamental notions of the writer under discussion, of clarifying the meaning of the concept "group,') and showing some of its implications. From now on it will be well to point out some of the ways in which the group concept that has been developed may be used in practical problems. Lack of space necessitates doing violence to the constructive side of Miss Follett's discussion. It may be summarized in the following words: "We have said, 'The people must rule.' We now ask, 'How are they to rule?' It is the technique of democracy which we are seeking. We shall find it in group organization."[150] That is, the "new state"

(473) is to be secured by discarding the older conceptions and perfecting the organization of groups as the only workable democratic method. At the bottom of a sound democratic group method is placed the neighborhood group. This small "primary" group, as Cooley calls it, is the foundation stone upon which Miss Follett erects her edifice. It is here that, for political purposes, the group process works out. It is here that public opinion is formed and made effective. It is here that the individual is discovered and conserved and enlarged. Neighborhood organization is the destroyer of the boss and the crowd, supplanting them with real leadership and a real group:

Neighborhood organization must then take the place of party organization. .... The rigid formality of the party means stultification, annihilation. But group politics, made of the very stuff of life, of the people of the groups, will express the inner, intimate ardent desires of spontaneous human beings, and will contain within its circumference the possibility of the fullest satisfaction of those desires. Group organization gives a living, pulsing unity made up of the minds and hearts and seasoned judgments of vital men and women.[151]

With the neighborhood organized, Miss Follett extends the principle of group organization on up to the highest groupings known. To carry the principle of group organization from "neighborhood to nation" there must be

two changes in our state first, the state must be the actual integration of living, local groups, thereby finding ways of dealing directly with its individual members. Secondly, other groups than the neighborhood groups must be represented in the state; the ever-increasing multiple group life of today must be recognized and given a responsible place in politics.[152]

As suggested by this statement, Miss Follett accepts the theory of the unified state as opposed to political pluralism which discredits the state. Her discussion of the principles and inferences involved in the different point of view is a very interesting elaboration of the group-process theory, but we cannot go into it further than to point out that she holds consistently to the view, which seems to be sound, that the organization of larger and more inclusive groups does not destroy the smaller groups, but, on the contrary, demands them as essential to the larger group organization. Through the process of integration, it is pointed out, it is possible to build

(474) up a group organization from neighborhood to nation, and even to internation or world-organization. Through it all, however, the group method is the only sound basis of modern political organization. In reply to the contention of those who favor occupational representation as the proper method of representation, it is pointed out that no one group can be chosen to the exclusion of all other groups. Important as the occupational group is, it does not take in the whole of one's interests. One is a member of many and various groups which must be integrated into the true neighborhood group as the fundamental group in political activity. "To sum up: no one group can enfold me, because of my multiple nature. This is the blow to the theory of occupational representation."[153]

The foregoing brief summary has not attempted to do more than to present the point of view of the author with respect to the group conception of society, and to suggest the application which is made of the concept once it has been developed. The book contains one of the most suggestive applications of the group concept as a tool of analysis that has appeared. It represents a point of view which sociology has had a large share in developing; a view which is characteristic of contemporary sociological thought in this country.

[To be continued]


