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Urban and Rural Behavior Same Human? Lectures into two opposite collective behaviors Comportament urban&rural R. Baltasiu 2012


Behavior • Behavior is a complex set of

activities undertaken in order to live. It is intrinsic to the notions of life-living. • Activities are physical, psychological, spiritual, social. • Behavior could be: •conscious or unconscious – depending if the individual is aware or not of his acts. •logic or nonlogic depending if the purpose of actions is logic both in intent and in actual practice. (Pareto apud I. Bădescu, Istoria Sociologiei. Perioada marilor sisteme, Porto-Franco, Galaţi, 1994 pp.353-354)

•individual or collective – depending if the behavior is carried on by a single or many.

•There is also the unconscious collective behavior (Jung) – the archetype – the totality of collective experiences stored by each individual, typical for large cultures, communities (The Basic Writings of

• Behavior is culturally expressed. • Space is a major determinant of behavior as geography and is determined by behavior as human ecology. • There are two types of social spaces: urban and rural, with their different social types: the city dweller and the peasant – two spatial types – In between them we have the communist era commuter and the everlasting nouveau-riche

C.G. Jung, selected and Introduced by Violet S. De Laszlo, Bollingen Series, Princeton University Press, 1990, p.299-300)

Comportament urban&rural R. Baltasiu


Two social spaces • The City -It is a relatively large settlement, dense and permanent. -The relationships between people are mediated by competencies, that is, relations are functional. - it is a profane constellation of groups. Time is measured in terms of the individual success. - urbanised economy is highly specialized. -urbanised economy is very large (economy of scale) that is, capital efficient. (Fritz Lang, Metropolis, 1927)

• The Village - It is a territorial community centered around the we-people (neamul), with highly symbolized order of things. Time is sacred: it is cosmic not individual.

Comportament urban&rural R. Baltasiu

(video Eliade, l’homme total)


The sudden and constant growth of the city • Following the monetization of the economies and the industrial revolution vs. the economy of need of the village

The Atlantic, The Economic History of the Last 2000 Years: Part II, ‘ Comportament urban&rural R. Baltasiu http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/06/the-economic-history-of-thelast-2000-years-part-ii/258762/


The sudden and constant growth of the city

Comportament urban&rural R. Baltasiu

http://ih-igcse-geography.wikispaces.com/6.2.+Urbanisation+and+mega-cities


Two major ecology types • The urban

• The village – Dwelling is part of the wholeness • The house is the oikos (element of the center) • Economy of need

– Functional dwelling • Professional, hedonistic behavior • Loyalty is an issue (nomad) • Objects are assets.

– Community mostly virtual (Taxi, Copilu sintetic))

Comportament urban&rural R. Baltasiu


The loyalty issue (Hirschman) • Loyalty* is at the core of the • CV means loyalty is an issue. modern enterprise. The metatext of CV is: “Here I am. And I am going to • Loyalty is what keeps leave you for a better career people to stand and fight opportunity, according to (voice) rather than cut and my history written here.” run (exit) • It became an issue when associated with dynamic sociality, or highly social mobility, typical for urbanized and (post)industrialized societies. • Loyalty works closely with voicing your concerns about what it matters to you. * Albert. O Hirschman, Exit, Voice and Loyalty: Responses to Decline in Firms, Comportament urban&rural R. Baltasiu Organizations and States, Harvard Univ. Press, 1970


The loyalty issue (the good) • The loyalty issue is good, for companies are opening career paths to workers, increasing salaries and competencies. • In this way, companies are delivering better products and are themselves growing. • Voicing is the best quality controller.

