ITS ORIGIN AND DEVELOPMENT
BY HENRY KALLOCH ROWE, Ph.D.
ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF HISTORY AND SOCIOLOGY IN NEWTON THEOLOGICAL INSTITUTION
CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS NEW YORK CHICAGO BOSTON
COPYRIGHT, 1916, BY CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS
In studying biology it is convenient to make cross-sections of laboratory specimens in order to determine structure, and to watch plants and animals grow in order to determine function. There seems to be no good reason why social life should not be studied in the same way. To take a child in the home and watch it grow in the midst of the life of the family, the community, and the larger world, and to cut across group life so as to see its characteristics, its interests, and its organization, is to study sociology in the most natural way and to obtain the necessary data for generalization. To attempt to study sociological principles without this preliminary investigation is to confuse the student and leave him in a sea of vague abstractions.
It is not because of a lack of appreciation of the abstract that the emphasis of this book is on the concrete. It is written as an introduction to the study of the principles of sociology, and it may well be used as a prelude to the various social sciences. It is natural that trained sociologists should prefer to discuss the profound problems of their science, and should plunge their pupils into material for study where they are soon beyond their depth; much of current life seems so obvious and so simple that it is easy to forget that the college man or woman has never looked upon it with a discriminating eye or with any attempt to understand its meaning. If this is true of the college student, it is unquestionably true of the men and women of the world. The writer believes that there is need of a simple, untechnical treatment of human society, and offers this book as a contribution to the practical side of social science. He writes with the undergraduate continually in mind, trying to see through his eyes and to think with his mind, and the references are to books that will best meet his needs and that are most readily accessible. It is expected that the pupil will read widely, and that the instructor will show how principles and laws are formulated from the multitude of observations of social phenomena. The last section of the book sums up briefly some of the scientific conclusions that are drawn from the concrete data, and prepares the way for a more detailed and technical study.
If sociology is to have its rightful place in the world it must become a science for the people. It must not be permitted to remain the possession of an aristocracy of intellect. The heart of thousands of social workers who are trying to reform society and cure its ills is throbbing with sympathy and hope, but there is much waste of energy and misdirection of zeal because of a lack of understanding of the social life that they try to cure. They and the people to whom they minister need an interpretation of life in social terms that they can understand. Professional persons of all kinds need it. A world that is on the verge of despair because of the breakdown of harmonious human relations needs it to reassure itself of the value and the possibility of normal human relations. Doubtless the presentation of the subject is imperfect, but if it meets the need of those who find difficulty in using more technical discussions and opens up a new field of interest to many who hitherto have not known the difference between sociology and socialism, the effort at interpretation will have been worth while.
HENRY K. ROWE
NEWTON CENTRE, MASSACHUSETTS.
I. CHARACTERISTICS OF SOCIAL LIFE 1
II. UNORGANIZED GROUP LIFE 16
PART TWO—LIFE IN THE FAMILY GROUP
III. FOUNDATIONS OF THE FAMILY 24
IV. THE HISTORY OF THE FAMILY 29
V. THE MAKING OF THE HOME 37
VI. CHILDREN IN THE HOME 42
VII. WORK, PLAY, AND EDUCATION 51
VIII. HOME ECONOMICS 60
IX. CHANGES IN THE FAMILY 67
X. DIVORCE 74
XI. THE SOCIAL EVIL 81
XII. CHARACTERISTICS AND PRINCIPLES 88
PART THREE—SOCIAL LIFE IN THE RURAL COMMUNITY
XIII. THE COMMUNITY AND ITS HISTORY 91
XIV. THE LAND AND THE PEOPLE 99
XV. OCCUPATIONS 104
XVI. RECREATION 108
XVII. RURAL INSTITUTIONS 115
XVIII. RURAL EDUCATION 120
XIX. THE NEW RURAL SCHOOL 127
XX. RURAL GOVERNMENT 136
XXI. HEALTH AND BEAUTY 144
XXII. MORALS IN THE RURAL COMMUNITY 151
XXIII. THE RURAL CHURCH 156
XXIV. A NEW TYPE OF RURAL INSTITUTION 162
PART FOUR—SOCIAL LIFE IN THE CITY
XXV. FROM COUNTRY TO CITY 169
XXVI. THE MANUFACTURING ENTERPRISE 180
XXVII. THE INDUSTRIAL PROBLEM 186
XXVIII. EXCHANGE AND TRANSPORTATION 201
XXIX. THE PEOPLE WHO WORK 212
XXX. THE IMMIGRANT 221
XXXI. HOW THE WORKING PEOPLE LIVE 230
XXXII. THE DIVERSIONS OF THE WORKING PEOPLE 238
XXXIII. CRIME AND ITS CURE 248
XXXIV. AGENCIES OF CONTROL 256
XXXV. DIFFICULTIES OF THE PEOPLE WHO WORK 263
XXXVI. CHARITY AND THE SETTLEMENTS 271
XXXVII. EDUCATIONAL AGENCIES 280
XXXVIII. THE CHURCH 287
XXXIX. THE CITY IN THE MAKING 294
PART FIVE—SOCIAL LIFE IN THE NATION
XL. THE BUILDING OF A NATION 300
XLI. ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL FUNCTIONS OF THE PEOPLE AS A NATION 305
XLII. THE STATE 313
XLIII. PROBLEMS OF THE NATION 324
XLIV. INTERNATIONALISM 333
PART SIX—SOCIAL ANALYSIS
XLV. PHYSICAL AND PERSONAL FACTORS IN THE LIFE OF SOCIETY 340
XLVI. SOCIAL PSYCHIC FACTORS 348
XLVII. SOCIAL THEORIES 357
XLVIII. THE SCIENCE OF SOCIOLOGY 364
SOCIETY: ITS ORIGIN AND DEVELOPMENT
CHARACTERISTICS OF SOCIAL LIFE
1. Man and His Social Relations.—A study of society starts with the obvious fact that human beings live together. The hermit is abnormal. However far back we go in the process of human evolution we find the existence of social relations, and sociability seems a quality ingrained in human nature. Every individual has his own personality that belongs to him apart from every other individual, but the perpetuation and development of that personality is dependent on relations with other personalities and with the physical environment which limits his activity.
As an individual his primary interest is in self, but he finds by experience that he cannot be independent of others. His impulses, his feelings, and his ideas are due to the relations that he has with that which is outside of himself. He may exercise choice, but it is within the limits set by these outside relations. He may make use of what they can do for him or he may antagonize them, at least he cannot ignore them. Experience determines how the individual may best adapt himself to his environment and adapt the environment to his own needs, and he thus establishes certain definite relationships. Any group of individuals, who have thus consciously established relationships with one another and with their social environment is a society. The relations through whose channels the interplay of social forces is constantly going on make up the social organization. The readjustments of these relations for the better adaptation of one individual to another, or of either to their environment, make up the process of social development. A society which remains in equilibrium is termed static, that which is changing is called dynamic.
2. The Field and the Purpose of Sociology.—Life in society is the subject matter of sociological study. Sociology is concerned with the origin and development of that life, with its present forms and activities, and with their future development. It finds its material in the every-day experiences of men, women, and children in whatever stage of progress they may be; but for practical purposes its chief interest is in the normal life of civilized communities, together with the past developments and future prospects of that life. The purpose of sociological study is to discover the active workings and controlling principles of life, its essential meaning, and its ultimate goal; then to apply the principles, laws, and ideals discovered to the imperfect social process that is now going on in the hope of social betterment.
3. Source Material for Study.—The source material of social life lies all about us. For its past history we must explore the primitive conduct of human beings as we learn it from anthropology and archaeology, or as we infer it from the lowest human races or from animal groups that bear the nearest physical and mental resemblance to mankind. For present phenomena we have only to look about us, and having seen to attempt their interpretation. Life is mirrored in the daily press. Pick up any newspaper and examine its contents. It reveals social characteristics both local and wide-spread.
4. Social Characteristics—Activity.—The first fact that stands out clearly as a characteristic of social life is activity. Everybody seems to be doing something. There are a few among the population, like vagrants and the idle rich, who are parasites, but even they sustain relations to others that require a certain sort of effort. Activity seems fundamental. It needs but a hasty survey to show how general it is. Farmers are cultivating their broad acres, woodsmen are chopping and hewing in the forest, miners are drilling in underground chambers, and the products of farm, forest, and mine are finding their way by river, road, and rail to the great distributing centres. In the town the machinery of mill and factory keeps busy thousands of operatives, and turns out manufactured products to compete with the products of the soil for right of way to the cities of the New World and the Old. Busiest of all are the throngs that thread the streets of the great centres, and pour in and out of stores and offices. Men rush from one person to another, and interview one after another the business houses with which they maintain connection; women swarm about the counters of the department stores and find at the same time social satisfaction and pecuniary reward; children in hundreds pour into the intellectual hopper of the schoolroom and from there to the playground. Everybody is busy, and everybody is seeking personal profit and satisfaction.
