About Malinowski &c. (pt. 2)

Krzyżanowski, Ludwik 1959. A Postscript to "Bronislaw Malinowski: An Intellectual Profile". The Polish Review 4(1/2): 156-157.

"I wish to open the inaugural meeting of the Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences in America. It is an impressive and historical moment, the founding of a new Polish research center. We are deeply moved. Our country has at present no universities, no libraries, no centers of learning. We think of those of our colleagues who die in concentration camps, under persecution, on the field of battle or starve to death, or fall victim to fatal illness. (Malinowski, "opening remarks" from Bulletin of the Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences in America (Vol. 1, No. 1, October 1942); in Krzyżanowski 1959: 157)

At the time Poland was of course divided by two autharitarian regimes. This here is hyperbole, in a sense, because these sorts of institutes no doubt continued to operate but not autonomously. At the University of Tartu, for example, the first thing the Soviet powers did was make Russian language and Marxist economics mandatory for all students.

In order to avoid any misunderstandings I wish to emphasize that the Institute has no political or partisan intentions. We shall devote ourselves exclusively and strictly to scientific and cultural work, whether in philosophy, the natural sciences, or the social sciences. Indeed, why should anyone suspect us of Political intentions? What are politics? At best, it is the use of power in administration and defense. We have no power, nothing to administer or defend - except reason, sanity and decency. At worst, politics is the misuse of speech, clever manipulation and intrigue. (Malinowski (ibid); in Krzyżanowski 1959: 157)

But reason, sanity and decency is exactly what Soviets lacked. Learned men had no place in that system unless they forsake thir reason, sanity and decency. The latter is especially symptomatic, as is evident from the recent local uproar about some Soviet era journalist being nominated and given the Tartu citizenship award despite his lying and "outing" people as dissidents some decades ago.

Wallace, Anthony F. C. and Raymond D. Fogelson 1961. Culture and Personality. Biennial Review of Anthropology 2: 42-78.

[...] the beginning of a crystallization of theory in an area that may loosely be called "communication and cognition"; and the first signs of an interest in the relation of various physiological and biochemical processes to personality and culture. (Wallace & Fogelson 1961: 42)

At the moment I'm attempting to crystallize "phatic theory".

As Schneider (250) has noted, the subdiscipline of culture and personality [|] "is amorphous and so internally ill-differentiated that its boundaries shade off into all other fields"; one reason the boundaries are so vague is the fact that much of its conceptual apparatus, without its jargon and technique, has been gradually incorporated into the work of scholars in such fields as social organization, ethnography, area studies, community studies, applied anthropology, and the anthropology of development. (Wallace & Fogelson 1961: 42-43)

Phraseology. PC is amorphous and phatic studies so internally ill-differentiated because, IMO, his English is rather archaic, even impenetrable to readers not accustomed to literature from that age, and linguists haven't apparently taken the time to read his major works to find explanations for his archaisms.

Much work is publisheh that contains data or reflections relevant to culture-and-personality issues but that does not consciously attempt to contribute to the theoretical development of the field. (Wallace & Fogelson 1961: 43)

Likewise. "Phatic theory" sounds even absurd when one considers how little effort is spent on unification. There is not even a central body of literature to rely on, some picking Malinowski, others Jakobson, and others yet some tertiary source closer to modern day, mostly from the last decade or so (e.g. Julia Elyachar or Vincent Miller).

The criticism of "group character" studies (that is, studies of national character, basic personality, modal personality, ethos, and the like) has continued. [...] Honigmann suggests in an interesting paper that the study of ethos [|] (the emotional style of a people) need not be dependent upon the analysis of motivational or conflict structure, and illustrates the thesis with a description of the ethos of the Great Whale River Eskimo. (Wallace & Fogelson 1961: 44-45)

In PC national character is most closely tied to this sort of ethos because "atmosphere" is an emotive concept.

Engelmann suggests that societies may be classified as more or less perceptivist or activist. The perceptivist society encourages the individual to sense fully the uniqueness of each experience; the activist society, classifying wide ranges of behavior as equivalent, encourages a monotonous uniformity in experience. (Wallace & Fogelson 1961: 46)

Very reminiscent of Dorothy Lee's lineal and nonlineal codification, where unique "bumps" of the Trobriand native are contrasted to the lineal flow and goal-orientedness of the Western peoples.

[...] that major stable systems - including religious beliefs, myths, and rituals - are the institutionalized legacies of half-forgotten revitalization movements whole codes have survived in distorted form. (Wallace & Fogelson 1961: 57)

Phraseology. Distortion - mangling.

One of the serious difficulties in communications theory is defining the role of cognitive processes in the theory. In extreme formulations, cognition is ignored; only "messages" are considered. But what is a "message"? If any meaningful stimulus (i.e., a stimulus that elicits a specific response) is a message, then indeed man communicates not only with his fellow men and a few animals, but also with sticks and stones and stars, cosmic rays and clouds, and individual onions. This can lead to a spiritually enriching, Wordsworthian pan-communication, but it makes it difficult to distinguish between processes of intentional communication and other kinds of dynamic physical systems. The analysis of intentional communication requires the study of meanings in the cognitive, semantic sense. (Wallace & Fogelson 1961: 59)

The already all too familiar problematic of distinguishing communication from other forms of information and signification. The "meaningful stimulus" definition would make PC communication, not the least so because it is also intentional. "Pan-communication" refers to the tendency to "communicationalize" non-communicative phenomena (i.e. the case of "phatic images", for example).

In general, the problem is to relate these features of a human social mentality to some psychological capacity dependent on increase in brain size, and capacity for complex symbolic thought is usually felt to be the crucial connecting link. (Wallace & Fogelson 1961: 61)

Contra Malinowski's "exact meaning" his own ethnographic reports testify a distinct capacity for complex symbolic thought among the natives. Metaphysics is not the only outcome of this capacity.

Webster, Steven 1982. Dialogue and Fiction in Ethnography. Dialectical Anthropology 7(2): 91-114.

Perhaps not unlike Malinowski in his ethnographic amnesia, Geertz spared us further discomfort and changed the subject from the epistemology of a profound, if uniquely distrusting, intimacy between ethnographer and informant, to the epistemology of how the ethnographer understands. An epistemological context which mystifies the native and overlooks the ethnographer himself seems to supplant the earlier insight where both were all too transparent to one another, and authenticity somehow unproblematic. (Webster 1982: 92)

I thin Malinowski not only mystifies but simplifies the native. For me, this is most evident in his theory of native communication (PC) following the lines of "social vice" in a British conversation manual. It is almost as if he were to "pay back" for the mocking and ridicule he endured to gain insight into kula by giving the impression that the native is an abhorrant conversation partner, just like the uneducated classes in Britain.

