Page 1

SOCIAL SCIENCE RESEARCH COUNCIL

VOLtJME 34 • NUMBER 1 • MARCH 1980 605 THIRD AVENUE. NEW YORK, N.Y. 10016

Kenneth Prewitt, Frederick Mosteller, and Herbert A. Simon Testify at National Science Foundation Hearings THE AUTHORIZATION HEARINGS for the fiscal year Kenneth Prewitt 1981 budget and program of the National Science Mr. Prewitt has been president of the Council since March Foundation were held on four days in Februar¥ 1980. 1979. Prior to coming to the Council, he was a professor of At these hearings, which were convened by the House political science at the University of Chicago and director of of Representative's Subcommittee on Science, Rethe National Opinion Research Center. search, and Technology under the chairmanship of Congressman George E. Brown, Jr. (Dem.-Cal.), tes... In my very brief testimony, I will address three timony was presented both by members of the Nainterrelated questions often asked of me. I choose tional Science Foundation staff and by invited scholthese questions because I suspect that the questions, ars. The last day of the hearings, February 20, was devoted to presentations on the social and behavioral sciences. CONTENTS OF THIS ISSUE Devoting an entire day to the social and behavioral sciences was a departure from previous authorization Kenneth Prewitt, Frederick Mosteller, and Herbert A. hearings-a departure that was a response on the Simon Testify at National Science Foundation Hearings 8 Careers and Life Cycles in Japan-David W. Plath part of the subcommittee to criticism of the social and 12 Sociolinguistics at the Council, 1963-1979: Past and behavioral sciences made last year from the floor of Prologue-Allen D. Grimshaw the House of Representatives. At the end of its delib18 Otto N. Larsen, Council Chairman, Appointed to National Science Foundation erations, the subcommittee recommended that the 19 Council Appoints Working Group on 1nternational authorization for social and behavioral science reProgram search 'supported by the National Science Foundation 19 Gordon B. Turner Retires as Vice President of the be substantially increased. American Council of Learned Societies 20 Current Activities at the Council The invited scholars who testified on behalf of the -The incidence and consequences of m;uor life events social and behavioral sciences on February 20 were -Social stratification and mobility in Japan and the United States Reynolds Farley, University of Michigan; Harlan -South Asian political economy Lane, Northeastern University; Frederick Mosteller, -Transnational corporations in Latin America Harvard University; Kenneth Prewitt, Social Science -The Japanese colonial empire -ACLS-SSRC China committees visit China Research Council; Judith Rodin, Yale University; and -Local government and public policy in advanced Herbert A. Simon, Carnegie-Mellon University. industrial societies 23 Workshop on the Use of Panel Data for Life-Course Selections from the testimony of those scholars who Research-A Call for Applications have had the closest associations with the Council23 Recent Council Publications Messrs. Prewitt, Mosteller, and Simon-are given below, with minor editorial changes.


or variants of them, are ones you often hear as well, and perhaps are ones that members of the subcommittee sometimes frame in their own minds. • Are the social and behavioral sciences useful to the nation? • Social scientists often study problems in our economy, in our schools, in our cities, and throughout our society which nevertheless resist solution-why is this? • How important is basic research of the kind supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to the usefulness of the social and behavioral sciences? One test of whether something is useful is whether it is used. The social and behavioral sciences clearly pass this market test. Everywhere I look I see the practical application of concepts and ideas, of tools and techniques, of systematic data, and of ways of organizing information which can be traced to the social sciences. Policy making in this and other modern governments is heavily dependent on a national statistical system which is the product of a half century of social science developments in measurement, statistics, demography, index construction, and survey methodology. Foreign policy making and national security issues are debated and discussed in frameworks-and often with information-that owes much to social scientific and humanistic research on non-American societies. The language of discourse in government, industry, and throughout the society draws upon the social sciences: externalities, reference groups, cost-benefit analysis, socialization, and latent functions-all are social science terms which have found their way into public discourse. To be more specific, I see the Committee on Banking, Currency, and Housing making regular use of economic concepts, urban sociology, and sam pIe surveys. I note that the Congressional Budget Office is largely staffed by economists, political scientists, and sociologists-and that these staff members bring the tools and concepts of their disciplines to the exacting task of advising on the national budget. I see the Congressional Research Service and the General Accounting Office drawing upon the social science literature and consulting with persons trained in the many social science disciplines. I doubt that the Antitrust Division in the Justice Department, now deliberating what action, if any, to take with respect to IBM and AT&T, could forecast the supply of goods and services or price fluctuations or job dislocations, or could analyze the relationship between corporate size and technological innovation, without the con2