• Voicing is quality building

Comportament urban&rural R. Baltasiu


The loyalty issue (the bad) • The downside of the loyalty issue is the neverending instability. This is a huge pressure on the individual and companies. The system survives better, depending on the labor market, but the individual is not. Social schizophrenia becomes an issue in modern societies (split personalities) Comportament urban&rural R. Baltasiu


What is human ecology? Is about the social space as an ecosystem. “An ecosystem is an arrangement of mutual dependences in a population by which the whole operates as a unit and thereby maintains a viable environmental relationship” (Amos Hawley, Human Ecology, University of Chicago Press, 1986, p.26)

Human/Urban ecology is about •the creation of urban space itself •The effects produced by the urban environment on social organization, experience and behavior

Amos Hawley , 1 http://glori.kenanflagler.unc.edu/airspace/NUSarchive/Orient/HumanEcology.htm

(William G. Flanagan, Contemporary urban sociology, Cambridge University Press, 1993, p.45)

Comportament urban&rural R. Baltasiu


the timetable from the peasant to the hyperrational man These types are along an anthropological time scale between two existential modes (Fromm)

Existential axis Having mode Neolithic the Peasant

Urbanization/Industrialization French Revolution Homo sovieticus

CYBERSPACE Today Time axis

t he hyperrat ional man Being mode

Existential axis

The consumer

Comportament urban&rural R. Baltasiu see Erich Fromm, To Have or to Be?, Continuum, London, New York, 2008 [1976], p.9

The nomad type


Inter-worlds city dwellers: the slum-dweller and the commuter The commuter (communism legacy)

The slum-dweller

(Nea Mărin şi blocurile)

• The slum-dweller is neither peasant neither fully urban. • It lives on the edge of both worlds and is a have-not, caught in the culture of poverty. • Slum as a negative status is a modern situation. Premodern Bucharest of made of a constellation of “slums” (mahalale), some of the prosperous, with people very eager to climb the social leader (Caragiale, pay attention, the critique is (Mărgineanu, Mă iubeşte femeile)

not of the slums!)

• Category of forced-labor by the system (not by brute force), of transforming peasants in industrial workers. • The commuter has lost the traditional sense of space and time. He became analytic, obedient to an abstract and fragmented time, a fragmented reality. (Radu&Bădescu:40, 42) • Working time is in opposition to the leisure time (a nonexistent category for the peasant). • Work is resented. (ibidem) • Not friendly towards the client. • No work-ethics

(Dorel – Las’o mă la punctu mort) (I. Bădescu, N. Radu, De la comunitatea rurală la comunitatea urbană. Editura Comportament urban&rural R. Baltasiu Ştiinţifică şi Enciclopedică, Bucureşti, 1980)


Culture of poverty (Oscar Lewis) • Is the worst interworld product. • People caught in between the urban and the rural worlds. They are no longer peasants but they are not to be integrated into the urban social network. • They are the most fragile social stratum at the outer ring of the cities.

Comportament urban&rural R. Baltasiu


Culture of poverty -CHRONIC MATERIAL POVERTY -HAVE-NOTS (NO PROPERTY/NO SALARY/NO EDUCATION) -Disengagement -Fear -Mutual distrust -Apathy - Helplessness - Dependence and inferiority complex -Alternative institutions/procedures to the establishment -Machismo and male irresponsibility - Authoritarian female in the dwelling - Sexual mediocrity - Gregariousness (overcrwoding) - Awareness of the middle class values – frustration - Little sense of history. Ad-hoc tradition (no feasts!) Oscar Lewis, The Culture of Poverty, “Scientific American” (1966)

“The culture of poverty is not just a matter of deprivation or disorganization, a term signifying the absence of something. It is a culture in the traditional anthropological sense in that it provides human beings with a design for living, with a ready-made set of solutions for human problems, and so serves a significant adaptive functions. It represents an effort to cope with feelings of hopelessness and despair that arise from the realization by the members of the marginal communities in these societies of the improbability of their achieving success in terms of the prevailing values and goals.”

Sao Paolo. Notice the contrast between the flats, bigger than the dwellings Comportament urban&rural R. Baltasiu


The problem: Who’s living here? The nouveau riche is not a fully fledged urban type since it is not professionalized and functionally integrated. This one?

? Comportament urban&rural R. Baltasiu


The work-ethics issue of the interworlders The development drag. People have no collective purpose. Society is fragmented in clusters of selfprotecting individual interests.

• Crumbling societies: “Here is a nation striving to become in a short period one of the great industrial nations of the world while it still has no highway network worthy of the name and only a relatively primitive network of railways. Much has been done increase efficiency of labor and to teach primitive peasants something about the operation of machines. But maintenance is still a crying deficiency of all Soviet economy. Construction is hasty and poor and in vast sectors of economic life it has not yet been possible to instill into labor anything like that general culture of production and technical self-respect which characterizes the skilled worker of the West.” (Kennan, 1947)

Comportament urban&rural R. Baltasiu George Kennan, “The sources of Soviet Conduct”, Foreign Affairs, 1947, p.64, in G. Tuathail, S. Dalby, P. Routledge, The Geopolitics Reader, London and New York, 2001


The hyperrational and the nomad The hyperrational

The nomad

• Related with the pastiche personality of the hyperrational man, it has no past. His area of interest are the present and the future. • When bussiness related, its main social space is a quasi virtual one: the money. There is no other loyalty. • Is permanently connected but without face to face contact. • Is a monitor, a watcher, and a judge of everything. This could be useful for civil rights activism. (See the

Is a George Ritzer concept, strongly related to McDonaldization. Hyperrationality thinks of reality in terms of calculability. Everything, from theory and formal rationality to substantive rationality (popular new culture) is to be quantified. What is the gain? Its main components are: – – – –

Efficiency Calculability Predictability Control

(see George Ritzer, Explorations in Social Theory. From Metatheorizing to Rationalization, Sage Publications, 2001, chapter 10 and passim)

Special Report on Mobility, in The Economist, “Nomads at last”, apr. 10th 2008, http://www.economist.com/node/10950394)

Comportament urban&rural R. Baltasiu


Few words on the two “spatial types” Having mode of life

Being mode of life

• “Having refers to things and things are fixed and describable.”

• Owing • Human-centered world • Competing appearances See pecuniary emulation – Veblen: “It becomes indispensable to accumulate, to acquire property, in order to retain one's good name. When accumulated goods have in this way once become the accepted badge of efficiency, the possession of wealth presently assumes the character of an independent and definitive basis of esteem. ...

(Fromm: 71)

“Being refers to experience, and human experience is in principle not describable.” (Fromm: 71) “The peasant does not put himself in the center of the world, but carries with him a world that has its own spatial and temporal laws, a world in which love for the Other and the cooperation with him for better or for worse are beyond the self-love. He feels responsible for …everything … Cooperation and hospitality are the two forms of behavior of this type of being, of the rural social psychology. … each individual is acting according to that tradition that situated above everyone and everything a primary value…” (

Comportament urban&rural R. Baltasiu Bădescu, Satul contemporan şi evoluţia lui istorică, Editura ştiinţifică şi enciclopedică, Bucureşti, 1981 1981, pp.70-72)


An introductory overview using

• The concept of Social Space

Space is quintessential to the being. Social space is culturally defined.

In contact to humans, space becomes social space. Everywhere the human reaches there is no longer space but produced space, a space historically determined. (N. Radu, Bădescu, p.5) Space is the totality of social groups, the totality of statuses and the relations between them (N. Radu, Bădescu, p.11) Social space is the produced space by humanity either by direct or indirect action where people interact with one another. Comportament urban&rural R. Baltasiu Social space could be physical or virtual.


SOLIDARITY mecanic & organic (Durkheim) Solidaritatea mecanică • relaţiile sociale au la bază asemănarea dintre indivizi • Specifică societăţilor tradiţionale (99% din timpul omenirii)

Solidaritatea organică • relaţiile sociale se întemeiază pe diferenţa dintre membrii societăţii, generată de diviziunea funcţională a muncii • Specifică societăţii moderne (de la Revoluţia franceză până astăzi).

