The Principles of Sociology

Giddings, Franklin Henry 1896. The Principles of Sociology: An Analysis of the Phenomena of Association and of Social Organisation. London: Macmillan & Co.

Within that broad grouping of animal species which is known as geographic distribution there is a minor grouping of animals into swarms, herds, or bands, and of human population into hordes, clans, tribes, and nations. These natural groupings of conscious individuals are the physical basis of social phenomena. Society, in the original meaning of the word, is companionship, converse, association, and all true social facts are psychical in their nature. (Giddings 1896: 3)

Geographic distribution is "broad", and grouping into hordes, clans, tribes, and nations is "minor". This "physical basis of social phenomena" is evident in phatic communion (PC) in that "The stranger who cannot speak the language is to all savage tribesmen a natural enemy" (PC 4.2). As to "companionship, converse, associaton", these are imagined along the lines of socius as "friendship" (as e.g. Bryan Turner does) instead direct Latin "follower" (cf. Jespersen 1922: 306).

But mental life in the individual is not more dependent on physical arrangements of brain and nerve cells than social intercourse and mutual effort are dependent on physical groupings of population. It is therefore in keeping with the nature of things that the word "society" means also the individuals, collectively considered, who mingle and converse, or who are united or organized for any purpose of common concern. Furthermore, from these concrete ideas we derive the abstract notion of society as the union itself, the organization, the sum of formal relations, in which associating individuals are bound together. (Giddings 1896: 3)

The beginning of the "social mind" - mental contents have social origin, particularly in conversation or dialogue. Mingle: "move among and engage with others at a social function." Converse: "engage in conversation." The principle of "purpose" here is reminiscent on Alan Gardiner's insistence that "the word 'meaning' was found everywhere to involve the notion of human purpose" (Gardiner 1932: 103) - which here goes for "social union" (Spencer 1876).

Combining these ideas we find that our thought of society is already somewhat complex. Yet it would remain still inadequate if we failed to take account of the interdependence of temporary and of enduring forms of association; of momentary converse and of permanent [|] organization; of free agreement and of obedience-compelling power; of artificially formed unions, and of those self-perpetuating communities, the tribes, cities, and nations, within which the minor phenomena of association have place. (Giddings 1896: 3-4)

"Momentary converse" as well as "artificially formed unions" here both sound like PC, and soft/weak or even "negligible ties" (Granovetter 1973: 1361).

"When a number of persons are supposed to be in the habit of conversing with each other, at the same time that they are not in any such habit as mentioned above, they are said to be in a state of natural society." (Bentham; in Giddings 1896: 4)

Compare the phraseology to the "situation when a number of people aimlessly gossip together?" (PC 7.4); The citation here given is Bentham's "Fragment on Government" (Chapter 1. Paragraphs X and XI), where "a state of natural society" is opposed to "a state of political science", though one forms into the other: "Soomen or later converse develops from within itself the forms of government and of obedience" (Giddings, infra, 4).

We perceive that it is a minor sense of the word, only, that society is merely converse, or merely a number of individuals [|] associating for any purpose. In the larger and scientifically important sense, a society is a naturally developing group of conscious beings, in which converse passes into definite relationships that, in the course of time, are wrought into a complex and enduring organization. (Giddings 1896: 4-5)

In PC there is no explicit or intended purpose besides the very fact of communion, of pleasant intercourse. Notice that this does pass into more or less definite relationships, as PC "serves to establish bonds of personal union between people" (PC 9.1).

