Self-determination is the process by which people, who are governed by a foreign power, gain self-government. Often the people first form a sense of community—a sense of a shared identity, destiny, and core values—and then seek to invest those in a state, forming a nation (defined as a community invested in a state). The term self-determination is also used to refer to the normative principle that is evoked to justify breaking away from the old regime to form a new one.
Over the past 2 decades, dozens of studies have explored the relationship between exposure to economics and antisocial behavior.
Behavioral Economics has demonstrated that “people” (implying all) are unable to act as strong definitions of rationality assume. Their cognitive limitations are “hard wired”. However Behavioral Economics’ own data show that important segments of the population find “the” rational answer to choices posed to them. How do these findings square with the thesis that limitations are hard wired and universal? And, more attention should be paid to the extent to which various people deviate from the rational choice, and—whether training can improve performance despite the claim that flaws are hard wired.
“Limits of Privacy.” Contemporary Debates in Applied Ethics Blackwell (2005) pp. 253-262.
“When Rights Collide,” in Rise Axelrod and Charles Cooper, (Eds.) Reading Critically, Writing Well, (Second ed.), New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1989.
“Compliance, Goals, and Effectiveness,” in Jay M. Shafritz and J. Steven Ott, (Eds.) Classics of Organization Theory, (2nd ed.), Chicago: The Dorsey Press, (1987), pp. 177-187.
“Sozialpsychologieche Aspekte Internationaler Beziehungen,” in Die Psychologie Des 20 Jahrhunderts (Zurich: Kinler Verlag, 1979), pp. 601-618.
“Planning–An Historical and Intellectual Perspective,” in Robert W.
“Toward a Critical and Objective Sociology,” et al, Vol. 1, No. 3 (Summer, 1968), p. 11.
Sociologists who study disarmament are at a doulde disadvantage: both the contibutions of sociology as a discipline and the investment of the society as a whole in this field are so small that the study of disarmament is a prime “underdeveloped” area.
By the first part of 2013, the economic growth rates of China and India were falling sharply; the growth of the United States and Japan were anaemic; the EU was on the edge of a recession. While the Arab Awakening is often considered a call for democratization, most citizens of the nations involved are keen to command a significantly higher standard of living, which may well not be forthcoming.
This chapter examines several issues raised by the extensive use of DNA tests and databases in advancing public safety. The examination draws on a communitarian perspective that balances the common good with individual rights rather than presuming that rights routinely trump the common good.
Accountability deserves much more attention than it has been getting; the book before us makes a major contribution to highlight its importance. It sounds like a dull subject, something having to do with annual reports and accountants. Actually at the heart of the matter is ensuring that actions are carried out in line with legitimate policies, those set by law, in line with ethical precepts, and properly authorized by legislature or corporate board and executive.
Although the concept of legitimacy is widely invoked in social science literature, political disclosure, and common parlance, key empirical and normative questions about legitimacy are often left far from answered, especially "Legitimated by whom?" and "Legitimated by what criteria?"
About the kindest labels appended to them are "rednecks," "highly volatile" and "laughable." Young research assistants at George Washington University see them as "psychopaths," "racists," "anti-Semites" and "homophobes" and hold that, in the political arena, "one cannot talk to them; one must defeat them."
Sometimes a complex issue can be captured in a few very simple words: “Prosecuting suspected pirates detained in international waters has proved difficult.” And according to Douglas Burnett, an expert in maritime law, pirates are treated with a “catch and release philosophy that’s usually reserved for trout.”
This article draws on Etzioni's book My Bothers' Keeper: A Memoir and a Message
To bail out the banks, and more generally Wall Street, and as a result of their profiteering, the nation faces a great deficit. It is premature to deal with it, but when the time comes, it should not be closed by scaling back social programs and entitlements. Such a way to deal with the deficit would in effect amount to a two-step major wealth transfer from the most vulnerable Americans to the most endowed. (First the funds were given to Wall Street; next they will be taken from the poor and working-class Americans, to cover the shortfalls). There are other sources for reducing government expenditures for new revenues.
“Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do?” Hedgehog Review (Spring 2010), pp. 85-89.
The first thing that must be said about Michael Sandel's book, Justice, is that it is a remarkable educational achievement.
“A Humanist Science: Values and Ideas in Social Inquiry,” Law and Society Review 44, No. 1 (March 2010), pp. 185-186.
Philip Selznick provides, in A Humanist Science, a remarkable capstone to a long and outstanding lifetime of scholarly work.
Attempts to justify human rights in terms of other sources of normativity unwittingly weaken the case of human rights. Instead these rights should be treated as moral causes that speak to us directly, as one of those rare precepts that are self-evident.
Not all rights have been created equal. This essay contends that the right to life—broadly understood as a right to be free from deadly violence, maiming, torture, and starvation—is paramount and argues that the unique standing of the right to life has significant implications for public policy in general, and for foreign policy in particular.
The tired debate between those who believe in nation-building and those who scoff at it glosses over a major difference between top-down and bottom-up society-building. The starting point for a bottom-up approach is the communitarian recognition that societies — even modern, so-called “mass” societies — are not composed of just millions upon millions of individual citizens.
When a theory faces a set of facts that are not compatible with its key assumptions, there are several ways it might respond. In response to the challenge posed by behavioral economics, neoclassical economics has attempted numerous different approaches. After briefly reviewing these responses, this paper turns to argue in favor of one of them.
Israel makes me stay up nights. There are too many people who “know” that Iran will not build a bomb (“they said so, repeatedly!”); that if it does build one—Iran is not going to drop it on Tel Aviv (“they are not crazy”); that Iran is merely clamoring for attention (“you know, they have long been ignored and humiliated”).
Transparency is a highly regarded value, a precept used for ideological purposes, and a subject of academic study. The following critical analysis attempts to show that transparency is overvalued.
With the economic crisis currently at its peak, the time is ripe for a moral conversation on what defines a good society. Is a society governed by consumerism desirable? Can material objects be used to express affection and to seek self-esteem? How can self-actualization best be realized?
Amidst the rekindled interest in regulating the market that has emerged since the 2008 financial crisis, most attention has been paid to the debate between those who call for more regulation of the private sector in order to protect the public good, and those who claim that such regulations would do further damage to the economy by unduly constraining business.
The moral value of human rights and liberty is so central to scholars, activists, and citizens in the West that they are taken as more or less self-evident truths. This essay shares this assumption. However, it asks: Do human right and liberty provide a sufficient moral foundation for a good society?
Even scholars who have no interest in economics may find the debate about behavioral economics of great interest because it points to a major meta-theoretical, empirical, and normative divide in th
The idea that achieving ever-higher levels of consumption of products and services is a vacuous goal has been with us from the onset of industrialization. These ideas often have taken the form of comparing the attractive life of the much poorer, pre-industrial artisan to that of the more endowed industrial assembly-line worker.
“The Communitarian Constitution by Beau Breslin,” Perspectives on Political Science 37, No. 1 (Winter 2008), pp. 60-61.
Unfortunately, the failed policies with which The Case for Democracy is associated will likely lead many to avoid this rich, interesting, and well-developed work.
Although long championed, a global language has not come to fruition despite considerable efforts. Many fear that such a language would undermine the particularistic, identity-constituting primary languages of local and national communities.
When Thomas Hobbes was asked why he contributed to a beggar, and was this not due to Christ’s commandment, he responded that he did so “with the sole intent of relieving his own misery at the sight
At first, it may seem that citizenship tests are just what their title implies: tests that determine whether a person is qualified to become a citizen. Actually, in many nations that require such citizenship tests, the vast majority of the individuals involved are not required to command any qualifications to become a citizen and hence are not tested.
My interest over the last ten years has moved from the study of smaller social units to that of larger ones, from greater concern with conceptualization to an emphasis on the social relevance of social science, and from a fair segregation of the role of the sociologist and the active citizen to a greater effort to articulate the two.
The right to bring civil suits against corporations for the damage their activities have caused has long been established in American law. However, the notion that criminal charges can be brought against a corporation is self-evident, for, as the saying goes, "One cannot jail a corporation."
This essay discusses several issues involving the theory of post-conflict reconstruction, and suggests that the concepts of reconstruction and of economic development be carefully kept apart. It explores the question of what moral and legal obligations to reconstruction the occupiers incur.
The European Union is suffering not just from a democratic deﬁcit, but a community deﬁcit. The level and scope of its integration activities far exceed the degree of community that it sustains. The article explains why community, particularly normative-affective community, is needed and how it can be built in the EU.
Local, national, and international civic service is again a hot topic in the wake of the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq (Dionne, Drogosz, and Litan 2003; Schulman 2002: Wilheml and Williams 2002; Dionne and Drogosz 2003; Galston 2001). Questions are raised about the distribution of the burden of military service among various social groups, the need for a draft, and the need for alternative services.
Soon after my wife died - her car slid off an icy road in 1985 - a school physchologist warned me that my children and I were not mourning in the right way.
Making light of relativism, of the old-fashioned personal variety, or of the "postmodern" cultural, politically correct one, is like shooting fish in a barrel. it has been done often and well, but the barrel is still full, at least in part because no other, more compelling, content has been provided.
A Communitarian Approach: A Viewpoint on the Study of the Legal, Ethical and Policy Considerations Raised by DNA Tests and Databases
This article seeks to outline a viewpoint on the study of the legal, ethical and policy considerations raised by DNA tests and databases (from here on, DNA usages). It does not delve into the specifics involved. It outlines a way of thinking that has proven productive elsewhere and seems promising in dealing with DNA usages in the United States, but little more. Given that this essay is about a communitarian approach that draws on specific communitarian values, I turn next to briefly present the approach here followed.
“Communitarianism.” The Cambridge Dictionary of Socioloy. ed. Bryan S. Turner (Cambridge University Press 2006) pp. 81-83.
Should the US government and the international community actively promote religion overseas, especially in the Islamic world? Such an approach may seem wrong on all grounds. Religion is a major force driving jihadists in the Middle East, and separation of state and religion is one of the cornerstones of US democracy and the type of regime the United States promotes abroad.
“Transnational Moral Dialogues.” After Terror, ed. Akbar Ahmed and Brian Forst. (Polity Press, 2005) pp. 79-84.
Those of us who study lawyers actually do know that most of them help resolve conflicts. They help clients to vent their anger-and realize that they do not have a case. They work out differences among contending parties, whether individuals, corporations or nations. In the public eye, though, lawyers are all from television's Boston Legal, fierce advocates of one side or the other, manipulating the evidence and pushing emotional buttons to win the day.
POLICY research requires a profoundly different methodology from that on which basic research relies, because policy research is always dedicated to changing the world while basic research seeks to understand it as it is.' The notion that if one merely understands the world better, then one will in turn know how to better it, is not supported by the evidence.
For once the Christian right has come up with a good idea: Let's put Christ back into Christmas!
When my mother-in-law could not take it any more (her cancer had turned her leg into one huge sore, and her pain was unbearable), my wife reluctantly called in a physician who was also a family friend. Dr. L. explained that it was against the law for him to help my mother-in-law, who had battled melanoma for 13 months with a quiet dignity, to end her life.
“Bookmarks for Public Sociologists,” The British Journal of Sociology, Volume 56, Issue 3 (Sept. 2005) pp. 373-378
Both religious and liberal secular thinking offer comprehensive approaches to considering the place of the sexual drive in our personal lives and communities. What has communitarian thinking to offer? How does it compare to these other bodies of thought, especially to religious ones?
We must work together for a fair society: a society in which everyone is treated with full respect, recognizing that we are all God's children. A society in which no one--adult or child--is left behind. A place in which such moral commitments are truly honored rather than served up as hallow promises.
“Beyond a Civil Society: a Good Society.” (Published in German as “Mehr als eine Zivilgesellschaft: eine gute Gesellschaft”) Zerreißt das soziale Band: Beiträge zu einer aktuellen geseschaftspoliti
“The Foundations of Socioeconomics and Its Relation to the Law.” Law and Economics, Alternative Economic Approaches to Legal and Regulatory Issues. (2005), pp. 15-23.
In the mid-1980s, a senator invited me to join the board of a new lobby he was forming that would be called Americans for Generational Equity, or AGE.
Response to Simon Prideaux’s ‘From Organisational Theory to the New Communitarianism of Amitai Etzioni
“Response to Simon Prideaux’s ‘From Organisational Theory to the New Communitarianism of Amitai Etzioni’.” Canadian Journal of Sociology. Vol. 30, No. 2 (2005) pp. 215-217.
As my students were packing to home for Thanksgiving, I asked them what effect "Post-Election Stress Syndrom" was going to have on their holidays. Only two expected any troubles.