Comportament urban&rural R. Baltasiu


SOLIDARITY Bridging, Bonding (Putnam) Bridging • Reaching new social spaces

Bonding • Strengthening the existent social space

Comportament urban&rural R. Baltasiu


An introductory overview using

• The Neighborhood (the state of)

Neighborhood is one of the basic elements of social space based on aggregation by sameness (of feelings, interests etc.), expressed by mutual support and reciprocity (material and affective). Security of the social space is based on neighborhood. Good policing needs quality neighborhood. (see broken windows theory and Jane Jacob’s the ballet on the street).

Strangers are socialized by neighborhoods (stronger neighborhoods deny certain behaviors). Neighborhoods are the infrastructure of a good life in the cities.

Comportament urban&rural R. Baltasiu


• “Indeed, precisely what many highachieving suburban school districts The social capital is the trust availability in have in abundance is social capital, society. which is educationally more important even than financial capital. Is about connectedness. Conversely, where social Connectedness is expressed in connectedness is lacking, schools volunteering. work less well, no matter how affluent the community. Moreover, Its main components are: social capital continues to have 1. Bridging – surpassing/broading the powerful effects on education during we-limits the college years. Extracurricular 2. Bonding – strengthening the we. activities and involvement in peer “… bridging social capital can generate broader identities and reciprocity, whereas social networks are powerful predictors of college dropout rates bonding social capital bolsters our narrower selves.” and college success, even holding constant precollegiate factors, including aspirations.” (Robert D. Putnam, Bowling Alone. The underlying factor of social capital is… Social capital (the quality of)

(Robert D. Putnam, Bowling Alone. The Collapse and Revival of American Community, Simon & Schuster, 2000, p. 23)

religion “mediated by Aunt Susan” (R. Putnam in “American Grace” , 2010). The focal point of relationship between different faiths is the avuncular keyframe “Aunt Susan”.

The Collapse and Revival of American Community, Simon & Schuster, 2000, p.321)

Comportament urban&rural R. Baltasiu


Religion and Social capital. The Aunt Susan Principle (Putnam) • “Most Americans are intimately acquainted with people of other faiths. This, we argue, is the most important reason that Americans can combine religious devotion and diversity. We call it the «Aunt Susan Principle». We all have an Aunt Susan in our lives, the sort of person who epitomizes what it means to be a saint, but whose religious background is different from our own. Maybe you are Jewish and she is a Methodist. Or perhaps you are Catholic and Aunt Susan is not religious at all. But whatever her religious background (or lack thereof), you know that Aunt Susan is destined for heaven. And if she is going to heaven, what does that say about other people who share her religion or lack or religions? Maybe they can go to heaven too. To put the Aunt Susan Principle in more technical terms: We are suggesting that having a religiously diverse social network leads to a more positive assessment of specific religious groups, particularly those with low thermometer scores.” (Robert Putnam, David Campbell, American Grace. How Religion Divides and Unites Us, Simon & Schuster, New York, 2010, pp.526-527)

Comportament urban&rural R. Baltasiu


Religion and Social capital • “Faith communities in which people worship together are arguably the single most important repository of social capital in America.” • “More than eight out of ten Americans say they belong to a religion. More Americans than Iranians (four out of ten) say they attend a religious service nearly once a week or more.” (Robert D. Putnam, Bowling Alone. The Collapse and Revival of American Community, Simon & Schuster, 2000, p.66)

(The Economist, 25 nov. 2010, “Lexington. One nation, with Aunt Susan. How Americans turn religious

diversity intor a source of unity – for some”, http://www.economist.com/node/17577087)