Besides society, nothing else in nature, except the mystery of life itself, has so deeply impressed the human imagination, and with nothing else but life itself has imagination played so freely. No image has been too fantastic, no speculation too mystical, no belief too absurd, to enter into the description and philosophy of society. (Giddings 1896: 5)

"Systems of social philosophy have been built to explain and interpret or misinterpret this general principle. Tarde's 'Imitation,' Giddings' 'Consciousness of Kind,' Durkheim's 'Collective Ideas,' and many such conceptions as 'social consciousness,' 'the soul of a nation,' 'group mind' or now-a-days prevalent and highly fashionable ideas about 'suggestibility of the crowd,' 'the instinct of herd,' etc., etc., try to cover this simple empirical truth." (Malinowski 1922: 327)

Nevertheless, such physical interpretation is not the [|] whole of evolutional sociology. For not only does sociology insist upon a recognition of the unity that underlies all the various phases of society that are investigated by special social sciences, it insists also that one fundamental logic underlies the objective or physical, and the subjective or volitional explanation of social phenomena. (Giddings 1896: 9-10)

This distinction is mirrored around these parts (particularly in socio- and biosemiotics) as physical and semiotic realities. Causation (unerring physical laws) underlies one and "free will" (conscious selection) the other. I now added Herbert Spencer's First Principles (1962) to my list; his new system of philosophy is what I suspect influenced Charles Peirce to a henceforth unrecognized degree.

Economic thought has been responsible, in no small measure, for a popular notion that mutual aid and the division of labour are the distinguishing marks of society. In fact, however, mutual aid and the division of labour obtain among the cells and organs of vital organisms as well as among the members of society, while social intercourse is often without any trace of coöperation. (Giddings 1896: 14)

Malinowski, being partly an economists (his Argonauts, at least, being the first work in economic anthropology, note also his attending the London school of Economics), did consider something like cooperation: "The breaking of silence, the communion of words is the first act to establish links of fellowship, which is consummated only be the breaking of bread and the communion of food." (PC 4.5) // no mutual aid in practical action - "not in this case to connect people in action" (PC 2.2).

Professor Emile Durkheim, dissenting from the conclusions of M. Tarde, undertakes to prove that the characteristically social process, and therefore the ultimate social phenomenon, is a coercion of every individual mind by modes of action, thought, and feeling that are external to itself. (Giddings 1896: 15)

The peripatetic triad, which in Durkheim's sociology (purportedly) act as modes of coercion upon individual minds. In Religious Life this is evident in his more "social constructionist" remarks about the illusory nature of society (it is something one has to believe in) and the external influences of sentiment and ideation, which in are shared in crowd gatherings.

They have failed to understand each other, but nothing could be plainer to the impartial reader of both than that they are looking at different aspects of phenomena which, to say the least, are closely correlated; Professor Durheim, at the impression which many minds make upon any one mind; M. Tarde, at the imitative response of many to the suggestive inventiveness of one. If these phenomena are not absolutely original or fundamental, in social relations, they are very nearly so. (Giddings 1896: 15)

A worthwhile summary. The influence of one to many and vice versa.

Accordingly, the sociological postulate can be no other than this, namely: The original and elementary subjective fact in society is the consciousness of kind. By this term I mean a state of consciousness in which any being, whether low or high in the scale of life, recognizes another conscious being as of like kind with itself. (Giddings 1896: 17)

Cf. E. R. Clay's life and consciousness of the other (1881): "Intuition of life and consciousness other than our own has not received from philosophers the attention it deserves. They have put us off with the shallow hypothesis that, observing the resemblance of other men and of the lower animals to ourselves, - how they have organs of sense like our own, and leave a state of rest as we do without being compelled into motion by the action of another body, - we, in accordance with the law of belief which gives the unobvious like as inhering in the obvious like, impute to them the like of the life and consciousness which we experience in ourselves." - in other words, this is early theory of mind (ToM).

In its widest extension the consciousness of kind marks off the animate from the inanimate. Within the wide class of the animate it next marks off species and races. Within racial lines the consciousness of kind underlies the more definite ethnical and political groupings, it is the basis of class distinctions, of innumerable forms of alliance, of rules of intercourse, and of peculiarities of policy. Our conduct towards those whom we feel to be most like ourserves is instinctively and rationally different from our conduct towards others, whom we believe to be less like ourselves. (Giddings 1896: 18)

Note that this is not very different from the treatment of sympathy among those philosophers in the first issue of Mind: A Quarterly Review (e.g. Wallace and others).