To recapitulate: Malinowski experienced a profound alienation in the midst of his hosts that often betrays disdain for them, erotic distractions, and doubts about himself that would not be unfamiliar to most ethnographers. He set many high standards for full field reporting, yet apparently assumed that the conditions of research were separable from his scientific purpose. (Webster 1982: 95)

Another way of saying that he did not apply the fieldwork standards with which he had become so intimately associated (Darnell 1977: 412). Also, Hsu (1979: 518) "counted some 69 entries in which [Malinowski] expressed various degrees of aversion toward [natives], from irritation to anger to hatred."

Although the gap between cultures may be theoretically bridgable, few field researchers would presume to have overcome it, and most would have to admit to an impenetrable alienation between themselves and their hosts, balanced more or less by the accomplishment of some degree of understanding. (Webster 1982: 95)

Phraseology for discussing the reasons why Malinowski might have had to paint such a simplified picture of the natives' mental life.

The cultural basis of his own conviction may not have been so clear to Evans-Pritchard who, after all, confronted a proffessional audience no less dubious of primitive rationality than the population at large. (Webster 1982: 95)


In fact the important thing is to recognize the distance in time as a positive and productive possibility of understanding. It is not a yawning abyss, but is filled with the continuity of custom and tradition [...] (Gadamer, Dialogue and Dialectic, 1976a, p. 123).
How far can this intra-cultural and temporal problem be extended to the inter-cultural and synchronic problems of social anthropology? (Webster 1982: 99)

I think archive.org gives us moderns access to sources that would have been rather difficult to consult even a decade or two ago. It's one thing to notice Mahaffy in the text and trust the quotation, and another thing to download the book and actually read it.

In The Sense of an Ending, Kermode explored the ways in which both fictional and historical or factual accounts of the world necessarily "make sense", impute "followability", especially a teleology of beginning, middle, and ending, to a phenomenal experience of contingency and opacity. (Webster 1982: 104)

Is it a good idea, really, to construct a pseudo-encyclopedia of PC, as I'm apparenttly doing? Is the text of PC a fully logical sequence?

[...] furthermore, false, insidious, or totalitarian fiction is in principle distinguishable from innocent fiction insofar as the latter explores rather than dictates the human world and only calls for conditional assent. (Webster 1982: 105)

I'd like to explore the context of PC rather than dictate the results of an opaque synthesis. Moreover, I believe that a similar exploration will be under way with Jakobson's phatic function, which Kulkarni (2014) "explored" very poorly.

If we misconstrue contemporary hermeneutics in this same way, it is stillborn: on the one hand, we end with an objectification of Malinowski's personal preoccupations as controllable variables in the midst of Trobriand social process; on the other hand, we opt out in a subjectification appropriate only as a supplementary "personal approach" in methodology, or a foray into literature respectfully distanced from the serious ethnography. (Webster 1982: 110)

The methodological role of Malinowski's diary.

Homans, George C. 1982. The Present State of Sociological Theory. The Sociological Quarterly 23(3): 285-299.

The curious thing is that all of them held the same theory, but that fact did not become apparent, because none of them, again with the exception of exchange theory, made its theory explicit. All were well employed stating and testing empirical propositions. But these do not make a theory. What passed for theory in all the schools were discussions of what they intended to do. But such discussions are metatheoretical, not theoretical. (Homans 1982: 285)

The importance of explicating the theory. I protest against "phatic theory", used liberally, because no such thing has been made explicit. It may be held that there is an implicit theory in PC, but it remains to be seen whether there really are any hypotheses to prove or disprove. Most just take it as a given.0

Usually we do not dignify the explanation of a single empirical proposition with the name of a theory. What we call a theory is the explanation of a number of propositions in a single field, when all the explanations share some of the same general propositions. (Homans 1982: 286)

In PC the set consists essentially of to types elements: the words of greetings in language and the sentences that flow automatically in speech. The proposition is that these are meaningless, or at least that their meaning is not "symbolically theirs", whatever that means..

The first reason for taking psychological propositions as the covering laws of psychology is general. J. S. Mill stated this reason early and well (1843, bk. 6, chap. 7, sec. 1):
The laws of the phenomena of society are, and can be, nothing but the laws of the actions and passions of human beings united together in the social state. Men, however, in a state of society are still men; their actions and passions are obedient to the laws of individual human nature. Men are not, when brought together, converted into another kind of substance, with different properties. [...] Human beings in society have no properties but those which are derived from, and may be resolved into, the laws of the nature of individual man. In social phenomena the Composition of Causes is the universal law.
Watkins (1959, in Gardiner, 1959: 505) has called this position "methodological individualism." (Homans 1982: 287)

That's what I was afraid of. The quotation from Mill is eerily reminiscent of Spencer, and it ultimately leads to a discussion of methodological individualism. Not sure if researchers dealing with it - and there are many, even in UT philosophy department a thesis was defended on the subject - have looked into Durkheim (who is the proponent of this subject for Malinowski).

Finally I added a couple of propositions about the determinants and results of emotional behavior such as aggression and approval. (Homans 1982: 288)

Affirmation begs approval.

I believe it is quite easy to show that all the current school of sociology, with the exception of what I shall call "societal functionalism," use propositions of behavioral psychology to explain the phenomena they happen to be interested in. (Homans 1982: 289)

Exactly the case with "phatic studies", which employ the term on whatever speech on non-speech phenomenon is under study without much regard for the original context of definition.

Some social scientists dislike the alleged hedonistic implications of behavioral psychology: all those individuals pursuing rewards, apparently for themselves alone. But behavioral psychology has no such implications, not even at its very base in social behavior. Social exchange is unlikely to continue unless each party rewards the other. (Homans 1982: 290)

Hah, PC not only has hedonistic implications, it is basically constructed upon the hedonistic principle of pleasure. The statement about rewards: "it is quite essential for his pleasure, and the reciprocity is established by the change of rôles" (PC 5.6).

Both the anthropologists called themselves functionalists. But what Radcliffe-Brown meant by function was the part an action or institution played in maintaining the survival of a society; what Malinowski meant was the part it played in rewarding an individual or individuals. (Of course if the individual members of a society cannot feed themselves because they cannot get fish or other food, the society will not survive either.) But the emphases of the two anthropologists were clearly different. Radcliffe-Brown was what I called a societal functionalist, Malinowski, an inidvidualistic one. (Homans 1982: 295)

Apt. This is evident from the psychological substrata of PC (individual self-enhancement). Many have noted the discrepancies between the sociological and psychological explanations in Malinowski's work.

