Social process - PDF book by Charles Cooley

Social process

Social process


Excerpt:

we see around us in the world of men an onward movement of life. There seems to be a vital impulse, of unknown origin, that tends to work ahead in innumerable directions and manners, each continuous with something of the same sort in the past. The whole thing appears to be a kind of growth, and we might add that it is an adaptive growth, meaning by this that the forms of life we see men, associations of men, traditions, institutions, conventions, theories, ideals are not separate or independent, but that the growth of each takes place in contact and interaction with that of others. 

Thus anyone phase of the movement may be regarded as a series of adaptations to other phases. That the growth of persons is adaptive is apparent to everyone. Each of us has energy and character, but not for an hour do these develop except by communication and adjustment with the persons and conditions about us. And the case is not different with a social group, or with the ideas which live in the common medium of communicative thought. Human life is thus all one growing whole, unified by ceaseless currents of interaction, but at the same time differentiated into those diverse forms of energy which we see like men, factions, tendencies, doctrines, and institutions. 

The most evident distinction among these growing forms is that between the personal and the impersonal. A man is a personal form of life; a fashion or a myth is impersonal. This seems obvious enough, but there are cases in which the line is not so plain, and it may be well to consider more precisely what we mean by "personal" in this connection, or rather in just what sense a form of human life can be impersonal. 

An impersonal form, I should say, is one whose life history is not identified with that of particular persons. A myth, for example, has a history of its own which you would never discover in the biography of individuals, and although it exists in the minds of men it cannot be seen intelligibly except by regarding it as a distinct whole for which human thought is only a medium. 

When an American Indian, let us say, repeated with unconscious variations the story of Hiawatha, he did not know he was participating in the growth of a myth; that was taking place in and through him but quite apart from his personal consciousness. The same is true of the growth of language. We know that the speech of any people has a vital unity, offering to the philologist a world of interesting structures and relations of which those who use the language and contribute to its growth are as unaware as they are of the physiology of their bodies. 

The difference between personal and impersonal organisms, then, is above all practical, resting upon the fact that many forms of life are not identified with personality and cannot be understood, can hardly be seen at all, by one who will interest himself only in persons.

They exist in the human mind, but to perceive them you must study this from an impersonal standpoint. Observe the practical value, if we hope to do away with war, of perceiving that the chief opponent of peace is something far more than anyone groups of men, like the Prussian aristocracy, namely militarism, an international organism existing everywhere in the form of aggressive ideals, traditions, and anticipations. If we can learn to see this, and see how we ourselves, perhaps, are contributing to it by our ignorance of foreign nations and our lack of generous ideals for our own, we are in a position to oppose it effectually.

Contents:


PART I THE ORGANIC VIEW OF THE PROCESS OF
HUMAN LIFE
CHAPTER PAGE
I. THE TENTATIVE METHOD 3
II. ORGANIZATION 19
III. CYCLES 30
IV. CONFLICT AND CO-OPERATION. 35
V. PARTICULARISM VERSUS THE ORGANIC VIEW ... 43
PART II PERSONAL ASPECTS OF SOCIAL PROCESS
VI. OPPORTUNITY 55
VII. SOME PHASES OF CULTURE 67
VIII. OPPORTUNITY AND CLASS 78
IX. THE THEORY OF SUCCESS 88
X. SUCCESS AND MORALITY 99
XI. FAME 112
XII. THE COMPETITIVE SPIRIT 125
XIII. THE HIGHER EMULATION. 137
XIV. DISCIPLINE 144
PART III DEGENERATION
XV. AN ORGANIC VIEW OF DEGENERATION .... 153
XVI. DEGENERATION AND WILL 169
XVII. SOME FACTORS IN DEGENERATE PROCESS ... 180
PART IV SOCIAL FACTORS IN BIOLOGICAL SURVIVAL
CHAPTER PAGE
XVIII. PROCESS, BIOLOGICAL AND SOCIAL 197
XIX. SOCIAL CONTROL OF THE SURVIVAL OF TYPES . . 209
XX. ECONOMIC FACTORS; THE CLASSES ABOVE POVERTY 218
XXI. POVERTY AND PROPAGATION 226
PART V GROUP CONFLICT
XXII. GROUP CONFLICT AND MODERN INTEGRATION . . 241
XXIII. SOCIAL CONTROL IN INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS. 255
XXIV. CLASS AND RACE 268
PART VI VALUATION
XXV. VALUATION AS A SOCIAL PROCESS 283
XXVI. THE INSTITUTIONAL CHARACTER OF PECUNIARY
VALUATION 293
XXVII. THE SPHERE OF PECUNIARY VALUATION ... 309
XXVIII. THE PROGRESS OF PECUNIARY VALUATION . . 329
PART VII INTELLIGENT PROCESS
XXIX. INTELLIGENCE IN SOCIAL FUNCTION .... 351
XXX. THE DIVERSIFICATION AND CONFLICT OF IDEAS. 363
XXXI. PUBLIC OPINION AS PROCESS 378
XXXII. RATIONAL CONTROL THROUGH STANDARDS . . 382
XXXIII. SOCIAL SCIENCE 395
XXXIV. THE TENTATIVE CHARACTER OF PROGRESS . . 405
XXXV. ART AND SOCIAL IDEALISM 410
INDEX 423 


the book details :
  • Author: Charles Horton Cooley was an American sociologist and the son of Michigan Supreme Court Judge Thomas M. Cooley. He studied and went on to teach economics and sociology at the University of Michigan, was a founding member of the American Sociological Association in 1905 and became its eighth president in 1918
  • Publication date: 1918
  • Company:  New York: C. Scribner's sons

  • Download 17.4 MB

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