The economic motive is a good example: the desire for wealth originates in physical needs, but it is powerfully reinforced by the consciousness of kind in the form of a mastering wish to emulate, to impress, or to command one's fellow-beings. (Giddings 1896: 22)

Spencer has "the desire to accumulate property" (1876) and Malinowski has "passion for power and wealth" (PC 3.3), which is tied to vanity and "desire to be renowned and well spoken of" (1922: 117-118).

Psychology is the science of the association of ideas. Socioloy is the science of the association of minds. (Giddings 1896: 25)

Neat but out of date. I just thought of a title for the paper in which I'm going to pool together these recent long-form readings and comments. Something like "The association of minds in Malinowski's phatic communion", which would hint that it treats the psychological and sociological debates of the day surrounding Malinowski's formulation of PC.

Adjustment to the wider world beyond is indirect, through society. Society becomes, in short, a special and most important part of the "outward states." More rapidly and thoroughly than any other part of the environment it produces favourable "inward states" in the associated individuals. It creates sympathy and the moral nature, the capacity for pleasure, and the power of abstract thought and speech. (Giddings 1896: 25)

Again this sounds like Spencer: "there can be no sympathy, nor any of the sentiments which sympathy generates, unless there are fellow-beings around" (1876: 19).

Finally, economic, political, and cultural phenomena are only differentianions of social phenomena; they are not so unlike the more general phases of association that we can speak of them as differentiated from social phenomena. (Giddings 1896: 27)

Above, psychology "surrenders to sociology a study of the interaction of minds" (infra, 26), whereas culture can be crudely considered the sum total of means for the interaction of minds. Admittedly, society and culture are hazy around these parts.

To the ethnologist it is that subdivision of his own science which supplements the account of racial traits by a description of social organization. To the comparative mythologist and the student of folklore it is an account of the evolution of culture. (Giddings 1896: 29)

Curiously, when locals arrange a conference "Applications in Cultural Evolution: Arts, Languages, Technologies" (June 6-8, University of Tartu), the key designator of interest (cultural evolution) sounds innovative, embracing not only folklore, literature, ath cinema under the "evolution of stories" domain, but also arts, technologies, languages, sign systems, and collective intelligence - the latter stated unproblematically (contra Malinowski) as simply the "accumulaton of knowledge, progress in science, etc.).

A living science is not created in this way. It grows from a distinct nucleus. It becomes every decade more clearly individuated. It makes for itself a plainly circumscribed field. Its problems are unmistakably different from those of any other departement of investigation. (Giddings 1896: 29)

Counter-arguments against the claims to science of "phatic theory". Its nucleus is not sufficiently distinct in the very beginning (Malinowski's essay), and although the concept has broadened immensely and some strands have become more clearly individuated, most frequently these are approaches from various other "departments of investigation", e.g. pragmatics, corpus linguistics, economic anthropology, political science, etc.

Sociology cannot be taught as an organon of the social sciences, or yet as a mass of unrelated facts left over from other researches. (Giddings 1896: 30)

Poignant phraseology: didn't semiotics contend to be the organon of "unified science"? And phatic studies currently present "a curiosity shop of isolated specimens" (to borrow Jespersen's colourful phrase), reinforced by Malinowski: "there is no value in isolated facts for science, however striking and novel they might seem in themselves [...] Science on the other hand has to analyse and classify facts in order to place them in an organic whole, to incorporate them in one of the systems in which it tries to group the various aspects of reality." (1922: 509)

But what, then, of the origin of desires themselves? What conditions have determined their evolution from those crude, primitive wants of a purely animal existence, that the savage shares with baboons and wild gorillas, up to those of the "good gorilla," as Renan has called him, the man of gentle instincts and cultivated tastes? (Giddings 1896: 36)

"One imagines greasy, dirty, naked bodies, moppy hair full of vermin, and other realistic features which make up one's idea of the "savage," and in some respects reality bears out imagination." (Malinowski 1922: 151)