Instead the word function as he uses it can be translated without any loss of meaning whatever as the reward provided by each set of participants to the other participants with which they exchange rewards in a ring of exchanges: the poor immigrants, the machine and the politicians, and the corrupt businessmen. (Homans 1982: 296)

Huh. Could one replace "function" with "reward" in the peripatetic triad? Emotive, behavioural, and cognitive rewards? In case of Malinowski's social function of speech, "social reward" would certainly fit in a sense.

Kluckhohn, Clyde 1943. Bronislaw Malinowski 1884-1942. The Journal of American Folklore 56(221): 208-219.

In general, one does not get theoretical profundities from Malinowski. He has no flair for the intricate, sometimes tortuous, conceptual subtleties which we get from Bateson, for instance. As a theorist, Malinowski's forte was as an integrator - often at a rather superficial level. There is no doubt that he asked many of the right questions and that in the later years of his life he was preoccupied with some of the most central dilemmas in the conceptualization and presentation of cultural materials. (Kluckhohn 1943: 209)

This is how I should look at it. His subversion of Mahaffy's art of conversation and Barton's treatment of salutations are not very profound but he does manage to pose interesting questions which might not otherwise have been answered. Presently, I don't think they are. But when re-formulated in ample context, I think they might.

No, I am convinced that my sense of emptiness on re-reading Malinowski was because his message is essentially simple, almost devoid of deep insights and precious subtleties. I believe that in the long run Malinowski's reputation will rest upon his capacity in expression, upon his field data as such, and upon his crusade for theory in anthropology (rather than his own theoretical formulations). (Kluckhohn 1943: 209)

I am not sure this is really the case, at least for PC, which does boast of some subtleties that require study rather than just reading.

Finally his talents for communication implemented his facile eclecticism in theory. From Durkheim, Frazer, Ogden and Richards, American anthropologists, and from various psychologists he fused elements to produce a conceptual scheme which, if not profoundly original and not without internal contradictions and difficulties, was at least a usable, explicit, pro tempore theoretical structure. (Kluckhohn 1943: 210)

How much did Ogden and Richards really influence him? Ben Kimpel (1968) put them on the same level as Frazer with regard to religious rites, which I perceived as unfounded because neither of the two philologists, to my knowledge, dealt very deeply with religion (I could be sorely mistaken).

Moreover, I get the impression that, after he had studied Frazer and Seligman, his perusal of the ethnographic data provided by others was mostly limited to a hasty scanning. His control of the ethnography of other regions appears superficial for an anthropologist of his eminence. (Kluckhohn 1943: 212)

"Kluckhohn suggested also that in the later part of his career Malinowski's reading was limited. This was recently corroborated in part by Firth who pointed out, however, that it was Malinowski's practice "to have works read to and discussed with him."" (Symmons-Symonolewicz 1958: 67)

In the case of someone like Malinowski who has lived long in the society and who speaks the language we are, in the greater number of cases, probably not unwarranted in taking his word (or implicit suggestion) that a given incident is typical or atypical. And yet - in terms of what we know and suspect as to the intrusion of the "personality" of the field worker into the selection of his data and the crystallization of his dominant impressions - would we not be justified in demanding even from this sensitive observer some dispassionately factual controls of this sort? (Kluckhohn 1943: 214)

Hence the "want to reduce [Malinowski's] text to a psychological symptom" (Payne 1981: 417).

More refined categories such as Merton makes between "manifest function" and "latent function," Talcott Parsons between "functionally diffuse" and "functionally specific," Linton between "form," "meaning," "use," and "function," have brought a wider measure of understanding and agreement. Almost no one today would maintain that any part of a culture would long endure unless that part constituted a set of traditionally enjoined responses which were in some way adjustive (i.e., removed tensions) for individuals or adaptive (i.e. promoted the survival) for the society. But the sense in which particular responses were adjustive or adaptive is often much less simple, much less obvious than it appears to Malinowski. (Kluckhohn 1943: 217)

I can only hope to some day find these strains in the extensive literature of authors mentioned. Adjustive/adaptive I'll take from here as it is.

The "functionalists" have seen very clearly how the solidarity of a society was symbolized and reinforced by, especially, ritualistic behaviors. But they have not been clear as to how, from the standpoint of the individual actor moving through cultural patterns, the fulfillment of form becomes, in a sense, an end in itself. They have tended too much to look for intrinsic and invariant connections between particular symbols and particular activities, forgetting the "accidents" of history. The work of the "functional" anthropologists - so long as they think they can dispense with the time dimension - is not calculated to answer the question: why is it that exactly these and no other forms meet these and no other needs in a particular society at a particular period? (Kluckhohn 1943: 218)

Touching upon the weakness of the psychological aspect. How, indeed, did Malinowski peer into the natives' minds to find no reflection of linguistic content? It rather seems that he was going by his own interests in questioning the informants and made such a negative characterization of their communication patterns (PC) because he was simply annoyed by non-"serious" informants. PC is an end in itself opposed to the ends of the ethnographer. As to "needs", which in that period went under the heading of "sentiments", their treatment in PC doesn't go much beyond listing them in curiously similar order as Spencer did half a century earlier, indicating that these might not have been the true "needs" of native society but mere juxtapositions.

Gregg, Dorothy and Elgin Williams 1948. The Dismal Science of Functionalism. American Anthropologist 50(4): 594-611.

All are reluctant to describe human behavior in other than metaphorical terms. All exhibit a strong and unwavering belief in some pre-established social harmony ("natural order"). And all the dedicated to the demonstration of this natural order by seeking out and delineating useful purposes for all the major institutions of society. (Gregg & Williams 1948: 594)

The problem of ahistoricity described by Kluckhohn (above, unquoted, because commonplace in critiques of functionalism).

In the first place, the functionalist studies "how men and women are motivated in their mutual relations by feelings of attraction and repulsion, by cooperative duties and privileges, by profits drawn and sacrifices made." The emphasis upon motives, with its framework of hedonism in the Newtonian setting of "attraction" and "repulsion"; the concept of society as cooperative relations among "individuals"; the reduction of all social behavior to convenient commercial entries of "profits" and "sacrifices" - the definition cannot fail to elicit a sense of understanding and intellectual partnership in the breast of the economist. (Gregg & Williams 1948: 594)

In PC there is an implicit principle of hedonism in pleasure and pleasantness. Wheres somewhere above it was framed in terms of "rewards" (Homans), here "attraction" can be added to the list.

