Human Organization 1950

Aberle, David F. Introducing Preventative Psychiatry into a Community. Human Organization, Fall, 1950. Vol.9(3): 5-9.

Aberle submits problems associated with integrating a service into a community that will bring about some sort of change of behavior on the part of members of that community. The group concerned in this paper is called the Human Relations Service, which was financed by The Grant Foundation to carry out five years’ of work in the area of preventative psychiatry. The area chosen for this project was a suburb of Boston, where the Service had been invited by the Mental Health Council. The first effort to find housing was in a middle-class neighborhood where a family aid agency was already established. This was met with unexpected vigorous opposition by the local residents, some of whom threatened legal action against the service. It was later clarified, through various channels, that the two most important factors in the resistance of residents were: (1) antagonism towards anything that threatened real estate values and (2) certain interclass tensions. The Service eventually succeeded in moving into a professional office, which had previously been occupied by a doctor strongly identified with the kind of work the Service planned to carry out. In an effort to establish contacts within the various organizations of the community and support for the service, three problems were encountered. The Service’s first collaborative relationship was with the Mental Health Council, which was too large for productive discussion and planning of programs. The Service had to have contacts with many more agencies, in addition to the welfare agency it was first associated with, so as to avoid limitations connected with that service organization. Service staff members had difficulty explaining their broad, general aims when invited to speak to organizations and community members. The reorganization of the Mental Health Council was the major solution to these problems. Committees, including community members, were formed to meet with the Service for discussion, progress evaluation, and problem solving. In this way, the difficulty of effective organization and planning, widening contacts, and more straightforward communication seem to have been solved. Aberle concludes that moving an agency into a new community requires a level of trained awareness involving (1) awareness of the socio-cultural setting (2) awareness of the concrete system, as embodied in individuals, and (3) awareness of interpersonal relations, personality and motivations. He also states that the development of “case books” on the above subject would be of enormous value and assistance to the many enterprises that involve a group of “outsiders” entering a community to create change. Aberle suggests that the Society for Applied Anthropology is an ideal agency for such a venture.

CLARITY: 5
DEBORAH A REARDANZ Southern Illinois University Carbondale (Jonathan Hill)

Chris Argyris and Graham Taylor. The Member-Centered Conference As a Research Method, I. Human Organization, Winter., 1950 :5-14

Chris Argyris and Graham Taylor’s The Member-Centered Conference As a Research Method, I focus on the research methods for industrial site. Moreover, Argyris and Taylor made the “…purpose of this paper [to be an] outline [in] the use of a conference method [for] research technique in the study of structure and function of an industrial situation” (p. 5). The authors took a company (called Plant X), which requested the supervisory to be trained through Argyris and Graham’s method. The method aims to bring people together in a manner that allows them to talk and express themselves as freely as possible. The method gave the “impression that [the management team will be] performing a training or, perhaps, therapeutic function” (p. 5). Keeping a focus on the training, this method became “a research aim, in that they would provide a diagnostic appraisal of plant conditions” (p. 5). The authors’ “emphasis here is on behavior as a source of knowledge of the plant structure and function.” To conclude, Argyris and Graham took research methods for an industrial site to help out a company, which in turn made this paper into an outline of analytical understanding of plant conditions.

Argyris and Graham break the article into five sections. The first section, methods, explains the way authors went about training the management. The second section, the leader’s role, gives the chance for leaders to “maximum participation and to give a feeling of success to those who take part” (p. 6). In this section, the leader of group conducts a role play to assist everyone in getting an understanding of what a leader must attain (i.e. clarify issues like a pay cut, etc). The third section, type of data that may be obtained, explains “the relationships between any individual member or sub-group and any other individual member or sub-group” (p. 9). The fourth section, some methodological problems, is broken up into methods used to obtain data, the problems of observation, the reliability of the “”verbatim observation”” data, and the problems of analysis (p.p. 9-11). The fifth section, validity of data, is divided into, organization structure (i.e. work flow, inter-supervisory relations, and inter-departmental relations), and staff-line relationships (i.e. cost department, planning department). Overall, the authors basic argument was to break down the different research methods in order to analyze the data.

