3 Inclusion and Identity

The conditions of a solitary bird are five:
The first, that it flies to the highest point;
The second, that it does not suffer for company, not even of its own kind;
The third, that it aims its beak to the skies;
The fourth, that it does not have a definite color;
The fifth, that it sings very softly.
San Juan de la Cruz in his “Sayings of Light and Love”
and quoted in “Journey to Ixtlan” by Carlos Castaneda

  • Chapter Case:  Peak Search and Rescue, an emergency response team studied by sociologist Jennifer Lois, is described in her 1999 Social Psychology Quarterly paper, as well as in her book, Heroic Efforts. See:

Lois, J. (1999). “Socialization to Heroism: Individualism and Collectivism in a Voluntary Search and Rescue Group.Social Psychology Quarterly, 62, 117-135.
Lois, J. (2003). Heroic Efforts: The Emotional Culture of Search and Rescue Volunteers. New York: New York University Press.

Interesting Examples of Individualism and Collectivism

  • Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer is the web page developed by Warren St. John, where he provides supporting material, including a delightful blog, pertaining to his continuing study of fanship, particularly the devoted group of fans who root for the University of Alabama football team.
  • Individualism and Commitment in American Life by Robert N. Bellah offers a brief summary of the book Habits of the Heart, which explores individualism and collectivism in America (http://www.robertbellah.com/lectures_4.htm). See, also, Individualism and the Crisis of Civic Membership
  • Earlier editions of Group Dynamics featured the case of C. P. Ellis, who transformed from an individualist–and racist–into a collectivist and crusader for social justice. Ellis’s life was described by Studs Turkel (American Dreams: Lost and Found, New York: Pantheon Books, Random House, Inc., 1980).NPR interviewed Ann Atwater when C. P. Ellis passed away in 2005. The transcript is available at http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4994854.
  • Patriotism and group pride can be noted by examining pages groups maintain on the web. These pages often show evidence of such social identity processes as ingroup bias, outgroup bias, and collectivism. Examples of such pages are US Patriotism and Build or Buy‘s patriotism page
  • It has been called the “the master problem” of social life: What is the connection between the individual and the collective, including groups, organizations, communities, and society itself?  A set of presentations by experts on this basic question, from such fields as psychology, anthropology, history, philosophy, and biology, offer insights into this complex issue. See For the Greater Good of All.
%d bloggers like this: