Human Organization 1944
Chapple, Elliot D. An Analysis of the Pequot Mill Strike. Applied Anthropology: Problems of Human Organization, June 1944. Vol. 3 (3): 34-40.
In his analysis of the book, “Union-Management Cooperation in the ‘Stretch-Out,’” Chapple summarizes the events leading up to and explains what he feels to be some of the causes underlying the Pequot Mill Strike. He also presents actions that could have been taken to prevent such an occurrence in the first place. This particular strike was of interest because previously the mill was known for its exemplary union-management relationship, and others sought to attain such a peaceful and effective balance.
The main issue addressed was that the workers’ union and the management of this mill originally had a very comfortable and responsive relationship that kept the workers happy and productivity levels sufficient. However, as the economy worsened in the years of the Great Depression, it was realized that changes needed to be made to accommodate the situation. The way in which these changes were instituted caused the problems because, as the author argues, there was too much change in too short of a time and this upset in the equilibrium of the daily lives of the workers caused so much dissent that a strike eventually resulted. The lessons learned from this particular experience can then be applied to other situations involving shifts in equilibrium because of people’s tendency toward homeostasis. This article points out that there remedies so that the necessary changes can be instituted without abruptly disrupting the individual.
By chronologically laying out the factual events leading up to the strike and the domino effects of each situation, the author makes clear what he believes to be the source of the problem. The solutions suggested at the end of the article are then easily understood.
MIRANDA WARREN University of Wisconsin – Madison (Larry Nesper)
Embree, John F. Japanese Administration at the Local Level. Human Organization, 1944 Vol. (3): 11-18.
The article addresses organization of government implemented programs on the local level. The author, John Embree, provides a full organizational meeting of heads of a large township in 1930s Japan. The meeting deals with a government implemented debt clearing association as well as a discussion of questions, concerns and comments of the heads of several hamlets that make up the township.
The author begins his article by stating patience, full understanding, and cooperation between levels of local government is needed for successful long term programs. He goes further with this idea by providing the minutes of a table-talk meeting between the heads of the township’s hamlets (called buraku), and the headman or mayor of the township (called a mura), this also provides an opportunity to exemplify social dynamics of Japanese local government. The issue at hand for this particular meeting is for buraku heads to gain knowledge about the government implemented debt clearing association. It is the goal of buraku heads to be able to answer questions put forth by buraku members and give them a full understanding of this program. Some issues discussed between buraku heads and those answering questions, concern the terms of the debt clearing loans, the benefits and risks to debtors, lenders and those who are in a neutral position.
Embree allows the meeting minutes alone to provide the support for his introductory statements that cooperation, understanding and patience are necessary for successful programs. Embree gives a brief background on the general structure and titles of Local Japanese government and basic information concerning the dynamics of this particular mura as it pertains to this specific meeting. Throughout the meeting minutes the author gives sparse side notes to explain some not so self-evident social rules of Japanese society. It was emphasized by the mayor (who is called the soncho) that no decisions were being made at the meeting, but that it was to be informative only. The meeting is set up as a question, answer and discussion format. Each head of a buraku is allowed to ask questions and make comments about the debt clearing program in general and also how it could specifically effect their buraku. Embree concludes his article by pointing out two social dynamics. Firstly, he suggests the reader take note as to who began the meeting (the soncho) and who later became more active in the role of speaker (the heads of the many buraku), and secondly, how pride and the influencing of hamlet heads’ opinions were manipulated. This helps reiterate Embree’s point that the cooperation, patience and understanding between levels of government allows for successful long term programs.
KARI WITTLIEFF University of Wisconsin (Larry Nesper).
Graubard, Mark. Nutrition Education in Labor Organizations. Human Organization. January-March Vol.3:26-37.
Mark Graubard is concerned with the practice of implementing social initiatives through national organizations. The article focuses specifically on the use of labor organizations as conduits for introducing the public to a national nutritional campaign. The author documents two major obstacles to the success of this nationwide project. First, labor unions initially resisted adoption of this novel function. Second, tensions needed to be defused between labor and community groups that shared a common interest and commitment to nutrition education. Graubard contends that the process of involving the nation’s labor organizations in the national nutrition program was facilitated by a historical approach based upon the relativism of history and cultural anthropology.
