The Rivalry of Groups

George E Vincent
The University of Chicago

The materials for the psychological interpretation of individual and social phenomena have been accumulating rapidly. A mere enumeration of terms and phrases brings up a panorama of theories:[1] "Social growth," "social evolution," "the general mind," "co-operation," "coercion," "social control," "contact," "contract," "consciousness of kind," "the dialectic of personal growth," "the social self," "the looking-glass self," "the social nature of conscience," "the dialectic of social growth," "imitation, opposition, invention," "the individual in abstraction," "social consciousness," "the social mind," "the persistence of social groups," "the rôle of unconsciousness," "the cake of custom," "the folkways" and "the mores," "instinct and habit," "psychic planes," "mob-mind," "like-mindedness," "conflict and rivalry," "group struggle," "social selection," "survival value," "crisis," "adaptation," "the élite as the social brain," "making up the group mind," "the social process." To one who knows the field these ideas are familiar, many of them commonplace. At first they may seem fragmentary and detached; but they quickly arrange themselves into something like order and unity. They are seen to be parts, aspects of a general theory which has been growing increasingly illuminating.

The idea of the group as a means of interpretation is emerging more clearly. Society is too vague and abstract a concept. It is useful for symbolic purposes and for generalized description, but to have any vividness of meaning it must be translated into more concrete terms : nation, community, class, sect. Large social

( 242) unities fall apart under examination into a multiplicity of constituent groups. Each of these step by step disintegrates until only the person remains. But this individual may be further analyzed into subordinate selves, and even into thoughts and desires. These elements, however, are quite as abstract at this extreme as society at the other. The mind harks back toward some manageable idea which keeps Attention fixed upon the facts of life in common. The group concept meets this need, for the group is at once a subdivision of society and the nidus of personality. Groups get their meaning from encompassing societies; the individual gets his meaning from his groups.

The idea of the group involves three fundamental things: first, there must be a common interest, whether this be a past experience, a present crisis, or a future purpose. A memorial association lays stress upon the past ; a union on strike fixes its gaze upon a present problem; the "Boston in 1915" movement looks to the future. Yet these distinctions are only the shifting of emphasis. In the genuine, persistent group all three types of common interest are to be found. In the second place, each member of a group, at least in times of crisis, has a sense of the group as such; i.e., he is able to visualize or to represent to himself in some way the group as a unity, as something set off from, or over against, other groups. In the third place, the members of the group are aware of the common interest and know that this image of the group is shared by their fellows. It is this sense of team-work which goes by the name of group consciousness.

There are many ways in which groups may be classified. Degree of complexity is a criterion by which groups may be said to be primary like the family or compound like the nation. According to the proximity of members groups may be face-to-face or comrade groups or they may be dispersed publics. Again the type of control may be made the test. From this point of view groups may be instinct-habit groups or sympathy groups or rational purpose groups. Moreover, as indicated above, groups may be thought of as backward looking or forward looking. All these discriminations have some value. For our present purpose,

( 243) however, we are chiefly interested in the life-processes common to all groups, the underlying laws which manifest themselves alike in the boys' gang, the labor union, the church, the coterie, the village, or the nation.

Conflict, competition, and rivalry are the chief causes which force human beings into groups and largely determine what goes on within them. Conflicts like wars, revolutions, riots still persist, but possibly they may be thought of as gradually yielding to competitions which are chiefly economic. Many of these strivings seem almost wholly individual but most of them on careful analysis turn out to be intimately related to group competition. A third form, rivalry, describes struggle for status, for social prestige, for the approval of inclusive publics which form the spectators for such contests. The nation is an arena of competition and rivalry.

Much of this emulation is of a concealed sort. Beneath the union services of churches there is an element, for the most part unconscious, of rivalry to secure the approval of a public which in these days demands brotherliness and good will rather than proselyting and polemics. Many public subscriptions for a common cause are based upon group rivalry or upon individual competition which is group-determined. The Rhodes scholarships are in one sense a means of furthering imperial interests. Christmas presents lavished upon children often have a bearing upon the ambition of the family to make an impression upon rival domestic groups. In the liberal policy of universities which by adding to the list of admission subjects desire to come into closer relations with the public schools, there is some trace of competition for students and popular applause. The interest which nations manifest in the Hague Tribunal is tinged with a desire to gain the good will of the international, peace-praising public. The professed eagerness of one or both parties in a labor dispute to have the differences settled by arbitration is a form of competition for the favor of the onlooking community. Thus in international relationships and in the life-process of each nation countless groups are in conflict, competition, or rivalry.