5. Mental Activity.—There is another kind of activity of which these economic and social phases are only the outward expression, an activity of the mind which is busy continually adjusting the needs of the individual or social organism and the environment to each other. Some acts are so instinctive or habitual that they do not require conscious mental effort; others are the result of reasoning as to this or that course of action. The impulse of the farmer may be to remain inactive, or the schoolboy may feel like going fishing; the call of nature stimulates the desire; but reason reaches out and takes control and directs outward activity into proper channels. On the other hand, reason fortifies worthy inclinations. The youth feels an inclination to stretch his muscles or to use his brains, and reason re-enforces feeling. The physical need of food, clothing, and shelter acts as a goad to drive a man to work, and reason sanctions his natural response. This mental activity guides not only individual human conduct but also that of the group. Instinct impels the man to defend his family from hardship or his clan from defeat, and reason confirms the impulse. His sociable disposition urges him to co-operate in industry, and reason sanctions his inclination. The history of society reveals an increasing influence of the intellect in thus directing instinct and feeling. It is a law of social activity that it tends to become more rational with the increase of education and experience. But it is never possible to determine the quantitative influence of the various factors that enter into a decision, or to estimate the relative pressure of the forces that urge to activity. Alike in mental and in physical activity there is a union of all the causative factors. In an act of the will impulse, feeling, and reflection all have their part; in physical activity it is difficult to determine how compelling is any one of the various forces, such as heredity and environment, that enter into the decision.
6. The Valuation of Social Activities.—The importance to society of all these activities is not to be measured by their scope or by their vigor or volume, but by the efficiency with which they perform their function, and the value of the end they serve. Domestic activities, such as the care of children, may be restricted to the home, and a woman's career may seem to be blighted thereby, but no more important work can be accomplished than the proper training of the child. Political activity may be national in scope, but if it is vitiated by corrupt practices its value is greatly diminished. Certain activities carry with them no important results, because they have no definite function, but are sporadic and temporary, like the coming together of groups in the city streets, mingling in momentary excitement and dissolving as quickly.
The true valuation of activities is to be determined by their social utility. The employment of working men in the brewing of beer or the manufacture of chewing-gum may give large returns to an individual or a corporation, but the social utility of such activity is small. Business enterprise is naturally self-centred; the first interest of every individual or group is self-preservation, and business must pay for itself and produce a surplus for its owner or it is not worth continuing from the economic standpoint; but a business enterprise has no right selfishly to disregard the interests of its employees and of the public. Its social value must be reckoned as small or great, not by the amount of business carried on, but by its contribution to human welfare.
Take a department store as an illustration. It may be highly profitable to its owners, giving large returns on the investment, while distributing cheap and defective goods and paying its employees less than a decent living wage. Its value is to be determined as small because its social utility is of little worth. When the value of activity is estimated on this basis, it will be seen that among the noblest activities are those of the philanthropist who gives his time and interest without stint to the welfare of other folk; of the minister who lends himself to spiritual ministry, and the physician who gives up his own comfort and sometimes his own life to save those who are physically ill; of the housewife who bears and rears children and keeps the home as her willing contribution to the life of the world; and of the nurses, companions, and teachers who are mothers, sisters, and wives to those who need their help.
7. Results of Activity.—The product of activity is achievement. The workers of the world are continually transforming energy into material products. To clear away a forest, to raise a thousand bushels of grain, to market a herd of cattle or a car-load of shoes, to build a sky-scraper or an ocean liner, is an achievement. But it is a greater achievement to take a child mind and educate it until it learns how to cultivate the soil profitably, how to make a machine or a building of practical value, and how to save and enrich life.
The history of human folk shows that achievement has been gradual, and much of it without conscious planning, but the great inventors, the great architects, the great statesmen have been men of vision, and definite purpose is sure to fill a larger place in the story of achievement. Purposive progress rather than unconscious, telic rather than genetic, is the order of the evolution of society.
The highest achievement of the race is its moral uplift. The man or woman who has a noble or kindly thought, who has consecrated life to unselfish ends and has spent constructive effort for the common good, is the true prince among men. He may be a leader upon whom the common people rely in time of stress, or only a private in the ranks—he is a hero, for his achievement is spiritual, and his mastery of the inner life is his supreme victory.
8. Association.—A second characteristic of social life is that activity is not the activity of isolated individuals, but it is activity in association. Human beings work together, play together, talk together, worship together, fight together. If they happen to act alone, they are still closely related to one another. Examine the daily newspaper record and see how few items have to do with individuals acting in isolation. Even if a person sits down alone to think, his mind is working along the line on which it received the push of another mind shortly before. A large part of the work of the world is done in concert. The ship and the train have their crew, the factory its hands, the city police and fire departments their force. Men shout together on the ball field, and sing folk-songs in chorus. As an audience they listen to the play or the sermon, as a mob they rush the jail to lynch a prisoner, or as a crowd they riot in high carnival on Mardi Gras. The normal individual belongs to a family, a community, a political party, a nation; he may belong, besides, to a church, a few learned societies, a trade-union, or any number of clubs or fraternities.
Human beings associate because they possess common interests and means of intercourse. They are affected by the same needs. They have the power to think in the same grooves and to feel a common sympathy. Members of the same race or community have a common fund of custom or tradition; they are conscious of like-mindedness in morals and religion; they are subject to the same kind of mental suggestion; they have their own peculiar language and literature. As communication between different parts of the world improves and ability to speak in different languages increases, there comes a better understanding among the world's peoples and an increase of mutual sympathy.
Experience has taught the value of association. By it the individual makes friends, gains in knowledge, enlarges interests. Knowing this, he seeks acquaintances, friends, and companions. He finds the world richer because of family, community, and national life, and if necessary he is willing to sacrifice something of his own comfort and peace for the advantages that these associations will bring.
9. Causes of Association.—It is the nature of human beings to enjoy company, to be curious about what they see and hear, to talk together, and to imitate one another. These traits appear in savages and even in animals, and they are not outgrown with advance in civilization. These inborn instincts are modified or re-enforced by the conscious workings of the mind, and are aided or restricted by external circumstances. It is a natural instinct for men to seek associates. They feel a liking for one and a dislike for another, and select their friends accordingly. But the choice of most men is within a restricted field, for their acquaintance is narrow. College men are thrown with a certain set or join a certain fraternity. They play on the same team or belong to the same class. They may have chosen their college, but within that institution their environment is limited. It is similar in the world at large. Individuals do not choose the environment in which at first they find themselves, and the majority cannot readily change their environment. Within its natural limits and the barriers which caste or custom have fixed, children form their play groups according to their liking for each other, and adults organize their societies according to their mutual interests or common beliefs. With increasing acquaintance and ease of communication and transportation there comes a wider range of choice, and environment is less controlling. The will of the individual becomes freer to choose friends and associates wherever he finds them. He may have widely scattered business and political connections. He may be a member of an international association. He may even take a wife from another city or a distant nation. Mental interaction flows in international channels.
10. Forms of Association.—It is possible to classify all forms of association in two groups as natural, like a gang of boys, or artificial, like a political party. Or it is possible to arrange them according to the interests they serve, as economic, scientific, and the like. Again they may be classified according to thoroughness of organization, ranging from the crowd to the closely knit corporation. But whatever the form may be, the value of the association is to be judged according to the degree of social worth, as in the case of activities. On that basis a company of gladiators or a pugilist's club ranks below a village improvement society; that in turn yields in importance to a learned association of physicians discussing the best means of relieving human suffering. In the slow process of social evolution those forms that do not contribute to the welfare of the race will lose their place in society.
11. Results of Association.—The results of association are among the permanent assets of the race. Man has become what he is because of his social relations, and further progress is dependent upon them. The arts that distinguish man from his inferiors are the products of inter-communication and co-operation. The art of conversation and the accompanying interchange of ideas and thought stimulus are to be numbered among the benefits. The art of conciliation that calms ruffled tempers and softens conflict belongs here. The art of co-operation, that great engine of achievement, depends on learning through social contact how to think and feel sympathetically. Finally, there is the product of social organization. Chance meetings and temporary assemblies are of small value, though they must be noted as phenomena of association. More important are the fixed institutions that have grown out of relations continually tested by experience until they have become sanctioned by society as indispensable. Such are the organized forms of business, education, government, and religion. But all groups require organization of a sort. The gang has its recognized leader, the club its officers and by-laws. Even such antisocial persons as outlaws frequently move in bands and have their chiefs. Organization goes far to determine success in war or politics, in work or play. Like achievement, organization is the result of a gradual growth in collective experience, and must be continually adapted to the changing requirements of successive periods by the wisdom of master minds. It must also gradually include larger groups within its scope until, like the International Young Men's Christian Association or the Universal Postal Union, it reaches out to the ends of the earth.
12. Control.—The public mirror of the press reveals a third characteristic of social life. Activity and association are both under control. Activity would result in exploitation of the weak by the strong, and finally in anarchy, if there were no exercise of control. Under control activities are co-ordinated, individuals and classes are brought to work in co-operation and not in antagonism, and under an enlightened and sanctioned authority life becomes richer, fuller, and more truly free.