CLARITY: 2
CHARLES GAIN Southern Illinois University Carbondale (Jonathan Hill)

Brewster, Henry H. Grief: A Disrupted Human Relationship Human Organization Spring, 1950 9(1):19-22

Brewster argues that the interdependence of two partners in a relationship can be illuminated by the alterations in behavior and emotions of the survivor should the relationship be severed. Some survivors of an ended relationship can adapt well if they are able to replace the relationship with satisfying interactions with other individuals. To do this, the bereaved must be able to accept the death of the deceased and release emotional ties. If the grieved cannot accomplish this, a morbid reaction will take place in which the pain of the grief will be concealed through a lengthened state of preoccupation and impairment of mental performance. This neurosis will require the assistance of a psychiatrist to treat. A case study involving a housewife is used to diagram this sequence of events for the reader. The housewife becomes dejected after the death of her brother, who was very ill all through her life and whom she was responsible for giving care to from an early age. After his death, she is unable to accept his passing and states that she sees him around the house just as he was before his passing. She develops difficulty sleeping and displays health related symptoms similar to those her brother experienced before his death, which are found to have no organic basis. Her relationships with her husband and children seem strange to her and she worries after the health of those around her. Through her sessions with the therapist, she is able to establish trust in him and begin to express her grief, as she previously could not due with members of her own family, being the one all others relied on. He encourages her to recall memories of her brother instead of seeing him only as he was in life. This helps her to begin to see him as dead. The housewife directed feelings of anger and resentment towards her dead brother at family and the therapist. Eventually, through therapy, she learned to direct her tender feelings for her dead brother back onto her family. After she did this she reported feeling content and displayed no more symptoms and had no trouble sleeping.

CLARITY: 3
AMY CORDER Southern Illinois University Carbondale (Jonathan Hill)

Field Methods and Techniques- Observations I & II Human Organization. Winter 1950. p. 28-31.

‘Fields and Methods and Techniques’ is concerned to how research on the field is recorded. There is a concern with what, when, where and how things happen in the field. These different aspects should be recorded with extreme detail, so that any subjective interpretation by the researcher are eliminated and interpretation is left open for others who read on that material and draw their own conclusions.

The author thinks data should be recorded in an amazingly detailed manner. He goes to the extent of saying that it’s important to determine not only the hour but also the minutes an event took place. Grid marks and arrows are also used to determine location and direction of event. “An arrow drawn from A’s column across to D’s would mean that A acted and D responded.”(p. 31).

The reasoning behind this, is the elimination of subjective writing and to have a much more accurate understanding of the events that take place on the field. That way a better analysis is made on the actual real data that the researcher was exposed to in being in the field. The others who read from that research are now able to draw their conclusions based on the ‘real’ data and not on the subjective interpretations of somebody else.

Comments

However, a subjective interpretation is inevitable in understanding human behavior. It’s not only inevitable, but also relevant aspect of research. In fact, one may be biased by the researcher point of view of society and in fact be ‘contaminated’ by his views. But to learn about other points of views is important as a source self-criticism and learning.

That much detail in the description of events, may not bring the real ‘data’ that is to be analyzed. Given it would say many things, but some elements of behavior, even if described, may not be transmitted through writing, sometimes not even pictures or films. Sometimes in order to describe behavior the subjective perspective of the researcher is necessary in order to draw out any conclusions. Feelings also play an important part in human behavior research.

CLARITY 3
EDWARD PABLO DE SA SAUERBRUNN Southern Illinois University, Carbondale (Jonathan Hill).

Garfield, Sidney and Whyte, William F. The Collective Bargaining Process: A Human Relations Analysis. Human Organization, Sept., 1950, Vol.9(2): 5-10.