cepts and techniques of the social sciences. Who, if not our social scientists and humanists, is going to provide the deeper interpretations and analysis of the enormous transformations now going on in China? Perhaps the heavy use of social science can be demonstrated most starkly by imagining an Office of Management and Budget, a Central Intelligence Agency, a Department of Labor, or any numb~r of Congressional committees totally stripped of any ideas or approaches or analytic techniques or information . bases which derive from the social and behavioral sciences. The very difficulty we have playing this counterfactual game, trying to imagine the modern governing process in the total absence of the social and behavioral sciences, convinces us that they indeed are in demand. I turn from the comparatively easy question, are the social sciences used, to the more demanding question, are they useful? The question appears in many forms. Some persons challenge the usefulness of social scientists because the problems which are said. to be the subject matter of their studies resist solution. Often this challenge is posed by comparing, unfavorably, the social with the natural sciences. If the natural scientists can produce the science which leads to putting a man on the moon, why cannot the social scientists produce the science which would lead to a strategy for decreasing crime and delinquency in America's cities or for predicting social revolutions in Third World countries? Setting aside the rejoinder that it took complicated organization, and thus administrative science, and theories of information processing and notions about human stress, and thus cognitive psychology, as well as calculations of rocket thrust, etc., to put a man on the moon, the assertion that social science can never solve anything merits a response. Let me tell a short story that will help put the usefulness issue in perspective. A quarter century ago, another president of the Social Science Research Council testified before a House committee. He came, in 1954, to defend the social sciences against the charge that they were part of a Communist conspiracy. We have all matured since then-the House, the social sciences, and the nation. And I welcome the fact that I am here to defend the social importance rather than the political patriotism of the social sciences. In his testimony, twenty-six years ago, Pendleton Herring told the following story. In the 1830s, when steamboats first began to come into use, there were some early problems with bursting boilers. A small research grant from the Secretary of the Treasury was given to a Professor Bates of the University of VOLUME

34,

NUMBER

1


Pennsylvania. Bates and his research team reported, among other things, that "sometimes there is a little carelessness in stoking the fire." A bursting steam boiler is not just a matter of chemistry and physics; it is also a matter of operator training and human behavior. The first government regulatory agency, the Steamboat Inspection Service, was accordingly established. You will no doubt anticipate the next chapter in my story. The President's Commission on the Accident at Three Mile Island similarly concluded that it was "people-related problems and not equipment problems" that brought the nation so close to a major tragedy. A report commissioned by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission echoed this conclusion, noting that the principal deficiencies in reactor safety "are not hardware problems, they are management problems." I tell this story not to make the obvious argument that the nation needs more, not less, research on how complex decision systems operate under stress and how technological information is processed both by human minds and in large organizations. This argument is self-evident. I will extract from the story a different principle. The complexities of the problems for which the social and behavioral sciences might be helpful are always going to be one step ahead of the problem-solving abilities of those sciences. It would be foolish to pretend otherwise. Social scientists work with the world as they find it; and the world moves, changes, progresses, reverses direction. New technologies which derive from natural science discoveries; an increasingly interdependent international economy; a resurgence of religious fundamentalism; a rising revolution in human aspirations; shifting international alliances-these are just a few of the more dramatic developments that keep the problems of the world one step ahead of our ability to solve them. Keeping in mind the principle that problems tend always to stay beyond the reach of problem-solving abilities, we can return more directly to a consideration of the usefulness of the social sciences. Probably no phrase has been repeated more often to this subcommittee than the famous assertion that science faces toward an endless frontier. Well, so also does government, though for government we might rephrase the metaphor. Government faces toward moving targets. International and national problems and issues don't sit still waiting for some definitive policy solution. Problems shift, emerge, mutate, explode, decay, .combine, and change. They do so even as policies are introduced, often in response to MARCH

1980

the policies themselves. A large part of governing is simply trying to cope and comprehend; another part, to be sure, is anticipating and trying to forestall or avert; but very little of government is "finding solutions." It is in this context that we examine whether the social sciences are useful. Do they help us to cope and to comprehend, to anticipate and perhaps to avert? Has demography helped in the planning of government services? Has survey research helped designers of social welfare programs? Has game theory helped national security analysts? Has econometrics helped business leaders? Has psycholinguistics helped educators? Has political theory helped presidential commissions on government reform? If, to these rhetorical questions, we answer with even a qualified yes, a sometimes, or a maybe, then there is warrant to the claim that the social sciences are useful. I will put the issue more bluntly. The social and behavioral sciences are not going 路to solve the nagging, persisting problems of this or any other nation. These disciplines are not a substitute government. Rather, economics, anthropology, political science, geography, sociology, psychology, demography, and statistics are sciences. They are sciences whose progress is marked, and whose usefulness is measured, less by the achievement of consensus or the solving of problems than by a refinement of debate and a sharpening of the intelligence upon which the collective management of human affairs depends. Though simple, summary statements are risky when speaking of activities which, as sciences, face an endless frontier, and, as contributors to the governing process, face a moving target, I nevertheless will try a one sentence defense of the usefulness of the enterprise. If the social and behavioral sciences contribute to practical judgment a bit more practicality and a bit more judgment than would, in their absence, be exercised, then the case is made. I will quickly address the third of my questionswhat is the relationship between basic research, of the type supported by the National Science Foundation, and the use and usefulness of social science concepts and methods? I start with the reminder that the social and behavioral sciences are comparatively young. National support for basic research in these disciplines, for instance, extends only across one generation of scholars, although important private foundation support goes back another generation. (Alas, I emphasize, private sector support has dwindled tremendously in the last three or four decades.) Yet in this short ti me, scientific momentum has been established in many 3


fields. So also has the application of results from these scientific advances. I do not see a slackening in the national and international application of concepts and tools produced in the social and behavioral sciences. It may surprise you that I make this observation with some alarm. I am alarmed because I do see a slackening of support for basic research in the social science disciplines. Therefore I bring to your attention the danger of an imbalance between the science and the application, between the painstaking, autonomous research which tests models and perfects tools and the rapid growth of a social science R&D industry. Much has been asked of the social and behavioral sciences in the last two decades; perhaps too much, too soon. Many people believe that social science concepts and techniques are simple to acquire and apply, which is why applied social research is a relatively easy entry industry. In the social and behavioral sciences, then, we face a unique danger. Activities labeled "social science" will grow even if the basic science fails to keep pace. In these fields of science we should take special precautions to insure that applications remain rooted in and guided by basic, disciplined research. We should be hesitant about asking for evaluation research on federal programs unless we are prepared to su pport the prior research into hu man behavior, social organization, and the political process. We should be wary of the widespread application of social science methods in government and industry, unless we support basic research in statistics, measurement, and observation. To reduce the support for basic social and behavioral science at NSF will not seriously slow the growth of social R&D.. On the contrary, it might make things worse. It will allow that growth to proceed without insuring the refinement and replenishment of basic skills, concepts, theories, and models in the social science disciplines. Accordingly, I urge you to protect the already Ii mited budget for basic research in these fields ....