"The American Slippage Towards Plutocracy" Is Democracy in Danger? Phi Kappa Phi Forum (Winter 2004) pp. 26-29
Expect to hear all about it during the debates tonight, when Vice President Dick Cheney meets former civil litigator Joen Edwards: Junk lawsuits are ruining America.
Governments, it is often said, are too big to solve the small problems and too small to solve the big ones.
Discomfort about the overarching goal of capitalist economies, and the idea that achieving ever higher levels of consumption of products and services is a vacuous goal, has been with us since the onset of industrialization. This contribution looks at the phenomenon and foundations of voluntary simplicity. Its psychological implications and consequences for societies are discussed.
The day starts with a ritual. Not prayer or meditation, but Mounting the Scale.
“The Capabilities and Limits of the Global Civil Society.” Millennium, Journal of International Studies. Vol. 33, No. 2 (December 2004), pp.341-353.
Civil libertarians claim that Mel Gibson has a constitutionally protected right to make his movie The Passion of the Christ, which will drive score of individuals among the many millions o
"Great Depths of Knowledge Await Below" Los Angeles Times (Feb. 2, 2004) p. B11
Out of discordant, often strident, conflicting voices that emanate from the East and the West, a new composition is slowly arising. The synthesized tune has a limited register and on many issues divergent voices will continue to be heard.
"Immigrants can belong and be themselves" International Herald Tribune (Jan. 2, 2004) p.
Professor Dinh raises the right issue higWighted by the 9/11 Commission: what should be the post-Cold War organizing principle for the global order?! Historians may well consider the period between 1989 and 2001 a confused interim, in which it was unclear what would replace the bipolar world.
“A Self-Restrained Approach to Nation-Building by Foreign Powers.” International Affairs, Vol. 80, No. 1 (January 2004) pp. 1-17.
The central thesis of this essay is that nation-building -- however defined-- by foreign powers can rarely be accomplished and tends to be very costly, not merely in economic resources and those of political capital, but also in human lives.
“Driver’s License, Please” The Boston Globe (December 24, 2003) p. A15.
Those who are horrified by the excesses of John Ashcroft's Justice Department should take note that some elementary and essential security measures have not yet been introduced.
“Keep an Eye on Liberty” The National Law Journal (December 15, 2003) p. 35.
Attonergy general John Ashcrost, this time, is truly going too far. Congress should immediately ban the use of the special powers, granted to the government to fight terrorism, abainst those suspected of having committed other crimes.
Thanksgiving is supposed to be the quintessential family holiday. However, for this first time, more than half my students will not be going home for the holiday this year.
“A Deadly Slippery Slope” The National Law Journal (November 10, 2003) p. 31.
The constitutional debate over whether a feeding tube may be removed from a patient in a persistent vegetative state is a no-brainer, but the moral issues involved are far from cut-and-dried [forgive the puns].
“A Harmless Holiday Ritual That Has Gone Totally Amok” Chicago Tribune (October 31, 2003) p. 23 (Also published: “Halloween: A Fun Holiday Turned into a Shopping Fest” The Miami Herald, (October 31, 2003) p. 25A).
This Halloween is the most commercialized and wildest of its kind since 9/11 and arguably in recent memory.
“The Message – Not the Messenger – is Democrats’ Problem” The Christian Science Monitor (October 21, 2003) p. 9.
It is very difficult these days for friends and foes alike to find out what the Democratic Party stands for. Although there is one less voice in the cacophony of the Democratic presidential race - following the withdraw of Sen. Bob Graham - confusion is still high indeed.
“How Liberty is Lost.” Symposium: Fallacies in Democracy Society Vol. 40, No. 5 (July/August 2003) 44-51.
Communitarianism is a social philosophy that maintains that society should articulate what is good–that such articulations are both needed and legitimate. Communitarianism is often contrasted with classical liberalism, a philosophical position that holds each individual should formulate the good on his or her own.
This paper asks whether communities and democracy can thrive in the new world, in cyberspace? This requires a two step examination. First, can there be virtual communities? Second, can these--and other (including offline) communities--govern themselves in a democratic way by drawing on new developments in cyberspace?
Are we justified when we care more about "our own kind" than about all others? Some scholars have tried to provide an answer based on what they consider human nature. Others--on self-interest
The National Association of Scholars, at some point, may want to pass a rule stating that since relativism has been criticized to perfection, we shall henceforth dedicate to it not more than 10 percent of our attention and we shall devote much more energy to what will come next.
“‘Peasant Insurance’ a Corporate Shame” The Atlanta Journal and Constitution (January 30, 2003) p. 13A.
At least one a week I buy my lunch from Au Bon Pain. It never occurred to me that its employees are subject to what I consider a screaming unethical conduct.
Recently, various suggestions have been made to respond to the increasingly great shortage of organs by paying for them. Because of the undesirable side effects of such approaches (commodification, injustice, and costs), a communitarian approach should be tried first.
“Flirting and Flag-Waving: the Revealing Study of Holidays and Rituals” Chronicle of Higher Education (December 13, 2002). p. 16B.
My colleagues in the social sciences may wish to bring along their laptops, or at least their notebooks, as they join family and friends during the winter holiday season.
American society has often favored individual rights disproportionately over the common good. In the aftermath of September 11, there is a need to readjust our criteria to allow for the strengthening of security, public safety, and public health policies.
In 1982 President Reagan referred to the Soviet Union as the “evil empire;” in 2001 President Bush referred to the terrorists as the “evildoers.” Both were chastised for using such stark, biblical, moralistic terms. Both had a point, as the confrontations with militant forms of socialism and of Islam entail much more than a war over boundaries and resources, shifting balances of power, or avenging national slurs. These conflicts do speak to and for core moral and social values; both do concern the defense of liberty from enslaving forces.
This essay explores some of the elements of what makes for a good society--or--community--from a communitarian viewpoint, with consideration from a combination of social facts as seen by sociologist. Additionally, ethical considerations, with special attention paid to exclusivity and to equality, are addressed.
America’s moral and social fabric is weakening. Too often we demand rights without assuming responsibilities, pursue entitlements while shying away from obligations. More broadly, as the increase in antisocial behavior over the last decades indicates, we have lost our commitment to values we all share and next to no new ones have arisen to replace those that were lost.
Individualism-The "-ism" indicates a doctrine, dogmatic, overboard commitment-has been so soundly and repeatedly defeated that one must ask: Why is it standing at all? It is a concept so intellectually defective and morally misguided, that one cannot but wonder: Why do people still hold onto this fool's gold?
