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Vol. 2

By R.J. Rummel

Beverly Hills, California:
Sage Publications, 1976



Chapter 1. Introduction and Summary
1. Five frameworks for behavior
2. Overview and Summary


Chapter 2. The Concept of Field
2.1. Our various fields
2.2. Types of fields

Chapter 3. Reality and the Intentional Field
3.1. Perception and reality
3.2. Behavior
3.3. Motivation
3.4. On the dynamic field within society, culture, and environment

Chapter 4. Freedom and Intentional Humanism
4.1. The self, will, and freedom
4.2. On a humanistic view of ourselves


Chapter 5. Perceiving Another
5.1. Potentiality and actuality
5.2. The percipient's station and receptors
5.3. The cultural matrix
5.4. The dynamic psychological field

Chapter 6. Intentions, Attitudes, and Interests
6.1. Intentions
6.2. Characteristics of intentions
6.3. Attitudes and interests
6.4. Reasons and causes
6.5. Summary: the perception and levels of meaning

Chapter 7. Perceiving and Behaving


Chapter 8. Behavior
8.1. Constituents of behavior
8.2. Reflex, action, act, and practice

Chapter 9. Social Behavior and Interaction
9.1. Social behavior
9.2. Social interaction

Chapter 10. Types of Social Interaction
10.1. Latents
10.2. Latent functions
10.3. Space and latent functions
10.4. Solidarity and antagonism
10.5. Familistic, contractual, and compulsive
10.6. Summary

Chapter 11. The Equation of Social Behavior


Chapter 12. The Transition to a Sociocultural Field

Chapter 13. The Sociocultural Space
13.1. The common sociocultural space
13.2. The common sociocultural components

Chapter 14. The Field of Social Forces
14.1. Sociocultural distance vector
14.2. The perspectival vector
14.3. Expectation and behavioral disposition vectors

Chapter 15. The Sociocultural Field


Chapter 16. Distances
16.1. Objective versus subjective distances
16.2. Material distance
16.3. Psychological distance
16.4. Social distance
16.5. Cultural distance
16.6. The nature of distance

Chapter 17. Status Distance
17.1. Overview of status-theory
17.2. The status-components
17.3. Status-mobility
17.4. Rank, disequilibrium, and incongruence

Chapter 18. Status Distance and Behavior
18.1. Rank and behavior
18.2. Status-disequilibrium and behavior
18.3. Solidarity and antagonism

Chapter 19. The Fundamental Nature of Power
19.1. Definitions of power
19.2. The essence of power
19.3. Power, relative or absolute?
19.4. Identive power
19.5. Assertive power
19.6. Power and interests
19.7. Force and physical power
19.8. Summary

Chapter 20. Social Power
20.1. The essence of social power
20.2. Coercive power
20.3. Bargaining power
20.4. Intellectual power
20.5. Authoritative power
20.6. Altruistic power
20.7. Manipulative power

Chapter 21. The Family of Power
21.1. Power's many forms
21.2. A return to the literature
21.3. Power as status reconsidered
21.4. A note on influence


Chapter 22. Social Fields and Antifields
22.1. The antifield
22.2. Authoritative roles and coercive power
22.3. Authoritative roles and antifields

Chapter 23. Groups and Antifields
23.1. Dimensions of groups
23.2. Types of groups and antifields
23.3. Organization: The antifield

Chapter 24. Class
24.1. The basis of class
24.2. And societal conflict
24.3. The class-component and distance

Chapter 25. Social Class And the Class-Literature
25.1. Definitions
25.2. The Great Classes


Chapter 26. Conflict
26.1. Nature of conflict
26.2. Levels of conflict

Chapter 27. Conflict in the Sociocultural Field
27.1. Social conflict
27.2. Violence
27.3. Conflicts of interest

Chapter 28. The Elements of Social Conflict
28.1. In the conflict-space
28.2. In the conflict-structure
28.3. In the conflict-situation
28.4. In manifest conflict
28.5. And the balance of powers
28.6. Summary

Chapter 29. The Process of Conflict
29.1. Phase I: The latent conflict phase
29.2. Phase II: The initiation phase
29.3. Phase III: The balancing of powers phase
29.4. Phase IV: The balance of powers phase
29.5. Phase V: The disruption phase
29.6. Rephasing: The conflict helix
29.7. Summary


Chapter 30. Social Fields and Types of Societies
30.1. Field and society
30.2. The authoritative society
30.3. The exchange society
30.4. The coercive society
30.5. Mixed societies
30.6. And Sorokin's supercultural systems

Chapter 31. The State and Political System
31.1. Types of political systems
31.2. The political triangle: systems and formulas
31.3. Political systems and societies
31.4. Summary

Chapter 32. Societies, Politics, and Conflict
32.1. Manifest conflict is random
32.2. Change produces conflict
32.3. Power shapes conflict
32.4. There are three dimensions of conflict
32.5. Exchange societies manifest pluralist conflict
32.6. Authoritative societies manifest communal/ traditional conflict
32.7. Coercive societies manifest elite repressions/purges
32.8. Summary


Chapter 33. Societies in Empirical Perspective
33.1. Sociocultural space and structures of expectations
33.2. The psychological roots
33.3. Conflict space
33.4. The space of state-societies and structures of expectations