Among those who contribute to the functionalist line the economist will discover men known to him for their work in economics (Pareto, Parsons), and this will strengthen the response of fellowship. (Gregg & Williams 1948: 594)

Common intrests strengthen the response of fellowship.

"[...] Activities are carried out because they provide some sort of gratification." "Human beings are driven to behave as they do by impulses that demand gratification and by tendencies to avoid pain." "An effective equilibrium [...] of the social structure [...] in maintained as long as satisfactions accrue to individuals." (Gregg & Williams 1948: 596)

More synonyms for the hedonistic pleasure principle.

The result of describing institutional behavior in terms of "goals" and "motives" is to credit almost every custom and activity with instrumental efficacy. Activities quite dissimilar (on the surface) are seen to be "really" of the same order, and thus a usefulness is revealed of behaviors whose contributions to the health of the community is not visible to the naked eye. (Gregg & Williams 1948: 598)

Consider the paradox of purposeless expression of preference or aversion which has the purpose of creating sociable atmosphere.

"Non-rational" sentiments and affects are found to be "essential components in social orientation"; when they are endangered, orientation and balance "can be restored only by symbolic means, usually by ritual." [Williams, "The Method of Understanding as Applied to the Problem of Suffering", 1940, pp. 372, 382] It follows that ritual such as witchcraft is "a major instrument for dealing with aggression and anxiety." [Kluckhohn, Navaho Witchcraft Papers, 1944, pp. 39-72.] (Gregg & Williams 1948: 599)

Are the sentiments listed by Malinowski "non-rational"?

Similarly "the dogmatic affirmations of religion" satisfy the needs for "positive affirmations of stability, success, and continuity," for "intellectual, emotional, and pragmatic control of destiny of chance." (Gregg & Williams 1948: 599)

Conation, action, etc. subsumed under "pragmatic" (in Malinowski's "The Group and the Individual in Functional Analysis"?).

Ceremonials are necessary to keep certain sentiments alive. "Without the ceremonial these sentiments would not exist, and without them the social organization in its actual form would not exist." [Radcliffe-Brown, The Andaman Islanders, 1933, pp. 229-230)] Also necessary to the preservation of social patterns are penalties for their infringement.
Culture must ensure the continuity of social life by providing techniques for inhibiting individual tendencies which might interfere with cooperation and for the suppression or elimination of individuals whose conduct is anti-social. [...] It must provide the individual with techniques for escaping from reality and with a series of compensations for the discomforts and thwarting which his submergence in the corporate existence of the group inevitably impose upon him. [Linton, The Study of Man, 1936, p. 412]
Status, religion, magic, taboo are all necessary if societies based on status, religion, magic and taboo are to remain in their "present state." (Gregg & Williams 1948: 601)

Interestingly, this keeping certain sentiments alive is pretty much the point of Durkheim demon of oratorical inspiration, and Spencer's "checking impulses". As to "techniques or inhibiting individual tendencies", it might serve as one answer - among several - to Malinowski's question of whether or "the technique of speaking" pure sociabilities "can be regarded [...] as a mode of action" (PC 7.1-3).

The distinction between civilization and culture is that between means and "ends-in-themselves." In other words, "culture" is no earthly use to anyone, and that is what housewives and mechanics have been saying about the traditional all the time. (Gregg & Williams 1948: 609)

Synonym for "futilities".

Kluckhohn, Clyde 1961. Notes on Some Anthropological Aspects of Communication. American Anthropologist 63(5): 895-910.

I take as my general definition of communication Hockett's (1958: 573): "communication is those acts by which one organism triggers another." (Kluckhohn 1961: 895)

By nearly all imaginable definitions of communication, PC is communication.

To what extent do words for the same persons, objects, or events tend to be acquired first or very early in the child's vocabulary? Is approximately the same vocabulary level, mastery of syntax, and phonological control characteristic of, say, the three-year old child across cultures? Is the growth rate in vocabulary from infancy to adulthood (proportional to total vocabulary of the language) comparable in different languages and cultures? Roman Jakobson and a few others have pioneered such investigations, but most field workers in linguistics and anthropology have neglected to provide sufficiently comprehensive and detailed data. (Kluckhohn 1961: 895)

What Jakobson was known for in America before his "Linguistics and Poetics" (1960d).

I assume that a cultural anthropologist is concerned primarily with what language does to people as manifested in their behavior. (Kluckhohn 1961: 896)

What does language do in PC? Propitiate? Relax? Establish a personal connection?

In 1953, a group of psychologists, linguists, and anthropologists meet to consider the Whorf hypothesis (Hoijer 1954). Nothing like agreement was achieved. Indeed, there was little agreement as to what Whorf actually meant. His writings tended to be reacted to almost as projective instruments. (Kluckhohn 1961: 902)

Nearly the case of PC.

A Japanese linguist (Nakamura 1954) says "[...] the te-ni-o-ham auxiliary parts of speech [which are lacking in classical Chinese and, according to Nakamura, give Japanese its distinctive character] making their appearance amidst all kinds of words and sentences, serve to emphasize certain connotative meanings and to evoke attention to some aspects of things, distinguishing delicate variations of feeling and volition and leaving rich overtones of meaning just because of their ambiguity." He instances the particles wa and ga. Japanese culture notably is themed by this "aesthetic nicety." (Kluckhohn 1961: 903)

Phraseology: PC evokes attention to the social context of language use, and does so well exactly because of its inherent ambiguity (giving way to intuitive grasp of a set of related phenomena).

Ben-Amos, Dan 1993. "Context" in Context. Western Folklore 52(2/4): 209-226.

In contemporary usage the term "context" refers to a broadly defined background of a composition or a structure, as well as to the parts that precede and follow a given passage. (Ben-Amos 1993: 209)

Past, present, and future. Present being the accompanying "background".

The meaning of a text is its meaning in context. (Ben-Amos 1993: 210)

Somehow this platitude feels easily refutable, as with ancient texts, such as carvings on sticks and stones, the meaning of which can be ascertained from linguistic context (knowing the language) without any recourse to its original context, its authors, audience, or social role. It's almost as if there's a difference between intent and effect at play: "meaning" means purposing, which is a psychological factor, whereas "meaning in context" seems to refer to the actual outcome.

According to The Centennial Index of the Journal of American Folklore the term appears first in Miller (1952), and since then, particularly in the sixties, it has become a standard term in folklore scholarship in the United States. (Ben-Amos 1993: 210ff)

"Too often one has a body of items each of which is living in splendid isolation, without any relation to a context. In our everyday life we are only too often misunderstood because people have selected a phrase we have uttered or written, and failed to see it in relation to its setting. In the realms of folklore this is also very true, for here also context is all important." (Howes 1930: 249)

In such a renaming, text becomes a metaphor for context. Such a rethinking of cultural events opens them up for inexhaustible interpretations and discoveries of new meanings (Geertz 1973; Hobart 1985). (Ben-Amos 1993: 211)

Phraseology for the plurality of phatics.