According to the author, the early hesitancy of the leading labor unions to embrace the proposals to put to use their organizational networks to channel a national educational policy was rooted in entrenched prejudice. Labor was wary of a federal initiative that appeared to be a form of welfare work contrary to their established operational goals. Graubard credits anthropological methods for overcoming the belief that the involvement of labor organizations in the educational program would be inconsistent with the standard measures taken by unions to improve the lot of their members. The prejudice against social services was ultimately replaced by feelings of a sense of civic responsibility and the perceived benefits of the initiative for union members. Once induced to lend their support to the cause, organized labor was found to achieve the greatest success when provided sufficient leeway and marginal oversight by federal agencies to disseminate the nutrition message to their collective membership.
The gulf between labor and the community groups that formed the local nutrition committees was eventually reconciled by the necessity of cooperation. Joint activities like the nutrition exhibits were pivotal to establishing more trusting relationships between labor unions and the community and dispelling mutual suspicion. A large segment of the article details the progress of the nutrition movement which included the formation of bureaucratic structures, critical contributions of the AFL and CIO, and other small public relations victories along the way. In the concluding section, Graubard enumerates some general concepts revealed during the transformation process. Firstly, traditional beliefs or behavior patterns should not be challenged directly, but rather, undermined by pursuing the bonds that sustain them. Also, alternative behavior patterns may be successfully received if certain conditions are met such as voluntary and independent participation, friendly expertise, etc. Finally, established national organizations may be used effectively and efficiently to transmit information to the public, obviating the necessity of creating new institutions to carry out that purpose.
ROBIN RUSSELL University of Wisconsin-Madison (Larry Nesper)
Guest, Paul L. Some Personal And Administrative Problems In Technical Collaboration Among Nations. Human Organization, September 1944 Vol.3(4):6-10.
Paul Guest emphasizes that the success of foreign technical projects relate directly with the quality of the administrators appointed to govern these projects. In particular, the author looks at agricultural research stations in tropical American nations. Paul Guest begins the article stating that the United States needs more research stations in Latin America.
Guest gives two reasons for the need of additional research stations. First, as a postwar emerging global force, the United States needs tropical products, which these nations can provide. Second, under the Good Neighbor program, Latin American nations would need a United States presence to maintain economic and social solidarity in the Western Hemisphere. Guest goes on to state that the best way to achieve our goals are by improving the agricultural industries of our Latin American neighbors. The United States can achieve the aforementioned objectives by furnishing the scientists to run these stations. This can all be done in an economically favorable way because the United States will supply the scientists and knowledge, while the host nation foots the bill for the actual infrastructure of these research stations and the labor required to maintain these stations.
Guest argues that similar such programs have failed in the past, because the program administrators were scientists. These scientists were promoted to the positions of administration because of their successes performing scientific research, not on their administrative qualifications. He goes on to say that most physical scientists are much too individualistic to run a program of this scope. At the individual station level, a good administrator will need to have a broad understanding of several scientific disciplines, and must also be a good mediator. At the national level, good administration is equally important. There will be many stations reporting operations from several countries, each working on different projects. The national-level administrator needs to be able to keep the station scientists organized, and informed as to how their individual research fits into the overall framework of the project. In summary, Guest states, “With qualified administrative leaders and scientists, this foreign, technical program is destined to bring lasting benefits to all people of the Western Hemisphere.”
ADAM WEISSE University of Wisconsin-Madison (Larry Nesper)
Loomis, Charles P, and Reed, Jesse Taylor. The Taos County Project of New Mexico–An Experiment in Local Cooperation Among Bureaus, Private Agencies, and Rural People. Human Organization April-June, 1944 Vol.3(2):21-33.
This article outlines a community-wide planning project for Taos county in New Mexico. Loomis and Reed make very clear the destitute conditions under which the people of Taos county are living. Twice the authors make mention of the fact that this county has the highest infant mortality rate of any in the United States. Many of these Mexican immigrants own scant pieces of land on which they farm, and live with poor education, health care, a lack of electricity and a scarcity of water. The Taos County Planning Project came into being in 1936 in order to aid the people of Taos county in receiving the aforementioned “luxuries” they so sorely needed. The article creates a disturbing case for these “forgotten” people living within our country.
