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other groups similarly constituted, but with other forms of social affiliation that are nominally functionally distinct. For example, unions may act as employment agencies, insurance companies and credit unions, community centers, and providers of supervised recreation.

Because of the importance of participation and a sense of participation in the commitment process, unions and similar groups may stimulate as well as possibly impede the rate of economic transformation. The actions indicative of commitment are, of course, those appropriate to the orientation of the group in question. Specifically, joining and maintaining membership and participation in common or assigned activities are problematical and thus interesting. The actions are also those appropriate to the specific job, the occupation, and the occupational status. (In reverse order, the physician acts as a professional, a practitioner of his particular specialty, and a competent performer for his patients or employer.)

The appropriate norms prominently include loyalty—which is, however, both divisible and possibly competitive, as noted-ethical codes for the occupation and status, and thus identification with group interests and welfare.

In the preindustrial West, craft and professional groups were common and so constituted a possible model for new organizations, even though the particular organizations often performed conservative or reactionary roles Apparently little attention has been paid to the elements of preindustrial social structures that might precondition the new industrial worker or manager for identification with occupational groups. Belshaw's discussion in Chapter 6 is a noteworthy exception.

The process of commitment to an occupational group such as a union has the indirect consequence of involving the transitional worker in Athe industrial way of life, even if the specific group orientation is one of conflict. The paradox deepens when any occupational interest group competes or bargains with other groups, for success reduces the chance of rejection of the system as a whole, or even of radical changes in its


The rewards and controls that serve to maintain commitment to occupational interest groups are variable, but include the standard principles applicable to peer and reference groups. One range of variation can be crudely designated in terms of the number of interests served by group membership. Here we may characterize the extremes as "the union as a commodity," an economic service bought with membership dues; and "the union as a community," the organization as a

focus of many life activities, in possible substitution for more traditional structures.

If, with successful industrialization, social stratification loses some of its coherence as a single rectilinear system, it follows that groups oriented toward the status system are likely also to exhibit the strains of intersecting interests. Coalitions based on common status may become increasingly fragile and temporary, subject to realignment on particular issues rather than remaining durably inclusive of many related issues. The divergent interests of various occupations are likely to become increasingly troublesome to inclusive labor organizations. The attempt in totalitarian systems to discourage both status groups and competing interest groups may achieve greater commitment to the system as such, but it is doubtful that this removes the underlying uncertainties or strains concerning questions of equity.


Schools manifestly serve as agencies of socialization, especially with regard to general and specialized cognitive orientations. Our interest is in the school as an agency of status mobility and possibly as a functional and symbolic focus for social action and reform. In the latter connection the educational system may provide both a locus of commitment in itself, and an "equitable" basis for a general system of social differentiation."

An extensive educational system makes possible different levels of educational attainment and also different kinds of attainment, in the sense of occupational specialization. The critical questions with respect to commitment are several: the "goodness of fit" between the educational curricula and the needs of an industrial order; the accessibility of educational opportunities; and the extent to which formal education results in normative socialization with regard to new values as compared with mere information.

It may be noted that the strategy of educational development in transitional societies may be distorted by undue emphasis on "highlevel manpower," although this is incidental to the present discussion. The training of technical and administrative elites is particularly important in highly industrialized societies where a broad and expanding "mass" educational base has been established. Given limited resources,

7 See Melvin M. Tumin and Arnold S. Feldman, "Status, Perspective and Achievement: Education and the Class Structure in Puerto Rico," American Sociological Review, 21:464–472 (August 1956).

which are acutely restricted in underdeveloped areas, an emphasis on training of elites can only widen the gap between technicians and the labor force in general. The appealing notion that limited resources should be devoted to excellence is a special form of the entrepreneurial determinism noted in the discussion of the labor market (page 45 supra). It is incorrect on both technical and motivational grounds.

The enthusiasm with which educational expansion is undertaken in newly developing areas is obviously explained by the needs for skilled manpower and the opportunities for greater participation in community and national life. It also appears probable that schools provide a potential bridge from preindustrial to industrial status systems, and an acceptable means for allocating status in the new systems. The transitional worker may be induced to accept the new conditions of life, even in an unfamiliar and disadvantaged position, if by so doing he can improve opportunities for his children. His willingness to make sacrifices for such opportunities, although seemingly consistent with traditional kinship virtues, is more realistically viewed as acceptance of a system of intergenerational mobility that is rare in nonindustrial societies. Such acceptance implies commitment to new forms of social stratification and also of kinship responsibilities and illustrates the interdependence of such institutional complexes.