Frederick Mosteller Mr. Mosteller is Roger I. Lee professor of biostatistics at the School of Public Health, Harvard University and president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He served on the Council's board of directorsfor 12 years, 1953-58 and 1965-70; as chairman of the board, 1965-69; as a member of the Committee on Problems and Policy, 1955-61 and 1965-69; and as a member of the Executive Committee, 1969-70. He has also served as a 4

member offive Council research planning committees and is the senior author of one of the Council's best-known publications, The Pre-election Polls of 1948 (1949). The June 1974 issue of Items contained his "The Role of the Social Science Research Council in the Advance of Mathematics in the Social Sciences" (Pages 17-24).

. .. With your permission I will speak of recent applications of new methods of social science research, then about some even newer methods .... Perhaps one of the most important advances in social science research over the past decade has been the application of research methods to the evaluation of important social programs. Beginning with the design of the New Jersey Income Maintenance Study in the late 1960s, there has been a series of major intervention studies sponsored by the federal government which have involved social scientists and statisticians. This work has been initiated in the belief that systematic experimental trials of proposed social programs have valuable advantages over other ways of learning what programs are effective, under what circumstances, and at what cost. These national programs have included the Experimental Housing Allowance Program (EHAP), the National Health Insurance Study, and the Seattle-Denver Income Maintenance Experiment (SIME-DIME). On a similar but smaller scale, social scientists have been involved in a wide range of experimental programs in the fields of education, communications, criminal justice, mental health, and manpower training. Knowledge derived from such efforts does not come easily. Transferring experimental technology from the laboratory into field settings that often include hundreds or thousands of individuals introduces major methodological difficulties. There is a fundamental tension between the desire for a research design which provides a fair and strong test of the relevant hypotheses and the simultaneous need to plan evaluations that are financially feasible and cost effective. For example, an important technical fact about the size of an experiment is that the "square root" law prevails. That is, doubling the number of participants in a study will not halve the unreliability of results. One must quadru pie the size of a sample to halve the unreliability. Although statisticians and social scientists are helpful in evaluating social programs, when it comes to analyzing data and interpreting findings their more important contribution comes in determining the initial design of experimental studies. A major task in evaluation research is the careful VOLUME

34,

NUMBER

1


selection of groups of individuals to participate in the investigation-a sample that will allow researchers and policy makers to generalize results to future recipients of the program. New methods have had to be developed for this task. In the New Jersey Income Maintenance Experiment, economists Harold Watts (Columbia University) and John Conlist (University of California, San Diego) developed a model for the selection of program participants which took into account anticipated labor market response, incorporating such factors as the structure of local employment opportunities. The development of such sample selection models requires both sophisticated statistical skills and substantive knowledge of social phenomena relevant to the program being evaluated. Yet the cost of large-scale research efforts and the difficulty of determining appropriate samples are only two of the many problems inherent in the assessment of social interventions. The implementation of social programs can be a complex process requiring the delivery of services to different groups of individuals in different geographic locations. As the design for such social programs becomes more complex, the tasks required to evaluate the programs become vastly more difficult. For example, a host of problems stems from the fact that the target groups for some social programs are highly mobile, in terms of both residence and occupation. It is time consuming and costly to deliver social services to clients who change location frequently or whose first language may not be English. As difficult as it is to deliver services, it is even more difficult to obtain and maintain accurate records on program recipients and relevant control populations. Incomplete information and attrition are common in such studies. These problems are amplified when one wishes to assess the long-run impact of a social program. . I have mentioned these difficulties in the conduct of evaluation research only to underscore the fact that knowledge to inform important social policies does not come easily or cheaply. But I am here to tell you that we are making progress-that significant methodological advances have been made in recent years. Social scientists and statisticians, often working together, have developed and applied a growing range of new design and analytical techniques for studies. This work has benefited from similar efforts in the fields of biology and medicine, and from basic research and methods development in the social sciences more generally. Principles of analysis developed in studies such as the National Halothane Study, MARCIl