Garfield and Whyte maintain that the outcome of the collective bargaining process between employers and union is governed not only by legal and economic objectives but is also strongly influenced by underlying emotions. As such, the procedure is actually part of a ceremonial activity wherein emotions are elicited, expressed, and then allowed to mellow with the contract agreement. With this cycle attitudes are formed that support appropriate social behavior, behaviors that are beneficial to both employer and employees. Based on these observations, suggestions for an effective collective bargaining encounter included: (1) Don’t give anything away. Concessions need to be won, not given away. (2) Know the goals and be able to differentiate between those that are worthy of a strike vote and those that can be allowed to fall by the wayside. (3) The ability to size up the strengths and weaknesses of your opponents is a necessary skill at the bargaining table. (4) The ability to “save face” or to allow your opponent to “save face” is of primary importance. Never back anyone into a corner from which there is no escape. (5) Union members involved in the actual process of negotiations are more apt to accept the final agreement once it is reached.

Comments

While Garfield and Whyte cited several cases to demonstrate their conclusions, the cases discussed seemed contrived and oversimplified rather than real. Longterm results of negotiation agreements were given in the first case but not in the others. Instead, positive or negative expectations were stated. Perceived descriptions within the article seemed to suggest that the intelligence of the rank and file union members was in doubt. Caution was advised in selecting union negotiators since some members might not possess the social skills and acumen necessary for such enterprise. In reality, union members who are really interested in negotiations are well aware of the interplay of emotions between adversaries, both union and management, at the collective bargaining table. Many of the comments made in the article by Garfield and Whyte would be old history to them. While it is true that Garfield and Whyte did have valid points in their discussion, the way it was reported smacked too much of attempted manipulation of the ignorant masses. Garfield and Whyte should have taken some of their own suggestions to heart.

CLARITY: 3
CHELSEA POLSTON Southern Illinois University Carbondale (Jonathan Hill)

Gladwin, Thomas. Civil Administration on Truk: A Rejoinder. Human Organization Winter 1950 Vol.9(1):15-24.

Gladwin reflects on the impact of the United States Naval Military Government’s presence on Truk with a response to an earlier article written by Edward T. Hall, Jr., which addresses these same issues. He states that the primary mission in the administration of the Trukese people is to not only improve their lives, but also fill the gaps left in their culture that have been the effects of previous administrations, including that of the United States. Gladwin outlines the problems the Military Government faced and the steps taken toward finding a solution during the time between 1945 and 1947. Gladwin states that the Trukese were people in an urgent state of need. During a portion of the blockade period, the island of Truk had exceeded its population capacity by as much as five times. As a result, resources were increasingly becoming depleted. Depleted food sources had a tremendous impact on the islands, with much of the population suffering from malnutrition. Needed medical supplies were extremely scarce, which facilitated the spread of tuberculosis and gonorrhea. With little knowledge of the Trukese cultural background, the Military Government appointed a native administrative hierarchy to bridge this gap. Gladwin states that political organization was in desperate need of modifications. There had been three administrations of the Trukese people, in which the Germans were first, the Japanese second and the Americans third. What remained unchanged throughout all three of these administrations was the fact that the people had no way to consent to those who had authority over them. The problem that was evident, as Gladwin (19) states, is “how to restore to the people their control over their native officials without at the same time making the system so diffuse that its usefulness to the administration would be gone.” The first step was to reduce the many hierarchical levels and the next step was to remove the smaller islands the larger islands’ control. Secret elections were also held. He concludes by stating that the United States could not ignore the problems that the Trukese faced and therefore leave them to fend for themselves. Gladwin states that it is essential that the Americans remain to help fill the void that previous administrations had left.

Comment

Edward T. Hall, Jr. responds to Gladwin’s rejoinder to his article of the military government on Truk. Hall was pleased to read on the status of the civil administration after his absence of four years. He feels that is important to speak in regard of the American administration of the native people to ensure that errors made in the past are not repeated.