Chapter 34. Testing for the Existence of Exchange, Authoritative,
and Coercive Societies
34.1. The empirical sociocultural space of states
34.2. Political systems
1. The 1950-1965 space-time analysis (91 attributes for all states)
2. Ten political attributes for all states
3. Sixty-eight political attributes for all states
4. Forty-one socioeconomic and political attributes for seventy-four states
5. Other studies
6. Conclusion
34.3. State-societies
1. Clusters in 1950-1965 space-time
2. On the components of 236 attributes
3. Regions of sociocultural homogeneity
4. Pre-World War 11 clusters
5. Conclusion
34.4. States and political systems

Chapter 35. Is Conflict Manifest as Theorized?
35.1. Are conflict manifestations random?
35.2. Does change produce conflict?
35.3. Does power shape conflict?
35.4. Are there three types of conflict?
35.5. Do exchange societies manifest pluralistic conflict?
35.6. Do authoritative societies manifest communal/ traditional conflict?
35.7. Do coercive societies manifest elite repressions/ purges?
35.8. Conclusion



This book is part of an ongoing attempt to synthesize the empirical findings of my Dimensionality of Nations Project (DON) and to clarify the assumptions underlying their theoretical framework. The effort was supported in part by the Advanced Research Projects Agency, Department of Defense (Contract N00014-67-A-0387-0018).

Many of the ideas and concepts presented in this book evolved dialectically through discussion with DON's staff and presentation to weekly project meetings. For comments and suggestions, I am particularly indebted to Chang-Yoon Choi, Omar Nassery, George Omen, Yong-Ok Park, Edward Schwerin, and Peter Sybinsky.

As with all my writings, my wife Grace carefully edited the manuscript and helped to overcome my training in the social sciences. Again, my secretary Karen Pacheco was able to transform my scrawls into legible drafts. To both my thanks.



One very cold night a group of porcupines were huddled together for warmth. However, their spines made proximity uncomfortable, so they moved apart again and got cold. After shuffling repeatedly in and out, they eventually found a distance at which they could still be comfortably warm without getting pricked. This distance they henceforth called decency and good manners.
----Paul Leyhausen, in Aristide H. Esser, Behavior and Environment

Humanity is composed of individuals, each a separate universe, a dynamic psychological field. All of us share certain commonalities, but what these may be is a matter of personal discovery. We each have our own perception, interests, personality, and disposition. But each of us, somehow, also establishes an order with others, a social field, a society within which we can cooperate with others.

My purpose here is to understand how to move from the dynamic psychological field of individuals to society, how we establish understanding and commonality between our entirely subjective universes. For comprehending a society of diversities provides a fundamental insight into social conflict, violence, and war.

As with the first volume in this series, The Dynamic Psychological Field, my central concern is understanding conflict. And my approach remains the same. To comprehend conflict it is necessary to use multifold approaches, meld together diverse disciplines, and fundamentally probe different levels. Comprehending conflict requires intuition and insight, reason and logic, data and experience, ethics and morality; psychology, sociology, and philosophy; metaphysics and science in concert, and thus, reflection, theory, hypotheses, observation, interpretation, and practice (praxis).

The concept of field provides me with the theoretical framework for apprehending conflict in its multifold, multilevel aspects. The psychological field served well to synthesize a psychological approach to conflict, and the further notion of a sociocultural field will be used to integrate such diverse concepts as values, norms, social distance, status, class, social interaction, social conflict.

The sociocultural field is a space-time continuum generated by individual needs. The activation of needs, their transformation from potentiality to actuality provides regions of energy in the field. The media carrying this energy are our sociocultural meanings, values, and norms.

We endow reality with significance and importance. We partition nature into good and bad, beautiful and ugly, strong and weak. We structure behavior into a cultural matrix of "shoulds" and "should nots," through which we make a practical and moral sense out of reality.

In relation to each other, we presents a field of expression, a gestalt of interests, capabilities, acts, and so on. These provide the basis for our mutual perception and behavior; they become endowed with meaning, value, and norms by our cultural matrix.

Common values and norms enable interaction; common meanings enable communication and understanding. Through these linkages--this medium of meanings, values, and norms--our needs become stimulated and find gratification. The protectiveness need that is engaged in the efforts of many to help the poor is stimulated by perception of the conditions under which such people live. These conditions are endowed with value by the cultural matrix. And their response to such conditions is equally guided by behavioral and cultural norms.

This medium of the sociocultural field is the seat of social forces. Spread throughout this field, meanings, values, and norms carry within themselves potential forces which may be actualized at any point in the field. Thus, the sociocultural field is a force field.

These forces are of two kinds: one, the forces of social distances (the vectors of differences and similarities between people in class, status, religion, ethics, and so on); the other, forces of social interests (the conjoined goals and situational vectors generated by our needs and which are oriented towards others). Both distances and interests are carried and substantiated by meanings, values, and norms. The social distance between a beggar and rich woman meeting on the street could not be perceived by either without the matrix of meanings and values associated with their clothes, posture, looks, and manner. Moreover, interests get their content and direction from the matrix of meanings, values, and norms developed from our culture and experience. Interests, such as the desire to attend a baseball game or eliminate violence, are oriented by concepts defined within our cultural matrix.