History and the contemporary world exhibit a wide variety of structural forms of the state associated with economic growth. This variety is not unimportant for analysis of the rate of growth and the precise structures of national economies. In the areas now emerging from colonialism, still additional political relationships are likely to develop (see Apter's discussion in Chapter 18). Here the variations in political systems are largely neglected, and attention is focused on some common problems and features of political organization.

It is commonly, and probably correctly, assumed that wherever economic development becomes a matter of public policy (and that is nearly everywhere) the state plays an active role at least where critical barriers appear. Although the economic activity of the state in the historic laissez-faire economies should not be understated, there is ample 8 See Hugh G. J. Aitken, ed., The State and Economic Growth (New York: Social Science Research Council, 1959).

See Joseph J. Spengler, "Laissez Faire and Intervention: A Potential Source of Historical Error," Journal of Political Economy, 57:438-441 (October 1949).

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reason to assume that the contemporary state figures more largely as an agent of growth than was true in the past.1 Questions of political loyalty and participation therefore assume an importance directly relevant to labor commitment, in addition to the structural position of the state as the focus of national integration and identity and as the ultimate agency for enforcement of social codes.

The repeated association between deliberate economic development and extreme nationalism is surely not accidental. Nationalism presents an essentially nonrational unifying force that may ease and rationalize the hardships of personal change. The importance of this explicitly common locus of commitment increases to the degree that rapid economic transition undermines various intermediate social structures that have shared or even captured loyalties in the preindustrial social system.11 Yet nationalism should also be viewed in the context of actions as well as values, and specifically with reference to political associations.

Political Associations

The fully committed industrial worker, in whatever occupation, will become involved in political associations. These may be unions, occupational groups, other voluntary associations, even residential groups; but specialized political associations are likely to be organized also. The principal totalitarian states have attempted to integrate organizations "at the top," but these have been specialized at the level of rank and file membership. State enterprises, unions, and the party differ in organization, membership, and local leadership.

An inferential corollary is that economic development is accom*panied by specifically political participation by a growing proportion of the population, and that many participants may become deeply involved. Changes in internal and external power relations are indeed so critical in the developmental process that political involvement may be the initial activating form of personal transition The type of organization may vary from the formal party to the "spontaneous" street mob. At either extreme there is provided an agency of leverage and protest, which may have direct consequences for the social system or only the indirect effect of draining off dissident energies.

10 See Bert F. Hoselitz, “Economic Policy and Economic Development," in Aitken, op. cit., pp. 325–352; Felicia V. Deyrup, “Limits of Government Activity in Underdeveloped Countries," Social Research, 24:191–201 (Summer 1957).

11 See David E. Apter, The Gold Coast in Transition (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1955), pp. 322-323.

To say that political participation is appropriate for committed workers is not very helpful. The questions remain: In what form, and to what ends? Political participation exemplifies the sociological principle that the internal cohesion of groups increases with external competition or conflict. Political partisanship is therefore likely to increase commitment to particular political groups, and concern shifts to the stability (including orderly change) of the state as a whole. Presumably eufunctional political commitment in this situation requires acceptance of democratic procedures for resolving conflicts, and of the state as a more general locus than any party. The complementary generalization for totalitarian states is not novel but is theoretically valid: such states require external enemies, whether real or mythical.13ça?

The norms governing political participation vary at least along the range from partisan to totalitarian. At any place along the range apathy is presumably a principal shortcoming, but political organizations and their leaders may have more trouble with overcommitted individuals than with either dissidents or nonparticipants.

There is a common assumption that “rational" or "realistic" political affiliation corresponds closely with economic interests. However, this represents an ideological doctrine, the accuracy of which depends on narrowly restrictive conditions. These include the existence of unresolved normative issues of high salience, chiefly issues of general economic policy and of the equity of differentials in income and power. (The interdependence of institutions is thus again illustrated.) Although such issues are probably never completely resolved, they appear to have high salience in those situations of rapid institutional change typical of contemporary or historical industrialization. In other situa tions the doctrine must rest on one of two untenable assumptions: (1) a crude "static" economic determinism in the sense of the primacy of "economic motives," which is nonsensical; (2) a radical "functionalism" in the sense that any central interest or value will define all others, which is both theoretically and empirically false. It follows that oneparty or two-party systems represent heroic compromises of the heterogeneous interests of party members. The theoretical alternative is not only a multiparty system, but a multitude of splinter associations, each oriented toward a particular stand on a particular issue. Coalitions for political efficacy may then represent compromises of short duration. (19 See Kingsley Davis, Human Society (New York: Macmillan Company, 1949), pp.


18 This is implied in ibid., PP. 504-505.

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