Here, Loomis and Reed argue for an integration and cooperation of government and non-governmental groups when dealing with small cultural groups. Also mentioned is the necessity of including community leaders from these cultures in the decision making processes. The authors believe that projects like this require a non-governmental expert to relate directly to the people of the community, and even more specifically, the community leaders. They stress that it is vital that the expert be fluent in two languages if necessary, and be able to mediate successfully between the people and the governmental agencies that can actually enact change.
Loomis and Reed exemplify superior organizational skills in the presentation of evidence in this article. The reader starts with definitions of terms concerning beauracracies. This progresses into a brief summarization of a past governmental assistance program and its shortcomings. The Taos County Planning Program itself is laid out in a simple chronological order that tells you in no uncertain terms what happened in the Program from year to year. The most intriguing portion stems from the long list of pitfalls the Taos County residents had fallen into during the Project. By including the shortcomings of the Project, the reader is more easily swayed that no project–not even some of the most well planned–is without its faults. By not neglecting the failures, the accomplishments are highly magnified.
HEATHER THOMPSON University of Wisconsin-Madison (Larry Nesper)
Loomis, Charles P. Extension Work for Latin America Human Organization, July-September 1944, Vol. 3:27-40
In this article Charles Loomis studies the problems and possible solutions for extension Agriculture work in small communities throughout Latin America. He starts right away by telling us some of the difficulties he witnessed, but without giving much background information, which made understanding the article from the start difficult.
The extreme cultural diversity in Latin American communities made collective extension work difficult. There is little research done to improve small farming technology, with most local farmers still using foot ploughs and crude tools. The relationship between the land owner and the workers is described as “peon-patron.” Since these villages have been isolated, especially since the rise of modern capitalism, they have little financial knowledge, which makes the agricultural missions’ motives unclear. Loomis also says that it is hard for new agricultural trends to diffuse in these homogeneous populations that are resistant to change, which contradicts what he says earlier in the article about the extreme diversity even with in small communities. The missions’ committees of specialists do in fact often design missions to fit the needs of the local community, but they do not stay long enough for adequate follow-up. The committees are also made up of many different specialists, whose areas of expertise often overlap; this limits the scope of the abilities of the committee to see the problems and agricultural needs of the community as a whole. A more holistic view is needed.
Loomis then describes the underlying pre existing social structures of most of these communities. The most prevalent is the family unit, which includes extended family relatives. This extended family kinship structure helps them in cooperative activities. The local people are described as seeing lots of children as “life and old age insurance.” There is a general standardized village structure that Loomis witnessed throughout his study which is built around family structure. He says that “family politics run the social institutions.” Under this belief, the locals see a bigger family as making success more likely. Supervisors of extension programs saw that the level of living improved when families combined socially to work together and they used these pre existing social structures to improve the effectiveness of the workers’ programs. The next largest and influential social organization is the church, which also helps promote cooperatives and the nature of extension agricultural work.
To solve the problems that Loomis mentions at the beginning of the article, he predominantly suggests that the programs be more suited to the local communities’ ways of life. The needs of the local farmer need to be communicated to the program headquarters. There needs to be follow up programs to make sure that the new agricultural methods have been successfully integrated into the local culture. This follow up development, however, should happen naturally in the way that the local pattern allows. Instead of a committee of many specialized individuals, an agent who has wide first-hand knowledge of the agricultural needs of the local community should oversee most of the work. The programs should be started where there is easy entry into the community. The agencies and missions should be aware of local customs and culture so as to avoid conflicts with their beliefs. The missions should make sure not to exclude any local cultural groups to avoid internal conflict. New ideas and innovations should be introduced where there is familiarity between cultural groups. The programs should start with what the locals already have at their disposal, however. They should let the program evolve from the local people so it becomes their own, using the local leadership that is already in place.
CARRIE RICHGELS University of Wisconsin—Madison (Larry Nesper)
Malamud, Irene T. and Stephenson, Rachel B. A Study of the Rehabilitation of Neuro-Psychiatric Casualties Occurring in the Armed Forces. Human Organization, 1944. Vol. 2:1-19.