Social distances and social interests lie within the sociocultural field; they are actualized within the medium of meanings, values, and norms. Other forces exist, however, and these are basically psychological. The self and needs are forces, as are the forces towards a psychological balance between interests, perception, and personality. Moreover, there is the will.

Force of will brings the individual to act--to manifest his interest. Distances affect. Interests direct. The self judges. The will empowers. And we act. Although independent of the social field, the will is the central link between social forces and social behavior. It manifests what is latent within the field.

Social behaviors--acts, actions, or practices--lie within the social field. They are behaviors oriented towards another self. As manifestations of the field-process of conflict, they evidence either the balancing of powers or the balance, the development of a structure of expectations or its crystallization.

Such will be discussed. What also will be considered is the existence of different kinds of structures of expectations. Manifesting the forces of distances, interests, capabilities, and wills through the medium of meanings, values, and norms, a structure of expectations can be characterized by its major generative interests or powers. For example, the expectations of two lovers are generated primarily by the interplay of inductive powers; the expectations that structure an academic seminar are primarily intellectual in their generation; and the expectations of buyers and sellers in a fish market are generated by bargaining powers. Therefore social situations can be defined by one or another kind of structure of expectations where the emphasis is on the major or dominating social interests or powers. Clearly, social interaction rarely, if ever, manifests a pure interplay of one kind of power. Bargaining, coercive, intellectual powers, and so on combine inextricably in any situation. To what precise degree John kissing Mary is a manifestation of manipulative, inductive, or bargaining powers, is indeterminate. To what degree an academic discussion between student and professor indicates intellectual, inductive, or coercive power is unmeasureable.

Nonetheless, we can appreciate a particular power that dominates and so characterizes a structure of expectations. Thus the expectations of lovers, of the market place, of the classroom, of the church, can be considered as inductive, exchange, intellectual, or authoritative.

Moreover, we can similarly identify certain kinds of behavior to be mainly associated with each structure of expectations. That of lovers manifests solidary behavior. Lovers are selfless, directing themselves towards each other's welfare and aid. There is mutual and total involvement of interests, concern, and empathy. A we, and not two I's.

Expectations based on exchange largely manifest bargaining behavior and mutual cooperation. The dominant form of interaction is contractual. People come together for the mutual satisfaction of singular interests and separate. Authoritative expectations, such as those between lawyers and judge in a courtroom, student and dean, priest and confessor, largely manifest practices--behavior circumscribed by norms or tradition. Authoritative expectations comprehend what is considered legitimate, what is believed to be right or wrong, good or bad. Structures of expectation based on manipulative power manifest behavior controlling people's potentialities or opportunities, or beliefs or emotions, or feelings or dispositions. One such structure is the theater, where human emotions and perceptions are molded to produce a particular effect. Another is the "brainwashing" session in which the prisoner's ideas, beliefs, and feelings are gradually altered. Finally, in the structure of expectations resulting from coercion the primary form of behavior is antagonistic, as in a prison.

My interest is not to exhaustively catalogue such structures or their associated behavior, but only to develop an understanding of such expectations among individuals sufficient for dealing with societies. For my ultimate concern is collective social violence affecting society.

Before overviewing the major conclusions of this effort, however, a preliminary discussion of my perspective may be helpful.


Science appears but what in truth she is,
Not as our glory and our absolute boast,
But as a succedaneum, and a prop
To our infirmity....
.... that false secondary power
By which we multiply distinctions, then
Deem that our puny boundaries are things
That we perceive, and not that we have made.
----Wordsworth, The Prelude III

Consider the behavior of a person, Ted. This may comprise rubbing his nose, ignoring another person, drinking beer, sleeping, and so on. There are three perspectives on this behavior. First, Ted himself has a particular view of what he is doing--a span of meaningful attention that encompasses his behavior and which is an aspect of his unique will and psychological field. The second perspective is that of a percipient, another person, Mary, who is aware of his behavior and thereby confronts it within her point of view. Third, there is the perspective of the social scientist, who tries to encompass Ted's behavior and Mary's perception in a way to understand the social relationship involved.

For the social scientist, understanding the relationship between actor Ted and percipient Mary is part of the general problem of how to comprehend the social matrix involving people in their multifaceted, multidimensional behavior. Indeed, this problem which itself is at the root of social science is part of the larger question about the nature of our reality and our place within it.

There are four distinct frameworks, four different planes of thought and understanding, which social scientists combine in one way or another to comprehend this reality. One views reality as largely sensual, as a world of phenomena, natural law, physical events, biological processes, and cause and effect. This is the world of the physical and biological scientists, of the social behaviorist, of social physics and materialists, of data, statistical techniques, tests, and measurements. It is the world seen as machine, computer, or cybernetic system. In this world, we are all determined. I will call this the behavioral framework, while recognizing that my description is an idealization to which not all social behaviorists would subscribe.

