Man, Work, and Society: A Reader in the Sociology of Occupations

By Sigmund Nosow; William H. Form | Go to book overview

words, as one of the important functions of clubs is to provide a locale for cliques, many of the informal decisions about personnel and subscriptions are carried out in their milieu, and friends are recruited.

It is perhaps as difficult for the club member to resist the pressures to participate in philanthropy coming from fellow clubmen as it is for businessmen to resist the pressures coming from business associates. If this is so, it follows that participation in campaigns is expected of certain "club memberships" as such, in much the same way that it is expected of certain business positions.

[Actually] 67 men had held 38 club memberships in the top-ranking club of Wellsville, 186 memberships in second-ranking clubs, and 104 memberships in third-ranking clubs. As no record of club membership could be found for seven men, this means that the 60 men included in the sample had held 328 memberships in Wellsville's top 19 clubs. Club membership can thus be said to have a distinct relationship to man's philanthropic career as well as to his business career.


Conclusions

Two important results have ensued from the gradual monopolization of money-raising campaigns by the business world.

On the one hand, philanthropic activity now serves as a means by which the modern businessman can strengthen his position in a highly competitive world by taking over as many philanthropic positions as possible. On the other hand, business firms must now engage in philanthropic activity in order to compete with rival firms and in order to enhance their relations with the public. This means that ambitious men will recognize the importance of philanthropic participation for their careers, and business enterprises will see that their men participate in order that they may benefit from the reflected publicity.

Before the development of organized philanthropy in Wellsville, church membership and activity in church work were important for the businessman's career. Now, however, it is much more important for the businessman to identify himself with philanthropic activity. This is largely due to the fact that the competitive nature of the campaigns displays the skills of the participants, and the publicity given the campaign places the participant visibly before the public. In fact, participation in the large city-wide campaigns now gives a man and his firm more publicity than many of the usual advertising channels.

. . . . .


NOTES
1.
I am indebted to professor Everett C. Hughes for stimulating discussions on this topic, and to Mrs. Nancy Brooks for assistance in gathering and analyzing data.

-542-

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