Comportament urban&rural R. Baltasiu


• Weak Ties (Granovetter – 1973) An introductory overview using Legăturile sau relaţiile sociale slabe („weak ties”) – concept lansat de sociologul american Granovetter în 1973, se referă la capacitatea de fixare în spaţiul social a individului de către cunoscuţii săi şi de către prietenii acestor cunoscuţi. Chiar dacă cunoscuţii şi prietenii cunoscuţilor reprezintă un câmp de relaţii cu intensităţi mult mai reduse decât comunitatea tradiţională (caracterizată prin relaţii puternice – „strong ties”), aceştia constituie ceea ce Granovetter numeşte punţi (bridges) în spaţiul social între „segmente sociale”. Segmente sociale de interes sunt, de pildă, locurile de muncă. Astfel, forţa spaţiului social modern constă tocmai în aceste punţi sociale care fac posibilă reţeaua socială modernă. Legăturile slabe sunt în opoziţie cu legăturile de prietenie (strong ties). Granovetter, Mark, The Strength of Weak Ties: a Network Theory Revisited, în Sociological Theory, Volume 1, 1983, 201-233, wwwpersonal.si.umich.edu

Comportament urban&rural R. Baltasiu


An introductory overview using

• Broken Windows Theory (James Q. Wilson – 1982)

„But what do Broken Windows and the Power of Context suggest? Exactly the opposite. They say that the criminal – far from being someone who acts for fundamental, intrinsic reasons and who lives in his own world – is actually someone acutely sensitive to his environment, who is alert to all kinds of cues, and who is prompted to commit crimes based on his perception of the world around him. … The Power of Context is an environmental argument. It says that behavior is a function of social context. … But the Power of Context says that what really matters is little things.” (Gladwell, The Tipping Point …, 2002, p149] Done by bringing police on foot into the streets. „Social psychologists and police officers tend to agree that if a window in a building is broken and is left unrepaired, all the rest of the windows will soon be broken.” (James Q Wilson, March 1982, Atlantic Monthly, http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/198203/broken -windows)

Comportament urban&rural R. Baltasiu


Urban • • • • •

The city The city dweller Most advanced division of labor Supremacy of the intelect. SOLIDARITY: Abstract relationships – the paradox of society (Tonnies): people are more related as they are more [functionally] separated

• Relationships based on – money – abstract in themselves – competence – professionalized society

• REALITY is – Shaped by self-centered interests and rationality – There is a new sacrality called around “progress”, science – Homo faber: reality is defined by making, action, measurement Comportament urban&rural R. Baltasiu


The City • Oraşul este o aşezare relativ mare, densă şi permanentă, în care existenţa este împărţită în două cicluri de viaţă: ciclul vocaţional-profesional, unde indivizii interacţionează după principiul separării lor profesionale şi ciclul comunitar, unde structura socială este de tip comunitar-familial. I. Bădescu, Ontologia problemelor sociale. Teoria bifurcaţiei, m.s., 2007. • The most important social vector is the network of private interests. • The city is also a community. A community of professionals. Comportament urban&rural R. Baltasiu


Rural • • • • • •

The peasant The village Faith Kinship solidarity Common property: obştea REALITY is – Shaped by faith – Humanity is centered around God – L’homme total • There is Heaven – the only measure of things and the ideal Comportament urban&rural R. Baltasiu


“Being rural” – the Peasant and the Village • Satul este comunitatea teritorială care orbitează în jurul neamului şi al unui centru simbolic foarte solid, definit de Biserică, vatra satului, calendarul cosmic şi strămoşi. • Din punct de vedere social-economic, ţărănimea este o pătură socială caracterizată prin gestiunea familială a mijloacelor de producţie. “Românul [ca ţăran] are sentimentul, în tot ce face, că ia atitudine în veşnicie şi integrarea omului în veşnicie nu o dă fapta eficientă, ci purtarea simbolică sau rituală.” (Vulcănescu, Dimensiunea Românească a Existenţei, 1991, p.147)

• Calendarul ţărănesc este un mijloc de ordonare spirituală a spaţiului, prin intermediul sărbătorilor şi a încărcăturilor simbolice atribuite timpului cotidian. Timpul ţărănesc, spre deosebire de timpul oraşului modern, este de tip ciclic şi are durate mai lungi. Pentru ţăran, fiecare fenomen are o semnificaţie

Comportament urban&rural R. Baltasiu

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