Another framework views reality as a realm of ideas, spirits, minds, and forces and processes beyond our sensual grasp, as the arena of unknowable things-in-themselves, of ideas or forms, which we sense only through their ephemeral, always changing manifestations. Or it is a complex of transitory, sensations and inherent principles, a battleground of opposites or contradictions in flux, or an unfolding of an incessant dialectic. We ourselves may be seen as a contributing idea, a dynamic catalyst within an historic dialectic, or as the center of universal supernatural or historical-social forces. This reality is beyond empirical data, and can be known only through intuition, introspection, and reason; it is the realm of history, existentialism, phenomenology, and social idealism of all types. This is an idealist framework.

A third framework views reality as dualistic . It is on the one hand the realm of natural law, physical regularities and patterns, and causality. On the other, it is our arena for us as first cause. Reality is simultaneously a configuration of boundaries and influences and a realm of potentialities which we can exploit within limits. It provides both constraints and possibilities. We thus have a creative role, we are free to make choices and initiate new causal sequences. And in doing so, in our social and physical worlds we direct our behavior towards future goals. We are intentionally oriented. Seen in this light, then, to know our social selves is to know our meanings, beliefs, and intentions. To approach this reality as a social scientist, then is to develop understanding, to have verstehen, to employ introspection; it is to determine our unique experiences, definition of a situation, and motives. In this dualistic view, truth about reality is then a manifold of intuition, reason, and empirical observation. This is a teleological framework

The final view is the moral framework. The other frameworks, of course, are infused more or less with moral positions and assumptions. But there is an approach to reality and social behavior dominated by moral considerations. Reality is seen as a struggle between Good and Evil, an arena of moral choice and human responsibility. It is a reality divorced from phenomenological concerns, a reality of spirit, reason, rights, and duties, of moral laws.1 We are free to choose, but if we choose evil we are damned to eternal hell. Here moral reality is known through revelation and reason, and our approach to reality is through power. As social beings we are not to be simply understood, we are to be improved.

These four frameworks can easily be identified among social scientists. For example, Pitirim Sorokin combined both the idealistic and moral views, Talcott Parsons has employed together both the behavioral and idealistic frameworks, Max Weber saw behavior through the behavioral and teleological frameworks, Alfred Schutz applied a purely teleological frame, Marx mixed both behavioral and moral frameworks, B. F. Skinner is persuaded of a purely behavioral view, and Reinhold Niebuhr represents the purely moral. As a social scientist viewing social behavior, however, I need not adopt any of these four frameworks. For there is another framework which combines all these views while presenting a coherent metaphysical and scientific view of reality. Its origins go back to Aristotle's division of reality into potentiality and actuality2 and its philosophical development is evidenced in Locke's emphasis on power and ideas,3 Bergson "immensity of potentiality,"4 and in modern and fully developed form in the philosophies of Whitehead (1929), Ushenko (1946), McGilvary (1956), and Weiss (1947). The only application of this view of reality to society has been in the perspectivism of George Herbert Mead (1938). This is not the place to contrast in detail these various perspective realisms or considerations of reality as power and potential. What I intend to do Is outline a fifth framework, to be called intentional humanism, which in its philosophical essentials is allied with Ushenko's perspectivism.

The framework is fundamentally this. Reality is a complex of potentialities, determinables, and power as will be described in Part I. Dispositions within this reality become manifest, are made specific through our perspective which transforms the potentials and determinables into a determinate pattern which we perceive. And this transformation is in effect a balance between an inward directed power trying to force on us a particular perspective, and our outward directed perception which tries to bring reality into a specific focus. This should do for the moment as a summary, for as I later detail an actor's view of another, I will then have a context within which to develop this philosophy.

The point is that there are different perspectives on reality and that each within its own parameters can be true. This is so, even though these frameworks entail contradictory views, such as whether we are free (teleological framework) or determined (behavioral framework), and therefore it would seem that they cannot be jointly true. For as we can see the same object (which exists as dispositions and potentials) as square or circular depending on our point of view (as of a cylinder, with a diameter equal to its height, seen from the side or top), so also can we see humanity as determined or free depending on our perspective, and both views can be true. As Kant has shown, in the world of phenomena, of cause and effect, we may be determined, while in an underlying world of things-in-themselves, of reason and moral judgment, we may be free.

If different perspectives on reality and social behavior are actualization of different truths, then as social scientists and social beings we have some freedom to select those perspectives which in some sense accord with what we want humanity to be.

The framework of intentional humanism is thus the recognition of different perspectives on reality and our social behavior, and of the belief that we should select those perspectives that

However, I hasten to add that the framework of intentional humanism is not as arbitrary as it may appear. Our freedom to select our perspective is constrained, as is our freedom itself, by our bio-physical environment. These constraints on our perspective comprise a conjunction of two planes.

The first is the plane of reality itself. True, we actualize reality through different perspectives. But this reality nonetheless exists. It is real. There is an underlying potentiality apart from ourselves which our perspective transformation can actualize and manifest in different ways, but which remains sui generis. For example, the surface of a sheet of blank paper is a two-dimensional space of potential lines, which we can actualize as words, diagrams, figures, and the like. In spite of these different actualizations of this potentiality, the underlying reality of the two dimensions and sides of the paper are real constraints. This potentiality exists as a real being, ontologically.