1980

which assessed the safety of various anesthetics employed in surgery, can be applied to evaluating the impact of various social programs. My colleagues and I, working on this study, employed a variety of new analytical approaches, and as a result of that work our project produced a book on what are called log-linear methods, so that the techniques are now widely available. These techniques are currently being utilized and adapted to the analysis of experimental data from the intervention studies I have mentioned. In addition, just as results from the Halothane study revealed the importance of identifying and understanding interhospital differences, so programs such as the income maintenance experiments must come to understand how payment programs may operate differently in different geographical locations. On the analytical side, sociologists, including Nancy Tuma and Michael Hannan of Stanford University, have begun to identify the influence of income maintenance procedures in the Seattle-Denver Income Maintenance Study upon marital dissolutioncertainly an unintended consequence of an important social program. I should like now to mention some of the newer techniques that are just coming into wide usage. Every substantial set of data has special quirks in it and one problem for the data analyst is to get the data to reveal what is basic about the set and to skip over what is only a wild or unusual value. We have, over the last decade, developed systematic methods for what is called exploratory data analysis. These methods tend to be flexible, resistant, and robust. They are flexible because they can tackle all sorts of data and be responsive to many kinds of questions, resistant because they are not much affected by a few wild values, and robust because they get nearly all the information out of the data even when the usual theoretical assumptions fail. The National Science Foundation has supported the development and exposition of these methods. To obtain the robustness properties, we have to use methods that require special high-speed computations. I am pleased to report that David Hoaglin, Harvard University, and Paul Velleman, Cornell University, have just submitted to the publisher a manuscript containing special computer programs that will assist in making these important new methods widely available .... To summarize, National Science Foundation funding has been most important in developing new research methods for social science and economics and it will continue to be important as we try to improve their ability to contribute in the future. 5


Herbert A. Simon Mr. Simon, a political scientist, is Richard King Mellon professor of computer science and psychology at CarnegieMellon University. He served as a member-at-large of the Council's board of directors for 12 years,from 1958-71; as chairman of the board, 1961-65; and as a member of the Committee on Problems and Policy from 1962-1968. He has served as a member of two research planning committees and in 1958 he codirected with Allen Newell a now-historic summer training institute in computer simulation techniques. In 1978, he was awarded the Alfred Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science.

... One of the remarkable things that has happened in our society over the past 20 years has been a vast change in our treatment of minorities and groups that have been underprivileged. I don't mean that we have solved all these problems. In a society, such problems are never fully solved. Most of us would feel that there has been a great change in our society and, on the whole, that we have made substantial progress in these matters, although different ones among us would evaluate that progress differently. Here is as sensitive a topic as we have. What is the role of the social sciences in a topic of this kind? , I n the late 1930s, a distinguished Swedish economist and social scientist, Gunnar Myrdal, came to this country to organize and direct a study of American race problems. Out of that study came a very thick book which many of us are familiar with. The book is called An American Dilemma. I think the title is itself instructive, because the book did two things. First, it made a very careful factual examination of our racial institutions and problems, with suggestions for steps that we might take to extricate ourselves from a dilemma in values that we ourselves felt. That is, if there was one thing Americans were agreed on, in an area where there is immense conflict and disagreement, it was that we were faced with a dilemma-a conflict between some of our basic values and the social practices in our society. An American Dilemma is an excellent example, I think, of how the social sciences work: not by proposing specific solutions, specific measures, but by providing us with a mirror-in this case a rather accurate mirror--of ourselves. It is an excellent example of the doctrine of knowing ourselves, and with all of the progress and steps forwards and backwards we have taken on the problem of race and minorities, we have undoubtedly handled them with a great deal more skill over the past 20 years as a result of having some 6

facts about where we were, some facts about what the problem was and is. Today, we can monitor our progress toward solving these problems because we do have statistics about our society-economic statistics, for example, about the relative progress of blacks, of women, and of other underprivileged groups in the job market, and statistics about their occupational status today. We don't have to debate it. Well, we do have to debate it, but we don't have to guess about the basic facts. We did get some facts and analyzed them carefully. We did debate the controversial aspects of the statistics, but we were not just proceeding on pure imagination, pure conjecture, or on our own personal experiences, which may be very atypical of the experiences of the society as a whole .... . . . The social and behavioral sciences can and must make important contributions to the productivity of our society by making contributions to the efficiency of our most valuable resources, our own human behavior, human thinking, and problem-solving processes. I tried to emphasize in my remarks here the processes of application of the social sciences which, I think, are rather different from the processes of application of engineering and medical science. The social sciences don't invent pills, by and large. We don't invent wonder drugs. We invent basic knowledge-no, I guess invent is the wrong word, isn't it? We discover basic knowledge about ourselves, about our society. The most important channel of application of that new knowledge is its bro~d diffusion through public channels until it becomes part of the knowledge of almost all of us. It has been mentioned several times this morning that the social sciences are often discounted because much of what they learn seems to be common sense. Well, it is common sense today to say that if you drop a feather and a rock together in a vacuum, they will fall at the same pace. It wasn't common sense before Galileo. In a democratic society, which has to make its own decisions about what it wants to be, one of the basic aims of the social sciences must be to take knowledge that comes out of the laboratoryknowledge that may be stated in language that is hard to understand-and make it part of the common sense of our society. That is the most important goal in the application of the social sciences. Finally, we need to remind ourselves as social scientists, and to remind others who are involved in the venture, that we should not overclaim what the social sciences can do because, in any society, there are many sources of conflict of interest built deeply into VOLUME