The motive forces of political life, as of economic life, are the desires of men, but they are no longer merely individual desires, and they are no longer desires for satisfactions that must come from the most part in material forms. They are desires massed and generalized; desires felt simultaneously and continuously by thousands, or even by millions of men, who are by them simultaneously moved to concerted action. They are desires of what we may call the social mind in distinction from the individual mind, and they are chiefly for such ideal things as national power and renown, or conditions of liberty and peace. Transmuted into will, they become the phenomenon of sovereignty - the obedience-compelling power of the state. (Giddings 1896: 37)

This is the first relevant instance of the "social mind" and followes the line of desires → will → action. The relevant question for Malinowski's objections towards collective consciousness: "Let us note that here society is conceived to be [...] an active being endowed with will, aims, and desires. If we are not to take it as a figure of speech (and Mr. Durkheim decidedly does not give it as such), we must label it an entirely metaphysical conception." (Malinowski 1913b: 527)

[Politial science] simply assumes for every nation a national character, and is content that the political constitution of the state can be scientifically deduced from the character assumed. (Giddings 1896: 37)

Cf. "the characteristic energy of the nation and its original writers" (Jenisch; in Jespersen 1922: 30), how "Every human culture gives its members a definite view of the world, a definite zest of life" (Malinowski 1922: 517), and yet "speaker and listener [never] possess a common psyche" (Gardiner 1932: 104).

Association, comradeship, and coöperation have converted the wild gorilla into the good gorilla and have brought it to pass that, in the quaint words of Bacon, "there is in man's nature a secret inclination and motion towards love of others, which if it be not spent on some one or a few, doth naturally spend itself towards many, and maketh men become humane and charitable, as it is seen sometimes is friars." Or to drop the figure - for it is nothing more, since the human progenitor must have been a social and companionable sort of ape, and no gorilla at all - it has been the rubbing together of crude natures that has made fine natures. It has been the well-nigh infinite multiplication of sensations, experiences, and suggestions, due to the prolonged and intimate gregariousness of human hordes in those favourable environments where population could become relatively dense, [...] (Giddings 1896: 38)

In the first instance, "There is in all human beings the well-known tendency to congregate, to be together, to enjoy each other's company." (PC 3.2), where the rubbing together of crude nature producing finer natures can be read equally in the key of Spencer and how "social union [...] checks impulsiveness" as well as in the key of Malinowski's distinction between primitive speech (social) and the higher arts of literature and philosophy, which have accrued later. Also check out "convivial gregariousness" (PC 7.6) and "Gregariousness or sociality", i.e. being partial (not "indifferent] to social intercourse" (Spencer 1876: 18). On the whole the sentiment seems to be akin to "Language was born in the courting days of manking" (Jespersen 1922: 434), and in aspect of "human progenitors" close to La Barre's primatological inclinations.

That as "iron sharpeneth iron so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend," was the earliest and the greatest discovery ever made in sociology. (Giddings 1896: 39)

How early was this "discovery" made? Doesn't it boil down merely to "people influence each other"? The word "sharpening" sounds again like checking implusiveness and "evolving" from a crude state to a refined one.

An abstract science is one that thus traces the extension or the working of a single principle, force, or motive, through all its manifestations, and attempts nothing more. A concrete science is one that does all that an abstract science does, and then studies the ways in which the manifestations of the particular force or motive that it has discovered are combined with the manifestations of other forces or motives to create the [|] concrete groupings of the real world. And such, exactly, is the scope of sociology. Like biology and psychology it occupies itself with concrete groupings of phenomena. (Giddings 1896: 39-40)

Once again, the curiosity shop of phatic theory is currently in the phase of abstract science because its kernel is a single principle (purely social intercourse), and doesn't occupy itself with concrete groupings of phenomena but rather abstract attributes of various scattered imponderabilia. The case is even worse these days due to CMC and "phatic technologies", where we find abstract systems (cf. Wang & Tucker 2016, "Phatic Systems").