This paper contains three parts. The first outlines the reasons I believe the time has come to develop a shared disciplinary core for socio-economics. It then turns to the principles that ought to guide us in developing such a core, and finally, suggests several specific elements for such a discipline. While my discussion benefits from a document formulated when SASE, a society founded to advance socio-economics, was first founded, all that follows reflected my current views as to on what is to be done and to feed into a dialogue on this subject.
“Critics of ‘Boutique’ Doctor Care Miss the Point” USA Today (January 24, 2002) p 15A.
For $600 to $5,000 a year above what their insurance already pays, patients at these "boutique" practices receive a battery of extra services from their doctors: 24/7 availability (some even given their cellphone numbers); hand-holding during major consultations with specialists; leisurely office visits free from the usual rush.
“Professors Balance Duty to Students, Public Lives” USA Today (January 14, 2002) p 13A.
If you are a college student, plan to go to college or know anyone who is about to enroll, you may with to send a message of support to the beleaguered president of Harvard, Lawrence Summers.
“Can There be a Global Society?” Perspectives (January, 2002) v 25, no. 1 p 1.
Theory develops in many ways, including through quests for internal consistency, codification, and formalization.
“USA May be One Nation After All” USA Today (December 31, 2001) p 12A.
Despite Sept. 11, despite massive job layoffs that added another layer of grief for many American families, 2001 was quite a stellar year, which augurs well for the future.
“Inventing Hispanics” The Brookings Review (Winter 2001, vol. 20, no. 1) p 10.
Thirty years ago immigrants from Latin America who settled in the United States were perceived in terms of their home nation--as, for example, Cuban Americans or Mexican Americans, just as Europeans newcomers were seen as Italian Americans or Polish Americans. Today the immigrant flow from Central and South American has grown substantially, and the newcomers are known as Hispanics.
“A Proud American Moment” The Christian Science Monitor (October 11, 2001) p 9.
On Wednesday, Sept. 12, only one day after the assault on America, newspapers caried extensive reports about attacks on Muslim Americans.
“Our Monochrome Values” Christian Science Monitor (June 4, 2001), p 9.
What is going to happen to 'white' values?" Dale Hurd repeatedly asked while interviewing me for a TV program for the Christian Broadcasting Network.
Assuming that American society (and to a lesser extent other Western societies) has experienced a breakdown of community, how may it be resurrected? Will it suffice to reweave the frayed social bonds, or is the recreation of a moral culture also essential?
“The Communitarian Model.” Building a Healthy Culture: Strategies for an American Renaissance, (Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co: Grand Rapids, MI, 2001), 246-259.
The Third Way debate has, so far, not been very successful. While governments across the world searchfor a new political synthesis, the theoretical debate has offered little to those interested in a new framework for progressive politics. This essay presents an account of what the Third Way really means, and roots it in a communitarian vision of the good society.
Communitarianism is a social philosophy that maintains that societal formulations of the good are both needed and legitimate. Communitarianism is often contrasted with classical *liberalism, a philosophical position that holds each individual should formulate the good . Communitarians examines the ways shared conceptions of the good (values) are formed, transmitted, enforced and justified. Hence their interest in communities (and moral dialogues within them), historically transmitted values and mores, and the societal units that transmit and enforce values such the family, schools, and voluntary associations from social clubs to independent churches.
Robert Putnam's new book raises crucial questions for the analysis of the social and moral future of American society. He demonstrates that the old, 1950s social fabric, and the white male dominated social bonds on which it was based, have largely frayed. Numerous kinds of civic engagement have declined, including participation in voluntary associations, public life, and religious activities. Putnam documents well that the anomie that followed this disengagement has had numerous ill effects on individuals and on society that are usually associated with the breakdown of social order, such as the increase in violent crime. The unavoidable question therefore is: What is going to fill the gnawing social vacuum? While he addresses this question largely in terms of a need to recreate social connectedness or community, it cannot be adequately answered, I shall argue, without examining the sources and content of a new shared moral culture.
“Toward a good society” The Christian Science Monitor (March 19, 2001), p 9.
A young dotcommer, a friend of my son's, sold his company for $35 million. He was very unhappy, because a friend of his had sold his start-up for $55 million. (This was a year ago, before much of all the funny money turned into dust.) When I asked him if he was content, having made such a killing, he moaned.
Americans aspire to a society that is not merely civil but also good. A good society is one in which people treat one another as ends in themselves and not merely as instruments, a society in which each person is shown full respect and dignity rather than being used and manipulated.
281. "The Monochrome Society." Policy Review. No. 105 (February & March 2001), 53-70.
Various demographers and other social scientists have been predicting for years that the end of the white majority in the United States is near, and that there will be a majority of minorities. CNN broadcast a special program on the forthcoming majority of people of color in America.(1) President Clinton called attention to this shift in an address at the U.C. San Diego campus on a renewed national dialogue about race relations.(2)
Imagine that you are offered your dream job. To get it, though, you have to tell all--any time you did not pay the IRS all you owed; any time you told a dirty joke to your secretary or--hired an illegal immigrant. You know that if you mention any of this, you may as well kiss the job goodbye. You are likely to be tempted (at least I fear I would be) to try to get away with it, by lying to those responsible for checking you out. Now you have multiplied the original "sin" a hundred times. There must be a better way.
Today, a federal court will begin hearing a case that may ultimately determine whether qualified white students can be denied college admission so other whites will enjoy a "diverse educational environment."
Promoted as "an agenda-setting book for the next administration," Amitai Etzioni's Next: The Road to the Good Society will arrive in bookstores this month, offering an outline for connection the nation's social, cultural, and spiritual values to the task of public-policy formulation. In the excerpt below, Mr. Etzioni, director of the Institute for Communitarian Policy Studies at George Washington University in Washington, advances the provocative notion that reforming education in this country may mean reversing the system's long-standing bias toward higher education.
The great success of the economy in the 1990s made Americans pay more attention to the fact that there are numerous moral and social questions of concern to the good society that capitalism has never aspired to answer and that the state should not promote. These include moral questions such as what we owe our children, our parents, our friends, and our neighbors, as well as people from other communities, including those in far away places. Most important, we must address the question: what is the ultimate purpose of our personal and collective endeavors? Is ever greater material affluence our ultimate goal and source of meaning? When is enough enough? What are we considering the good life? And specifically, can the good society be built on ever increasing levels of affluence? Or, should we strive to center it around other values, those of mutuality and spirituality?