Our perspectives on reality, therefore, may be false to what potentialities there are. One cannot turn sugar into gold, freeze fire, or walk naked through a vacuum. Nor should we expect our social frameworks, as perspectives, to assume human potentials we do not have. But at the same time, we must recognize that through different actualizations of potentiality, there are many different roads we can travel, different methods we can use, and different aspects of the elephant we can feel in our blindness. The plane of reality restricts our choice, insofar as we have come to know this reality through knowledge which is perspective invariant. That the earth is the third planet from the sun, that we individually exist, or that animals get hungry are such knowledge. It is the core of intuitive, rational, and empirical human experience which defines the mode of potentiality for us and constrains the perspectives we can select.

The second set of constraints comprise the plane of moral judgment. What is it that we judge right and wrong? What is the Good? What future ought humanity to have? What ends do we want to see achieved? This plane involves the moral framework previously mentioned. It is a set of constraints in the sense that we presumably will choose to actualize those perspectives that accord with our view of Good and Evil.  Figure 1.1

The planes of reality and morality are independent in the sense that some potentialities are irrelevant to moral judgment (the potentialities of a sheet of paper, say), some are evil, and some moral. It is the joint space where the planes of reality and of morality overlap that we are free as moral and rational creatures to select our perspective on social behavior. This space is illustrated in Figure 1.1.

In summary, the perspective of the social scientists on social behavior may involve a number of frameworks. The framework he selects will provide his definition of the social situation and his view of the relationship involved. We need only to contrast a stimulus-response explanation of such a situation with a phenomenological description in terms of meaning and intentions to see the radical difference a choice of framework can make. Without going into the details of my particular framework, I pointed out that we can view some of these different frameworks as at least partially true, within their own definitions, as different actualizations of the our potentialities and bio-physical nature. This frees us to select a perspective, then, which most accords with our preferred actuality so long as it is consistent with our knowledge5 and moral judgment.

Clearly, I have ignored a variety of traditional questions associated with the perspective of the social scientists on behavior. How do we understand and explain what is happening when a person behaves and another perceives? Can we get at their understanding of the situation and its meaning for them? What is the function of theory, different kinds of explanations, and hypotheses? Is there a role for verstehen, ideal types, statistical methods, introspection, analytic theory, and so on? These important questions must be considered in any self-conscious attempt to grapple with the social scientist's perspective. And I will try to answer a number of those questions here in the process of analyzing social conflict.

With the field view in mind and considering the framework--the perspective--adopted here, what are my major points and conclusions? These will be summarized in the next section.


On Fields

The general philosophical background on fields and, especially, the nature of our psychological field, has been presented in the first volume, The Dynamic Psychological Field. Here, I build on that development, after first summarizing its major ingredients in Part I.

On the Field of Expression

To understand social behavior and conflict requires comprehending social perception and communication. How do we perceive another and how and what do we communicate? Part II considers this question, and makes these points.

(1)As aspects of our external reality, other people are both potentialities and an actuality of dispositions and determinables. This actuality at any one moment is also a configuration of powers bearing on us as percipients. These powers are demands on our attention, forces compelling us to be aware of the other and make his dispositions and determinables specific and manifest. However, our perception is itself a process which selects, alters, and interprets this actuality. Social perception is thus a balance between the power of another to make himself perceived and our own perspective. This balance is a field of expression, a totality of another's words, dress, gestures, and physical appearance, perceived within our psychological field.

(2)Another's field of expression is given unity by our perception of their intentions, by imputing causal structure to their field (as in seeing another's behavior as caused by a lack of sleep), or by seeing their field in terms of reasons (as seeing another as motivated by moral purpose). The meaning of a social act is the unity it is given by the underlying intentions, causes, or reasons. This unity is a dynamic gestalt, an integration of the field of expression constituting the act.

(3)The actor's perspective on a situation is a unified whole of perception, personality, behavioral dispositions, expectations, will, and manifest behavior-the dynamic psychological field at a particular time and place. Behavior and situation are aspects of the same process, of the same gestalt. We behave and perceive, perceive and behave, as a unity.

On Social Behavior

To say that behavior is a resultant of personality and situation on the one hand and expectations and behavioral dispositions on the other, is insufficient to define the social act. Behavior is too broad a concept, covering physical reflexes, habits, custom, actions, and so on. Therefore, the concept of behavior itself must be analyzed, the peculiar nature of social behavior must be determined, and the types of social interactions or behavior classified. This brush clearing is necessary for a firm understanding of conflict behavior, qua behavior. Such an analysis reveals the following.

(1)Behavior is any person's activity or lack thereof which can be meaningfully understood in three ways, corresponding to the meanings of another's field of expression. The first is the reflex (causal meaning), which is the effect of some discrete event. The second is the act (intentional meaning), which is directed towards the achievement of some goal. The third is practice (rational meaning), which follows rules, custom, habit, norms, and so on.

(2)Social interactions are the acts, actions, or practices of two or more people mutually oriented towards each other's selves. It is behavior that tries to influence or take into account another's subjective experiences or intentions.

(3)Besides their meanings as acts, actions, or practices, social interactions can also be characterized by their direction (solidary, antagonistic, mixed), intensity, extension, duration, and organization. All interactions manifest these characteristics to one degree or another and in various combinations.