CLARITY: 4
JESSICA ZACCAGNINI Southern Illinois University Carbondale (Jonathan Hill)

Hall, Edward T., Jr. Military Government on Truk Human Organization, (Summer) 1950. Vol.9(2):25-30.

In this article, Edward Hall tries to show the readers the relevance of cultural anthropology in being able to communicate with a native culture. The United States Navy occupied Truk in 1945, showing little regard for the significance of applied anthropology. This created little understanding for the military on how to successfully have the native Truks cooperate. Hall states “That the most serious obstacle to the anthropologist attempting to smooth the path of military government in native areas is not so much lack of insight as to the nature of exotic culture as lack of sympathy on the part of Americans for foreigners in general, and native peoples in particular.” As a result of the military’s behavior toward the natives problems arose on Truk. First the Americans changed their pattern of work to how it is here. Not considering that Truks were used to different hours and needed more incentives beyond pay or food. Second the Americans followed our own political behavior rather than adopt the behavior on the island. Not realizing that the political meetings we were trying to hold were of no value to the Truks. To the Truks these political meetings were a form of hearsay and therefore received little attention. Had the military known that Trukese chiefs are trained in deception and maintain power by being ruthless, cunning, and keeping ahead of everyone else, then perhaps they would have considered a better solution for the way political meetings were held. Unfortunately this was not the end of the problems between the military and the Truks. Just as some Americans favor light skin and look down upon dark skin so did the Truks. They happen to look down on New Guinea natives due to their dark skin. The problem here arose because to us we classified the Truks as dark skin. As Hall stated “they deeply resent our lumping together all dark-skinned people in the “inferior” category.” All of these problems could have been slightly avoided or handled differently had the military not been so ethnocentric in bringing their prejudices with them and thinking that the natives should learn our ways instead of vise versa. This article provides an example of how important it is to understand other cultures and how applied anthropology can provide a smoother transition for both sides to cope with new ways.

CLARITY: 4
ANGIE RABE Southern Illinois University Carbondale (Jonathan Hill)

Kimball, Solon T. Future Problems in Navajo Administration. Human Organization, Summer, 1950. Vol.9(2):21-24.

Kimball argues that joint responsibility and participation of government and the Navajo is crucial to the Navajo’s socio-economic condition. His idea is that it would be more appropriate to build upon what structure the Navajo have instead of attempting radical change to their organizational and economic structure. He points out five deficiencies of the Tribal Council and then gives suggestions for assisting in solutions to correct these deficiencies. Kimball then focuses on District Councils. He proposes that the government and the Tribal Council should work together to form the District Council, which should meet regularly to present problems within the group. He believes this would increase local responsibility and participation. He then discusses the operation and organization of Chapters within the group, to an extent. Kimball discusses three major types of local Navajo communities and states that the key to the stability of the Navajo economic and social system is found within these communities. He concludes by giving recommendations for immediate action to strengthen the government – Navajo relations.

CLARITY: 5
TWANA JILL AUD Southern Illinois University Carbondale (Jonathan Hill)

Lentz, Edith. Morale in a Hospital Business Office Human Organization, Fall, 1950 Vol. 9(3):17-21