Social control begins in the individual mind. Instincts and feelings are held in the leash of rational thought. Intelligence is the guide to action. Control is exerted externally upon the individual from early childhood. Parental authority checks the independence of the child and compels conformity to the will of his elders. Family tradition makes its power felt in many homes, and family pride is a compelling reason for moral rectitude. Every member of the family is restrained by the rights of the others, and often yields his own preferences for the common good. When the child goes out from the home he is still under restraint, and rigid regulations become even more pronounced. The rules of the schoolroom permit little freedom. The teacher's authority is absolute during the hours when school is in session. In the city when school hours are over there are municipal regulations enforced by watchful police that restrict the activity of a boy in the streets, and if he visits the playground he is still under the reign of law. Similarly the adult is hedged about by social control. Custom decrees that he must dress appropriately for the street, that he must pass to the right when he meets another person, and that he must raise his hat to an acquaintance of the opposite sex. The college youth finds it necessary to acquaint himself with the customs and traditions that have been handed down from class to class, and these must be observed under pain of ostracism. Faculty and trustees stand in the way of his unlimited enjoyment. His moral standards are affected by the atmosphere of the chapter house, the athletic field, and the examination hall. In business and civil relations men find themselves compelled to recognize laws that have been formulated for the public good. State and national governments have been able to assert successfully their right to control corporate action, however large and powerful the corporation might be. But government itself is subject to the will of the people in a democratic nation, and public opinion sways officials and determines local and national policies. Religious beliefs have the force of law upon whole peoples like the Mohammedans.
Social control is exercised in large measure without the mailed fist. Moral suasion tends to supersede the birch stick and the policeman's billy. Within limits there is freedom of action, and the tacit appeal of society is to a man's self-control. But the newspaper with its sensation and police-court gossip never lets us forget that back of self-control is the court of judicial authority and the bar of public opinion.
The result of the constant exercise of control is the existence of order. The normal individual becomes accustomed to restraint from his earliest years, and it is only the few who are disorderly in the schoolroom, on the streets, or in the broader relations of life. Criminals make up a small part of the population; anarchy never has appealed to many as a social philosophy; unconventional people are rare enough to attract special attention.
13. Change.—A fourth characteristic of social life is change. Control tends to keep society static, but there are powerful dynamic forces that are continually upsetting the equilibrium. In spite of the natural conservatism of institutions and agencies of control, group life is as continually changing as the physical elements in nature. Continued observation recorded over a considerable period of time reveals changing habits, changing occupations, changing interests, even changing laws and governments. Inside the group individuals are continually readjusting their modes of thought and activity to one another, and between groups there is a similar adjustment of social habits. Without such change there can be no progress. War or other catastrophe suddenly alters wide human relations. External influences are constantly making their impression upon us, stimulating us to higher attainment or dragging us down to individual and group degeneration.
14. Causes of Change.—The factors that enter into social life to produce change are numerous. Conflict of ideas among individuals and groups compels frequent readjustment of thought. The free expression of opinion in public debate and through the press is a powerful factor. Travel alters modes of conduct, and wholesale migration changes the characteristics of large groups of population. Family habits change with accumulation of wealth or removal from the farm to the city. The introduction of the telephone and the free mail delivery with its magazines and daily newspapers has altered currents of thought in the country. Summer visitors have introduced country and city to each other; the automobile has enlarged the horizon of thousands. New modes of agriculture have been adopted through the influence of a state agricultural college, new methods of education through a normal school, new methods of church work through a theological seminary. Whole peoples, as in China and Turkey, have been profoundly affected by forces that compelled change. Growth in population beyond comfortable means of subsistence has set tribes in motion; the need of wider markets has compelled nations to try forcible expansion into disputed areas. The desire for larger opportunities has sent millions of emigrants from Europe to America, and has been changing rapidly the complexion of the crowds that walk the city streets and enter the polling booths. Certain outstanding personalities have moulded life and thought through the centuries, and have profoundly changed whole regions of country. Mohammed and Confucius put their personal stamp upon the Orient; Caesar and Napoleon made and remade western Europe; Adam Smith and Darwin swayed economic and scientific England; Washington and Lincoln were makers of America.
Through such social processes as these—through unconscious suggestion, through communication and discussion that mould public opinion, through changes in environment and the influence of new leaders of thought and action—the evolution of folk life has carried whole races, sometimes to oblivion, but generally out of savagery and barbarism into a material and cultural civilization.
15. Results of the Process.—The results of the process of social change are so far-reaching as to be almost incalculable. Particularly marked are the changes of the last hundred years. The best way to appreciate them is by a comparison of periods. Take college life in America as an example. Scores of colleges now large and prosperous were not then in existence, and even in the older colleges conditions were far inferior to what they are in the newer and smaller colleges to-day. There were few preparatory schools, and the young man—of course there were no college women—fitted himself as best he could by private instruction. To reach the college it was necessary to drive by stage or private conveyance to the college town, to find rooms in an ill-equipped dormitory or private house, to be content with plain food for the body and a narrow course of study for the mind. The method of instruction was tedious and uninspiring; text-books were unattractive and dull. There were no libraries worthy of the name, no laboratories or observatories for research. Scientific instruction was conspicuous by its absence; the social sciences were unknown. Gymnasiums had not been evolved from the college wood-pile; intercollegiate sports were unknown. Glee clubs, dramatic societies, college journalism, and the other arts and pastimes that give color and variety to modern university life were unknown.
In the same period modes of thinking have changed. Scientific discoveries and the principles that have been based on them have wrought a revolution. Evolution has become a word to conjure with. Scholars think in terms of process. Biological investigation has opened wide the whole realm of life and emphasized the place of development in the physical organism. Psychological study has changed the basis of philosophy. Sociology has come with new interpretations of human life. Rapid changes are taking place at the present time in education, in religion, and in social adjustments. The rate of progress varies in different parts of the world; there are handicaps in the form of race conservatism, local and individual self-satisfaction and independence, maladjustments and isolation; sometimes the process leads along a downward path. On the whole, however, the history is a story of progress.
16. Weaknesses.—In the thinking of not a few persons the handicaps that lie in the path of social development bulk larger than the engines of progress. They are pessimistic over the weaknesses that constitute a fifth characteristic of social life. These are certainly not to be overlooked, but they are an inevitable result of incomplete adaptations during a constant process of change. There are numerous illustrations of weakness. Social activity is not always wisely directed. Association frequently develops antagonism instead of co-operation. In trade and industry individuals do not "play fair." Corporations are sometimes unjust. Politics are liable to become corrupt. In the various associations of home and community life indifference, cruelty, unchastity, and crime add to the burdens of poverty, disease, and wretchedness. A yellow press mirrors a scandalous amount of intrigue, immorality, and misdemeanor. Government abuses its power; public opinion is intolerant and unjust; fashion is tyrannical; law is uncompromising. In times like our own economic interests frequently overshadow cultural interests. In college estimation athletics appear to bulk larger than the curriculum. In the public mind prejudice and hasty judgments take precedence over carefully weighed opinions and judicial decisions. Conservatism blocks the wheels of progress, or radicalism, in its unbalanced enthusiasm, destroys by injudiciousness the good that has been gradually accumulating. The social machinery gets out of gear, or proves inefficient for the new burdens that frequently are imposed upon it. The social order is not perfect and needs occasional amendment.
17. Resultant Problems.—These weaknesses precipitate specific social problems. Some of them are bound up in the family relationships, like the better regulation of marriage and divorce, the prevention of desertion, and the rights of women and children. Others are questions that relate to industry, such as the rights of employees with reference to wages and hours of labor, or the unhealthy conditions in which working people live and toil. Certain matters are issues in every community. It is not easy to decide what shall be done with the poor, the unfortunate, and the weak-willed members of society. Some problems are peculiar to the country, the city, or the nation, like the need of rural co-operation, the improvement of municipal efficiency, or the regulation of immigration. A few are international, like the scourge of war. Besides such specific problems there are always general issues demanding the attention of social thinkers and reformers, such as the adjustment of individual rights to social duties, and the improvement of moral and religious efficiency.
18. The Social Groups.—A broad survey of the current life of society leads naturally to the questions: How is this social life organized? and How did it come to be? The answers to these questions appear in certain social groupings, each of which has a history and life of its own, but is only a segment of the whole circle of active association. These groupings include the family, the rural community, the city, and the nation. In the natural environment of the home social life finds its apprenticeship. When the child has become in a measure socialized, he enters into the larger relations of the neighborhood. Half the people of the United States live in country communities, but an increasing proportion of the population is found in the midst of the associations and activities of the larger civic community. All are citizens or wards of the nation, and have a part in the social life of America. Consciously or not they have still wider relations in a world life that is continually growing in social content. Each of these groups reveals the same fundamental characteristics, but each has its peculiar forms and its dominant energies; each has its perplexing problems and each its possibilities of greater good. Through the environment the forces of the mind are moulding a life that is gradually becoming more nearly like the social ideal.
