Contributions of the Gesellschaft
While the trend to secondary-group relationships in the gesellschaft has brought sacrifices, it has also brought benefits. Mostobvim s is the efficiency of large-scale impersonal organizations in which sentiment surrenders to. practicality. The huge gains in material comfort and in life expectancy in the modem world would be impossible without the rise of goal-directed secondary organizations in which the paternal squire has been replaced by the efficiency expert and the production manager.
Nor has the rise of the gesellschaft and the accompanying division of landlord only material advantages. These changes have opened channels of opportunity and specializations of function which while they fragment society, also open a greater chance to develop individual talents. Much has been written about how modern societies are “oppressive” and “alienating” yet earlier societies offered far fewer choices and opportunities (or selffulfillment. The contrast between the thousands of occupations in the metropolis and the handful of pursuits in the rural village shows how a society dominated by secondary groups opens the way for specialized careers. The secondary group also has a tendency to impose patterns of conformity on its members. ,In this way it offers a counterbalance to the prejudices or vested interests of the immediate locality. Since its boundaries extend beyond the primary group, it forces people to assume a broader perspective. This difference in attitudes may be seen in the tendency’ of religious organizations operating on a national or international scale, to promote viewpoints which may be unpopular in local congregations. A case in point is tile decision of the national’ Protestant Episcopal church to ordain women-a step vigorously opposed by many To put this in “academe organizations, tend to be universality that is, guided by national viewpoints deterrents and values local groups ane:! organizations . tend to be particularity that is, guided by local viewpoints, interests, and values. Some times the universality guidelines bring more humane social policy,’ as in the case of the voting rights which blacks in some parts of the country gained largely because of pressure from other parts of the country. An& some times universality guidelines bring dopers and inhumanity, as in the massacre of the Jews in Germany or the “liquidation of the kulaks” (small landowner-farmers who resisted collectivization in the Soviet Union) The present· struggle of the Amish. in the United States to main taint their own schools taught by non certified Amish teachers is an example of the clash between universality and particularization values.