Note From the President of the American Sociological Society
Our conception of the relation of "experience" to the development of the "person" has been undergoing a rapid modification. "Environment" in no longer regarded as the scene of action for the person, but as material out of which the personality itself is build. "Integration" and "conditioning," as first elaborated by Sherrington and Pavlov, have been further developed by physiologists, neurologists, and psychologists, and have an important position in sociological method. The "Gestalt" psychology has contributed to the concept of integration as a totality of elements, and of meaning as appearing always in a context and upon a background. The sociologists are now producing important studies of "social distance" and "social position." The social psychologists are working out comparisons between the social classes, and between urban and rural populations, from the same standpoint. The anthropologists are taking the same attitude toward the questions of cultural areas and migrations of peoples, and the question of inferiority and superiority of races. The psychiatrists connected with the child-guidance clinics, even those who formerly gave a preponderating importance to the factors of heredity, are being forced by their own case-studies to seek the sources of the behavior difficulties of the child in his relation to the family and the groups with which he comes into contact at his various age levels.
It therefore seems an opportune moment for further formulations in this field, and "The Relation of the Individual to the Group" will be the general subject of the coming annual meeting of the American Sociological Society. Suggestions from members of the Society as to the details of the organization of the program are earnestly solicited and will be given full consideration.