This article documents the morality of the personnel in a business office in a hospital during and after changes in leadership. The author begins by introducing healthcare as a social institution that is increasingly suffering dissonance with the capitalist society in which it serves. While the economy is built upon capitalism, people’s perceptions, and more importantly, expectations of healthcare continue to be idealistic. Due to the growing technological and professional nature of healthcare, medical costs rise beyond the ability of most patients to pay off their bills promptly and comfortably. As a result, tensions arise between the patient, the healthcare professional, and the hospital business administration. The onus of collecting bills from the patients falls inexorably onto the business staff in a hospital. This phenomenon is wrought with discomfort and conflict that dilapidates the morale of the employees involved. The author observed the collections department of a hospital as it underwent changes, most notably that of the head of the board of managers and the supervisor of the business office. The effect of these leadership changes was the focus on solving the deficit and the resultant tightening of collection policies and practices. Thus, on top of the existing tensions and pressures the business staff already experienced, these changes caused further stress. Not only did the business staff face harsh demands on their collection tasks and resistance from patients, but they also experience prejudice and discrimination from doctors and nurses. Morale in the business office consequently deteriorated. There was a high turnover rate in personnel, little sense of community in the department, and barely any cooperation among the staff. After a year, the supervisor of the business office left and one of the experienced cashiers was put in charge. Although the collection policies did not change, her experience of the prior working conditions led her to change the management of her staff. The atmosphere in the office was now more amiable as staff mingled and socialized. A sense of belonging and community developed. The business staff not only aided one another in meeting collection demands, but the increased interaction between the business staff and the medical staff due to instituted social events and a shared smoking room helped alleviate tensions between both groups. In response to the positive changes, morale of the business staff climbed.

CLARITY: 5
JOHN LI Southern Illinois University Carbondale (Jonathan Hill)

Lessa, William A. The Place of Ulithi in the Yap Empire. Human Organization January-March, 1950. Vol. 9(1):16-18.

This article focuses on three islands located in Micronesia. Yap, Ulithi, and Woleai form an empire that is held together by three folds: political, land owning and magico-religious. Because of conquest and invasion, Yap has dominance over all the other islands. Ulithi is next in line, having its own internal chain of authority. Lessa goes into detail describing the three folds. He begins with the empire’s political system which has a definite and lengthy chain of authority. This system creates a hierarchy within the islands and the person at the top of the structure is the one who issues all political orders. Lessa goes into detail describing the land-ownership that bonds the empire. It is based on a fiction of a kinship relationship that gave rise to a sawei lineage. The sawei lineage provides a formal exchange of gifts from the people of Ulithi and Woleai, in return they receive good hospitality when visiting Yap. Yap uses magicians to control the low-caste people by using supernatural control. The low-caste people give offerings to Yap in fear that the magicians will punish them by giving them diseases such as influenza, asthma, yaws, boils and ringworms if they resist. This is a strategy used to keep subordinate islands in their socio-political structure. The problem that arises is whether or not American administrators are going to support and operate through the Yapese political system. People of Ulithi and Woleai are complaining that there has been a change in the attitude of the Yapese. Possible explanations for the changes are Christianity, the growing education of the subject’s people, a shift to a western transportation system and the advent of foreigners’ ships. Due to these factors, there has been a breakdown in the Yap Empire and Ulithi has advanced the most.

CLARITY: 5
NASHEED SMITH Southern Illinois University at Carbondale (Jonathan Hill)

Mason, Leonard. The Bikinians: A Transplanted Population Human Organization, Spring, 1950 Vol. 9(1): 5-15.

Spanning his work with the displaced Marshallese inhabitants of the Bikini Atoll from 1946 through 1949, Mason tells the tale of the intrusion upon an indigenous island culture by the United States’ experimentation with atomic weaponry and its effects upon the native population. What became of this interaction were three movements of the Bikinian population. At first was a move from the Bikini Atoll to the Rogerik Atoll in 1946 as Bikini was seen as fitting by the U.S. Navy for the test detonations of two atomic bombs. Following Rogerik was a move to the U.S. Naval Base at Kwajalein and finally to the Kili Atoll in 1949. Hardship hit the Bikinians at Rogerik in the form of poor yields in agricultural staples and poisoned fish resulting in near starvation followed by a period of recuperation at Kwajalein which resulted in unrest at the severing of their indigenous lifestyle for employment at the naval base. Their final displacement to a new indigenous environment on Kili left the Bikinians splintered from civil strife kindled by the populace’s resentment of an acting paramount chief. Mason contends that the problems faced by the displaced Bikinians are the result of insensitivity on the part of the United States towards Marshallese culture and belief in U.S. superiority in decision-making. Interspersed with Mason’s overview of the initial movement to the Rogerik Atoll and later migration to Kili, he makes points where U.S. ignorance leads to the final civil strife between leader and general population. As well, options are outlined by Mason for the problem presented by the administration of the Kili Atoll in 1949 as the U.S. stands to leave the Bikinians to return to their original way of life after undercutting their beliefs for four years. Included also are Mason’s opinions on the ease of implementation of each of his solutions.