This article is based upon the case studies of 42 male individuals, all of whom were admitted to a psychiatric facility after being discharged from military service with “nervous” or “mental” breakdowns or as “unsuited for military service”. These individuals were evaluated based upon clinical data obtained from hospital records, social data drawn from personal histories, and their present status of adjustment ascertained from interviews given post-treatment. The interviews were given independent of whether the men had remained discharged, been re-admitted, or had never been released. They were then divided into four groups, labeled I, II, III, and IV. Group I individuals were individuals who had shown a higher level of adjustment that before induction. “Adjustment” in these cases is used generally as level of adjustment socially, within the family, or in the community. Group II showed individuals who maintained the same level of adjustment and was divided into two subgroups: IIG, which means they maintained the same level of good adjustment, and subgroup IIP, which signifies the same level of poor adjustment. Group III consisted of individuals with poorer levels of adjustment than before admittance, and Group IV indicated those individuals who remained in the hospital. The results of this small, semi-longitudinal study was presented in the form of 7 tables at the end of the document. All tables are show data from the research coupled with the group classifications so that any consistency between the two may be easily seen. Table I lists the socio-dynamic factors in patients’ background which may have related to their current mental state or maladjustment and their classification into one of the four groups. Table II lists the personality traits of these individuals, giving a general overview of characteristics certain groups share. Table III shows factors in military service that may have contributed to the breakdown. Table IV lists the social and economic assets of the patients that may have contributed to their readjustment. Table V lists the presence of positive attitudes towards readjustment from family, community, and self. Table VI lists the social and economic liabilities that may have hindered readjustment and Table VII lists the presence of negative attitudes towards readjustment within the family, community, and self. This case study is not to be used as definitive measurements of the levels of readjustment within certain personality traits and the factors leading to the breakdown itself. It was created as a small-scale analog to understand some of the problems facing readjustment and reintegration and as a general model for the larger problems faced by neuro-psychiatric patients.
HALEY ROE The University of Wisconsin-Madison (Larry Nesper)
McCutcheon, Angela. Social Work in War Rehabilitation. Human Organization, July-September 1944 Vol.3: 19-27.
Angela McCutcheon, a social work administrator, writes of her experiences in El Oro Province, in southernmost Ecuador, which had been left impoverished and unhealthy as a result of bombings that had previously destroyed much of the area. McCutcheon speaks of the Women’s League she established, and several other programs that blossomed through her ideas, which aided in the all-around improvement of El Oro Province with the help of the local inhabitants.
McCutcheon’s main issue was to help to improve the detrimental situations that concerned the El Oro residents. She notifies the reader of the conditions of the people in El Oro Province, telling of the sharp divisions between classes, and the harsh living circumstances many of the families are forced to survive under. McCutcheon’s main objective was to educate the locals, so that, once her social work was done, the region could continue, successfully, to improve without her help. She wanted to improve the knowledge of the ‘upper class’ women in El Oro, so they could ultimately help to improve their community as a whole.
McCutcheon sets out to help these people by establishing emergency relief help, providing care of the sick, the needy, the old, and the young. She went to families that were disadvantaged, and convinced them to get help from doctors, and helped to get their ‘feet back on the ground.’ She trained the community leaders to get at the deep-rooted problems like malnutrition, disease, and hygienic ignorance. This was when she established her Women’s League, in order to get more people to help her train the uninformed. Lectures and courses were given by the Medical Department, aimed at teaching simple health practices, including first-aid, sanitation, nutrition, and hygiene. Training of professional personnel, like nurses’ aids, lab technicians, and social work aids, was given to improve the medical help for people in the area. She provided information to expecting mothers on maternal and infant health to aid in the healthy raising of children. There were also campaigns against disease, which was one of the most time consuming jobs of them all. McCutcheon also visited local schools, and eventually, she was able to get a large number of books for teachers, children, and adults, which ultimately helped to establish and open three new libraries in the town.
McCutcheon proves to the reader throughout her article that her programs were very successful in helping these El Oro people to overcome their unhealthy conditions of living. Her success was proved through the establishment of the three new libraries, a generous sum of money from the Ecuadoran Government to continue the work she began, and improvements in education, health and nutrition. This article proves to us that, with the help of social workers, we can help to improve the all-around living conditions and lifestyles of many underprivileged people.
ANGELA YONKER University of Wisconsin-Madison (Larry Nesper)
Montgomery, James, and Olen Leonard. Settlement And Post-War Planning. Human Organization. January-March 1944 Vol.3: 23-7.