John Dewey early on pointed out a fact that has become axiomatic in folklore and museums studies, that the context of the fine arts museum interprets ethnographically obtained utensils as art (1958[1934]: 6-9, 26). (Ben-Amos 1993: 212)

Juri Lotman made the exact same observation with regard to context. From Art as Experience, for which I'm still in the waiting list on archive.org - he also wrote a paper titled "Context and Thought" (1931), which sounds interesting (and explicitly refers to Malinowski).

Karl Bühler's formulation for language is aptly applicable to folklore: "the symbolic field of language [...] provides a second class of clues for construction and understanding, one that could be covered by name context; thus, in general terms, the situation and the context are the two sources that in every case contribute to the precise interpretation of utterances" (Bühler 1990[1934]: 169). (Ben-Amos 1993: 212)

Probably the source for Roman Jakobson's distinction between verbal context and nonverbal situation. In his case "the symbolic field of language" qua context is what was said before, what other sayings are referred to, and generally the "textual" aspects of an utterance - it is notable that context is in Jakobson's work most often paired with the subject of ellipsis, i.e. not having to explicate something inherently understood. This is at odds with Malinowski's "context of situation", which to my knowledge does not differentiate the verbal and nonverbal so aptly.

The briefer and the more stable a folklore text is, the higher is its context dependency; and, conversely, the longer and consequently verbally more variable a text is, the lower appears to be its contextual dependency. (Ben-Amos 1993: 213)

I'd argue that a longer text probably has greater contextual dependencies because the "symbolic field" is larger. But then again I think it depends on the text and the aim of interpretation because Malinowski's four pages (PC) have given me thousands of pages of "context" to consider.

Richard Bauman proposes that the field-worker in folklore organize the data around six broad foci: "(a) context of meaning (what does it mean?); (b) institutional context (where does it fit within the culture?); (c) context of communicative system (how does it relate to other kinds of folklore?); (d) social base (what kind of people does it belong to?); (e) individual context (how does it fit into a person's life?); (f) context of situation (how is it useful in social situations?)" (Bauman 1983: 367). (Ben-Amos 1993: 215)

This sounds like an odd subversion of "the outer situation does not enter directly into the technique of speaking" (PC 7.3), as if there is something inherently utilitarian in this crucial concept when PC, a mode of action which stands in relation to the concept of the context of situation only insofar as there is a feeling of "convivial gregariousness" (PC 7.6). This is jumbled. In fact, I think PC 7, at least the first part of the paragraph, is perhaps the most cryptic portion of it.

Malinowski himself drew upon the formulations of linguists and psychologists. Among them was Philipp Wegener, who proposed a theory of situation (Situationstheorie) for language. In his psychologically oriented typology Wegener distinguished three situations in which context provides ways of understanding single word utterances: situations of perception, situations of rememberance, and situations of consciousness (Wegener in Abse 1971: 135-138). (Ben-Amos 1993: 216)

Extremely interesting but inaccessible. Abse, D. Wilfred 1971. Speech and Reason: Language Disorder in Mental Disease and a Translation of the Life of Speech by Philipp Wegener. Chralottesville: University Press of Virginia. Note that these three situations are nearly in accord with the peripatetic triad, Secondness once again being the malformed one: rememberance replaces action/behaviour/intention/conation.

Gardiner, H. N. 1913. Affective phenomena - Descriptive and Theoretical. Psychological Bulletin 10(5): 188-193.

If the somewhat acrimonious dispute between McDougall and Shand, in which Stout plays the part of a mediator, concerned only their personal difference of opinion, it might be dismissed with a brief reference; in point of fact it goes to the root of some fundamental questions and is perhaps the most important item in this year's report. (Gardiner 1913: 166)

Evidently these names were bigger at the time than first appears.

The basis of the discussion is a difference in the conception of instinct. According to McDougall an instinct is an innate affective disposition ("affective" for him includes "conative") of essentially the same nature as all other inner dispositions to feeling and action, its peculiarity consisting in "the innate conjunction of any such affective disposition with one or more cognitive dispositions." The differentia of instinct, then, consists in the existence of certain psychical dispositions with - it is to be assumed - their nervous correlates. Shand, on the other hand, regards it as consisting rather in modes of behavior, namely in complex trains of innately predisposed movements, and also in the simpler and the simplest constituents of such trains. (Gardiner 1913: 166)

So, when Malinowski writes of "Many instincts and innate trends, such as fear or pugnacity, all the types of social sentiments" (PC 3.3), he is apparently attempting to consider both.

The synopsis which Hyslop gives of an article on anger suggests a thorough treatment, but the article itself is rambling. It goes back to the early Egyptians and has much to say about running amok, being evidently inspired in part by the example of Germany in the present war. (Gardiner 1913: 168)

Is Alan H. Gardiner this H. N. Gardiner? The latter wrote many reviews of psychological monographs on emotion for the Psychological Bulletin for three decades.

Gardiner, Alan H. 1919. Some Thoughts on the Subject of Language. Man 19: 2-6.

I must try to express to you my views about a fallacy which I believe to be latent in the outlook of most philologists, namely, that Language is nothing more than a sort of externalised replica of Thought; so that if one could 'analyse' the meaning of all words and 'discover' their 'true' import, one would have a sufficient account of the mind of man. Hermann Paul talks of the psychological analysis of a sentence, and employs the term 'psychological predicate.' Max Müller said, in effect, that Language and Thought are identical. These standpoints seem to me most dangerous, and to ignore and overlook the essential character and purpose of Language, which is to serve as a means of communication between man and man. (Gardiner 1919: 3)

Or, more succinctly: "Language, in its primitive function, to be regarded as a mode of action, rather than as a countersign of thougt." (Malinowski 1923: 296)

Words are intrinsically but meaningless symbols or tokens; to disregard the fact that they are mere instruments, and to treat them as the actual mind of man, susceptible of 'psychological analysis,' is absurd. (Gardiner 1919: 3)

Edgy, and evidently in accordance with Austin's "phatic acts".