There has been in recent economic writing a tendency to use the term "subjective utility" as if it meant merely pleasurable feeling, however slight, and nothing whatever in addition to pleasure, or in combination with it. If this usage is not abandoned, economists will find themselves involved in hopeless difficulties. The [|] pleasure element in subjective utility must be more than infinitesimal. It must be of sufficient magnitude to have importance for consciousness, and to admit of appreciable distinctions of more or less. Besides, pleasure is not the only element. Subjective utility is pleasurable feeling combined with knowledge that the pleasure is consequent upon an external condition or thing, namely, an objective utility. It is pleasure attributed to an external cause. (Giddings 1896: 41-42)

Perhaps a starting point for analysin the pleasure principle in PC, as the main definition involves pleasurable atmosphere, which is rather abstract even for Malinowski's standards. Argonauts also includes "cherished diversions, ways of enjoying life, and social pleasures" (1922: 465) and some interesting points about "the idea of pleasure having to be forced on people" (ibid, 209). Though a better "starting point" would probably be Aristotle's chapter on Friendship, where there's something to the effect of relationships of pleasure (as opposed to utility).

Unless this intellectual factor is included, the whole theory of utility, which has been constructed with so much labour, falls into ruin, for the theory has always tacitly assumed, as its minor premise, that varying states of feeling are accompanied by some measure of knowledge of the qualitative or quantitative changes in external conditions to which the states of feeling respond. (Giddings 1896: 42)

This is an interesting insight on its own as well as a question to put to the anthropological theory of phatic qualia (Lemon 2013), i.e. whether the pleasantness or pleasurableness of PC is verbalizable, and what such "meta-phatic" verbalizations say about the underlying social-psychological mechanisms (e.g. relieving the tention of strangeness felt in awkward silence, which is supposed to be the catalyst for PC).

Initial utility, accordingly, is an appreciable pleasure consciously attributed to an external cause, and marginal utility is an appreciable pleasure consciously attributed to a final or marginal activity of an external cause. In addition to a difference between initial and final feeling, merely as feeling, marginal utility involves a perception of a difference between an initial and a marginal action of the same cause. (Giddings 1896: 42)

For a theory of consummation proper it would be beneficial to distinguish the initial and final feeling in accordance with John Laver's (1975) marginal phases of the interaction, and whether the pleasant/pleasurable atmosphere has been conducive to some "growth of meaning" or not.

By a similar argument, it could be shown that abstract ethics does not precede sociology as a whole, although portions of sociology presuppose ethical theories. Whether or not notions of right and wrong begin to dawn in consciousness before any social relations are established, their development is a result of association. (Giddings 1896: 45)

A more general conception of the "checking impulses" notion. Ideally, society checks the feelings, actions, as well as thoughts of people associated in some measure.

Mr. Spencer exposed also the fallacy that lurks in the word "general," which betrayed Comte into confounding the general with the abstract. "Abstractness means detachment from the incidents of particular cases; generality means manifestation in numerous cases." (Giddings 1896: 46)

Worthwhile for both the distinction between abstract and concrete reference (Buyssens 1988) as well as the scientific nature of so-called "phatic theory".

Retrospection, the method of history, is a more complex process than observation, the method of description. It presupposes observation and makes a freer use of deduction. It may be described as a critical imagination of things vanished, which is based upon a systematic observation of those signs, marks, or effects of former things, that have endured into present time. It involves three processes, none of which is simple. First, there must be the critical observation of the existing signs or effects. Second, there must be an extensive observation of phenomena in which similar signs or effects are now associated with existing things or with couses still in operation. Third, there [|] must be a valid inference that such signs and such things signified such effects and such causes were associated in exactly similar ways in times past. Historians have seldom analyzed their methods. (Giddings 1896: 55-56)

Relevant for the survey of a century of PC's influence. The footnote reads: "The word "signs" is used here with the breadest meaning, and should be understood to cover documentary records, as well as paleontological and archaeological remains." (infra, 55, ff).