This idea of the group seeking survival, mastery, aggrandize-

( 244) -ment, prestige, in its struggles with other groups is a valuable means of interpretation. Let us survey rapidly the conditions of success as a group carries on its life of strife and emulation. In order to survive or to succeed the group must organize, cozen, discipline, and stimulate its members. Fortunately it finds human nature in a great measure fashioned for control. This human nature is itself a product of a group selection which has been going on through long ages of struggle. Instinct, habit, imitation, suggestion, all mean more when these are connected not only with individual but with group survival. Suggestion and imitation are the means by which imagery is quickly distributed to the members of a group. Human packs, hordes, and tribes which worked out this sympathetic telegraphy most effectively bested their more slowly adjusting competitors. Group control consists chiefly in the formation and dissemination of survival-serving ideas. It is by suggestion and imitation that images useful to the group are imposed upon, or insinuated into, individual consciousness. The group furnishes slides for the magic-lantern minds of its members; it supplies records for almost automatic human phonographs; music rolls for personal pianolas.

Habit and sentiment are significant as aids in the formation of permanent types of reaction, the character, standing, opinion, the "mores" of a group. These lower layers of unconsciousness in persons are bearers of the relatively permanent prejudices, standards, the reflexes of the collective life. In spite of much that is fallacious, irrational, even positively harmful, the group character is on the whole a product of repeated adaptation to a conflict or rivalry situation. It takes time for such character to form. Tammany has a strongly militant character created and transmitted through decades of political strife. Proverbial philosophy, maxims, saws, superstitions, along with a mass of inconsequential, erroneous, outgrown ideas, carry many elements which have a survival and success value that is sometimes obvious but often concealed.

Collective pride or group egotism is an essential source of strength in conflict. Every efficient group cultivates this sense

( 245) of honor, importance, superiority, by many devices of symbol, phrase, and legend as well as by scorn and ridicule of rivals. The college fraternity's sublime self-esteem gives it strength in its competition for members and prestige. There is a chauvinism of "boom" towns and religious sects, as well as of nations. What pride and self-consciousness are to the individual, ethnocentrism, patriotism, local loyalty are to social unities. Diffidence, humility, self-distrust, tolerance are as dangerous to militant groups as to fighting men.

Then too the group works out types of personality, hero types to be emulated, traitor types to be execrated. These personality types merge into abstract ideals and standards. "Booster" and "knocker" bring up pictures of a struggling community which must preserve its hopefulness and self-esteem at all hazards. "Statesman" and "demagogue" recall the problem of selection which every self-governing community must face. "Investigator" and "mere teacher" bring to mind the academic community torn by the conflicting claims of a double duty in its rivalry with other groups. "Defender of the faith" and "heretic" are eloquent of the church's dilemma between rigid orthodoxy and flexible accommodation to a changing order. "Bully-boy," "goody-goody," and "tattle-tale" are controlling types in the child group as it joins battle with other gangs, or holds its own against adult conventions and tyranny. Many types are mere survivals from the past, but others have obvious relation to the present needs of the competing community.

With a shifting in the conflict or rivalry crisis, types change in value or emphasis, or new types are created in adjustment to the new needs. The United States at war with Spain sought martial heroes. The economic and political ideals of personality, the captains of industry, the fascinating financiers, the party idols were for the time retired to make way for generals and admirals, soldiers and sailors, the heroes of camp and battleship. The war once over, the displaced types reappeared along with others which are being created to meet new administrative, economic, and ethical problems. The college fraternity having in the autumn used its football members to triumph over com-

( 246) -petitors brings forward for the winter campaign its dancing men and society favorites. The competing church retires its militant and disputatious leaders in an age which gives its applause to apostles of concord, fraternal feeling, and co-operation. At a given time the heroes and traitors of a group reflect its competitions and rivalries with other groups.

Struggle forces upon the group the necessity of cozening, beguiling, managing its members. The vast majority of these fall into a broad zone of mediocrity which embodies group character, and represents a general adjustment to life-conditions. From this medial area individuals vary, some in ways which aid the group in its competition, others in a fashion which imperils group success. It is the task of the group both to preserve the solidarity of the medial zone and to discriminate between the serviceable and the menacing variants. The latter must be coerced or suppressed, the former encouraged and given opportunity. In Plato's Republic the guardians did this work of selection which in modern groups is cared for by processes which seem only slightly conscious and purposeful.