  1. One exception is mentioned later.
  2. Principles of Sociology, p. 16.
  3. Ibid. Giddings expressly disclaims any dualistic conception by his use of these two interpretations, but passages throughout the book seem to indicate that he does not escape a psychological dualism as will be suggested later on.
  4. Ibid., p. 20.
  5. Ibid., p. 79.
  6. Ibid., p. 100.
  7. Ibid., p. 155.
  8. Principles Of Sociology, p 157.
  9. Ibid., pp. 157-58.
  10. Ibid., pp. 168 ff.
  11. Principles, p. 199; Elements Of Sociology, p. 232.
  12. Elements Of Sociology, p. 237.
  13. Principles, p. 202.
  14. Ibid., p. 203.
  15. Ibid., p. 201.
  16. Ibid., pp. 206-7.
  17. Ibid., p. 207.
  18. Principles, p. 208.
  19. Ibid., p. 221.
  20. Ibid., p. 209.
  21. Ibid., p. 223.
  22. Giddings properly includes gesture as the beginning of language of the higher type. His discussion reveals a psychology which is atomistic and individualistic and does not fit in with his group hypothesis. His psychological dualism is open to criticism from several points of view, but we are not concerned so much with this defect as with the problem of finding out to what extent he makes use of the group factor in evolving that most vital factor in human evolution, language. His psychology is inadequate but he does attempt to follow out the social hypothesis. In other words, he makes bad use of the group concept, but he makes the attempt.
  23. Principles, p. 225.
  24. Ibid.
  25. Cooley, Social Organization; Park, Principles of Human Behavior; Todd, Theories of Social Progress; et al.
  26. Principles, p. 228.
  27. Ibid., p. 229.
  28. Ibid., p. 255.
  29. .Ibid., p. 399.
  30. Human Nature and the Social Order; Social Organization.
  31. Principles, p. 420.
  32. This summary is based on his three works, Social Control (1901), Foundations of Sociology (1905), Social Psychology (1908). His subsequent writings do not indicate a material, departure from the views elaborated in the books named, and for the purpose of this discussion may be ignored.
  33. Foundations of Sociology, p. 6.
  34. Ibid.
  35. Ibid., pp. 8-9.
  36. Ibid., p. 12.
  37. Ibid., pp. 13-14.
  38. Ibid., p. 85.
  39. Ibid. This statement is very significant in showing the individualistic preconceptions underlying his analysis.
  40. Foundations of Sociology, p. 91.
  41. Social Psychology, p. 1.
  42. Ibid., p. 2.
  43. Social Control, Preface, p. vii.
  44. Ibid., Preface.
  45. Ibid., p. 3.
  46. Social Consrol, p. 71.
  47. Ibid p. 232.
  48. Ibid., p. 7.
  49. Ibid., p. 14.
  50. Ibid., p. 15.
  51. Ibid., p. 17.
  52. Ibid., pp. 32ff., 439ff.; Social Psychology, pp. 6 ff. One wonders what the effect of the experiences of the war may be upon this naive conception. If there is one thing that contemporary social psychology is a unit in, it is that such pseudo-racial deductions are of decreasing value.
  53. Social Psychology, p. II.
  54. Ross shaped his thinking at the time when the imitation theory was at its height. Its place in psychology has materially waned since then and it occupies a relatively small place in genetic psychology now. Trenchant criticisms of the imitation theory are suggested by Mead, Psychological Bulletin, December 15, 1909; Dewey, Monroe's Cyclopedia of Education.
  55. Mead, " Social Psychology as Counterpart to Physical Psychology," Psychological Bulletin, December 15, 1909.
  56. Sociology in Its Psychological Aspects, p. 15.
  57. Ibid., pp. 146-47.
  58. Sociology in Its Psychological Aspects, p. 22.
  59. Ibid., p. 13.
  60. Ibid., p. 14.
  61. Ibid., p. 125.
  62. Ibid., p. 126.
  63. Ibid., p. 127.
  64. Sociology in Its Psychological Aspects, p. 129.
  65. Ibid., p. 131.
  66. Ibid., p. 132.
  67. Ibid., pp, 137-38.
  68. Ibid., pp. 137-38.
  69. Ibid., pp. 138-39.
  70. Sociology in Its Psychological Aspects, p. 119.
  71. Introduction to Social Psychology, p. 135.
  72. Ibid., p. 135.
  73. Ibid., pp. 136-37.
  74. Ibid., p. 137.
  75. Introduction to Social Psychology, pp. 135-36.
  76. See introductory chapter.
  77. Ibid., p. 147.
  78. Ibid., pp. 152-53.
  79. Ibid., pp. 30-33.
  80. Ibid.
  81. Ibid.
  82. Ibid.
  83. Ibid.
  84. Ibid., p. 33.
  85. Professor Ellwood follows the error of so many functional psychologists in bringing in a "consciousness" to mediate conflict crises, without explaining the new factor. Nothing is gained by substituting a new metaphysical entity for the " soul " or " mind " of earlier psychologists. The functionalist must reduce his consciousness to terms of behavior, to activity, to escape. Weiss distinguishes between functional and behavioristic psychology: "Perhaps the distinguishing difference between the functionalist and the behaviorist lies in the fact that the behaviorist disregards the entity which the functionalist calls consciousness" ("Relation between Functional and Behavior Psychology," Psychological Review, XXIV, 367). On such a basis Ellwood would be classed as a functionalist.