Functions are normally in equilibrium; and function, as long as it undergoes no change, is a statical phenomenon. In fact, it is the equilibrium of functions that maintains stability of structures. Only when function is modified and structure is transformed have we non-statical phenomena in the organic world or in society. (Giddings 1896: 57)

Concerning the a potiori classification of linguistic functions (Gardiner 1932: 190). The modification of function can be brought about by, in Gardiner's terms, "incongruous" use of a structure. Here, incongruity is the source of dynamics. Consider, for example the standard English "Hi!" to the slang-y "Yo!" and the Ancient Roman "Heu!"

Many social habits are common to animals and to men. Many customs, laws, and institutions are common to savage tribes and to civil communities. Some sociological categories must be broad enough to include the cannibal and the diner out. Some must be bread enough to include the wise man and the ant. (Giddings 1896: 61)

"A mere phrase of politeness, in use as much among savage tribes as in a European drawing-room, fulfils a function to which the meaning of its words is almost completely irrelevant." (PC 2.1)

Sociology Sociology is but a nominal science unless its domain includes a multitude of logically related subjects of research. It is necessary, therefore, to know whether the social elements and first principles are numerous and intellectually fruitful, and to know also whether would-be inquiries about them are definite and manageable. (Giddings 1896: 70)

Meanwhile I've been thinking about where this project is leading up to. As it stands my vision of is a BA or MA thesis titled "Phatic Communion: A Centennial Appraisal", which would be completed by 2023 by the latest (to make it "centennial"). I can make it a "semiotic analysis" of social speech due to Malinowski's PC containing so fruitful questions put to the theoretician. For example, when he poses the question about the symbolic meaning of words, is he not begging the question of the nature of signs? Or when he negates the transmission of thought, does he not put this very same question into psychological territory where Gardiner has shown the way with the replacement of "thoughts" and "ideas" with "meaning"?

In the first or descriptive group of primary sociological problems there are first of all problems of the social population. These include problems (1) of aggregation, (2) of association and of coöperation or mutual aid, (3) of the social character of the population, and (4) of the classes into which population is differentiated. (Giddings 1896: 71)

The primary descriptive sociological problems include "the social character of the population", which is found manifest in the linguistic habits of the population by Sapir, Jespersen, and Gardiner. In one it's the culture: "the traditional body of social usage" (Sapir 1921: 1); "the socially inherited assemblage of practices and beliefs that determines the texture of our lives" (ibid, 221). Jespersen (1922: 30) attributes to Herder the idea that "language is not only the instrument of literature, but itself a literature and poetry", i.e. the code is itself a text. And for Gardiner it's "a codified science built up by a myriad minds with a view to mutual understanding" (1932: 21). One places emphasis on the transmission of traditional usage through social interaction, another with the fact that language is a human creation, a system of signs that interrelate, and to the last one a code for mutual understandings that emphasises the made-ness ("tehtus") of language as a collaborative mode of knowledge.

Social relations presuppose an actual coming together of the individual elements of a social aggregate. So far from being a simple phenomenon, however, concourse depends strictly upon definite conditions, and it assumes a variety of forms, which are related to each other in curious and intimate ways that are of great significance for social theory. Concourse develops into intercourse, the chief aspect of which is the interchange of thought and feeling by means of language, and the chief consequences of which are the evolution of a consciousness of kind and of a nature that is intellectually and morally fitted for social life. The development is unequally accomplished in different individuals, and, accordingly, a number of classes appear in the population. These are, first, the social, - the positive and constructie element in society, - characterized by a high development of the consciousness of kind; second, the non-social, in which the consciousness of kind is as yet imperfect but not degenerate, - [|] a class from which the other social classes are differentiated; third, the pseudo-social or pauper, in which the consciousness of kind has become degenerate; and fourth, the anti-social or criminal, in which the consciousness of kind is approaching extinction. (Giddings 1896: 71-72)

This part finally concerns "social intercourse".

