The Secondarily Group Trend
Our sentiments and ties are centered in primary groups ‘brat the modern trend toward a gesellsct society based on secondary: groups has been irre & istjble. The small principalities of feudal Europe have given way to national stateless and the intimate association of master and worker in the guild workshop has yielded to the giant corporation employing thousands of people. Population has moved from the’ country to towns and cities, and a lifetime ill one home has become a rarity as about one Americana family in five moves each year. An .industrialized wean society attacks the primary group.in at least two ways. First, it increases the relative proportion of secondary group contacts, as OM activity after another is withdrawn from the primary group and assumed as a secondary-group function. Second; .the p~p associations which remain are at the mercy of secondary-group needs. Chan,es, in industry may move the wage earner about, disrupting local associations A prolonged economic depression, the result of a. maladjustment of secondary relationships, may deprive parents of earning power and substitute the relief administrator .as a symbol of authority. Military needs may take one out of the family and to the other side of the world. The worker’s family must adjust itself to whatever working hours the ‘corporation finds most profitable. Negotiations between the union and the corporation may result in work changes which break up informal primary groups formed on the job. The “little red schoolhouse” where a small group of children and a teacher formed an intimate primary group lasting for years is succeeded by the consolidated school, drawing hundreds of children from a large area . and shifting them about from class to class and teacher to teacher. Scores of similar examples show how many primary groupings have become transient and changing units, swept long by the heedlessly changing needs of a gesellschaft society.