GIDDINGS: Principles of Sociology, pages 363-399.
SMALL AND VINCENT: Introduction to the Study of Society, pages 237-240.
DEALEY: Sociology, pages 58-73.
ROSS: Social Control, pages 49-61.
ROSS: Foundations of Sociology, pages 182-255.
BLACKMAR AND GILLIN: Outlines of Sociology, pages 271-282.
UNORGANIZED GROUP LIFE
19. Temporary Groups.—A study of the organization and development of social life is mainly a study of the mental and physical activities of individuals associated in permanent groups. Conditions change and there is a continual shifting of contacts as in a kaleidoscope, but the group is a fixed institution in the life of society. But besides the permanent groups there are temporary unorganized associations that have a place in social life too important to be overlooked. They vary in size from a chance meeting of two or three friends who stop on the street corner and separate after a few minutes of conversation, to the great mass-meeting, that is called for a special purpose and interests a whole neighborhood, but adjourns sine die. Such groups are subject to the same physical and psychic forces that affect the family, the community, and the nation, but they tend to act more on impulse, because there is no habitual subordination to an established rule or order. A simple illustration will show the influences that work to produce these temporary groupings and that govern conduct.
20. How the Group Forms.—Imagine a working man on the morning of a holiday. Without a fixed purpose how he will spend the day, his mind works along the line of least resistance, inviting physical or mental stimulus, and sensitive to respond. He is not accustomed to remain at home, nor does he wish to be alone. He is used to the companionship of the factory, and instinctively he longs for the association of his kind. He is most likely to meet his acquaintances on the street, and he feels the pull of the out-of-doors. The influences of instinct and habit impel him to activity, and he makes a definite choice to leave the house. Once on the street he feels the zest of motion and the anticipation of the pleasure that he will find in the companionship of his fellows. Reason assures him from past experience that he has made a good choice, and on general principles asserts that exercise is good for him, whatever may be the social result of his stroll. Thus the various factors that produce individual activity are at work in him. They are similarly at work in others of his kind. Presently these factors will bring them together.
Unconsciously the working man and his friend are moving toward each other. The attention and discrimination of each man is brought into play with every person that he meets, but there is no recognition of acquaintance until each comes within the range of vision of the other. They greet each other with a hail of good-fellowship and a cordial hand-shake and stop for conversation. An analysis of the psychological elements that enter into such an incident would make plain the part of sense-perception and memory, of feeling and volition in the act of each, but the significant fact in the incident is that these mental factors are set to work because of the contact of one mind upon the other. It is the mental interaction arising from the moment's association that produces the social phenomenon. What are the social phenomena of this particular occasion? They are the acts that have taken place because of association. The individual would not greet himself or shake hands with himself, or stop to talk with himself. They are dependent upon the presence of more than one person; they are phenomena of the group. Why do they shake hands and talk? First, because they feel alike and think alike, and sympathy and like-mindedness seek expression in gesture and language, and, secondly, because their mode of action is under the control of a social custom that directs specific acts. If the meeting was on the continent of Europe the men might embrace, if it was in the jungle of Africa they might raise a yell at sight of each other, but American custom limits the greeting to a hand-clasp, supplemented on occasion by a slap on the shoulder. In Italy the language used is peculiar to the race and is helped out by many gestures; in New England of the Puritans the language used would be of a type peculiar to itself, and would hardly have the assistance of a changing facial expression. To-day two men have formed a temporary group, group action has taken place, and the action, while impulsive, is under the constraint of present custom. What happens next?
21. The Working of the Social Mind.—Conversation in the group develops a common purpose. The two men are conscious of common desires and interests, or through a conflict of ideas the will of one subordinates the will of the other, and under the control of the joint purpose, which is now the social mind, they move toward one goal. This goal soon appears to be the objective point of a larger social mind, for other men and boys are converging in the same direction. At the corner of another street the two companions meet other friends, and after a mutual greeting the augmented party finds its way to the entrance of a ball park. The same instincts and habits and the same feelings and thoughts have stirred in every member of the group; they have felt the pull of the same desires and interests; they have put themselves in motion toward the same goal; they have greeted one another in similar fashion, and they find satisfaction in talking together on a common topic; but they do not constitute a permanent or organized group, and once separated they may never repeat this chance meeting.
22. The Impulse of the Crowd.—Once within the ball park and seated on the long benches they are part of a far larger group of like-minded human beings, and they feel a common thrill in anticipation of the pleasure of the sport. They feel the stimulus that comes from obedience to a common impulse. A shout or a joke arouses a sympathetic outburst from hundreds. When they came together at first most of them were strangers, but common interests and emotions have produced a group consciousness. The game is called, and hundreds in unison fix their attention on the men in action. A hit is made, in breathless suspense the crowd watches to see the result, and with a common impulse cries out simultaneously in approbation or disgust over the play. As the game proceeds primitive passions play over the crowd and emotions find free expression in the language that habit and custom provide. The crowd is in a state of high suggestibility; it responds to the stimulus of a chance remark, the misplay of a player, or the misjudgment of an umpire; one moment it is thrown into panic by the prospect of defeat, and the next into paroxysms of delight as the tide of victory turns. On sufficient provocation the crowd gets into motion, impelled by a common excitement to unreasoning action; it pours upon the field, and, unless prevented, wreaks its anger upon team or umpire that has aroused it to fury, but met with superior force the crowd melts away, dissolving into its smaller groups and then into its individual elements. A crowd of the sort described constitutes one type of the incomplete group. It is a chance assembly, moved by a common purpose but coalescing only temporarily, guided by elemental impulses, and readily breaking up without permanent achievement other than obtaining the recreation sought.
23. The Mass-Meeting.—Another and more orderly type appears in a meeting of American residents in a foreign city to protest against an outrage to their flag or an injustice to one of their number. Those who assemble are not members of a definite organization with a regular machinery for action. They are, however, moved by common emotion and purpose, because they are conscious of a permanent bond that creates mutual sympathy. They are citizens of the same country. They are mindful of a national history that is their common heritage. They are proud of the position of eminence that belongs to the Western republic. There is a peculiar quality to the patriotism that they all feel and that calls out a unanimous expression. Their minds work alike, and they come together to give expression to their feelings and convictions. They are under the direction of a presiding officer and the procedure of the meeting is according to the parliamentary rules that guide civilized assemblies. However urgent of purpose, the speakers hold themselves in leash, and the listeners content themselves with conventional applause when their enthusiasm is aroused. After a reasonable amount of discussion has taken place, the assembly crystallizes its opinions in the form of resolutions couched in earnest but dignified language and disperses to await the action of those in authority.
24. International Association.—Still another type is the incomplete group that is composed of men and women of similar moral or religious convictions who never assemble in one place, but constitute a certain kind of association. Kipling could sing,
"The East is East and the West is West And never the twain shall meet,"
yet through missionary efforts people of very different races and habits of living and thinking have been brought to cherish the same beliefs and to adopt similar customs. Thousands of such people in all parts of the world constitute a unified group because of their mental interaction, though they may never meet and are not organized in common. The only medium through which one section has influenced another may be a single missionary or book, but the electric current of sympathy passes from one to another as effectively as the wireless carries a message across leagues of space. In the same way sentiment and opinion spread and reproduce themselves, even through long periods of time. Before the middle of the nineteenth century Chinese sentiment was so strong against the importation of opium from India that war broke out with England, with the result that the curse was fastened upon the Orient. The evil increased, spreading through many countries. Meantime international fortunes brought the United States to the Philippines and trade carried opium to the United States. Foreigners in China combated the evil. The nation took a determined stand, and finally, through international agreement under American leadership, the trade and the consumption of opium were checked. Similarly slavery was put under the opprobrium of Christendom, public opinion in one nation after another was formed against it, laws were passed condemning it, and at last it received an international ban. At the present time, through agitation and conference, a world sentiment against war is increasing, and pacifists in every land constitute an expanding group of like-minded men and women who are determined that wars shall cease in the future. These are all examples of unorganized associations or incomplete groups.
25. Experiments in Association.—In the history of human kind numerous experiments in association have been made; those which have served well in the competition between groups have survived, and have tended to become permanent types of association, receiving the sanction of society, and so to be reckoned as social institutions; others have been thrown on the rubbish heap as worthless. It is generally believed, for example, that many related families in primitive times associated in a loosely connected horde, but the horde could not compete successfully with an organized state and gave way before it. The local community in New England once carried on its affairs satisfactorily in yearly mass-meeting, where every citizen had an equal privilege of speaking and voting directly upon a proposed measure, but there proved to be a limit to the efficiency of such government when the population increased, so that a meeting of all the citizens was impossible, and a constitutional assembly of representative citizens was devised. Similarly national governments have been organized for greater efficiency and machinery is being invented frequently to increase their value.