First of all let us consider the solidarity of the wide zone of mediocrity. This majority must be kept in a state of resignation, if not one of positive contentment, i.e., there must not be too wide a gap between the actual and the hoped for. When such a contrast does exist some philosophy must supply imagery to conceal or to harmonize the disparity., To this end the group devises theories and explanations to keep its members resigned and contented, e.g., "the dignity of manual labor," "the nobility of inconspicuous service," "sacrifice for posterity," "there are no social classes in the United States" are familiar examples of philosophies which make for acquiescence and solidarity. Justice is in one sense a device for producing resignation and contentment. Justice is relative always to the competitive situation of the group. Russian justice differs from English, French, or American. There is one justice for peace and another for war. One test of justice is its service in keeping the group unified and efficient, which means resignation or contentment for the many, suppression for the dangerous, and encouragement for

( 247) the capable. Contentment is a positive form of group loyalty; resignation, a passive thing. The ratio of the contented to the resigned is an index of group vitality.

The competing group in seeking to insure acquiescence and loyalty elaborates a protective philosophy by which it creates within its members the belief that their lot is much to be preferred to that of other comradeships and associations. Western Americans take satisfaction in living in a free, progressive, hospitable way in "God's Country." They try not to be pharisaical about the narrowness of the East, but they achieve a sincere scorn for the hide-bound conventions of an effete society. Easterners in turn count themselves fortunate in having a highly developed civilization, and they usually attain real piety for those who seem to live upon a psychic if not a geographical frontier. The middle class have a philosophy with which they protect themselves against the insidious suggestions that come from the life of the conspicuous rich. These, on the other hand, half suspecting that simplicity and domesticity may have some virtue, speak superciliously of middle-class smugness and the bourgeois "home." The less prosperous of the professional classes are prone to lay a good deal of stress upon their intellectual resources as compared with the presumptive spiritual poverty of the affluent. Country folk encourage themselves by asserting their fundamental value to society, and by extolling their own simple straightforward virtues, which present so marked a contrast to the devious machinations of city-dwellers. These sophisticated persons in turn stifle the feeling that country life must have some advantages beneath a ridicule of "jays" and "hayseeds," and images of isolation, monotony, and uncouth rusticity. Booker T. Washington's reiterated assertion that if he were to be born again he would choose to be a negro because the negro race is the only one which has a great problem contains a suggestion of this protective philosophy. This tendency of a group to fortify itself by a satisfying theory of its lot is obviously related to group egotism and is immediately connected with group rivalry.

The competing group derides many a dissenter into con-

( 248) -formity. This derision may be spontaneous, or reflective and concerted. The loud guffaw which greets one who varies in dress or speech or idea may come instantly or there may be a planned and co-operative ridicule systematically applied to the recalcitrant. Derision is one of the most effective devices by which the group sifts and tests the variants. Few are able to withstand this form of suggestion. It requires a sense of personal pride, a consciousness of support from another group, a vivid imagining of future approval to enable one to resist the compelling force of choral ridicule.

Upon the few who do hold out the group directs its batteries of epithet. Epithets are general or specific, according as they refer to large inclusive publics or to small specialized groups. Epithets denote valued or despised types of personality and conduct which are imbedded in the mores and accepted as norms of judgment. "Un-American," "undemocratic" are familiar examples of the appeal through epithet. Epithets like the standards to which they refer are in the main functionally connected with the welfare and success of the competing group. By the appeal through epithet to norms of conduct, individuals are coerced into conformity and team play. In primitive groups and among children, the negative epithets are usually more effective than the positive. Fear of being a traitor or a "quitter" is a surer motive than the desire to be a hero or to "die game."

Upon the small number of rebels who turn a deaf ear to epithets, ostracism is brought to bear. This may vary from the "cold shoulder" to the complete "boycott." Losing the friendship and approval of comrades, being cut off from social sympathy, is a familiar form of group pressure. Ridicule and derision are a kind of evanescent ostracism, a temporary exclusion from the comradeship. There are Many degrees in the lowering of the social temperature: coolness, formality of intercourse, averted looks, "cutting dead," "sending to Coventry" form a progressive series. Economic pressure is more and more a resort of modern groups. Loss of employment, trade, or professional practice brings many a rebel to time. All coercion obviously increases as

( 249) the group is hard pressed in its conflicts, competitions, and rivalries.