(4)One combination of these characteristics is familistic interaction, which involves together solidary acts, actions, and practices, and unifies them into a deeply felt whole. A second combination is compulsory interaction, which is composed of antagonistic acts, actions, and practices together with acts manifesting coercion and manipulation. A third combination is contractual interaction, a mixture of the familistic and compulsory, and usually involves narrow actions of a limited duration. These are the three major forms of social interaction.

(5)It is necessary to discriminate between manifest and latent social interactions and latent functions. The latter are the patterns of latents through which we order interaction and make it predictable. These functions are components spanning a space of social interaction--a social behavior space The familistic, compulsory, and antagonistic forms are latent functions.

(6)The equation of social behavior is this. An actor's perception of another's field of expression and of the occasion generates the actor's behavioral dispositions. How these dispositions work themselves out into specific social behavior--acts, actions, or practices--towards the other is a function of the actor's expectations of the other's corresponding behavior.

On the Sociocultural Field

Behavior between individuals occurs in a context of other interacting individuals, laws, institutions, customs, norms, and a division of labor. In other words, interaction occurs in a common sociocultural field. What then is the nature of the transition from an individually centered, dynamic psychological field to a common field? What does this field involve, and what are its components? Part IV tries to answer such questions, and concludes the following.

(1)As long as we view reality and behavior from the actor's perspective, the dynamic psychological field is basic for understanding his behavior. The transition from the psychological field to a social one is a transformation to an observer's perspective on human behavior. As we try to understand a specific actor's social interaction, we bring his self-centered viewpoint to bear and perceive reality through his perspective. As we try to observe all actor's in general, however, to understand the structure and patterns underlying everyone's social interactions, we then manifest the same reality through an observer's perspective. Both the actor's and observer's perspectives constitute the same reality, both can be simultaneously true.

(2)The fields of expression of interacting, mutually perceiving individuals, form a sociocultural space. This space encompasses the interrelated manifestations, dispositions, determinables, and powers of these fields, and is delimited by common components defining their latent patterns and order. There are nine such components. Five define sociocultural meanings and values, which are components of language, science, philosophy-religion, ethics and law, and fine arts. Four specifically define the social part of the space, and are components of wealth, power, prestige, and class.

(3)As fields of expression, individuals and occasions for their interaction generate field forces within the sociocultural space. There are four sets of forces: those associated with individual fields of expression and the social distance vectors between them; vectors of perspective transformation from individuals to the occasion; mutual behavior disposition vectors; and expectation vectors from occasion (situation) to individuals. These forces are a function of the location of individuals and the occasion in the sociocultural space, i.e., a function of the components of the space, such as wealth, power, ethics and law, and so on.

(4)A sociocultural field has six aspects. It is a complex of interdependent social interactions, and a collection of agents (individuals, groups). It involves the vehicles carrying meaning and values, and it is generated by our goals and motives, attitudes and interests, sentiments and roles, and our will. It is the seat of the field forces mentioned above, and has a medium of sociocultural meanings, values, and norms spread continuously throughout the space. The components delimiting this medium are those delineating the sociocultural space. Finally, the sociocultural field involves field processes--the dynamic adjustment of interests called the conflict helix.

On Social Distance and the Components of Status and Power

Social distance is a central field force reflecting the individual differences in interests in the sociocultural field. Therefore, a focus on this distance is necessary to understand social interaction. Moreover, the social components of status and power must be clarified. Therefore, Part V focuses on distance, status, and power, with these results.

(1)The types of distances relevant to our behavior are material (physical distance, personal distance), psychological (psychological, interests, ideological, and affine distances), social (social, status, power, and class distances), and cultural.

(2)Both the magnitude and direction of social distance are significant to social behavior. This distance is therefore a vector, which is also consistent with its interpretation as a field force.

(3)Status is a bundle of characteristics upon which there is consensus as to their desirability; it is a cluster of positive-valued aspects of a person's field of expression.

(4)Difference in individual status is a function of different locations in the social subspace defined by the common wealth, power, and prestige components. These different locations generate status distances, which are field forces influencing individual behavior. Status incongruence between these individuals is their distance vector on a specific component.

(5)For the wealthy actor, the tendency towards antagonistic behavior depends partly on power distance and existing solidary and contractual interactions. That is, another's power breeds antagonism, unless mitigated by solidary and contractual interaction.

(6)The poor actor tends towards antagonistic behavior, the wealthier the other and the less solidary and contractual their interaction. For the poor, another's wealth is the seat of antagonism unless eased by cooperative interaction.

(7) Power is a capability to produce effects that comes in many forms. One is identive power, the upward and outward striving of all beings towards identity. Another is assertive power, the asserting of individual interests in opposition to another's body. Force is physical power used on another against his will. Identive, assertive, and physical powers and force are nonsocial powers.

(8)Social power is the intentional production of effects through another self. There are six forms of social power: coercion, bargaining, intellectual, authoritative, altruistic, and manipulative.

(9)As a component of status, power includes both the resources of power and their effective manifestation. Moreover it includes all forms of power or their combination, depending on the situation.

On Social Distance and the Component of Class

An understanding of class and class conflict is fundamental to comprehending the process of social conflict. Moreover, classes are embedded in a structure that is the antithesis of field, an antifield. Both class and antifield require careful elucidation, therefore, which is done in Part VI. The major points are as follows.