26. Kinds of Unorganized Groups.—Unorganized groups are of three kinds: There are first the normal groups that are continually being formed and dissolved, but that perform a useful function while they exist. Such are the chance meetings and conversations of friends in all walks of life, and the crowds that gather occasionally to help forward a good cause. They promote general intelligence, provide a free exchange of ideas, and help to form a body of public opinion for social guidance. There is often an open-mindedness among the common people that is not vitiated by the grip of vested interests upon their unwarped judgments, and the people can be trusted in the long run to make good. Democracy is based upon the reliability of public opinion.
The second kind of unorganized group is one that is on the way to becoming a permanent group sanctioned by society. A group of this type is the boy's gang. By most persons the spontaneous association of a dozen boys who live near together and range over a certain district has been condemned as a social evil; recently it has become recognized as a normal group, forming naturally at a certain period of boy life and falling to pieces of its own accord a few years later. The tendency of boy leaders is not only to give it recognition as legitimate, but to use the gang instinct to promote definite organizations of greater value to their members and to the community. Another group of the same type is a so-called "movement," composed of a few individuals who associate themselves in a loose way to further a definite purpose, like the promotion of temperance, hold mass-meetings, and create public opinion, but do not at once proceed to a permanent organization. Eventually, when the movement has gathered sufficient headway or has shown that it is permanently valuable, a fixed organization may be accomplished.
The third kind of unorganized group is an abnormality in the midst of civilization, a relic of the primitive days when impulse rather than reason swayed the mind of a group. Such is the crowd that gathers in a moment of excitement and yields to a momentary passion to lynch a prisoner, or a revolutionary mob that loots and burns out of a sheer desire for destruction. Such a group has not even the value of a safety-valve, for its passion gathers momentum as it goes, and, like a conflagration, it cannot be stopped until it has burned itself out or met a solid wall of military authority.
27. The Popular Crowd vs. the Organized Group.—In the routine life of a disciplined society there is always to be found at least one of these types. Even the abnormal type of the passionate crowd is not unusual in its milder form. Any unusual event like a fire or a circus will draw scores and hundreds together, and the crowd is always liable to fall into disorder unless officers of the law are in attendance. This is so well understood that the police are always in evidence where there are large congregations of people at church or theatre, where a prominent man is to be seen or a procession is to pass. But the popular mass is a volatile thing, and in proportion to its size it expends little useful energy. It is never to be reckoned as equal in importance to the organized company, however small it may be, that has a definite purpose guiding its regular action, and that persists in its purpose for years together. It is the fixed group, the social institution, that does the work of the world and carries society forward from lower to higher levels of civilization. Social efficiency belongs to the organized type.
COOLEY: Social Organization, pages 149-156.
GIDDINGS: Elements of Sociology, pages 129-140.
ROSS: Foundations of Sociology, pages 120-138.
ROSS: Social Psychology, pages 43-82.
MUeNSTERBERG: Psychology, General and Applied, pages 269-273.
DAVENPORT: Primitive Traits in Religious Revivals, pages 25-31.
PART II—LIFE IN THE FAMILY GROUP
FOUNDATIONS OF THE FAMILY
28. The Fundamental Importance of the Family.—Social life can be understood best by taking the simplest organized group of human beings and analyzing its activities, its organization, and its development. The family is such a group and is, therefore, a natural basis for study. It illustrates most of the phases of social activity, it is simple in its organization, its history goes back to primitive times, and it is rapidly changing in the present. Family life is made up of the interactions of individual life, and, therefore, the individual in his social relations and not the family is the unit of sociological investigation, but until recent years the family group has been regarded as of greater importance than the individual, and in the Orient the family still occupies the place of importance. Out of the family have developed such institutions as property, law, and government, and on the maintenance of the family rests the future welfare of society. It has been claimed that "the study of the single family on its homestead would yield richer scientific knowledge and more practical results in the great social sciences than almost any other single object in the social world. Pursued historically, the student would find himself at the roots of property, separate ownership of land, inheritance, taxation, free trade and tariff, and discover the germs of international law and the state. The great questions of the day, as we call them, are little more than incidents to the working out of the great social institutions, and these are the expansions and modified forms of the family amid its unceasing support and activity."
29. The Family on the Farm.—The best environment in which to study the family is the farm. There the relations and activities of the larger world appear in miniature, but with a greater simplicity and unity than elsewhere. There the family gets closer to the soil, and its members feel their relation to nature and the restrictions that nature imposes upon human activity. There appear the occupations of the successive stages of history—hunting, the care of domesticated animals, agriculture, and manufacturing; there are the activities of production, distribution, and consumption of economic goods. There a consciousness of mutual dependence is developed, and the value of co-operation is illustrated. There the mind ranges less fettered than in the town, yet is less inclined toward radical changes. There the family preserves and hands down from one generation to another the heritage of the past, and stimulates its members to further progress. In the family on the farm children learn how to live in association with their kin and with hired employees; there much of the mental, moral, and religious training is begun; and there is found most of the sympathy and encouragement that nerves the boy to go out from home for the struggle of life in the larger community and the world.
30. Physical Conditions of Farm Life.—Every group, like every individual, is dependent in a measure on its physical environment. The prosperity of the family on the farm and the daily activities of its members wait often upon the quality of climate and soil and the temper of the weather. The rocky hillsides of mountain lands like Switzerland breed a hardy, self-reliant people, who make the most of small opportunities for agriculture. A well-watered, rolling country pours its riches into the lap of the husbandman; in such surroundings he is likely to be more cheerful but less gritty than the Scottish highlander. The pioneer settlers of America, in their trek into the ulterior, faced the forest and its terrors, and every member of the family who was old enough added his ounce of effort to the struggle to subdue it. Their descendants enjoy the fruits of the earlier victory. The well-trimmed woodland and fertile field are attractive to him; nature in varying moods interests him. Even on the edge of the Western desert the farmer is the master of a process of dry farming or irrigation, so that he can smile at nature's effort to drive him out. Science and education have helped to make man more independent of natural forces and natural moods, but still it is nature that provides the raw materials, that supplies the energy of wind and water and sunshine, and that hastens prosperity if man learns to co-operate with it. Success in the economic struggle of the family has always been conditioned upon the physical environment, and it will always remain one of the factors that shape human destiny.
31. Inheritance of Family Traits.—Another factor that enters into family life is the physical nature of its members, the quality of the stock from which the family is descended. Heredity is as important in sociological study as environment. It is well known that a child inherits racial and family traits from his ancestors, and these he cannot shake off altogether as he grows older. Families have their peculiarities that continue from one generation to another. The family endowment is often the foundation of individual success. Without physical sturdiness the man and woman on the farm are seriously handicapped and are liable to succumb in the struggle for existence; without mental ability and moral stamina members of the family fail to make a broad mark on the community, and the family influence declines. Mere acquisition or transmission of wealth does not constitute good fortune. This fact of heredity must therefore be reckoned with in all the activities of the family, and cannot be overlooked in a study of the psychic factors which are the real social forces.
32. The Domestic Function of the Family.—The farm family for the purpose of study may be thought of as composed of husband and wife, children and servants, but the makers of the family are of first importance for its understanding. The family has a long history, but it exists, not because it is a long-established institution, but because it satisfies present human needs, as all institutions must if they are to survive. The family serves many ends, but as the primary social instincts are to mate and to eat, so the principal functions of the family are the domestic and the economic. The normal adult desires to mate, to have and rear children, and to make a home. To this his sexual and parental instincts impel him; they are nature's provision for the perpetuation of the race. The sex instinct attracts the man and the woman to each other, and marriage is the sanction of society to their union; the parental instinct gives birth to children and leads the father and mother to protect the child through the long years of dependence. Marriage and parenthood are twin obligations that the individual owes to the race. Celibacy makes no contribution to the perpetuation of the race, and unregulated sexual intercourse is a blight upon society. Marriage lays the foundation of the home and makes possible the values that belong to that institution. Children hold the family together; separation and divorce are most common in childless homes. Personal service and sacrifice are engendered in the care of children; therefore it is that the family without children is not a perfect family, but an abnormality as a social institution. For these reasons custom and law protect the home, and religion declares marriage a sacred bond and reproduction a sacred function.
It is the long experience of the race that has made plain the fundamental importance of the marriage relation, and history shows how step by step man and woman have struggled toward higher standards of mutual appreciation and co-operation. From past history and present tendencies it is possible to determine values and weaknesses and to point out dangers and possibilities. As the family group is fundamental to an understanding of the community, so the relation of man and woman are essential to a comprehension of the complete family, and investigation of their relations must precede a study of the social development of the child in the home, or of the economic relations of the farmer and his assistants. Nothing more clearly illustrates the factors that enter into all human relations than the story of how the family came to be.
HENDERSON: Social Elements, pages 62-70.
ELLWOOD: Sociology and Modern Social Problems, 1913 edition, pages 74-82.
BOSANQUET: The Family, pages 241-259.
DEALEY: The Family in Its Sociological Aspects, pages 1-11.