These crises and conflicts of a competing group present problems which must be solved—problems of organization, of inventions of many kinds, of new ideas and philosophies, of methods of adjustment. The group must discover among its members the problem-solvers. These come from the margin of useful variants which it is an important task of the group to find and select. A "dragnet" for the capable and resourceful must be thrown out. Moreover leaders or problem-solvers when found must be given authority and prestige by means of which their proposals can be distributed and made effective within the group. Then, too, the group must discover the stimuli, the economic rewards, the social esteem, the sense of power, the satisfaction of achievement, etc., which will keep the problem-solvers at work for the group as it seeks victory and prosperity. Leaders, however, are not to be thought of as passive. Most of them, by their magnetism, self-confidence, personal ascendency, offer themselves for selection.

The large public group more obviously, the small comrade group less clearly, may be said to "make up its mind," i.e., readjust its standing opinion or mores through the modification of its current or plastic opinion. The conditions of competition or rivalry upset an equilibrium of habit and custom and a process of problem-solving ensues. A typhoid epidemic forces the village to protect itself against the competition of a more healthful rival. The resourceful labor union facing a corporation which offers profit-sharing and retiring allowances must formulate a protective theory and practice. A society clique too closely imitated by a lower stratum must regain its distinction and supremacy. A nation must be constantly alert to adjust itself to the changing conditions of international trade and to the war equipment and training of its rivals. The process of readjustment is modified by the nature of the group and its type of organization. In a self-directing group several stages in "making up the group mind" are distinguishable. Spontaneous opinions rise in personal minds, a period of talk sifts the many proposals, a few are

( 250) formulated, these gain adherents, a stage of discussion and proselyting follows, two or three leading issues emerge, selection takes place by ballot or by the gradual victory of one formulation, or by a compromise which fuses two or more proposals. The rapidity of this procedure depends upon the insistence of the emergency. In a sharp crisis the decision must often be made by a single leader who is vested with autocratic power.

But all this assumes too perfect a process. A group may suffer from a collective insanity. It may fail to make up its mind efficiently. Its character may be disorganized and unstable; it may have too little knowledge; it may have inaccurate information; it may be unable to use its knowledge successfully; it may select incapable or self-seeking leaders; it may err in its valuation of men and ideas; it may be swept away by mob mania; it may be the victim of a fixed idea; it may cling to outgrown traditions and standards; it may be misled by fallacious reasoning or by merely verbal suggestion. In competition and rivalry such blunders spell weakness or disaster. Again it may be pointed out that suggestion, imitation, invention, prestige, the élite, all get their proper setting from the concept of the group adjusting itself effectively or failing to meet the problems and crises involved in competition and rivalry.

The methods of group competition and rivalry afford an instructive field for study. Subtle and indirect devices tend to supplant the more open forms of struggle. Thus a group may rob a rival of its leaders by winning them over to its own service. The capitalistic groups are constantly attracting and absorbing able men of the labor movement. To weaken the individuality of an opponent group is an effective measure. Many groups have lost a good deal of their distinctive position by yielding little by little under the pressure of rivalry the things for which they once stood steadfastly. Sowing discord in a competing group is an insidious form of attack not unknown in the fields of labor disputes and political conflict. To praise the traitors in a rival group is a common device. The employing class extol the "scab" as a hero who stands for liberty and human rights. The Democrats make much of "insurgents" as brave men who rebel

( 251) against party tyranny. A group may sometimes be ridiculed successfully, although this often has the effect of consolidating the derided comrades. Assuming a patronizing or tolerant toward a competing group implies a sense of power and superiority which by suggestion has a marked effect. The leisure class often baffles in this way the ambitious social climbers. The appeal to the standards of the large encompassing public is the chief resort. Almost all the methods resolve themselves into a more or less direct reference to the mores and current opinions of the onlooking many. Thus groups seek to put their rivals in the wrong, to show that they are "unprogressive ' or "undemocratic," or "socialistic," or "class-conscious," or "predatory" or something else which the community or nation heartily despises.