Much attention in this campaign has been focused on "working families." Politicians had better take note that one out of three voters are single -- and a fair number plan to stay that way. Many of them are responding to the siren calls of critics who argue that the society is favoring parents over those who are child "free."
“How to thwart AIDS in Africa” USA Today (September 20, 2000), page 17A.
When millions are condemned to die a horrible death, it is a sin to mince words.
Investigative files made public a few days ago indicate that it probably will be next to impossible to determine with any finality what caused the crash of EgyptAir Flight 990 -- an airliner that, despite investigator's inability to find any fatal mechanical failure, nevertheless plunged Oct. 31 into the Atlantic Ocean, killing 217 people.
Introduction THIS BOOK IS FOR THOSE OF MY FELLOW CITIZENS WHO are tired of culture wars and hardened partisanship.
Internet Privacy and the Stattoric or by Paul Schwartz raises many issues on many levels, ranging from questions of rhetoric or law to matters of sociology of privacy or communitarian philosophy. In this commentary, however, I will focus on a few specific areas, as it is impossible to do justice to all of his arguments, nor do I have the technical legal background to do so.
Legal scholars have rediscovered social norms. For decades, the insights and findings of law and society(1) were largely ignored, and law and economics--which mostly ignores social norms--was all the rage. In the past few years, however, new powerful essays about social norms have begun appearing in law reviews.(2) As Richard Epstein wrote recently, "the subject of social norms is once again hot."(3)
One can readily sympathize with Professors Norman Nie and Lutz Erbring, the investigator and co-investigator of a recent study on the social consequences of the internet conducted by the Stanford Institute for the Quantitative Study of Society. Like many scholars before them who have conducted extensive surveys, their results at first seemed rather self-evident and dull. They spent much effort and resources to reach 4,113 adults in 2,689 households. They analyzed their data and came up with such findings as the internet is used more for e-mail (90%) than banking (12%), more people use the internet for surfing (69%) than for trading stocks (7%), and those who use it extensively spend less time in traffic (14% of heavy users).
At the entrance to the library of my university, a sign warns: "Turn off your cellphones or put them on silent ring." Some blessed coffee shops display a cellphone in a red circle with a line through it, indicating that the buzzards are barred. Many performances in concert halls and theaters (in the United States) regularly start with a warning to turn off pagers.
Communitarians argue that democratic societies require a core of shared values. To be legitimate a democracy must be something more than a procedure that allows individuals with different values to work out shared policies. The question is, what is the most effective way for communities to collectively formulate shared values?
Given that holidays both reflect a society's attributes and serve to modify these attributes, they are a valuable tool for a macro-sociological analysis. This paper proceeds by examining Durkheim's well-known contributions on rituals and advancing theoretical ideas on how these might be modified, seeking to develop a theory of holidays.
The clash between the so-called liberating forces of globalization and the conservative forces of tradition came face to face last May. On May 27, 1999 the board of the National Association of Securities Dealers (the parent organization of Nasdaq) announced that it planned to open an evening trading session for stocks between 5:30 pm and 9:00 or 10:00 pm. Nasdaq president, Richard Ketchum added, "there may come a day when we trade 24 hours." He did not say that the "24/7 week," as they say in Silicon Valley, is already here. One can now trade twenty-four hours, seven days a week (including holidays), on the Internet.
“Back to the Pillory?” The American Scholar, Vol. 68, No. 3, (Summer 1999), pp. 43-50. Published in part as “Shaming Crominals: An Alternative Punishment,” Current, No. 417, (November 1999), 7-11.
Various demographers and other social scientists have been predicting for years that the end of the white majority in the United States is near, and that there will be a majority of minorities. CNN has broadcasted a special program on the subject;(2)President Clinton has called attention to it in national dialogue about race relations;(3) and numerous books and articles in recent years have addressed America's changing demography from vastly different--and frequently antagonistic--perspectives.
Conservative Republicans are right when they tell us, in response to the tragedy in Littleton, that "gun control will not solve the problem of youth violence." Liberal Democrats are right when they claim that it is ludicrous to assert that parents and educators could solve the problem by bringing up kids right.
A recent, very tempered debate between William A. Galston and Robert P. George brought into relief the importance of a concept neither employed, that of the good society.
Voluntary Simplicity: Characterization, Select Psychological Implications, and Societal Consequences
The idea that the over-arching goal of capitalist economies needs to be changed and that achieving ever-higher levels of consumption of products and services is
Communitarians argue that democratic societies require a core of shared values; that if democracy is merely a procedure that allows individuals who have different ultimate normative commitments to settle differences, then that polity will lack in legitimacy.
Communitarians tend to argue that democratic societies require a core of shared values; that if democracy is merely a procedure that allows individuals who have
“Cross Cultural Judgements: The Next Steps.” War and Border Crossings, ed. Peter A. French and Jason A. Short. (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2005) pp. 107-119.
When my children were young, I tried to encourage them to be virtuous, to appreciate when they lived up to their commitments, and to celebrate their achievements.
The debate between those who argue that we should not pass judgment on the conduct of other people and those who champion universal human rights or other global
In 1989, while I was a visiting professor at the Harvard Business School teaching ethics, I came across a finding in the library that symbolized for me the problem people have today in
“Community of Communities.” The Washington Quarterly, Vol. 19, No. 3, (Summer 1996), 127-138.
“The Responsive Community,” in Roderick F. French (ed.) An Individual Institution in a Free Society, The George Washington University, Washington DC, 1988, pp. 82-94.
Die verantwortungsbewufte Gesellschaft Zur Rolle gemeinsamaer Werte fur das Gleichgewicht zwischen Individuum und Gesellschaft
“Die verantwortungsbewufte Gesellschaft Zur Rolle gemeinsamaer Werte fur das Gleichgewicht zwischen Individuum und Gesellschaft,” Warnfried Dettling (Ed.), Die Zukunft denken, International Symposium, (October 23, 1995), 42-49.
On some of the long-debated issues between libertarians and communitarians the two sides are narrowing their differences.
Socio-economics is a discipline that combines the perspectives of neoclassical economics with those of sociology, anthropology, psychology and political science.
A sociological prize of sorts ought to be given to the member of the TV audience who, during a show about the S&L mess exclaimed, "The tax payers shouldn't pay for this, the government should!"
Even inveterate optimists cannot miss the awful signs of social decline in America...
“HIV Sufferers Have a Responsibility.” Ethical Health Care, ed. Patricia Illingworth and Wendy E. Parmet. (Pearson Prentice Hall, 2006) pp. 140-142.