  • Actual coming together → social relations;
  • Concourse → intercourse;
  • "the interchange of thought and feeling by means of language" (communicating ideas, establishing common sentiment) → "the evolution of a consciousness of kind";

Concourse - "a crowd or assembly of people." "a large open area inside or in front of a public building." Cf. "the demon of oratorical inspiration": "the particular attitude of a man speaking to a crowd, at least if he has succeeded in entering into communion with it" is that of "strengthen[ing] those sentiments which, if left to themselves, would soon weaken" [cf. "the strength of weak ties"; and Max (2002)] (Durkheim 1915: 210). The demon of inspires grandiloquent language and dominating gestures, disregard for social etiquette, i.e. Tommy Wiseau reading a play with Greg in a diner (free theatre).

Social and non-social classes relates to "our own uneducated classes" (PC 4.3), where "the pseudo-social" class of papers (very poor people, historically "a recipient of relief under the provisions of the Poor Law or of public charity.") relates to Henk Haverkate's (1988) pseudo-phatic communion and Julia Elyachar's (2010) phatic labour.

Next in order come problems of the social consciousness or social mind, including its content of common memories and ideas, its aspirations and its volition. The sociologist will not follow these into the details of archaeology, mythology, and comparative religion, or into those of law and institutions, in all of which the social mind finds expression. But he should understand the constitution, the genesis, and the activity of the social mind itself. (Giddings 1896: 72)

This is the problem of collective/social consciousness: shared tradition and similar aspirations (desires, etc.) don't appear to be empirical. At least that's Malinowski's contention while he himself treats of stereotyped manners of thinking and feeling because "As sociologists, we are not interested in what A or B may feel qua individuals, in the accidental course of their own personal experiences - we are interested only in what they feel and think qua members of a given community" (Malinowski 1922: 23). So this issue is contentious and full of self-contradictions, at least for the moment.

The answer is that the social mind, acting upon spontaneous, unconscious, or accidental combinations of individuals, evolves two different forms of alliance, which may be called, respectively, the social composition and the social constitution. (Giddings 1896: 73)

The activity of the social mind is seen in two types of integration: one producing social units (organisms) and the other producing social wholes (the social state).

By social composition is to be understood a combination of small groups into larger aggregates, when each of the smaller groups is so far complete as a social organism that, if necessary, it could lead an independent life for a time. Family, clan, tribe, and folk, or family, township, commonwealth, and nation, are names that stand both for elements and for stages in social composition. (Giddings 1896: 73)

The list can equally well be read as the types of increasingly broad and abstract relationships, or levels in Ruesch's social matrix.

By social constitution on the other hand, is to be understood a differentiation of the social aggregate into mutually dependent classes or organizations, among which there is a division of labour. The social composition is like the composition of living cells into a large organism. The social constitution is like the differentiation of an organism into specialized tissues and organs. Aggregation, association, and resulting changes in the character and activity of the population are the first stage in a synthesis of social phenomena. The evolution of the social mind is the second stage. The third stage is the social composition; the fourth is the social constitution. (Giddings 1896: 73)

It looks almost like composition is lead by differentiation and constitution by identification; in one work is private and self-sustaining, in the other it's specialized labour.

Roughly corresponding to the four stages of social synthesis are four stages of sequence. These present the second, or historical, group of the primary problems of sociology. Most of the forms of concourse, intercourse, and mutual aid have their beginnings in animal society. By means of them animal life is developed into its various types. Therefore this stage of association may be characterized as zoögenic, and the study of it, as it is exhibited in animal communities, is zoögenic sociology. [↩] The social mind acting on spontaneous forms of alliance creates the family, the clan, and the tribe, and later the folk and the nation. This is the ethnogenic stage of social evolution, and to it corresponds ethnocenic sociology. ]↩] Finally, the integration of tribes and petty nations into territorial and national states makes possible a magnificent development of the social constitution, a wonderful extension of the division of labour, a high utilization of resources, a rapid multiplication of population, and a democratic evolution of the social mind. This, then, is the demogenic stage of social evolution, and the study of it is demogenic sociology. (Giddings 1896: 73-74)

How is this spirit of society, this ghost of social integration, not the Phantom of Collective Soul that Malinowski derides in (1922: 326-327)? His critique is simply that "the most fundamental [question] in sociology" is "explain[ed] in the terms of of a hypothesis" and is thus futile, because it can be only "recognised and accepted" but not tested.