The theory of group rivalry throws light upon the individual. The person has as many selves as there are groups to which he belongs. He is simple or complex as his groups are few and harmonious or many and conflicting. What skilful management is required to keep business and moral selves from looking each other in the eye, to prevent scientific and theological selves from falling into discussion! Most men of many groups learn like tactful hosts to invite at a given time only congenial companies of selves. A few brave souls resolve to set their house in order and to entertain only such selves as can live together with good will and mutual respect. . With these earnest folk their groups have to reckon. The conflicts of conscience are group conflicts. Worldly amusements raise rivalries of strict family or church groups which challenge the claims of "society"; modern doubt reflects the antagonism of early training and later education; self-sacrifice is subordination of a smaller group self to a larger. Maeterlinck hesitating about renouncing his Belgian citizenship to accept a seat in the French Academy offers a contemporary instance. Can he give his country greater prestige by giving up his citizenship or by retaining it and thus foregoing an honor which would bring glory to Belgium? The reformer and martyr sacrifice present popularity or even life itself for the sake of a future approval, or supported by the sense of a heavenly host which gives aid and comfort.

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The individual's ambitions are largely determined by the needs of his dominant groups which control his imagery and direct the play of his energies. In a given era the genius and talent of a group will be drafted, beguiled, and bribed into those forms of activity most useful to the community.[2] Of such guidance the élite themselves may be unaware, like thoughtless children lured by skilful parents into serviceable play or work. In Colonial days there was need of the Puritan ministry into which the ablest men were drafted; Athens sent out a "dragnet" for artists as well as for statesmen and generals; Sparta, holding in check a slave population, demanded drill-masters and military experts; modern America offers prizes for engineers, and for leadership to higher levels of efficiency in world competition. Most seemingly man-to-man rivalry, therefore, when it rises above the plane of semi-animal struggle for subsistence becomes, with the development of civilization, increasingly subject to group control. It is either a competition within the group for its prizes, which in general have a survival or success value; or it is clash between representatives of conflicting groups. The apparently individual competition among the personnel of a great industry is, looked at group-wise, a means of increasing the efficiency of the whole business in the struggle with its rivals. Many personal rivalries revolve themselves into encounters between families or cliques or parties which are seeking influence or prestige.

Many different social phenomena may be profitably interpreted by the theory of group rivalry. Fashion, for example, is in one aspect a form of group competition for distinction. The leisure class seeks to set itself off from the middle class which is eagerly appropriating the symbols of exclusiveness. Much of the rivalry between leaders of the mode is of unconscious service to the group in its struggle to maintain a differ-

( 253) -entiating prestige. Again fashion is a "dragnet" for ability. It aids the group in its search for capable and inventive individuals. A fashion or fad spreads through a national group; scores of thousands take up kodaking or motoring; hundreds are thus discovered who contribute new elements to the art of photography and to mechanical skill. Fashion is a wasteful method, but so for that matter is the spawning of fish. Fashion also plays a part in preserving the uniformity and solidarity of the group by supplying common interests, stereotyped phrases, topics of talk, etc. From another point of view fashion with its shifting of attention protects a community against fixed obsessions or a collective monomania which may impair the poise, resourcefulness, and adjustability of the rivalry group.

Mob mind, although as a rule a menace to group sanity, has at times and to a degree a functional value to the competing group. This contagion of suggestion may put the group in the power of an alert and resourceful problem-solver and thus make possible a prompt and effective adjustment. Then too the crowd spirit may contribute a temporary sense of group unity which sometimes leaves a trace in the mores or character of the group.

Tolerance is a sign that once vital issues within the group are losing their significance, or that the group feels secure, or that it is slowly, even unconsciously, merging into a wider grouping. Theological liberality affords a case in point. In the earlier days of sectarian struggle tolerance was a danger both to group loyalty and to the militant spirit. Cynicism for other reasons is also a menace. It means loss of faith in the collective ego, in the traditions, shibboleths, symbols, and destiny of the group. Fighting groups cannot be tolerant; nor can they harbor cynics. Tolerance and cynicism are at once causes and results of group decay. They portend dissolution or they foreshadow new groupings for struggle over other issues on another plane. Evangelical churches are drawing together with mutual tolerance to present a united front against modern skepticism and cynicism which are directed against the older faiths and moralities.

The social nature and function of ridicule deserve greater

( 254) attention than they have received from the sociologists. Sully's essay on Laughter shows the possibilities in this field. Ridicule both as a means of discipline within the group and as a weapon of attack upon other groups has been already described. A study of jests as functionally connected with both these processes would prove fruitful. For example, the perennial mother-in-law stories must have some bearing upon the maintenance of family solidarity. They help to keep the peace by contra-suggestion. Ridicule also tends to spread the "dragnet" by the swift contagion of a popular jest. Laughter affords a relief from undue strain; it prevents the group from taking itself too seriously at all times ; it mollifies group antagonism and helps to keep it on a higher plane.

