Social Cohesion: Essays toward a Sociophysiological Perspective

Social Cohesion: Essays toward a Sociophysiological Perspective

Social Cohesion: Essays toward a Sociophysiological Perspective

Social Cohesion: Essays toward a Sociophysiological Perspective

Synopsis

Social cohesion is the outcome of the social and physiological processes through which individuals become linked into social systems. These linkages, as they occur in social relationships and are found in small group interactions, are the common focus of this collection of essays. The volume begins with an exploration of social relationships as regulators of physiology and behavior. Other essays investigate issues such as dominance, ideological constraints on evolutionary theory, social cohesion in dyadic groups, social relationships as determinants of emotion and physiology, biosociology and stratification in the works of Emile Durkheim, and the phenomenon of hemispheric lateralization of function in relation to social comparison processes and social roles.

Excerpt

This volume strives to demonstrate ways of studying how physiological and social processes combine to produce behavior which generates socially relevant beings on the one hand and continuing social systems on the other. the extent of the ability to bond and to create socially cohesive systems of interrelationships is the characteristic which most differentiates humans from other group-living creatures. At any given time and place in human history, the larger group or culture preempts many bonding possibilities by channeling individual bonding propensities toward particular classes of individuals, objects, or goals. Nevertheless, whatever the particular instance, there is a fundamental set of sociophysiological mechanisms through which most societal forces must work. Such mechanisms for bonding presumably came into existence over the course of primate-human evolution and are likely to be most accessible for study in face-to-face, small- group interaction. Aspects of the socio-physiology of relation-

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