BUTTERFIELD: "Rural Life and the Family," American Journal of Sociology, vol. 14, pages 721-725.
HENDERSON: "Are Modern Industry and City Life Unfavorable to the Family?" American Journal of Sociology, vol. 14, pages 668-675.
THE HISTORY OF THE FAMILY
33. How the Family Came to Be.—The modern family among civilized peoples is based almost universally on the union of one man and one woman. There is good reason to believe that this practice of monogamy was in vogue among primitive human beings, but marriage was unstable and it was only through long experimentation that monogamy proved itself best fitted to survive. At first conjugal affection, which has become intelligent and moral, was merely a sexual desire that led the man to seek a mate and the maid to choose among her suitors. Unbound by long-continued custom or legal and ceremonial restriction, the primitive couple were free to separate if they pleased, but the instinctive feeling that they belonged to each other, the habits of association, adaptation, and co-operation, and jealousy at any attention shown by another tended to preserve the relationship. The presence of offspring sealed the bond as long as the children were dependent, and strengthened the sense of mutual responsibility. The children were peculiarly the mother's children since she gave them birth, but the father instinctively protected the family that was growing up around him, and procured food and shelter for its members, though it is doubtful if he had any realization of his part in giving life to a new generation.
During this period of social development, when the mother's presence constituted the home and the children were regarded as belonging primarily to her, descent was reckoned in the female line, the children were attached to the maternal clan of blood relatives, and such relatives began to move in bands, for the same reason that animals move in packs and herds. Some writers speak of it as a matriarchal period, but it does not appear that women governed; it is more proper to speak of the family as metronymic, for the children bore the mother's name and maternity outweighed paternity in social estimate.
34. The Patriarchal Household.—When population increased and food consequently became more difficult to obtain, the domestication of animals was achieved, and nomadic habits carried the family from pasture to pasture; rival clans wanted the same regions, wars broke out, and physical superiority asserted its claims. The man supplanted the woman as the important member of the household, reduced the others to submission, added to his wives and servants by capture or purchase, and established the patriarchal system. Descent henceforth was reckoned in the paternal line, and society had become patronymic instead of metronymic. It must not be supposed that this change occurred very suddenly. It may have taken many centuries to bring it about, but as the man learned his part in procreation and his power in society, he delighted in his self-importance to lord it over the woman and her children. The marriage relation ceased to be free and reciprocal. The wife no longer had a choice in marriage. Bought or captured, she was no longer wooed for a companion, but was valued according to her economic worth. As population pressed, the domestication of plants followed the taming of animals, but the agricultural settlement of the family only made the woman's lot harder, for she was the burden bearer on the farm.
35. Polygyny.—a better term than polygamy—was the inevitable result of the patriarchal system. Man made the law and the law recognized no restraint upon his sexual and parental instincts. Improvements in living added to the resources of the family and made it possible to maintain large households of wives, children, and slaves. Polygyny had some social utility, because it increased the number of children, and this gave added prestige and power to the family, as slavery had utility because it provided a labor force; but both were weaknesses in ancient society, because they did not tend in the long run to human welfare. Polygyny brutalized men, degraded women, and destroyed that affection and comradeship between parents and their offspring that are the proper heritage of children. Wherever it has survived as a system, polygyny has hindered progress, and wherever it exists in the midst of monogamy it tends to break down civilization.
Another variety of marriage that has been less common than polygyny is polyandry. It is a term that signifies the marriage of one woman to several husbands, and seems to have occurred, as in the interior of Asia, only where subsistence was especially difficult or women comparatively few. Neither polygyny nor polyandry were universal, even where they were a frequent practice. Only the few could afford the indulgence, much the largest percentage of the people remained monogamous.
36. Conflict and Social Selection.—The supreme business of the social group is to adapt itself to the conditions that affect its life. It must learn to get on with its physical environment and with other social groups with which it comes into relation. The methods of adaptation are conflict and co-operation. The primitive savage and his wife learned to work together, and his family and hers very likely kept the peace, until through the increase of population they felt the pinch of hunger when the supply did not equal the demand. Then came conflict. Conflict is an essential element in all progress. There is conflict between the lower and higher impulses in the human mind, conflict between selfish ambition and the welfare of the group, conflict among individuals and races for a place in the sun. It is conceivable that the baser impulses that provoke much social conflict may give way to more rational and altruistic purpose, but it is difficult to see how all friction can be avoided in social relations. It is certainly to be reckoned with in the history of group life.
The story of human progress shows that in the social conflict those groups survive which have become best adapted to life conditions and so are fitted to cope with their enemies. In the story of the family male leadership proved most useful and was perpetuated, but the practice of polygyny and polyandry proved in the long run to be hurtful to success in the sturdy struggle for existence.
37. Ancestor-Worship.—When a practice or institution is seen to work well it soon becomes indorsed by social custom, law, or religion. The patriarchal system became fortified by ancestor-worship, which helped to keep the family subordinate to its male head. Even the dead hand of the patriarch ruled. The paternal ancestors of the family were believed to have the power to bless or curse their descendants, and they were faithfully placated with gifts and veneration, as has continued to be the custom in China. Among the Romans the household gods were cherished at the hearth long before Jupiter became king of heaven; AEneas must save his ancestral-images if he lost all else in the fall of Troy. At Rome the worship of a common ancestor was the strongest family bond. The marriage ceremony consisted of a solemn transfer of the bride from her duties to her own ancestors over to the adoption of her husband's gods. This transfer of allegiance helped to perpetuate the patriarchal system, and the sanction of religion greatly strengthened the wedded relation, so that divorce and polygyny were unknown in the old Roman period. But the absolute patriarchal control of wife and children made the man selfish and arbitrary and weakened the bond of affection and mutual interests, while Roman political conquest strengthened the pride and power of the imperial masters. Religion lost its prestige and the family bond loosened, until from being one of the purest of social institutions in the early days of the republic, the Roman family became one of the most degenerate. This boded ill for the future of the race and empire.
38. The Mediaeval Family.—The Roman family seemed in danger of disintegrating, for the matron claimed rights that ran counter to the rights of the man, when two new forces entered Roman society and checked this tendency toward disintegration. The first was Christianity, the second was Teutonic conquest. Christianity taught consideration for women and children, but it taught submission to the man in the home, and so was a constructive force in the conservation of the family. Teutonic custom was similar to the early Roman. When Teutonic enterprise pushed a new race over the goal of race conflict and took in charge the administration of affairs in Roman society, there was a restoration of the rule of force and so of masculine supremacy. In the lord's castle and the peasant's hut the authority of the man continued unquestioned through the Middle Ages, and the church made monogamous marriage a binding sacrament; but sexual infidelity was common, especially of the husband, and divorce was not unknown. In the civilized lands of Christendom monogamy was the only form of marriage recognized by civil law, and with the slow growth toward higher standards of civilization the harshness of patriarchal custom has become softened and the rights of women and children have been increased by law, though not without endangering the solidarity of the family. Similarly, the standards of sex conduct have improved.
39. Advantages of Monogamy.—The advantages of monogamy are so many that in spite of the present restiveness under restraint it seems certain to become the permanent and universal type as reason asserts its right and controls impulse. Nature seems to have predetermined it by maintaining approximately an equal number of the sexes, and nature frowns upon promiscuity by penalizing it with sterility and neglect of the few children that are born, so that in the struggle for existence the fittest survive by a process of natural selection. A study of biology and anthropology gives added evidence that nature favors monogamy, for in the highest grade of animals below man the monogamic relation holds almost without exception, and low-grade human races follow the same practice.
There are moral advantages in monogamy that alone are sufficient to insure its permanence. It is to the advantage of society that altruistic and kindly feelings should outweigh jealousy, anger, and selfishness. Monogamy encourages affection and mutual consideration, and in that atmosphere children learn the graces and virtues that make social life wholesome and attractive. Welcomed in the home, they receive the care and instruction of both parents and become socialized for the larger and later responsibilities of the social order. In the altruism thus developed lie the roots of morals and religion. It is well agreed that the essence of each is the right motive to conduct. Love to men and to God is an accepted definition of religion, and ethics is grounded on that principle. Love is the ruling principle of the monogamic family; from the narrower domestic circle it extends to the community and to all mankind.
40. Marriage Laws.—In spite of the general practice of monogamy as a form of marriage and the noble principles that underlie the monogamic type of family, sex relations need the restraint of law. Human desires are selfish and ideals too often give way before them unless there is some kind of external control. There have been times when the church had such control, and in certain countries individual rulers have determined the law; but since the eighteenth century there has been a steady trend in the direction of popular control of all social relations. This tendency has been carried farthest in the United States, where public opinion voices its convictions and compels legislative action. It is natural that the people of certain States should be more progressive or radical than others, and therefore in the absence of a national law, there is considerable variety in the marriage and divorce laws, but no other country has higher ideals of the married relation and at the same time as large a measure of freedom.
At present marriage laws in the United States agree generally on the following provisions:
(1) Every marriage must be licensed by the State and the act of marriage must be reported to the State and registered.
(2) Marriage is not legal below a certain age, and consent of parents must be obtained usually until the man is twenty-one and the woman eighteen.
(3) Certain persons are forbidden marriage because of near relationship or personal defect. Such marriage if performed may be annulled.
(4) Remarriage may take place after the death of husband or wife, after disappearance for a period varying from three to seven years, or a certain time after divorce.
In the twenty-year period between 1886 and 1906 covered by the United States Census of Marriage and Divorce slow improvements were made in legislation, but a number of States are far behind others in the enactment of suitable laws, and most of the States do not make the provisions that are desirable for law enforcement. Yet there is a limit of strictness beyond which marriage laws cannot safely go, because they hinder marriage and provoke illicit relations. That limit is fixed by the sanction of public opinion. After all, there is less need of better regulation than of the education of public opinion to the sacredness of marriage and to its importance for human welfare. Without the restraints put upon impulse by the education of the understanding and the will, young people often assume family obligations thoughtlessly and even flippantly, when they are ill-mated and often unacquainted with each other's characteristic qualities. Such marriages usually bring distress and divorce instead of growing affection and unity. Without education in the obligation of marriage many well-qualified persons delay it or avoid it altogether, because they are unwilling to bear the burdens of family support, childbearing, and housekeeping. Society suffers loss in both cases.
41. Reforms and Ideals.—Because of all these deficiencies several remedies have been proposed and certain of them adopted. Because of the economic difficulties, it is urged that as far as possible by legislation, illegitimate ways of heaping up wealth for the few at the expense of the many should be checked, and that by vocational training boys should be fitted for a trade and girls prepared for housekeeping. To meet other difficulties it is proposed that popular instruction be given from press and pulpit, in order that the moral and spiritual plane of married life may be uplifted. The marriage ideal is a well-mated pair, physically and intellectually qualified, who through affection are attracted to marriage and through mutual consideration are ready unselfishly to seek each other's welfare, and who recognize in marriage a divinely ordered provision for human happiness and for the perpetuation of the race. Such a marriage does not plant the seeds of discord and neighborly scandal or compel a speedy resort to the divorce court.
DEALEY: The Family in Its Sociological Aspects, pages 12-84.
HOWARD: History of Matrimonial Institutions, II, pages 388-497.
GOODSELL: The Family as a Social and Educational Institution, pages 5-47.
BOSANQUET: The Family, part I. "Report on Marriage and Divorce, 1906," Bureau of the Census, I, pages 224-226.
BLISS: Encyclopedia of Social Reform, art. "Family."
THE MAKING OF THE HOME
42. The Story of the Home.—Marriage is the gateway of the home; the home is the shelter of the family. It is the cradle of children, the nursery of mutual affection, and the training-school for citizenship in the community. The physical comfort of its inmates depends upon the house and its furnishings, but fondness for the home develops only in an atmosphere of good-will and kindness.
The home has a story of its own, as has the family. In primitive days there was little necessity of a dwelling-place, except as a nest for young or a cache for provisions. A cave or a rough shelter of boughs was a makeshift for a home. Thither the hunter brought the game that he had killed, and there slept the glutton's sleep or went supperless to bed. When the hunter became a herdsman and shepherd and moved from place to place in search of pasture, he found it convenient to fashion a tent for his home, as the Hebrew patriarchs did when they roamed over Canaan and as the Bedouin of the desert does still.
A settled life with a measure of civilization demanded a better and a stationary home, the degree of comfort varying with the desire and ambition of the householder and the amount of his wealth. To thousands home was little more than a place to sleep. Even in imperial Rome the proletariat occupied tall, ramshackle tenements, like the submerged poor who exist in the slums of modern cities. In mediaeval Europe the peasant lived in a one-room hovel, clustered with others in a squalid hamlet upon the estate of a great landowner. The hut was poorly built, often of no better material than wattled sticks, cemented with mud, covered over with turf or thatch, usually without chimneys or even windows. The place was absolutely without conveniences. Summer and winter the family huddled together in the single room of the hut, faring forth to work in the morning, sleeping at night on bundles of straw, each person in the single garment that he wore through the day, and at convenient intervals breaking fast on black bread, salt meat, and home-brewed beer. There was no inducement for a landless serf to spend care or labor upon houses or surroundings; pigs and babies were permitted to tumble about both indiscriminately.
Peasant homes in the Orient are little if any better now than European homes in the Middle Ages. The houses are rude structures and ill-kept. In the villages of India it is not unusual to occupy one house until it becomes so unsanitary as to be uninhabitable, and then to move elsewhere. Even royal courts in mediaeval Europe moved from palace to palace for the same reason. It is a mistake to suppose that the squalid conditions found in the slums are peculiar to them; they are survivals of a lower stage of human existence found in all parts of the world, due to psychical, social, and economic conditions that are not easily changed, but conspicuous in the midst of modern progress.
43. The Ancestral Type.—In ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome only the higher classes enjoyed any degree of comfort. Accustomed to inconveniences, few even among them knew such luxuries as are common to middle-class Americans. The castle and manor-house of the mediaeval lord were still more comfortless. In America the colonial log cabin and the sod house of the prairie pioneer were primitively incomplete. The struggle for existence and the difficulty of manufacture and transportation allowed few comforts. American homes, even a hundred years ago, knew nothing of furnaces and safety-matches, refrigerators and electric fans, bathtubs and sanitary accommodations, carpet-sweepers and vacuum cleaners, screen doors and double windows, hammocks and verandas. Neither law nor social custom required a good water or drainage system. A healthful or attractive location for the house received little thought; outbuildings were in close proximity to the house, if not attached to it. The furnishings of the house lacked comfort and beauty. Interior decorations of harmonious design were absent. Instruments of music were rare; statuary and paintings were beyond the reach of any but the richest purse.
44. Social Values.—On the other hand, there was in many a dwelling a home atmosphere that made up for the lack of conveniences. There was a bond of unity that was felt by every member of the family, and a spirit of mutual affection and self-sacrifice that stood a hard strain through poverty, sickness, and ill fortune of every sort. Father and mother, boys and girls were not afraid to work, and when the time came for relaxation there was little to attract away from the home circle. People had less to enjoy, but they were better contented with what they had. They had little money to spend, but their frugal tastes and habits of thrift fortified them against want, and there was little need of public or private charity.
The home was frequently a school of moral and religious education. Selfishness in all its forms was discountenanced. There was no room for the idler, no time for laziness. Social hygiene and domestic science were not taught as such, but young people learned their responsibilities and grew up equipped to establish homes of their own. Parents were faithful instructors in the homely virtues of truthfulness, honesty, faithfulness, kindness, and love. Religion in the family was by no means universal, but in hundreds of homes religion was recognized as having legitimate demands upon the individual; religious exercises were observed at the mother's knee, the table, and the family altar; all the family attended church together, and were expected to take upon themselves the responsibilities of church membership.
45. Gains and Losses.—In the making of a modern home there have been both addition and subtraction. Life has gained immeasurably in comfort and convenience for the well-to-do, but the comfortless quarters of the poor drive the man to the saloon and the child to the streets. For the fortunate the home has become enriched with music, art, and literature, but it has lost much of the earlier simplicity, economic thrift, moral sturdiness, and religious principle and practice. For the poor life is so hard that the good qualities, if they ever existed, have tended to disappear without any compensation in culture.
It is well understood that the home environment has most to do with shaping individual character. If the homely virtues are not cultivated there, society will suffer; if cold and cheerlessness are characteristic of its atmosphere, there will be little warmth in the disposition of its inmates toward society. Every home of the right sort is an asset to the community. It is an experiment station for social progress. Every married couple that sets up housekeeping starts a new centre of group life. If they diffuse a helpful atmosphere social virtues will develop and social efficiency increase. On the other hand, many homes are a menace to the community, because an ill-mated pair, poorly equipped for the struggle of existence, create a centre of group life in which the individual is handicapped physically and morally and too often becomes a curse to society at large. When it is remembered that the home is at the same time the power-house that generates the forces that push society forward, and the channel through which are transmitted the ideas and achievements of all the past, it will seem to be the supremely important institution that human experience has devised and sanctioned.
46. The Ideal Home.—The ideal home toward which the average home will be gradually approximating will be housed in a well-built dwelling of approved architecture; erected in a healthy location with room enough around it to give air space, and a bit of out-of-doors to enjoy; tastefully furnished and decorated inside, but without ostentation or extravagance; occupied by a healthy, happy family of parents and children who care more for each other and for their neighbors than for selfish pleasure and display, and who are learning how to play a worthy part in the folk life of their community and nation, and how to appreciate the highest and finest qualities that mind and spirit can develop in themselves or others. If for economic or social reasons any of this is impossible, there is a weakness in society that calls for prompt repair.
STARR: First Steps in Human Progress, pages 149-158.
JESSOPP: The Coming of the Friars, pages 87-104.
GILLETTE: Constructive Rural Sociology, pages 170-178.