34,

NUMBER

1


that society. There are many issues on which we have different values. We want to go in different directions. Different public policies will affect us in quite distinct ways, and we should not expect the social sciences, somehow or another, to lead the lion and the lamb to lie down together. We should not expect the social sciences to resolve the many conflicts of interest that must exist in any society. But, I think we can expect the social sciences to help us understand what those interests are and what the range of possible directions for the society is that can partially accommodate that whole collection of interests. For that reason, the social sciences simply should not (I won't say cannot, obviously they can) stay away from important issues in our society simply because those issues might be sensitive issues, might involve a conflict of values. Moreover, we need to remind ourselves that social science research cannot repeal the laws of nature. Engineeis don't try to design bridges by inventing a gravity shield so that the bridge won't be pulled down by gravitational forces. They work with the system. They accommodate themselves to the laws of nature. Social science research also does not have as its goal changing human beings into some other kind of species with quite different characteristics than we have now. Social science research is concerned with understanding ourselves, with all of our warts, with all of the quirks of our behavior, understanding why these quirks aren't really quirks but are a part of us, and understanding how societies can operate with human beings as they really are .... ... Mr. Brown: Dr. Simon, I want to raise a subject which is of considerable current interest but may not be in an area that you care to comment on. In the macroeconomic field, there has been some indications lately, some of them based on economic research, that our oversimplistic models of the economic system have failed adequately to factor in certain variables which can only be described as psychological, that is, the anticipation by certain constituencies of a certain thing perhaps leads them to modify their economic behavior. This may be true of labor unions anticipating inflation. In fact, one of the explanations given for continued inflation is that the expectation of continued inflation continues to fuel it. Do you feel that there is a possibility that interdisciplinary research in the social sciences can contribute to a better understanding of this macroeconomic problem than we seem to have at the present time? Dr. Simon: There, you have touched a very sensitive button. You asked at the beginning of my testimony MARCH

1980

how I could be an economist and a psychologist. That is a difficult question, indeed, because really these two disciplines, until recently, haven't been talking to each other very much. The work on experimental economics we heard described here is quite novel and unusual in that respect. I do, indeed, think that the current crisis in macroeconomic theory and business cycle theory, in which there is now quite a diversity of views, can be attributed in considerable measure to our lack of a theory of how human beings form expectations. I don't mean that there isn't enormous speculation about this in economics. As a matter of fact, a lot of the current excitement in economics is about something called "rational expectations theory," which is a very elegant idea, very elegantly developed. The only thing we don't know about rational expectations theory is whether or not it describes any real hu man behavior. Where economics and psychology need to bed down together, much more closely than they have in the past, is in finding ways to verify-by direct observation of human behavior and by human laboratory experiments of the sort that were described here-to find out which of the rather large set of theories of expectation formation that are now current really do describe how human beings go about predicting the future. Probably, before we are done, we will have to have the historians and the anthropologists also in the act, because expectation formation is something that probably changes from one culture to another and over time. I am sure that if we had good data 15 years ago about the extent to which people took price trends into account in their economic planning and if we had comparable data for today, we would find that there has been a great change in the public view about whether this variable is worth paying attention to or not. This kind of shift (the economists have a name for it, they call it a shift in structure) is not anything that is easily accommodated in the kind of economic theories that we have now, nor does economics today have very much skill in detecting empirically when shifts 0 take place, much less in anticipating them. . ..

In the June Items . ..

Names, affiliations, and topics of all persons awarded international doctoral research fellowships and postdoctoral research grants in 1980. 7


Careers and Life Cycles in Japan by David W. Plath* STUDIES OF THE LIFE CYCLE IN JAPAN have been in an intellectual poverty cycle for more than 30 years. If there are three main time lines of social processthose of historical change in societies, of structural change in organizations, and of life-course change in individuals--only the first two have been widely used for the framing of research on human conduct in japan. The prevailing problems have been to account for japan's "rapid" industrialization and for the unique features of japanese values and social organization. The life-cycle problem-how to account for individual coherence and direction as a person strives for self-discipline and self-realization over the years-has been on the peripheries of our vision of japan since 1946. That year saw the publication of Ruth Benedict's The Chrysanthemum and the Sword. Personal growth and integrity in the japanese cultural milieu was a central issue in Benedict's anthropological analysis of japanese national character; it has been the dominant theme in fewer than a handful of subsequent volumes. 1 For a generation, the dominant view of japan has been one in which history and social structure have swallowed biography. Attention is given to individual change, for the most part, only when it appears to result from adapting to the pressures of modernization or to the normative demands of roles. Benedi~t saw japanese as individuals grappling with lifelong "dilemmas of virtue" posed by competing personal attachments and social debts. Research since the end of World War II has leaned in the opposite direction, positing a self in japan that is

essentially "group-based" or "sociocentric" to the point where organizational goals virtually dictate one's personal course of conduct. By blotting out, mentally, life-cycle constraints on social and organizational process, the prevailing mind set has lent further credence to stereotypes of japan as a society in which oversocialized persons live in an unusual, consensual harmony.

The study project

The joint Committee on japanese Studies 2 has been working to correct the distortions about japanese society that have been fostered by this oversocialized image of human conduct. One committee project is investigating the nature of conflict, another the dimensions of social mobility, in the japanese milieu. 3 A third project, launched in the fall of 1977, is examining the life-cycle aspects of behavior. The basic assumption of the project is that a person as a moral actor in society maintains a sense of individual continuity and responsibility that extends across time and beyond particular contexts of activity. He organizes his conduct in terms of longer-term personal goals and aspirations as well as in response to immediate situations. Behavior must be studied for what it may reveal about personal goals as well as for what it may reveal about structural roles. A project planning meeting in the spring of 1978 outlined a series of three research workshops. The first of these was held in the fall of 1978; the second in the fall of 1979; the third has not yet been scheduled. Most of the project's working papers are in the * The author is professor of anthropology and Asian studies, form of case re-studies. Each of a number of japan University of Illinois, and a member of the Joint Committee on specialists was asked to re-analyze, from a life-cycle Japanese Studies. I Ruth Benedict. The Chrysanthemum and the Sword: Patterns of Japanese Culture (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1946). Closest to Benedict in its broad-gauge view of life-course change is the recent study by Robert Jay Lifton, Shuichi Kato, and Michael Reich, Six Lives Six Deaths: Portraits from Modern Japan (Yale University Press, 1979). Two other books deal extensively with life-cycle phenomena but tend to approach them in terms of modernization and socialization issues: George DeVos, et aI., Socialization for Achievement: Essays on the Cultural Psychology of the Japanese (University of California Press, 1973), and Takie S. Lebra, Japanese Patterns oj BeliaviM (University Press of Hawaii, 1976). A new book of my own focuses upon life-cycle dynamics but follows these only into the middle years of adulthood: David W. Plath, Long Engagements: Maturity in Modem Japan (Stanford University Press, 1980).