THE TROUBLE with the recent debate about parental responsibility is that both sides (or more) have a point. Conservatives are right that many families have been neglecting their children, that parents must assume more responsibility for their children, and that they should be sent strong signals that this is their duty.
"It is easier in these United States to walk away from a marriage than from a commitment to purchase a used car," says Professor Thomas Morgan of the George Washington University School of Law.
The significance of the article by Shaw and Zollers is that it advances socio-economics in several major directions.
The Founding Fathers did not bother to write down a bill of particulars for our social responsibilities to match the Bill of Rights. In the days of closely knit communities and religiously committed individuals, one’s responsibilities were all too clear, it was rights that needed enshrining. However, as public opinion polls keep reminding us, it seems we have come full circle: Rights are now taken for granted while responsibilities are shirked.
President Bill Clinton often speaks in communitarian terms: “If we have no sense of community, the American dream will continue to wither.” Likewise, Vice President Al Gore has echoed a communitarian theme: “While we give supreme value to the rights of the individual, we expect that freedom to be exercised with respect toward others and with decent restraint.” And Hillary Rodham Clinton believes, The Washington Post said, that “People need to serve each other, and serve their communities, distinguish themselves by social activism.” But how good a communitarian is Bill Clinton?
If a community recognizes a set of moral values and commitments as compelling, as virtues, these become the foundations of moral discourse in that community.
During the deliberations of a faculty seminar on socio-economics at The George Washington University in 1986-7, before the dramatic developments in Eastern Europe, the question of the pace of socio-economic change kept coming up.
“Beyond Self-Interest,” Policy Analysis and Economics, Developments, Tensions, Prospects, David L. Weimer (Ed.), Recent Economic Thought Series.
“What is Communitarianism?” we are frequently asked. We are a social movement aiming at shoring up the moral, social and political environment. Part change of heart, part renewal of social bonds, part reform of public life.
You work in a corporate division that processes medical reimbursements. You note that John is going through a new bout of alcoholism. He drives an 18-wheeler for your company. Do you tell the boss?
Self-determination movements, a major historical force for more than 200 years, have largely exhausted their legitimacy as a means to create more strongly democratic states.
“Virtues and Constitutional Democracy,” Kettering Review, (Summer 1992), pp. 31-37.
Some leading neoclassical economists feed into American triumphalism and excessive optimism to prevent us from approaching the historical developments in the post-Soviet world in a sensible and productive fashion.
“The I & We paradigm,” Paul Ekins and Manfred Max-Neef (Eds.), Real-life Economics, Understanding Wealth Creation, Routledge, London and New York (1992), pp.48-53.
Socio-economics is a new paradigm that seeksto combine the kind of variables typically encompassed by neo-classical economics with those contained in other social sciences.
The secretary of an executive at Donallco, a California corporation, reported that when she scheduled her boss to fly on an airline, he told her to change the reservation.
The recent flurry of exchanges between contemporary liberal philosophers and their communitarian critics points to a theoretical middle ground, directly relevant to economics.
If a community recognizes a set of moral values and commitments as compelling, as virtues, these become the foundations of moral discourse in that community.
The current debate over educational canons largely involves the humanities disciplines of history and literature.
A sociological prize ought to be awarded to the member of a TV audience who, during a show about the S&L mess, exclaimed: “The taxpayers shouldn’t pay for this; the government should!” He expressed well a major theme of contemporary American civic culture: a strong sense of entitlement and a weak sense of obligation to the community. Americans hold dear the right to be tried by a jury of their peers; but when asked to serve on such juries, most do their damnedest to evade the call. Most Americans cheered our show of force in the Gulf, but very few wish to serve in the armed forces or have their children sign up.
“Reflections on Teaching Business Ethics,” Business Ethics Quarterly, Vol. 1, No. 4, (October 1991), pp. 355-365.
At first glance, America's loss of competitiveness seems a simple matter. The litany is all too familiar.
A liberal friend scratched me off his cock-tail party guest list.
If you are thinking of starting a quarterly publication, lie down until the urge goes away. I did not; I am still standing, but barely. The economic, social, and intellectual curve balls that I have had to field in the past I would not wish on my least favorite people.
Socioeconomists should not act like shoemakers who have no time to make shoes for themselves.
It is suggested that in future work it will be useful to recognize that property exists on two levels: symbolic and real.
Depicting a good polity, one that is morally superior and desired, is relatively easy.
If the press reported daily on changes in the emperor's wardrobe, the people would believe he was wearing clothes.
During last year’s Senate hearings on the Keating scandal, Sen. Alan Cranston accused his colleagues of “sheer hypocrisy” for bringing him up on charges, correctly implying that many of his fellow politicians could easily have been lined up right next to him.
Parsons' Marshall Lectures were an important and still are a relevant contribution to the critique of the utilitarian, rationalist, radically individualist paradigm which still dominates scholarship, especially economics, today.
For several years, on many fronts, champions of greater responsibility to the community have become something of a new force in American life. They think of themselves as “communitarians,” though so far there is no registry of communitarians and no formal association. Nevertheless, their influence is real enough, and so are their objectives: to evolve public policies, moral norms, and regulatory guidelines that will correct what they perceive as excessive, “radical” individualism.
In recent years the USA economy has exhibited signs of becoming a member of a category of economy best termed underdeveloping.
No government agency is more adept at public relations that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
Communitarians charge contemporary liberal philosophers (CLP) with an excessive focus on individual rights and with neglect of obligations to the community, to shared virtues and common purposes.
I thought I was overprepared to teach ethics to a bunch of MBA'S. So what if these were the best and brightest of future corporate America? To me, Harvard Business School students seemed just as bright eyed, eager, and open to new ideas as any I had had in 30 years of teaching at Columbia, Berkeley and George Washington. Having just completed a book on ethics, "The Moral Dimension," I was loaded with teaching material; and a lengthy series of faculty meetings on teaching ethics had me convinced: sure, it could be done.
“A Matter of Goals: High Growth – Or Deficit Reduction?,” Journal of Accounting, Auditing & Finance, Vol. 4, No. 4 (New Series), Fall 1989, pp. 555-570.
Old-fashioned decision making doesn't meet the needs of a world with too much information and too little time. So-called rational decision making, once the ideal, requires comprehensive knowledge of every facet of a problem, which is clearly impossible today. One of the most recent decision-making models, incrementalism, despairs of knowledge and instead concentrates on the smallest possible units of change-without any sense of grand design.
Soon business recruiters will ask prospective MBAs not only about their grade average, but how they scored in their ethics education.
Is it alright to cast one Christian to the lions, if it will provide considerable pleasure to many Romans?' was a question posed to a seminar.
Sally, 16, used to spend entire weekends with an older man in bohemian Greenwich Village in New York City. For a while, she was sleeping with two guys.
When her more traditionally minded, single mother tried to put an end to these liaisons, Sally told her to buzz off, using a less printable term.Her outraged mother felt she could not “control” Sally and had her committed to a mental hospital with the help of a psychiatrist she knew. Because Sally tried to escape by breaking down a door, she was declared “violent” and heavily sedated. Now she drifts between docility and disorientation.
The dialogue between the prevailing and the challenging social science paradigms builds on basic differences in social philosophy: the two positions contain divergent views of human nature (are people basically knaves or nobles?) and of social order (are individuals naturally harmonious or is man wolf to man?).
The neoclassical view predominating in both the social sciences and the public realm is that people always pursue their own self-interest.
The campaign to convince Americans, especially the young, to refrain from using controlled substances, is negative in focus. It admonishes, threatens and demands self-restraint.
America is increasingly doing to its children what it has done to its elderly, and to worse effect: separating them out of the family and warehousing them in poorly supervised institutions.
John Tanton, M.D., is about to strike again. This time his target is the American Civil Lbierties Union (ACLU). He is launching a counter-organization, the American Civil Rights and Responsibilities Union (ACRRU). The ACRRU will conduct educational campaigns, draft legislation, and file briefs to help ensure that the rights and needs of the commons will not be neglected in hot pursuit of Me-ism and special interests.
The author outlines a radically different decision-making model form the one widely used in Economics and in Psychology.
CAMBRIDGE, Mass----Will nobody ever again own up to his transgressions and take the punishment like a person of character, setting a much-needed example?
How rational people are is a question of interest to social sciences, public policy, and all educated persons.
“The Responsive Community (I & We),” The American Sociologist, Summer 1987, pp. 146-157.
In the late 1970s, the United States became a member of a rather new and small categoryof countries, properly defined as the under developing countries, whose economic development had slipped into reverse gear.
Public humiliation is a surprisingly effective and low-cost way of deterring criminals and expressing the moral order of a community. It is used by a few judges, but much too sparingly. Some jurisdictions publish the names of “Johns” who are caught frequenting prostitutes.
"Toward a Kantian Socio-Economics,” Review of Social Economy, Vol. XLV (April, 1987), No. 1, pp. 37-47.
“Nine Ways for Coping With Future Angst: What I Learned” in Michael Marien and Lane Jennings (eds.) What I Have Learned: Thinking about the Future Then and Now (New York: Greenwood Press, 1987) pp.101-106.
Answer the following questions: Did you make your 1986 IRA contribution on any day after Jan. 2, 1986? Did you ever vote or make a contribution to public TV? Have your friends, relatives or clerics ever influenced you to alter any of your goals? If you answer these questions in the affirmative, your behavior illustrates why the core assumptions of mainstream economics are wrong, and why a new science is emerging to explain how and why people make choices. This new discipline - called socio-economics - blends elements of psychology and political science as well as sociology with economics.
Out of opposition to collectivism grew the celebration of the individual. Long before libertarians objected to totalitarianism in the name of individual rights, laissez faire conservatives challenged the collectivism that had been entailed in nationalism, Catholic and Anglican church doctrines, and secular pessimistic theories of human nature (theories that favored collective institutional and cultural restraints “to keep the lid” on individual urges).
McDonald's is bad for your kids. I do not mean the flat patties and the white-flour buns; I refer to the jobs teen-agers undertake, mass-producing these choice items.
"Is it alright to cast one Christian to the lions, if it will provide considerable pleasure to many Romans?" was a question posed to a seminar.
Societal patterns often lag behind the constantly changing environment.
As neo-classical economic theories face severe criticism for their unreality, new approaches are emerging.
Air accidents can be viewed as random tests of the extent to which those responsible for keeping airplanes flying are doing their duty.
An old Chinese proverb - or is it a curse? - reads "May you live in interesting times"
In recent decades, neoclassical economists have made heroic efforts to accommodate within the confines of the concept of rational utility maximization the fact that individual behavior is significantly affected by moral considerations.
Psychologists (working with sociologists and political scientists) seem ready to go beyond piece meal studies of economic behavior, or studies of economic behavior as merely incidents of general psychological theorems.
An article on mixed scanning as a "third" approach to decision making, published in Public Administration Review, generated a steady stream of discussion, but little empirical research.
Economists tend to view preferences as given, either a subject to be studied by other disciplines or as constant and universal, and hence as not requiring study.
At infrequent but important junctures in the history of the academic division of labor, scholars seek recognition for new disciplines.
The article explores the fruitfulness of assuming all economic behavior to be non-rational unless special factors intervene to make it rational.
In recent years, policy analysts have shown a growing interest in less rationalistic policymaking models.
When I accepted a professorship at The George Washington University in 1980, several of my colleagues wondered: "Leaving Columbia University - to move to Washington?"
While economists have made perfect competition the cornerstone of modern economic theory, dissatifaction with the concept has led to many quests for "second best" concepts, including such notions as "workable competition," "monopolistic competition," and "contestable markets."
The long decline of the Americal family seems to have stopped and reconstruction has begun
Recently an old movie and TV formula has been reversed - with considerable success. The bad guys have become the good guys, and the good guys are almost too good to be true.
Even as we admire the prospects of technology, we cannot disregard the human factor, which increasingly appears to be coming unhinged.
The family is widely considered the "first" institution, the elementary cell of social life. It is here that maturity is first experienced and civility is first taught.
Can't we have both social progress and economic progress? I have often been asked this question during discussions of the current conflict in America between those who seek an improved 'quality of life' and those who favor rededication to economic growth. I have been asked if I think it is possible for America to de- velop new energy sources, increase productivity, keep consumer products flowing, and at the same time use the growing wealth to purchase an environment, a workplace, and consumer products that are healthier and safer.
This paper explores the relationship between economics and the other social sciences and the implications for public policymaking.
Research on the effects of human factors on productivity is a much neglected field.
Integration of population and development policies is a sound idea, but it provides insufficient basis for devising relevant public policies.
When attempting to find a useful perspective from which to view such a complex phenomenon as American society, it is fruitful to focus on "the societal project."
Representatives of several leading U.S. corporations have adopted a new technique against the movement for safer products, workplaces and other environments. Rather than get entangled in the complex and emotional questions of how much safety we can afford, how much a life is worth, they have chosen - indeed, invented - a much easier target: the "risk-free society."
“Toward a New Affirmation,” National Forum, Vol. LVIII, No. 4 (Fall 1978), pp. 37-42.
For people to be in charge of history, rather than subject to laws they do not understand or control, is an option of the postnuclear era, not a prediction. This is what my work is about. When I first joined the Columbia University faculty, C. Wright Mills was still around, but most of the senior faculty did not care for his brand of sociology. Soon a senior colleague took me aside and advised me to stay off the stuff; i.e., off critical, normative, activist sociology. He was very warm and meant well. "Mixing socialism with social work" (his sarcastic labels for active sociology) is not the way to make it." I was told at the time.
Dishonesty in America is nearing epidemic proportion. We long ago passed the point of isolated ourbreak one in a town, two in a city.
Next time you face a problem - any problem - don't call your mother (certainly not your former mother-in-law) or a therapist, minister, gardener, or another professional.
“Basic Characterological Needs and Changing Social Systems,” in Gordon T. DiRenzo (ed.) We, the People: American Character and Social Change (Westport: Greenwood Press, 1977), pp. 273-284.
The next time many American parents look over their children's homework, they may well have a surprise coming.
When a married woman seeks and abortion, does her husband have any rights regarding the decision?
The essence of the question of what kind of society we may form-once we are freed from our past repressions and the hangover of our liberation feast-is what kind of material do we have to work with?
The following view of accountability-the guidance approach-is the view closest to my heart. It took me 600-odd pages to explain it elsewhere." Here I will simply susgcst its chief points relevant to the issue at hand.
There are those who believe that the contemporary crisis of our society is a temporary, a limited setback as our civilization rises to higher plateaux of organization, knowledge, planning and competence, onward and forward into the ultra-modern (or technetronic) age.
A while back there was a severe shortage of electricity in New York City, and Columbia University tried to help out in two ways: A card reading "Save a watt" was placed on everyone's desk and janitors removed some light bulbs from university corridors.
As far as recognition is concerned, Women's Liberation has made it.
Social Science Quarterly, Vol. 50, No. 3, (December 1969), p. 749-754.
My being considered for the presidency of a 30,000-student state college cam as no surprise at all as the rate college presidents were resigning for the last two year, anyone who, like myself, had survived as a chairman of a major department at a nationally visible university was almost automatically considered.
At least since Karl Mannheim published his essays on “Diagnosis of Our Time” and “The Crisis in Valuation,”’ it has been recognized that the erosion of legitimation and the loss of meaning are twin sources of Western civilization’s deep crisis.
Cable television provides a technology which could radically alter many aspects of our lives.
Societies were once viewed as natural entities found, like a jungle tribe, in a primal condition and able to change their character from, say, agrarian to industrial without any one person or group of people having planned the change.
Policy research is concerned with mapping alternative approaches and with specifying potential differences in the intention, effect, and cost of various programs.
Throughout history, violence-killing, maiming, and the willful destruction of property-occurs in all societies.
This paper discusses the continuation of the effort to develop indicators of marcrosociological concepts.
In 1947, I was delivering hay from Tel Yoseph, an Israeli kibbutz, to Ein Harod, another kibbutx less than a mile away.
Among sociologists and social psychologists the concept of 'basic human needs' is held in low regard.
“Shortcuts to Social Change,” The Public Interest, No. 12 (Summer 1968), pp. 40-51. Reprinted in Current (October 1968), pp.
Over the next twenty years, the United States will be brought, in one way or another, to attend more fully to its mounting social problems.
It was during last spring's student demonstration at Columbia University that, for the first time in 10 years, I became involved in university committee work, which I loathe. It really caught up with me; I ended by chairing a "reform" committee and spending at least 130 hours--in one month--meeting with students and colleagues at Columbia, almost a full-time job. I never realized that revolutions involve so much talk.
Mobalization is a process in which a social unit gains relatively rapidly in control of resources it previously did not control.
If we observe a society faced with a problem--poverty, riots, unsafe cars--and formulating a program to deal with it, we can be sure that 9 times out of 10 the problem will not be solved.
The importance of organizations as a distinct social phenomenon hardly needs to be demonstrated.
In the concept of social decision-making, vague commitments of a normative and political nature are translated into commitments to one or more specific courses of action.
An attempt to outline the basis for a macrosociological theory.
All social units control their members, but the problem of control in organizations is especially acute.
For decades sociologists have argues that crime is an illness not a sin, that criminals do not freely choose a life of larceny, prostitution or narcotics peddling.
This paper attempts to integrate theoretically the Bales-Parsons model of small groups and a theory of complex organizations.
Organizational control structure is a distribution of means used by an organization to elicit the performances it needs and to check whether the quantities and qualities of such performances are in accord with organizational specifications.
Elephantiasis, an abnormal thickening and enlargement of tissues, occurs in both the animal and the plant kingdoms.
The application of several European Free Trade Association countries for membership in the common market is viewed in Washington with great pleasure: the development of a United States of Europe is
A paradigm is more than a perspective, but less than a theory.
The often used goal model for measuring effectiveness is criticized.
In recent years we have witnessed the beginning of a new trend in the sociology of complex organizations.
The youngest branch in the field of organizational theory is the study of mental hospitals.
An important factor in the ability of an organization to achieve its goals is its authority structure.
The republication of The Ghetto by Louis Wirth seems to be an appropriate occasion for a reevaluation of his thesis.
The distinction between formal and informal organization may serve to delineate the sources of motivation for accepting or rejecting the role-expectations of an organizational structure.
Industrial Sociology is a field of applied sociology, and has grown mainly out of interests in such issues as productivity, motivation, and unionization. In many cases, however, the theoretical relevance of the studies is evident, and often it is explicitly discussed by those who conducted the research.
The ideal of service to the public prevails. In our society, it is derived in the main from the ideal of the maximum happiness of the greatest number. By definition, public services are assumed to have been established in order to supply services to the public.
The human relations school has often been criticized for not paying enough attention to structural and cultural factors and for focusing on factors which can be controlled.
Understanding the political function of religioue parties is important for an analysis of the political process of many countries. Religious parties play a significant role in Holland, France, Italy, Getmany, Israel and many other countries.