CARNEY: Country Life and the Country School, pages 18-38.
RICHARDS: "The Farm Home," art. in Cyclopedia of Agriculture, IV, pages 280-284.
CHILDREN IN THE HOME
47. Children Complete the Home.—If the legend of the Pied Piper of Hameln should come true and all the children should run away from home, or if by some strange stroke of fortune no children should be born in a village or town for ten years or more, the tragedy of the childless home would be realized. There are localities and even nations where the birth-rate is so small that population is little more than stationary. In the United States the native birth-rate tends to decline, while the rate of immigrant foreigners greatly exceeds it. The higher the degree of comfort and luxury in the home the smaller the birth-rate seems to be a principle of social experience. There are selfish people who shirk the responsibilities and troubles of parenthood, and there are social diseases that tend to sterility, but the childless home is always an incomplete home. Children are the crown of marriage, the enrichment of the home, the hope of society in the future. The needs of the children stimulate parents to unselfish endeavor. Children are the comfort of the poor and distressed. The wedded life of a human pair may be ideal in every other respect, but one of the main functions of marriage is unaccomplished when the family remains incomplete.
48. The Right to be Well-Born.—The child comes into the home in obedience to the same primary instinct that draws the parents to each other. He calls out the affections of the parents and their intellectual resources, for he is dependent upon them, and often taxes their best judgment in coping with the difficulties that beset child life. But they often fail to realize that the child has certain inalienable rights as an individual and a potential member of society that demand their best gifts.
There is first the right to be well-born. There is so much to contend with when once ushered into the world, that a child needs the best possible bodily inheritance. He needs to be rid of every encumbrance of physical unfitness if he is to live long and become a blessing and not a burden to society. Handicapped at the start, he cannot hope to achieve a high level of attainment. It is little short of criminal for a child to be condemned to lifelong weakness or suffering, because his parents were not fit to give him birth. Yet large numbers of parents make the thought of child welfare subordinate to their own desires. A man's primary concern in choosing a wife is his own personal satisfaction, not the birth and mothering of his children. Many young women regard the attractiveness, social position, or wealth of a young man as of greater consequence than his physical or moral fitness to become the father of her children. There are thousands of persons who are mentally deficient or unmoral, who nevertheless are unrestrained by society from association and even marriage. It is a social misfortune that the unfit should be taken care of by the tender mercies of philanthropists and even permitted to propagate their kind, while no special encouragement is given to those who are supremely fit to give their best to the upbuilding of the race. The principle of brotherly kindness requires that the weak and unfortunate be taken care of, but they should not be permitted to increase. It is a principle of social welfare that those who are incapable of exercising self-control should be placed under the control of the larger group.
49. Eugenics in Legislation.—It is the conviction that the right to be well-born is a valid one, that has given rise to the science of eugenics. As a science it was first discussed by Francis Gallon, and it has interested writers, investigators, and legislators in all progressive countries. Various specific proposals have been made in the interest of posterity, and agitation has resulted in certain experiments in legislation. It is not proposed that any should be required to marry, but it is thought possible to encourage the well qualified and to discourage and restrain the incapable. Some of these proposals, such as the offering of a premium by the State for healthy children, or endowing mothers as public functionaries, are not widely approved, but Great Britain in a National Insurance Act in 1911 included the provision of maternity benefits in recognition of the mother's contribution to the citizenship of the nation. Restrictive laws have been passed by certain of the States in America, which are eugenic experiments. Feeble-mindedness, in so many ways a social evil, is readily reproduced, and the weak-minded are easily controlled by the sex instinct. To prevent this certain State legislatures have forbidden the marriage of any feeble-minded or epileptic woman under the age of forty-five. It is well known that insanity is a family trait, and that criminal insanity is liable to recur if those who are afflicted are permitted to indulge in parenthood. Certain States accordingly annul the marriage of insane persons. Venereal disease is easily transmitted; there has been a beginning of legislation prohibiting persons thus tainted to marry. It is well established that very many persons, while not actually tainted with such diseases as tuberculosis and alcoholism, are predisposed to yield to their attack. For this reason the scope of eugenic legislation is likely to be extended. Some States have gone so far as to sterilize the unfit, that they may not by any chance exercise the powers of parenthood; it is urged in many quarters that clergymen require a medical certificate of good health before sanctioning marriage.
50. Family Degeneracy.—Several impressive illustrations have been published of degenerate families that show the far-reaching effects of heredity. In contrast to these pictures, has been set the life story of families who have won renown in successive generations because of unusual ability. Nothing so effective is presented by any argument as that of concrete cases. Perhaps the best known of these stories is that of the Jukes family. About the middle of the eighteenth century a normal man with a coarse, lazy vein in his nature built himself a hut in the woods of central New York. In five generations he had several hundred descendants. A study of twelve hundred persons who belonged to the family by kinship or marriage was made carefully, with the following findings. Nearly all of the family were lazy, ignorant, and coarse. Four hundred were physically diseased by their own fault. Two hundred were criminals; seven of them murderers. Fifty of the women were notoriously immoral. Three hundred of the children died from inherited weakness or neglect. More than three hundred members of the family were chronic paupers. It is estimated that they cost the State a thousand dollars apiece for pauperism and crime.
Another family called the Kallikak family, which has been made the subject of investigation, is a still better example of heredity. The family was descended from a Revolutionary soldier, who had an illegitimate feeble-minded son by an imbecile young woman. The line continued by feeble-minded descent and marriage until four hundred and eighty descendants have been traced. Of these one hundred and forty-three were positively defective, thirty-six were illegitimate, thirty-three sexually immoral, mostly prostitutes, eight kept houses of ill repute, three were criminal, twenty-four were confirmed drunkards, and eighty-two died in infancy.
On the other hand, there are striking examples of what good birth and breeding can do. It happened that the ancestor of the Kallikak family, after he had sown his wild oats, married well and had about five hundred descendants. All of them were normal, only two were alcoholic, and one sexually loose. The family has been prominent socially and in every way creditable in its history. In contrast to the Jukes family, the history of the Edwards family has been written. Its members married well, were well-bred, and gave much attention to education. Out of fourteen hundred individuals more than one hundred and twenty were Yale graduates, and one hundred and sixty-five more completed their education at other colleges; thirteen were college presidents, and more than a hundred college professors; they were founders of schools of all grades; more than one hundred were clergymen, missionaries, and theological professors; seventy-five were officers in the army and navy; more than eighty have been elected to public office; more than one hundred were lawyers, thirty judges, sixty physicians, and sixty prominent in literature. Not a few of them have been active in philanthropy, and many have been successful in business. It is impossible to escape from the conviction that whatever may be the physical and social environment, heredity perpetuates physical and mental worth or defectiveness and tends to produce social good or evil, and that the right to a worthy parentage belongs with the other rights to which individuals lay claim. It is as important as the right to a living, to an education, to a good home, or to the franchise. Without it society is incalculably poorer and the ultimate effects of failure are startling to consider.
51. Marriage and Education.—Some enthusiasts have demanded that to make sure of a good bodily inheritance, individuals be permitted to produce children without the trammels of marriage if they are well fitted for parenthood, but such persons seem ignorant or forgetful that free love has never proved otherwise than disastrous in the history of the race, and that physical perfection is not the sole good with which the child needs to be endowed, but that it must be supplemented with moral, mental, and spiritual endowment, and with the permanent affection and care of both parents in the home. Galton himself acknowledges marriage as a prerequisite in eugenics by saying: "Marriage, as now sanctified by religion and safeguarded by law in the more highly civilized nations, may not be ideally perfect, nor may it be universally accepted in future times, but it is the best that has hitherto been devised for the parties primarily concerned, for their children, for home life, and for society."
The greatest hope of eugenics lies in social education. Sex hygiene must in some way become a part of the child's stock of information, but knowledge alone does not fortify action. More important is it to deal with the springs of action, to teach the equal standard of purity for men and women, and the moral responsibility of parenthood to adolescent youth, and at the same time to impress upon the whole community its responsibility of oversight of morals for the good of the next generation. Conviction of personal and social responsibility as superior to individual preferences is the only safety of society in all its relations, from eugenics through economics to ethics and religion.
52. Euthenics.—Euthenics is the science of controlled environment, as eugenics is the science of controlled heredity. The health and good fortune of the child depend on his surroundings as well as on his inheritance, and the gift of a perfect physique may be vitiated by an unwholesome environment. Environment acts directly upon the physical system of the individual through climate, home conditions, and occupation; it acts indirectly by affecting the personal desires, idiosyncrasies, and possible conduct. When the child of an early settler was carried away from home on an Indian raid, and brought up in the wigwam of the savage, he forgot his civilized heritage, and love for his foster-parents sometimes proved stronger than his natural affections. The child of the Russian Jew in Europe has little ambition and rises to no high level, but in America he gains distinction in school and success in business. A natural environment of forest or plain may determine the occupation of a whole community; a fickle climate vitally affects its prosperity. Whole races have entered upon a new future by migration.