AS a provisional definition of Language (in the abstract sense of the word) I submit the following: 'Language is the attempt to influence the mind of a listener by means of articulate audible sounds having an accepted symbolic reference to the facts of experience.' (In this definition I ignore the consequences arising from the fact that a speaker plays a double rôle, that he hears his own words as well as those of others, and that Thought in its most clarified form practically involves a mute conversation with oneself.) (Gardiner 1919: 3)

Autocommunication, self-communication, incommunication; and support for the thesis (presented by Ben-Amos 1993, above, that Gardiner derived much from his reading of Plato).

Now all the variety and complexity of language derives form the fact that the mentalities of speaker and listener at the moments of speech are different. It is this difference that makes language necessary as a means of co-operation. (Gardiner 1919: 3)

Around these parts this is known as Juri Lotman's "model of communication". E.g.: "We have perfect communication, hypothetically, when the phenomenal worlds of speaker and hearer are identical, including identical representations of the medium. This, of course, never happens. We can have adequate communication when the message has to do with relatively sequestered concerns." (MacLeod 1974: 69) - Depicted visually:

The necessity for language arises only there where mutual orientation is indispensable. This seems to hold good pretty generally: even the [|] writer of novels aims at putting his readers into his own frame of mind with regard to the matter, emotional or presentational, of his discourse; even the diary-writer conceives of the future self for whom he writes as of a being who will to some degree have lost touch with his present, experient self. (Gardiner 1919: 3-4)

More on autocommunication in conjunction with phenomenal difference. Diary is a common example in such cases, and the general outlook is tantamount to Peirce's self-communication ("that future self" is necessarily different form the present self).

The absurdity of leaving out the listener is obvious, and becomes more so when we reflect that in language generally it is the relation of the listener to the speaker at the moment of speech which gives the differentiating form to the sentence employed: when I desire an answer I ask a question; when I demand an action by way of reply, I use an imperative; when I deny, I assume my interlocutor to have affirmed; when I voice a wish I appeal for sympathy. (Gardiner 1919: 4)

This was written after he heard a lecture by Bühler. At the moment, the important thing is that the relation between the communicants is the basis for the "atmosphere", the modus operandi of PC. On the second instance it may be noted that PC in general is an appeal for sympathy, achieved through speech alone, hence "phatic" (removing the "sym-").

Suppose the listener to be in close sympathy with the speaker, the words 'The lion,' or 'He roars,' will often suffice. In presence of the beast itself an interchange of glances between the hunters will be enough, or indeed even less than this. (Gardiner 1919: 6)

An unemotional kind of sympathy! This brings us back to the context of situation, which is what is meant here: both the speaker and listener have access to the same "immediate environmental perception" or whatever that neat phrase was (can't find it), and thus can use ellipsis to refer to the object.

It seems clear, then, that speech is a much more complicated thing than mere thought. Besides the content of the statement, command, question, wish, negation, maxim, epigram, or curse that is expressed, there is always involved an unexpressed relation to a listener, which, by a curious paradox, is in practice the decisive factor in determining what words are actually used and the order in which they are arranged. Nor must it be forgotten that Language is used for concealing or distorting thought (as in lying and boasting) hardly less than for revealing it. (Gardiner 1919: 6)

Metacommunication, or the mu-function. This early! Note that "boasting" relates to "vanity", and a neat case for analysis, though wholly unnecessary, is one natives' account of how he goes to Tuma to eat.

Lutkehaus, Nancy Christine 1989. The Use of Another Ethnographer's Field-Notes: Camille Wedgwood's Manam Island Research. Anthropology Today 5(6): 9-12.

Wedgwood bemoaned that Deacon did not include detail about everyday life, which, Wedgwood implies, Deacon certainly would have conveyed had he himself written up his field materials. This point raises a more general question about what material an ethnographer includes in his or her notes. The heart of the problem lies with the often unconscious assumptions we make about what is important or relevant to record. (Lutkehaus 1989: 9)

Imponderabilia. Reading Argonauts did yield a valuable crop of notes that can be supplemented to PC, though it is clear that Malinowski did not consider such things very important and made such remarks "in passing". The relevant question now is whether more of such notes can be found in his later monographs and papers, and if my current crop is sufficient for present purposes. (Or should I go on reading for ever without corresponding my discoveries to others in publication?)

My initial reading of Wedgwood's letters to her friends, mentors and family, and her journals from the field, also captivated my attention, less for their data about Manam society and culture than for what they could tell me about Wedgwood herself. This feeling was motivated by more than simply curiousity. Like Wedgwood I was a woman and like her I was going into the field alone. Because of the nature of her experience, I easily identified with her. Since she was no longer alive and not able to answer directly my questions about what field-work on Manam had been like, I tried to read between the lines. I found myself searching for clues in her notes and letters as to what an experience similar to hers might hold in store for me. (Lutkehaus 1989: 10)

Likewise with Malinowski, with whom many have become obsessed. It is easy enough to read "psychological symptoms" from between the lines but it is probably not very wise to do so (that is what his biography, Young 2004, is for)

Establishment of rapport with strangers is one of the major challenges an anthropologist faces on first intrance into the field. (Lutkehaus 1989: 10)

Exactly why PC is actually inherently important for anthropological fieldworkers. Though it remains a subject of discussion how much of PC is actually conditioned by Malinowski's own field experience, and how much is just theory for the sake of theory, a synthesis of Mahaffy and Barton.

Reading Wedgwood's notes for the second time was an entirely different experience, for I now read the notes with the interest and knowledge of an 'insider'. The people and activities she described were now 'local history' for me, a chronicle of past events, some of which I had heard about in other contexts, others of which illuminated present events. They filled in gaps in my understanding of the reason why certain things happened or were done in a particular way. (Lutkehaus 1989: 11)

Likewise, I think that anyone looking for a better understanding of phatic communion should read Malinowski's other publications from the era. It is one thing to notice the word "gossip" in the text and think it something to do with rumour and casual conversation but another to grasp it in the context of the ethnographer's lived experience, his attitude towards it, and various situational variables that give it a much deeper meaning.

Goldsmith, Michael 1988. Malinowski and Gardiner: The Egyptian Connection. History of Anthropology Newsletter 15(1): 5-11.

How Malinowski and Gardiner met is not clear, although Gardiner's friendship with [Grafton Elliot] Smith may provide a link to the prewar British anthropological community which Malinowski himself had entered in 1910. Given that Malinowski was later to conduct a highly polemical debate with Smith and his diffusionist disciple William Perry, who argued an Egyptian origin for all cultures, this seems a paradoxical connection. (Goldsmith 1988: 5)

If Malinowski entered in 1910 it is highly dubious whether he had been working with Ogden and Richards as early as 1906. The timeline should be revisited.