Education, free-speech, a free press, freedom of teaching, all derive meaning from the group-rivalry hypothesis. Education helps to fix group character as well as to extend the "dragnet" for ability. The Scottish tradition which sees to it that the bright boy in the remotest countryside gets through to Edinburgh shows its result wherever trained abilities are in demand. Freedom of speech and press is a condition of the sifting and selection which enter into making up the group mind. It is these apparently blind processes which do so crudely what Plato's wise guardians did so efficiently and unerringly : select the ablest, train them for service, put them in authority, expurgate literature, censor the drama, decide what opinions shall prevail. Yet beneath all the groping and confusion, all the fallacies and irrelevancies, there runs a current of aim and purpose, a striving of the group to hold together and to make its way against other groups.

Such phrases as "the struggle of ideas," "logical duels," "the survival of truth" need the more concrete interpretation which group rivalry supplies. As a matter of fact ideas have no power to fight except in so far as they serve the needs of rival persons and groups. Communities are often seeking for the "right word," i.e., the phrase of formulation which will solve a problem and supply a serviceable working theory. Persons within the group compete for the honor of saying this right word, whether it

( 255) be "sovereignty of the people," or "Christian Socialism," or "interdependence," or "the white man's burden." Again groups in competition or rivalry struggle for the supremacy of a theory, a language, or a literature. Thus not Polish and German speech but Polish and German groups are in conflict in the Prussian Provinces.

The subjective side of group rivalry offers an important study. The reflection of the process of control in personal consciousness is full of interest. A good deal has been done in this field, especially in an analysis of the sense of the self and the meaning of the I. The consciousness of isolation in the case of ostracism has been picturesquely described by James. But the subjective effect of ridicule, of epithet, of suggestion, of personal ascendency, of fashion, of mob excitement deserve more careful attention than they have yet received. The use of all these devices by the group for its own purposes affords at least one clue to the study. The means by which the rebellious variant protects himself against the coercion of his comrades have been already suggested in the description of ridicule and epithet. These protective methods resolve themselves into setting one group against another in the mind of the derided or stigmatized individual.

A national group is to be thought of as an inclusive unity with a fundamental character upon the basis of which a multitude of groups compete with and rival each other. It is the task of the nation to control and to utilize this group struggle, to keep it on as high a plane as possible, to turn it to the common account. Government gets its chief meaning from the rivalry of groups to grasp political power in their own interests. Aristocracy and Democracy may be interpreted in terms of group antagonism, the specialized few versus the undifferentiated many. The ideal merges the two elements of efficiency and solidarity in one larger group within which mutual confidence and emulation take the place of conflict. Just as persons must be disciplined into serving their groups, groups must be subordinated to the welfare of the nation. It is in conflict or competition with other nations that a country becomes a vivid

( 256) unity to the members of constituent groups. It is rivalry which brings out the sense of team work, the social consciousness.

Among objections which may be raised to the theory outlined in this paper, four may be anticipated : (I) the material is not new; the topics have been often treated, many of them exhaustively; (2) the conflict idea is overemphasized; the tendencies are toward widening unity; (3) the group is personified in an unwarrantable way; (4) the hypothesis does not account for all the facts of social life. To these objections it may be replied: (1)the only claim to novelty lies in the organization of familiar ideas; (2) the larger groupings are recognized, but within these rivalry continues to play a determining part; (3) the personification is largely a time-saving device for which precedents might be cited; (4) the theory lays no claim to complete explanation; it is offered as one of many ways of looking at human life. All that is asserted is this: Whenever a man's actions, a social standard, or collective conduct are to be studied it will be found worth while to ask: To what groups does this man belong? At what are these groups aiming? What purpose does this act, ideal, epithet, derision serve in helping a group to carry on its competitive struggle?


  1. My obligations to all social psychologists are so obvious that I have not attempted to refer specific points to individual men. The ideas of Bagehot, James, Baldwin, Tarde, Brinton, Ross, Cooley, Sumner, Dewey, Tufts, Thomas, McDougall, Novicow, Gumplowicz, Bryce, Ellwood, el. al., will easily be recognized, as will the more general theories of Ward, Giddings, and Small.
  2. It is not to be understood that in the early stages of group formation the privileges unconsciously allowed to egoistic men are purposeful stimuli applied by the group. There are undoubtedly initial periods before groups have been actually formed when group control is almost lacking. So soon, however, as common interest, sense of the group, and awareness of team-work appear, the individual becomes increasingly subject to collective guidance

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