Utopia and Experiment: Essays in the Sociology of Cooperation

Utopia and Experiment: Essays in the Sociology of Cooperation

Utopia and Experiment: Essays in the Sociology of Cooperation

Utopia and Experiment: Essays in the Sociology of Cooperation

Excerpt

Systematic and logically consistent presentation is the goal at which the scientist aims when venturing into any field of inquiry. The less cultivated the new field, however, the more elusive will be the goal. To offer findings in a tentative, loosely organized form, may then appear pardonable, even desirable. This will be particularly so where, as in the present instance, the inquiry concerns problems of acute relevance to central issues of our times.

The area of investigation mapped out by the present collection of essays is that of the sociology of cooperation. The actual field work dates back as far as 1933. At that time the author was engaged in a sociological study of the Zionist Kvutzot in what then was Palestine and today is Israel. A more sustained and wider range of effort became possible only after his affiliation with the Group Farming Research Institute, established in 1941 under the name of Rural Settlement Institute. The specific task assigned to this privately financed research agency was the scientific study of cooperative farming. Upon assuming the direction of the Institute, the writer was enabled not only to collect information on cooperative farm development in all parts of the world, but also, and more importantly, to travel and visit areas of significant community growth in the U.S.A., Canada, Israel, France, and, most recently, Mexico. In the process, the need for precise methods of investigation became apparent. Consequently, a battery of sociological tests and related devices was developed and systematically applied to the different groups. The results turned out to be as stimulating to the inquiry as they proved helpful to the groups themselves.

Reports of these studies, first published in the form of . . .

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