Whatever personal empathy and social solidarity lay behind their intellectual relationship, they seem to have found common ground in bemoaning the state of linguistics, and in attempts to rectify matters. Each was to make a respected, though non-canonical, contribution to the field. Malinowski's reputation derived from his dictum that meaning must be sought in the "context-of-situation" (1923), an insight that links him directly to the later work of J. R. Firth. While this view has attracted the attention of many philosophers and anthropologists, it is not central to the development of semantic theory as recognized by most contemporary linguists. (GGardiner; inoldsmith 1988: 6)

Empathy and solidarity matched with personal and social makes sense. The non-canonical but ever-present nature of PC in linguistic theory is a difficult thing to ascertain because, in my view, even semantic theorists (e.g. Hayakawa) consider it relevant.

Now of course the modern field-worker has an immense pull over the critic of ancient texts in the fact that if he is not sure that he has interpreted a statement correctly he can cross-question the speaker. He thus obtains what are in effect glosses (scholia) [or possibly skolia]. But none of the less one feels that one would have liked to have the ipsissima verba of the original statement in all its obscurity and vagueness, since that is the way that people think, and precisely the glosses and skolia [sic] are not really the meaning of the original statement, but an improvement upon it called forth by the fact that the questioner is (if you will pardon me saying so) unusually importunate and troublesome. (Gardiner 1918; in Goldsmith 1988: 8)

I am very attracted to the mental image of a paper in which the numbered sentences of PC serve as headings, with all their "obscurity and vagueness" on full display, but I grow more suspicious that this would not be the preferable course for a well-written paper. Gardiner here yet again offers an interesting latinism (like a potiori and pari passu), though I'm not sure if it'd be good manners to use these in modern scholarship.

Would it not be true to say that a man's real beliefs, his stock-in-trade, so to speak, are the things he can be induced to say without thinking - his linguistic reflex [|] movements. (Gardiner 1918; in Goldsmith 1988: 8)

Foor for thinking about relating PC to the "default-mode network". This is probably the beginning of Gardiner's treatment of PC as something mechanical or automatic. On Malinowski's side it's related to the topic of leading questions (cf. the latter portions of "Baloma").

As a philogist [sic], I am supremely dissatisfied with the whole position of semantics. (Gardiner 1918; in Goldsmith 1988: 10)


Nerlich, Brigitte 1988. Philipp Wegener's (1848-1916) Theory of Language and Communication. Henry Sweet Society for the History of Linguistic Ideas Bulletin 11(1): 11-13.

For a decade historians of linguistics have been re-reading Wegener's Untersuchungen Über die Grundfragen des Sprachlebens (1885), a book which had a rather marginal status compared to other main-stream books on historical-comparative linguistics. However, it was admired by the English school of linguistics, by Gardiner, Malinowski and Firth. (Nerlich 1988: 11)

I have yet to see an instance of evidence that Malinowski "admired" this Wegener fellow.

Wegener's theory of language acquisition is remarkable. It contains in nuce all the elements of his theory of language use, language understanding and language change, giving a theoretical unity to his theory of the life of language, a life that has three dimensions: language-birth in the child, language-life in the adult's use of language, and language-growth in time. In none of these dimensions are the speakers and hearers absent as active agents. (Nerlich 1988: 11)

The child, the adult, and language itself. While Malinowski and Jakobson deal primarily with the first two, Jespersen - with his bold approach to language "origin" - by and by with the third.

Words do not express a substance, nor are words mere containers of sound; they are instruments of communicative interaction. They are in fact summonses (imperatives) to the hearer to remember the situation in which they were spoken before. They do not so much carry meaning as make the hearer retrieve already known information associated with the sound. A series of such reminders in a sentence, an instruction, to construct meaning. This instruction is at first carried out laboriously, then executed automatically. (Nerlich 1988: 12)

In broad outlines this is the Lotmanian view of "meaning-making". In specifics it's the stuff of cognitive "presentation".

It is not difficult to account for semantic change in Wegener's theory, because words do not carry meaning, they are invested with meaning according to the totality of the context. They only have meaning insofar as they are interpreted as meaningful. In the evolution of langugae 'pragmatics' has the primacy over semantics and syntax. Meaning and grammar emerge from communication as situated action. (Nerlich 1988: 13)

Interesting suggestions. The word "situated" particularly catches my attention, as "communion" sounds like it is "communally" situated.

Urry, James 1985. W. E. Armstrong and Social Anthropology at Cambridge 1922-1926. Man 20(3): 412-433.

After Rivers's sudden death in June 1922, Armstrong's name was put forward to give instruction in social anthropology, and he was offered and accepted the post. It was stressed that the new post was temporary, as Rivers had no official position in anthropology and had given his lectures gratuitously. The following year, however, the post was renewed and Armstrong was asked also to take over Haddon's lectures on the Religion of Backward Peoples. (Urry 1985: 414)

With variying degrees of racism, this is by far the most negative extreme of "primitive".

British anthropology in 1900 still covered a broad range of topics, physical anthropology, ethnology, folklore, material culture and archaeology, with little specialisation and with most explanations couched in evolutionary terms. (Urry 1985: 415)

Phraseology: Malinowski's psychological theory was notably lacking, hence he couched the psychological explanations in rather outdated ethnographic theories (McDougall and Shands).

Table 2. The 'mature' list of lectures given by Armstrong sometime after 1923 and before 1926.
I - Definitions. Psychological Basis.
II - The Instincts of Man.
III - Suggestions, Sympathy, Imitation.
IV - Association, Habit. The Sentiments, Group Sentiments.
V - Earliest Groupings a priori.
VI - Original Groupings (cont.) Evolutionary Theory.
VII - Kinship and Family.
VIII - Possible origin of clan. Genealogical method.
IX - Tribe. Rivers' Theory of Group Marriage.
X - Marriage.
XI - Marriage (cont.)
XIII - (Marriage Classes and Section Systems)
XIV - Totemism.
XV - Totemism (2).
XVI - Totemism (3).
XVII - Property.
XIX - Succession. Chiefs.
XX - The Men's House. Age Grades.
XXI - Puberty, Voluntary Groupings.
XXII - Fraternities and Secret Societies.
XXIII - Origin of Secret Societies.
XXIV - Migrations in Melanesia.
XXV - Contact. Interaction. Heliolithic Culture.
XXVI - Heliolithic Culture (cont.)
(Urry 1985: 416)

Highlighted the topics I'm interested, i.e. associated with PC.

In this early draft Armstrong wrestled with the problem of the word 'primitive' and whether it allows him to separate the study of 'primitive' institutions from those of 'civilized peoples'. In his mature lectures he appears to overcome this difficulty by talking instead of 'simple' and 'complex' societies. The study of simple societies allowed anthropologists to make generalisations concerning the nature of all social groupings. (Urry 1985: 417)

Phraseology for "savage and civilized alike".