(1)An antifteld restrains, neutralizes, or annihilates the free adjustment of individuals to field forces. This is done through regulating their mutual behavior by coercive command. An antifield is a triadic relationship, in which a third individual regulates by command the interaction between two others.

(2)Five types of groups can be discriminated, which are spontaneous groups, voluntary associations, voluntary organizations, quasi-coercive organizations, and coercive organizations. The latter two are antifields, in which authoritative roles largely rest on coercive power.

(3)There are two classes: those who command and those who obey, the line of demarcation running along the allocation of authoritative power in the group. It is the coercive organization which most clearly manifests class division. Class and class conflict are seated in antifields.

(4)Classes are dispositional conflict groups, delimiting the propensity to oppose or defend the status quo. Classes are wellsprings of conflict embracing society; they are recruitment reservoirs for interest groups and political parties.

(5)National politics is the manifestation of a class-conflict between those who support and oppose the status quo. Class struggle must become a political struggle. The state at any one time is an image of class-conflict and balance. This is no less true of socialist societies run by the party elite and managers than it is of capitalist societies.

On the Conflict Helix

The previous consideration of fields of expression, sociocultural space, distances, status, and class enables me to deal in detail with conflict as a concept, space, structure, situation, and behavior. This is done in Part VII, which makes the following major points.

(1)Conflict as a general philosophical category is a balancing of vectors of power. It is the pushing and pulling, the giving and taking, the process of finding the balance between powers.

(2)Social conflict is the confrontation of social powers; it is exclusively an aspect of social power.

(3)Conflict consists of the levels of potentiality, dispositions, and manifestations. Conflict as potentiality is the space of possible conflicts: the realm of potential opposing vectors of power. It is a conflict-space. As dispositions opposing each other within the conflict-space, it is a conflict-structure. As opposing powers, and their indeterminate balancing, it is a conflict-situation.

(4)The meanings, values, norms, status, and class of conflict-space are the common components of potential conflict and, indeed, the components of our sociocultural space.

(5)Potentiality becomes the actuality of opposing dispositions in the structure of conflict. Opposing dispositions are opposing attitudes which lie along the common components delineating our similarities and dissimilarities. That is, cultural, status, and class distances are elements defining our opposing dispositions. For dispositions to oppose, however, for there to be a structure of conflict, people must be aware of each other.

(6)A situation of conflict is created by transforming attitudes into interests. Interests are vectors of power towards achieving a specific goal, and are a necessary condition of a situation of conflict. The situation is limited by expectations and capability. Particularly relevant are expectations defining the worth (credibility) of promises, threats, authority, expertise, love. Capability involves the resources a person has to manifest his interest. Together, capability. interest, and will (credibility) define a situation of conflict.

(7)A balance of interests is achieved in three ways: routinely within a structure of expectations; psychologically by the will inhibiting or transforming an interest to facilitate striving for self-esteem; conflictively by the will actively pursuing an interest in direct confrontation with other wills. In the latter case, there is balancing of interests manifesting conflict behavior. Such balancing is initiated by a trigger occasion that calls for a new structure of expectations, disrupts the prevailing structure, or serves as the last straw regarding expectations incongruent with current interests and capabilities. Therefore, the two major elements in balancing powers are will and trigger.

(8)Conflict behavior manifests acts, actions, or practices involved in the balancing of power. Such behavior is not necessarily violent, nor coercive, forceful, or antagonistic. Rather, conflict behavior mirrors the balancing of social power in its many forms, and can be solidary and contractual as well as antagonistic.

(9)The confrontation between powers ends in accommodation--a balance of powers. All social manifestations reflect either this balance or the antecedent balancing. The balance defines a structure of expectations, or social order--the rules, agreements, contracts, understandings, and so on determined through the balancing of opposing powers. Society is interlaced by such orders at various levels and segmented in diverse ways. It is the spontaneous outcome of these orders.

(10)If left undisturbed, social interaction is an upward spiral of increasing order and stability. The balancing of power produces the structure of expectations, which is a balance among the interests, capabilities, and wills of the parties involved. However, due to change in these elements, the structure of expectations becomes increasingly incongruent with the underlying balance. This incongruence produces a strain towards rebalancing--towards conflict. Eventually, the strain is such that a trigger event can disrupt the structure and cause a rebalancing. All interaction is either balancing--conflict behavior--or the cooperative interaction reflecting the structure of expectations.

On Field, States, and Conflict

My primary concern is collective conflict at the level of societies and states. The application of the conflict helix at this level, however, requires some preliminary understanding of societies as fields. Accordingly, Part VIII deals with this question, and then draws seven propositions about conflict from the resulting conclusions and the previous parts. The conclusions are as follows, with the propositions to be given (in 6) below.

(1)Societies are sociocultural fields or antifields. Generated by interests (powers), interconnected through the medium of meanings, values, and norms, laced by the forces of sociocultural distances and moved by the efforts of diverse wills, societies are a multifold of different, overlapping, intersecting, and nested structures of expectations. In other words, society is a multiple of balances of power. The division of labor is simply another name for the complex of such structures.