8

2 This committee is cosponsored by the Council and the American Council of Learned Societies. Present members of the committee, in addition to myself, are Robert E. Cole, University of Michigan (chairman); Haruhiro Fukui, University of California, Santa Barbara; G. Cameron Hurst Ill, University of Kansas; Earl R. Miner, Princeton University; T.J. Pempel, Cornell University; Kenneth Pyle. University of Washington; J . Thomas Rimer, Washington University, St. Louis; Barbara Ruch, University of Pennsylvania; Seizaburo Sato, University of Tokyo; and Ronald Aqua, staff. 3 See Ellis S. Krauss, Thomas P. Rohlen, and Patricia G. Steinhoff, "Conflict in Postwar Japan," Items, 32 (2): 21-26 (June 1978); and "Social and Occupational Mobility in the United States and Japan," items, 31/32(4/1): 16-17 (March 1978).

VOLUME

34,

NUMBER

I


standpoint, a body of information that he or she had collected or already was familiar with.4 This request was made with three goals in mind. First, it would yield a measure of how well one may be able to tease out life-course processes from data that were for the most part gathered using structural or historical approaches. Second, it would test current conceptions of life-span behavior for their "fit" in japanese settings. And third, it might mobilize a cadre of japan specialists who are sensitized to life-cycle issues, who can direct new research towards such issues, and who can provide a japan component for the cross-cultural investigation of long-term human development. 5 Each workshop is addressed to the patterns of conduct across one of three phases in adult careers (entry, establishment/fulfillment, exit). Conventional wisdom claims that in each of these career phases japan contrasts markedly with other high-technology societies in its pattern of life-cycle constraints and opportunities. For example, in japan during the "entry" phase of job socialization and family formation, the schools are said to wield an unusual degree of control over occupational placement, and parents an unusual amount of influence over mate selection. In the "established" years, adult japanese are supposed to be provided with long-term security structurally through "lifetime employment" (shown in alleged low rates of job leaving) and "family continuity" (shown in low rates of divorce). And although first retirement occurs at about age 55 in japan, the disengagement processes in later years are thought to be less disruptive, thanks to temporary re-employment and stem-family residence. These cultural variables will have to be given sharper definition before they can properly be put to a cross-cultural test. 4 Persons who have prepared working papers for the project are (in addition to myself as project organizer) Keith Brown, University of Pittsburgh; Theodore F. Cook, Jr., University of Maryland-Far East; Liza Crihfield Dalby, University of Chicago; Karen Holden, University of Wisconsin; Shun Inoue, Osaka National University; Christie W. Kiefer, University of California, San Francisco; Jill Kleinberg, University of California, Los Angeles; Yukinari Kohara, Rikkyo University; Solomon B. Levine, University of Wisconsin; Susan Orpett Long, University of Illinois; James McLendon, Harvard Universitr; Paul Noguchi, Bucknell University; Bernard Silberman, University of Chicago; Kenneth B. Skin!1er, University of Northern Iowa; and Mitsuru Wakabayashi, Keio University. Others who participated in one or more of the workshop meetings are John B. Grossberg, University of Iliinois; Kunio Ishihara, Japan National Institute of Mental Health; Kokichi Masuda, Konan University; SusanJ. Pharr, University ofWisconsin; and Ronald Aqua, staff. 5 See Robert A. LeVine, "Adulthood and Aging in CrossCultural Perspective," Items, 3l/32 (4/1):1-5 (March 1978).

MARCH

1980

The life-course dimension Those preparing papers for the project were asked to order their materials around a shared set of themes. Within the limits sketched by these themes, each author was free to redefine concepts as needed in order best to elucidate the particulars of the case. The key idea is to place the biographical or lifecourse dimension of behavior on center stage. The image is of the person as a social entity propelled through time, figuratively "writing" his biography in acts of behavior. All along the way he is guided by cultural norms that help define goals, competence, and performance; and is steered by other persons around him who hold the power to interpret the norms and apply them to him. The chief analytic concepts are careers and life cycles, each stated in the plural. In the singular, a career is a course of action in one domain of life: in Glen Elder, jr.'s phrasing, a "patterned sequence of movements through social networks and settings." We pluralize the term as a reminder that a person's actions in one domain are likely to shape, and be shaped by, the speed and direction of his sequence of movements in other domains. In the singular, a life cycle is the sum of all of a person's careers from prenatal to postmortem social existence (since a person as a social entity both predates and postdates the biological life span). Plurally, life cycles remind us that a person moves through the years in the company of others, who concurrently are moving through their own lifecycle stages-seniors, juniors, peers. A person's options hinge upon others, in ways that may be complex, are often sequential, and often cumulative. Or as Keith Brown noted at one workshop, it takes three generations to produce one grandmother.

