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Social Relations and Social Interaction

Floyd N. House
American Journal of Sociology
Vol. 31, No. 5 (Mar., 1926), pp. 617-633
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2764352
Page Count: 17
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Social Relations and Social Interaction
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Abstract

In a recent article dealing with the sociological vocabulary, Professor Hayes raises some fundamental methodological questions. (I) All sociologists should use technical terms in the same sense. Terms are to be judged by their serviceability, which is measured in part by disjunctiveness, inclusiveness, and fewness of the concepts proposed. Methodology should tend to lead to fresh discoveries. (2) The process of competition is the physical aspect of the social reality; it determines the spatial and economic organization of human society, and affords a starting-point for the study of other social processes. (3) Conflict and accommodation are processes which involve the "personal" type of interaction. Conflict arises out of conflicting claims, and accommodation is the process in which an equilibration of conflict through redefinition of claims is established. (4) Conflict, accommodation, and assimilation are processes in which control is established. Assimilation is the process in which persons develop sympathetic responsiveness to one another's claims. (5) the concepts proposed here are intended to make possible somewhat complete accounts of reactions evoked by social contact. The immediate reduction of the social reality to description in more ultimate terms tends to obscure some of its features. (6) The actual social reality may be abstracted in substantive or in active terms. The reality is in fact a process of becoming, but the concept of becoming, unless broken up into small units connected with types of social interaction, is not serviceable for scientific purposes.

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