The article examines the Cumberland Homesteads built by the government in response to the Great Depression. Montgomery and Leonard convey a worried tone to their readers. This is because the article shows the public that the homesteads were not successful, and therefore not be a governmental consideration for the soldiers returning from war stricken Europe.
During the 1930’s the U.S. government bought 22,748 acres of land and provided materials to build 251 homestead units in order to support Cumberland County, Tennessee. The government also provided the homesteaders with resources to build a church and large community center. The homesteaders were paid for their labor efforts with a method called “credit-hour”. This system immediately proved to be disadvantageous for both workers and those implementing the system. Workers were not paid enough and the project was off to a slow and unsuccessful start.
The houses the homesteaders made for themselves were highly impractical and did not provide adequate space, function or stability for the families. Many of the houses were built using sub-standard, improper construction. This created a multitude of ill-equipped homes that could not be pleasantly lived in. There was only one church built in the community; however, all residents agreed to this before they began the project. Nevertheless, this created many problems among those who had particular belief systems.
The Cumberland Homesteads also suffered because the U.S. government continually changed their opinions on how the homesteaders should obtain a positive financial status. The integration of government implemented ideas and the values of poor, unskilled workers did not have the desired effect. Neither group held the same interests or saw matters pertaining to the community in a similar manner. This conflict of interest occurred at the level of decision-making. Without problems immediately being addressed, it continued and perpetuated until it created a line of unsolvable conflict from individual families to governmental administration.
Both Montgomery and Leonard strongly oppose the use of similar systems to help WWII veterans gain fiscal security. They believe because of their study and research of the Cumberland Homesteads, it would be detrimental for families to attempt this type of living situation again. Montgomery and Leonard’s study of the failed intervention methods the United States used to solve economic hardship reflects their view why communities like the Cumberland Homesteads should not be presently used. The evidence the article focuses on comes from statistical and numerical information about the success/failure of the community, as well as the specific problems the homesteaders had within the community. No specific testimony is mentioned, only general information regarding widespread problems the homesteaders and U.S. government experienced as a direct result of the investment in a homestead community.
ABIGAIL ROSS University of Wisconsin- Madison (Larry Nesper).
Whyte, William Foote. Vocational Education In Industry: A Case Study. Human Organization 1944, Vol.3:(3) 1-6.
Whyte focuses on two issues in his article. First, he looks at relationships between staff members in industry. Second, he rates the efficacy of written and oral communication in influencing behavior of the staff. The context he uses is an average company with a hierarchy from superintendent and district manager, all the way to line supervisors and the line workers themselves. The company was interested in introducing a vocational program to educate workers and possibly promote them up the hierarchical chain. The first implementation of this plan failed, and Whyte was called on to examine the reasons for failure.
At the first meeting for the vocational program, only sixteen men attended. This poor turnout was due to a number of reasons discussed by Whyte. First, the supervisors at the company were not educated about the program. When they received the flyer about the program, they hung it, but did not discuss it with the men. In fact, when one supervisor that was involved in implementing the program actively encouraged his men to attend, six of them did. Other problems stemmed from having unfamiliar people present the material to the supervisors. The supervisors had no connection to the new men, and so did not credit the program as they would have if a confidant had informed them. Another problem arose from the fact that the people appointed to implement the program were very disorganized. They rarely met, so only the new men planned the strategies for program introduction. Not knowing the employees, they were not able to communicate effectively with them, thus the low turnout. After stating these problems, Whyte suggests some solutions.
First, he recognizes the need to clean up the managing of the program, and puts a man familiar with the employees in charge. Second, he has this man gather the supervisors before the flyers go out. The man is to explain the vocational program to the supervisors and give them distinct directions for elucidating the program to the employees. Third, the supervisors explain the program to the men and encourage attendance, using the flyers only as backup. The attendance at the second meeting rose to 45 men.
Overall, Whyte found that the more familiar with each other the men in industry are, the more likely they are to listen to one another. This is shown with the switch in program managers from a new man to a familiar one. Second, he found that personal communication was much more effective than written. Men were far more likely to attend the meeting if encouraged by a supervisor or coworker than if they read the flyer. This article has applications for all businesses, and relationships in general. It can be applied to many situations.
JENNIFER WEIS. University of Wisconsin- Madison (Larry Nesper)