Organizational goals and personal purposes Students of career phenomena in the West distinguish between "objective" and "subjective" careers: between the normative expectations of an organization on the one hand and the orientations or "career perspectives" of its members on the other. But the fashionable image of the Japanese as organizationally "overattached" tends to mask the slippages and contradictions that occur between structural career timetables and personal ones. The stereotype asserts that "lifetime employment" is the norm for men in the workplace and for women in the home. They are assured of long-term security, with predictable increases in rewards and predictable rises in rank and 9


power. Security in turn elicits a "lifetime commitment" to the organization, such that its goals preempt personal ones. This produces an employee buffered from psychic upset, free to pour all his enthusiasm into productivity. In short, the ideal-type cheerful robot, who in a Western documentary film about Japan may appear with his coworkers, loudly singing the company anthem. The concept of "overattachment" gains little support from project working papers, whether they draw upon aggregate data or upon case materials. Solomon B. Levine and Karen Holden (both of the University of Wisconsin) reported that "lifetime employment" for men and "terminal employment" for women-who leave to become career mothers-describe the situation for at most a fraction of Japanese adults. In "Careers and Mobility in Japan's Labor Markets," Levine concludes that the typical Japanese employee experiences several job changes, and that the rate of job turnover is similar to that in Western Europe. It is the mobility rate in the United States that looks abnormal when compared with other high-technology economies. Holden applied a cohort analysis in her paper on "Changing Employment Structure of Females in Japan: 1960-75." As she compared each cohort with its predecessor, she found that a larger percentage of women are in paid employment, fewer and fewer withdraw for childbearing, more re-enter the labor force in their later years, and more delay their retirement. The result is a female labor force that is aging much faster than is the female population; i.e., the average age of all Japanese women is not rising as rapidly as the average age of women in paid employment. The Japanese organization man is thought particularly likely to submerge his identity in large-scale corporations that can provide long-term job security. But case studies of such organizations by Kenneth B: Skinner and Paul Noguchi indicate that income predictabili ty, as indexed by annual longevity pay increases, does not equate with career predictability in promotions or assignments. An employee must maintain a detached perspective in order to create a sense of personal continuity and direction amid what he experiences as a tangle of reassignments and delays. Looking at a public corporation in Tokyo, Skinner, University of Northern Iowa, found "aborted careers" to be the usual fate. A national ministry supervises this corporation, and as a means to regularize its own promotion flow, the ministry routinely posts its own civil servants to tours of duty within the corporation. Thus, most upper-level positions in the corporation are "colonized" by the ministry, and few 10

men are promoted from inside. Employees find that they are moved arbitrarily, often on short notice, to new positions, so that they can form no clear idea of what "normal" progress ought to be. Noguchi, Bucknell University, offers a poignant portrait of Japanese National Railways employees who are assigned to what he calls Shiranai ("Who Knows?") station. Charged with keeping the trains running on time, they find themselves sidetracked and running late in their own careers. For they are working in a declining industry, in a corporation forced to cut its operations to reduce financial losses, and overpopulated with employees in the 40-50 year-old bracket. The overattachment thesis claims that child training in Japan fosters a lifelong dependency need or hunger for dissolving the self into group goals. However, Mitsuru Wakabayashi and Shun Inoue, using very different kinds of data and approaches, both found that white-collar workers, at least early in their careers, are hesitant to commit themselves deeply to organizational goals. In "The Kaisha Career: An 'Identification' Problem," Wakabayashi, Keio University, reports on a series of large-scale studies of managerial career progress. Young managers, he found, are in fact strongly oriented to personal growth; and he hypothesizes that this is a pragmatic hedge against failure within what they perceive as a fiercely competitive arena. Inoue, Osaka National University, wrote on "Reluctant Entry and Reconstructions of Personal Identity." Building his analysis upon novels of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, he argues that the modern bureaucratic career pathway which emerged in Japan during that period did not automatically induce enthusiasm-even among ambitious young men. His analysis examines their modes of self-justification for being what he terms "psychologically out of work."

Multiple careers Several of the working papers addressed concurrent careers and their spillover effects. This general line of inquiry has, of course, had limited precedents in some areas of social research: e.g., in studies of "women's two worlds," of dual-career families, or of family cycles and family income. But there is no standard vocabulary for construing the issues, and the project authors phrase them in a variety of ways. Jill Kleinberg, University of California, Los Angeles, reported on the "paired trajectories" of family and working careers within enterprise households that produce folk-craft ceramics. By comparing VOLUME