  86. Introduction to Social Psychology, pp. 5, 6, 8, 9.
  87. Ibid., p. 79.
  88. Dewey, Reflex Arc Concept.
  89. Attention should be called to Ellwood's article, "Objectivism in Sociology," American Journal of Sociology, XXII (1916), 289, in which he attacks the extreme claims of objectivism, or "physiological sociology." He feels that both the subjective and the objective methods may be of value to the sociologist. In answer to Ellwood's article, see Bernard's, "The Objective Viewpoint in Sociology," American Journal of Sociology, XXV, 298.
  90. Introduction to Social Psychology, p. 73
  91. The lack of a process is shown clearly in Ellwood's treatment of imitation in both his larger works. It is outside our province to do more than call attention to it here.
  92. Dewey has thus characterized some of the attempts at a social psychology and attributes to it the main responsibility for the backward state of social pyschology.(sic) In his opinion the behaviorist approach is an entirely new attack upon the problem and one offering hope of success.--"The Need for Social Psychology," Psychological Review, XXIV (1917), 271.
  93. The books referred to are Human Nature and the Social Order (1902), Social Organization (1909), and Social Process (1918).
  94. Human Nature and the Social Order, pp. 1-2.
  95. Ibid., p.3.
  96. Ibid., p. 7.
  97. Human Nature and the Social Order, p. 8.
  98. Ibid., p. 9.
  99. Ibid., pp. 11-12.
  100. Ibid., p. 12.
  101. Ibid., p. 10.
  102. Ibid., p. 11.
  103. Ibid., pp. 89-90. Cooley acknowledges his deep indebtedness to both James and Baldwin for the view he holds.
  104. Social Organization, p. 3.
  105. Ibid., p. 5.
  106. Ibid., pp. 5-6.
  107. Ibid., p. 7.
  108. Ibid., pp. 8-9.
  109. Human Nature and the Social Order, p. 328.
  110. Human Nature and the Social Order, P. 56.
  111. Social Process, p. 297.
  112. Social Process, p. 298.
  113. Ibid., pp. 298-99.
  114. Acknowledgment should be made, of course, of the work of Anderson (Social Value) which attempts to reconstruct economic theory from within the ranks of the economists. In general, however, the newer view is still in its infancy. Cooley's contribution to this view is the most valuable and significant part of his latest book, Social Process.
  115. Apparently a book in political science, The New State is so thoroughly a sociological study that it must be included here, although the steady policy has been followed of confining the discussion to writers who are definitely known to be at work in the division of labor called sociology.
  116. The outline for this paper was completed before this book came to hand. The similarity in thought is a coincidence with no causal relationship.
  117. The New State, p. 19.
  118. Ibid., p. 20.
  119. Ibid., p. 21.
  120. Ibid.
  121. Ibid.
  122. Ibid.
  123. Ibid.
  124. Ibid. The point of view set forth in this summary of the author's analysis of the group process suggests Cooley's analysis of the formation of public opinion (Social Organization, chap. xii), and Aristotle's still earlier statement of the advantages of giving supreme power in the state to the many rather than to the few (Politics iii. II).
  125. The New State, p. 21.
  126. Ibid., p. 34.
  127. Ibid. 5.
  128. Ibid., pp. 34-35.
  129. Ibid., p. 39.
  130. Ibid., p. 40.
  131. Ibid., p. 44.
  132. Ibid., p. 45.
  133. Ibid.
  134. The New State, p. 60.
  135. Ibid., p. 60.
  136. Ibid., p. 61.
  137. Ibid., p. 74.
  138. Ibid., p. 69.
  139. Ibid.
  140. The New State, p. 70.
  141. Ibid., p. 20.
  142. Ibid., p. 76.
  143. Ibid., p. 94.
  144. Ibid., p. 95.
  145. Ibid.
  146. The New State, p. 95.
  147. Ibid.
  148. Ibid., p. 98.
  149. Ibid., p. 101. This statement gives the thesis of the book. The new state is to arise out of the recognition of the group principle and its application, in place of the older political theories based on the older psychologies.
  150. Ibid., p. 155.
  151. Ibid., pp. 242-243.
  152. Ibid., p. 245.
  153. The New State, p. 295. Part III and Part IV are devoted to an elaboration of group organization as the true democratic method. We are not interested so much in the details as in the attempt to apply the group concept to such an important field.

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