Armstrong assumed that there was little difference between 'savage' and 'civilised' man in the relative strength of innate 'psycho-physical' dispositions since all people possessed the same instincts. But the 'mature psychological dispositions' varied enormously in different societies and 'had to be explained in terms of difference of environment, and of this environment the only important element is the social'. (Urry 1985: 419)

Very much the same view held by Malinowski in PC (e.g. innate trends vs national character).

After outlining the innate instincts and their basis in neurology, Armstrong discussed the 'pseudo-instincts' of suggestion, sympathy and imitation which:
correspond to the three aspects of the mind, the cognitive, affective, and conative, and are purely social in the sense that they depend entirely on relations with other persons. Suggestion is the induction of similar ideas in other persons, Sympathy the induction of similar emotions, and Imitation the induction of similar movements (APNLA 1(2)L3: 1-2)
These distinctions, being social, are learned and liable to further modification in accordance with psychological laws. In terms of cognition the law of association operates, imitation is influenced by habit acting on motor action and they are both developed in the process of socialisation. Sympathy and the emotions are developed in complexes of sentiments; this is by far the most important element in the formation of the individual in a social environment element in the formation of the individual in a social environment, and the area in which there is most cultural variation. (Urry 1985: 419)

Wow, this is astonishingly good and might spare me reading McDougall and Shands at the moment for elaborating upon the peripatetic triad.

Like Armstrong, Malinowski was extremely interested in the connexion between psychology and anthropology. McDougall's (1908) Introduction to social psychology was one of the three books suggested for his course and he recommended Shand's (1914) work on sentiments to his students (the other texts were Rivers 1924 and Lowie 1920, see also Firth 1957: 7; 1981: 125). But Malinowski's attitude altered during the late 1920's and early 1930's. His initial enthusiasm for McDougall and Shand declined as his interest in psychoanalysis increased, but this too waned, to be replaced during the 1930's by a more general concern with behaviouralism (Fortes 1957: 161). (Urry 1985: 425)

Things to consider before embarking on a continuation of this journey. I may have to read Shands (at least) now, but psychoanalysis and behaviorism are as of yet beyond my grasp.

Wright, William Kelley 1921. McDougall's Social Psychology in the Light of Recent Discussion. The Journal of Philosophy 18(6): 141-152.

The conceptions of the Social Psychology have three nodal points: the doctrines of (1) instincts; (2) sentiments; (3) the development of character and volition. To lose sight of any one of them is to miss much of the value and significance of the book. Among other interesting and original features which, however, do not seem to me basic to the system as a whole, are various details in the interpretation of the sympathy, suggestion and imitation as "general innate tendencies" to feel, think, and act as one perceives others doing; [...] (Wright 1921: 142)

These keywords are starting to ring all too distinctly, but to my mind they still appear to muddle, to some degree, the peripatetic triad (feeling, acting, thinking).

The principal primary instincts are "the mental forces that maintain and shape all the life of individuals and societies"; from their operation arise sentiments, character, volition, and associated life. An author who attaches such a function to instincts is not thinking of sensation reflexes; he must have in mind such processes as fear, anger, sex, parental care, gregariousness, acquisitiveness and self-assertion; in short, the motives to which writers on moral and social evolution usually attribute the origin and growth of law, justice, religion, property, the family, the state and other institutions, when they choose to regard them psychologically. (Wright 1921: 143)

When put into relief with Malinowski's terminology in PC (which match as long as self-assertion is taken in the sense of self-enhancement in vanity), it is interesting to note that while anger may be present in "antipathies", sex, parental care and acquisitiveness are not included, which perhaps says something about the social milieu of the natives among whom Malinowski may have formulated PC (if not in wording, which is borrowed from sources detailed in recent post, at least in its ideational germ).

Working on this basis, the list of principal primary instincts and emotions is as follows:
Food seeking
This list has been variously criticized. (Wright 1921: 144)

Confirmation that self-assertion is related to self-display. Food seeking highlighted for the communion of food. Though at the end of the day these connections can only be verified by reading McDougall's books.

Professor Woodworth says that the system of Professor McDougall does not make sufficient space for the good will, comradeship and cooperation of equals. Self-assertion and subjection are concerned chiefly with superiors and inferiors. The gregarious instinct is treated merely as an impulse to herd. Passive and active sympathy are not sufficient. So, though I once endeavored to meet this difficulty in an analysis of punitive justice by widening the scope of the gregarious instinct, it now seems to me that Professor Graham Wallas handles the matter better by positing another instinct, which he calls "love"; but as we need this term for the sentiment, this had better be called, I think, the "social instinct." (Wright 1921: 148)

Makes me wonder PC is so frail in these aspects because of Malinowski's lack of "parity" with the natives. This "impulse to herd" is explicitly criticized by Malinowksi in the footnote to PC. And "social instinct" was not new by that time; Herbert Spencer wrote about "the instinct of sociality" by 1876.

A sentiment, for Professor McDougall, is the organization of instincts and emotions about the idea of some object. The most important varieties of sentiments are those of love, hate, and respect. Sentiments are classified according to the character of their objects as concrete particular (e.g., love for a particular child), concrete general (e.g., love for children) and abstract (love for justice, virtue, science). (Wright 1921: 148)

Note that Malinowski's "ambition, vanity, passion for power and wealth" are abstract sentiments in this sense but he himself calls them "social sentiments".

Furthermore, there is less uniformity in the sentiments of individuals than in their instincts. The latter are innate, and common to the entire human race. An Oriental has the same instincts as an Occidental; his sentiments must be very different. To hold a group together, in patriotism, religious devotion, enthusiasm for a cause, or what not, they must be [|] taught common sentiments. The whole psychology of religion might be regarded as the implanting and development of a sentiment, as I have shown elsewhere. To hold a newly constituted state together, a national sentiment must spring up and acquire strength. The essential condition for a successful League of Nations would be the constitution of an international sentiment strong enough to bind the peoples of the associated nations together in a common loyalty. (Wright 1921: 149-150)

At last, the crucial crux of "establishing common sentiments".

Taken all in all, the Introduction to Social Psychology remains, after the twelve years since its first appearance, the foundation for a psychological interpretation of human social life. (Wright 1921: 152)

These ideas are also retained as the psychological foundation of Malinowski's interpretation of human social life, and aversion to them - even by Malinowski himself later on, apparently - remains a major reason for the poor receiving of Phatic Communion throughout the 20th century and into the 21st.


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