CLARITY: 3
MATTHEW L. DIERKER Southern Illinois University of Carbondale (Dr. Jonathan Hill)

Rogers, Maria. A Successful Experiment in Adult Education. Human Organization. Vol. 9(2): 11-20

Rogers describes an experimental educational program for adult education provided by the People’s Guild of Brooklyn. The experimental program was a book club that was initiated by the members themselves to able to learn by reading and discussing books. They also had a leader that was provided by the Guild to come to their homes and lead the discussion groups. There were three principles to this method. First, adults should be enabled to educate themselves to their own satisfaction. Second, adults have a right to control their own educational programs. Third, the process of education must start with the individual as he is. The leaders were also very important. She discussed the different responsibilities and character requirements for a good leader; it was a difficult job as most of the leaders had not been trained in such teaching styles. Results of the experiment were far reaching. On an individual level Rogers states that the women, as most groups consisted of, became more confident, as well as having a greater acceptance of the uniqueness of other people’s personal experience. This allowed them to interact on a different level with the rest of their families. Husbands and children also became more interested in reading, and discussing their views on the books. The women also became more accepting of the differences in her expectations and her child’s interests. Finally, the community often benefited through the increased involvement of the women in community activities, such as volunteering for jury duty or holding office or committee chairmanships. Rogers concluded that this experiment in adult education programs provided useful information for adult educators. It showed that educators need to provide a different learning environment for adults in order to reach more people. Rogers states that primary group experiences can provide the conditions for an attractive and effective method of further education for adults.

CLARITY: 4
HEATHER GIBB Southern Illinois University Carbondale (Jonathan Hill)

Yang, Hsin-Pao. Guideposts for the Point IV Program Human Organization, Fall, 1950: 22-27.

The Point IV, or Technical Assistance Program was instituted by a congressional act during the term of President Truman to provide aid to developing countries. Possibly the first act of it’s type, debate followed regarding the best methods for helping the least developed areas of the world implement tools that would increase their standard of living. In this article, Hsin-Pao Yang proposes “guideposts” that should be adhered to for achieving maximum success with the Point IV Program. It begins by discussing hunger and the causes of it. The author assesses that it is not simply a matter of unavailable resources but rather inequitable distribution that creates hunger. Over population and “primitive” agricultural methods are also noted. It is also suggested that extensive planning and blueprints must be drawn up before trying to implement programs like Point IV. A comprehensive approach needs to be taken that encompasses the total culture of the people receiving aid. This comprehensive approach makes two basic assumptions, (1) it is dependent on the integration of many fields, not just science and technology and (2) it must include human aspects as well as the economic and technological. The remainder of the article puts forth far-sighted ideas concerning cultural sensitivity and relativity when introducing new ideas to non-western cultures. Prejudice and fear must be avoided and trust built through establishing links through locally respected leaders. Most importantly, technology and ideas should not be forced, rather, people should be educated and given the necessary tools to adapt and use as they see best fit. The article concludes by reasserting the notion that interdisciplinary, comprehensive approaches will be necessary to be successful in implementing the Point IV Program and aiding the world’s most needy people.

Response

Following this article is a brief synopsis of a meeting during the Annual Conference of the Sociological Society regarding the role of social scientists in the implementation of the Point IV Program. Several scientists discuss Yang’s paper and it’s relevance to political policy. All agree that social scientists will be useful for maintaining cultural sensitivity and relevance when implementing aid programs in more isolated regions of the world.

CLARITY: 5
MEGHAN ROMANO Southern Illinois University Carbondale (Jonathan Hill)