Rural Land Tenure in the United States: A Socio-Economic Approach to Problems, Programs, and Trends

By Alvin L. Bertrand; Floyd L. Corty et al. | Go to book overview

CHAPTER FOURTEEN
Changing Interpersonal Relations
in Land Tenure Systems

THE VAST CHANGES in our ways of living which have been wrought by the revolutions in agriculture and industry, in science and technology, in transportation and communication, in education and the arts are well known. Preceding chapters have already noted the impact of these changes on land tenure in the United States. One of the major changes in American society has been the shift from an essentially rural and agricultural society to an urban and industrial society. For those who remain in farming these sweeping and basic changes have powerful social implications. This chapter proposes to review the changing nature of interpersonal relations in given tenure systems.


The Trend from Gemeinschaft to Gesellschaft in Tenure
Situations

The terms Gesellschaft and Gemeinschaft are defined and explained in Chapters 1 and 2. By way of review, Gesellschaft relations are those where behavior is marked by what Ferdinand Toennies called " rational will." Relations are viewed by the actors in a Gesellschaft system as means to attain other objectives. Obligations and duties become specific, relationships impersonal and contractual, and social status achieved rather than ascribed. In contrast, a system of Gemeinschaft relations is based on " natural will." Personal relations are ends in and of themselves and are intimate, spontaneous, emotional, and traditional. Obligations and duties are diffuse and general, and social status is ascribed. 1

____________________
1
For a fuller discussion of Gemeinschaft and Gesellshaft, see Charles P. Loomis and J. Allan Beegle, Rural Social Systems ( New York: Prentice-Hall, 1950), Chap. 1 and Appendix A; and Charles P. Loomis, Social System ( Princeton: D. Van Nostrand, 1960), 59-61.

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