Dr. John Franklin Crowell, recently Fellow of Sociology in Columbia College, in a forthcoming work on "Sociological Types" uses the admirable terms "sociality," "propriety," "institutionality," and "ideality" to designate qualities of the social nature, and stages of social development. I should add to the term "conventionality," and the five terms would then correspond to stages of historical evolution. Through Zoögenic association there is an evolution of sociality. In Anthropogenic association there is an evolution of conventionality, i.e. of the use of conventional signs in communication, and of conventional ceremonies in social intercourse. In Ethnogrenic association there is an evolution of propriety, i.e. of the habits, usages, and properties that seem to be appropriate to a particular society. In Demogenic association there is an evolution of institutionality and of ideality. (Giddings 1896: 74; footnote 1)

Admirably useful footnote! This sounds like David's Zilberman's (1988) "Understanding Cultural Traditions Through Types of Thinking". The distinction between conventional ceremonies and habits seems all too fine. Ceremonies develop before habits? Likewise, there was no ideality before the state?

With few exceptions, living beings are disposed in groups which here are loose and scattered, and there are massed in dense aggregations. Some degree of aggregation is the indispensable condition to the evolution of society. That there may be communication, mutual aid, and companionship, there must be propinquity and contact. (Giddings 1896: 79)

Propinquity: "the state of being close to someone or something; proximity." "close kinship." (cf. "constant association" or something like it.)

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. (Giddings 1896: 79)

The a priori reasoning of rational psychologists is what's in play with Malinowski's coinage, in my opinion. He negated the three existing functions, all of which have their relation to sociability, and negated them one by one in favour of creating a new category, a new contender in linguistic dynamics. PC is a creation of the "pure" reason that finds a living experience in many imponderable uses of speech that have utility as a pleasure.

The societies of mammals that may be observed now, after centuries of gunpowder civilization, are but débris, as M. Kropotkin says, of the immense aggregations of old. In the mighty forests beyond the Alleghanies less than a century ago there was a teeming animal life that seems now almost incredible. The pioneer hunters found broad roads through the wilderness, worn by countless generations of bison. At the salt licks they saw the ground about them so trodden by herds of bison, elk, deer, and wolves, that "there was not as much grass left as would feed a sheep; and the game trails were like streets or the beaten roads round a city." They observed the black and the gray squirrels gathering in immense companies to migrate over mountain and river, and saw clouds of pigeons "that hid the sun and broke down the branches on their roosting grounds as if a whirlwind had passed." Siberia, in like manner, when the Russians took possession of that wonderful land, was so densely peopled with gregarious animals of many kinds that its subjugation "was nothing but a hunting expedition which lasted for two hundred years." (Giddings 1896: 79-80)

Malinowski, Spencer, and some others could be read with (gunpowder) appended to their "civilization". The game trails and street comparison calls attention to the fact that booming human life has driven animals out of all the more hospitable places on Earth, and we are the destroyers of many other (animal) "civilizations" (the ultimate complaint of the anti-speciesist).

In fact, only in civilization is safe and comfortable life possible to an isolated household, and there it is possible in appearance more than in reality, because means of communication have annihilated distance. (Giddings 1896: 81)

Phatic systems; constant connection, ubiquitous computing, virtual worlds, etc.

Among all species, and in every stage of evolution, the extent of aggregation and its place or position are determined by external physical conditions. Even when men have become unified by sympathies and beliefs, the possibility of perpetuating their union is a question of the character and resources of their environment. The distribution of food is the dominating fact. Animals and men dwell together where a food supply is found, or may be certain and easily produced. (Giddings 1896: 82)

The communion of food. Unified by sympathies and beliefs = communion of minds (sentiments and ideas).


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