(2)Three types of societies manifesting three forms of power comprise three general social structures of expectations. One is the authoritative society, with a prevailing authoritative power based on legitimacy. A second is the exchange society, which is permeated by bargaining power and emphasizes rewards and promises. The third is the coercive society, a coercive organization founded on threats and deprivations.

(3)The three types of societies correlate with Sorokin's division of supercultural systems into sensate and ideationaL The sensate includes both the exchange and coercive societies; the ideational is congruent with the authoritative type.

(4)The political system is a structure of expectations authoritatively governing the state. It may be characterized as open or closed, as allowing or controlling group autonomy, as normatively based, or past, present, or future oriented. These characteristics define a two-dimensional political space in which three types of political systems form a triangular relationship: libertarian, authoritarian, and totalitarian. This triangle can be further refined according to contemporary political formulas to locate on it anarchism, welfare liberalism, conservatism, communism, fascism, and dynasticism.

(5)The political triangle overlays society. The different political systems are congruent with the different types of social systems: exchange societies have libertarian systems; authoritative societies have authoritarian systems; and coercive societies have totalitarian systems.

(6)All societies are the outcome of the conflict process, comprise structures of expectations, and are built on multiple and overlapping balances of powers among individuals. The general propositions we can then draw for societal level conflict and violence are the following.

(a)Aggregate conflict manifestations are random across societies in relation to their specific structures of expectations.

(b)Change produces conflict, to wit: the change which alters power relationships promotes conflict, and the change from one society (power configuration) to another type has involved the most violence; as the change (rate) in education and communication increases relative to economic development, so does the probability of conflict; the faster the change (rate of increase) in economic development, the less the probability of conflict. Therefore, the ratio of the growth in social consciousness in society to its growing development provides a measure of the rigidity of the status quo and the likelihood of conflict.

(c)Power shapes conflict. All modern states are antifields to some extent, and the front between antifield and social field is the region of potential social storms. Across societies there is a curvilinear relationship between elite force and manifest conflict.

(d)There are three dimensions of conflict, each associated with a particular type of state.

(e)Exchange societies manifest pluralistic conflicts, which generally concern relatively isolated groups, events, or issues. Conflict may occasionally reach societal levels, but the freedom to remove political elite and influence public policy, and the conflict defusing function of competitive political parties, provides mechanisms for bargaining and compromise far short of revolutionary violence. Moreover, multiple group and class memberships create cross-pressures inhibiting the formation of a societal wide conflict front.

(f)Authoritative societies manifest communal/traditional conflict. The major divisions traversing these societies are communal, often based on racial, language, and tribal homogeneity and territorial separation. Where communal activities are left alone by the state, conflict is minimal. But where authoritarian rulers try to extend their legitimacy over such communities, communal violence is often the result. This conflict is exacerbated if racial-tribal cleavages are the line of class divisions.

(g)Totalitarian societies manifest elite violence. Conflict is manifested by class terror and repression and by elite purges.

On Societies in Empirical Perspective

The previous parts outline the process of conflict, from its origin in social space--the space of potentialities--to the formation of a structure of expectations (a subjective balance between mutual wills, capabilities, and interests) and its disruption. Moreover, the relationship of this process to three kinds of societies--the exchange, authoritative, and coercive--has been indicated. What is now needed is more logical-empirical precision about this process, such that the implications of this perspective for societal level conflict can be related to systematic observations. Part IX does this, with the following results.

(1)Operationally, the conflict or social space of states and its common space-time components are defined by probability densities underlying the covariance among observations--state attributes. And these components also define the space-time structures of expectations commonly varying across states.

(2)Empirically, exchange, authoritative, and coercive societies and their corresponding political systems are distinct clusters in the space of their diverse attributes.

(3)Conflict is manifest as stated in the seven propositions described above. The empirical results of a wide range of quantitative conflict studies support the seven propositions emerging from the conflict helix.


*Scanned from Chapter 1. Typographical errors have been corrected, clarifications added, and style updated.

1. Many will deny that this framework is ever applied by modern social scientists, except perhaps by some on the theological margins. In response, I only ask that the reader consider the superordinate moral perspective taken by many social scientists in considering the Vietnam War, the Watergate scandal, or U.S. "imperialism" and capitalism. And need I mention the theological moralism of the Marxist sociologist?

2. Metaphysics, Book 9.

3. Essay Concerning Human Understanding.

4. Creative Evolution.

5. I recognize that shifts in scientific perspectives or paradigms sometimes can change our interpretation of the facts. Moreover, the growth of our core knowledge itself seems to successively call into question our past common sense. Therefore, some may feel, there is no really perspective invariant knowledge and thus no real reality anchor for our perspectives. Perspective invariant knowledge is the empirical truth we have come to know, such as the constants of the world around us (e.g., the speed of light, the freezing temperature of pure water at sea level, that the Island of Hawaii is in the Pacific Ocean); it is the accepted truth of contemporary science, philosophy, and humanities. To assert that truth today will be error tomorrow as our perspective changes is itself to assert a law of historical change in truth. But then this law must be a truth, and therefore must be error in the future, unless one accepts that this one truth as exempt from its own application. But if there is one exemption, why not others? Rather, there is no warrant on empirical or epistemological grounds for the assumed doctrine of true-today-error-tomorrow.

For citations see the REFERENCES

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