34,

NUMBER

1


three successive household cohorts she is able to illuminate the many ways in which household roles and craft-work assignments can be adjusted-in response to outside forces that impact differentially on the members according to gender, age, and skill-thereby reshaping strategies for household succession and career options for individuals. Susan Orpett Long, University of Illinois, examined three forms of medical employment (university research department, hospital staff, private practice) and what each entails by way of the "intertwined careers" a physician follows. She shows how, as a doctor moves from one "practice style" to another during a professional career, he evolves a new life style to integrate his collegial, familial, and civic streams of activity. james McLendon, Harvard University, adopted a similar approach in his "Careers of Company Women: Way Station to Marriage or Detour to a Dead End?" These are women in "terminal employment," expected to "retire" into marriage by about age 28 at the latest, although they have the option of developing working careers within the company. (Young male employees also use the company as a marriage arena but need not resign when they are successful. And the personnel office makes a point of recruiting women whom it judges will become good "company wives.") McLendon traces in fine detail how a woman shifts her balance of commitments to work skills, mate search, female friendships, and personal cultivation as she periodically re-evaluates her chances for successful withdrawal from work. A focus on occupational pride or sense of mission as a trunk line for personal continuity appears in two of the case studies. In "Ritual and the Reaffirmation of the Geisha Life," Liza Crihfield Dalby, University of Chicago, describes how geisha symbolically define a separate occupational subculture. Dalby argues that sustaining this subculture as a "way of life" and not just as a means to an ,income in turn acts as a major organizing principle for long-term personal conduct among geisha. By contrast, Theodore F. Cook, jr., University of Maryland-Far East, examined a situation in which an occupational subculture was suddenly and totally eliminated. His subjects are the officers of the Imperial japanese Army, who in 1945 saw their profession abolished and thrown into disrepute. Many of them were, in time, successful in taking up a "second life" after the war. Part of the explanation, Cook says, may be that they hadjob skfIIs which could be transferred to other lines of work. He also argues that they were able to purge the military manifestations from their sense MARCH

1980

of personal mission, and were able to redefine their postwar life course as a continuation of that mission.

Wider implications Three other working papers, drawing on studies still in process, speculate on the gains that may accrue from viewing the life-cycle time line in even wider compass. Christie W. Kiefer, University of California, San Francisco, examines cases of sudden and dramatic personality change at different points along the life course in japan and asks whether, given enough cases, "we might be able to propose a set of unconscious developmental expectations-a sort of grammar of biography?" Keith Brown, University of Pittsburgh, in a preliminary report on changes in family cohorts in a northeastern town since 1872, noted that studies of institutional change can only poorly account for the diversity of family types which result from change. He argues that we should ask instead how the variables of change affect persons at different stages in the life cycle, and how in turn these factors may generate family units of different types. Finally, Bernard Silberman, University of Chicago, re-examines the shishi.路 the "men of spirit," young activists who had an important part in bringing the downfall of the shogunal government in 1868. Although most shishi were of samurai origin, some derived from merchant or peasant strata of Tokugawa society, and a few were female. Silberman finds inadequate the usual attempts to explain the shishi in terms of class interest or a shared ideology. Instead, he attributes the shishi "sense of specialness" to the fact that they were the first cohort to emerge from a new life-cycle stage: an extended period of schooling that first became open to elite youth in the early 19th century. He raises the issue of under what conditions does a new stage in the life cycle feed back and reshape structural and historical change? A handful of case studies cannot be extrapolated to make up a new paradigm for human conduct in japan. But perhaps one can reasonably draw the following lesson from the project's working papers on careers and the life cycle: conventional wisdom to the contrary, the subjective side of organizational behavior is highly salient in modern japan, and can be explained from a life-course perspective. Claims that japanese career conduct is unusually group-based or structurally-dominated need to be backed by evidence that subjectivity is in fact weak. And the idea that the personal aspect of life is weak in japan will seem implausible to anyone familiar with the expreSSIve riches of japanese literature and art. 0 11


Sociolinguistics at the Council, 1963-1979: Past and Prologue by Allen D. Grimshaw* IN A 1974 ARTICLE IN ITEMS that summarized two decades of continuous collaborative activity among linguists and social scientists in two Council committees, Susan Ervin-Tripp, University of California, Berkeley, reported that the first of these committees, the Committee on Linguistics and Psychology (1952-61) had requested that it be discharged on the grounds that psycholinguistics was flourishing and that its mission had been accomplished. She also reported that a Committee on Sociolinguistics had been appointed two years later, in response to the initiative of Ii nguists and sociologists who were concerned about problems of both policy and research. 1 These scholars had found that while psychology and linguistics had established a successful rapprochment, and while anthropology had long had a sophisticated and linguistically-informed interest in language-inuse in social contexts, that other social scientists, professionals (e.g., in education, law, and medicine) , and policy makers continued to be quite unaware of the theoretical, research, and practical implications of studies of language and society. Accordi ngly, the Council established the Committee on Sociolinguistics in 1963; its first major activity was a summer-long seminar held in conjunction with the 1964 Linguistic Society of America Summer Institute. Only a half-dozen or so of the Council's more than 100 nonarea-related research committees have had longer terms than that of the Committee on Sociolinguistics. Established in 1963, it had 23 members during its lifetime, listed in the box on page 13; it sponsored a wide variety of projects; and it published several dozen articles and a number of volumes. In the summer of 1979, the committee requested that it be discharged-on the grounds that it had accomplished many of the goals for which it had orginally been constituted.

The institutionalization of sociolinguistics Since the early 1960s, the field of sociolinguistics has become well-established. The three most relevant disciplinary organizations-anthropology, linguistics, and sociology-all regularly include sociolinguistics sessions in their annual programs. Similar sessions are held at regional disciplinary meetings and at international meetings in the three fields; for example, about 200 paper titles were listed for sessions of the Research Group on Sociolinguistics at the 1978 meeting of the International Sociological Association. Anthropological, linguistics, and even sociological journals regularly join Language in Society (a journal which grew out of committee initiatives and has been edited by Dell Hymes since its inception) in publishing materials on language use in social contexts. There is a growing number of specialty journals. Publication in the area loosely defined as sociolinguistics has increased manyfold over the years of the committee's existence; monographs now number in the hundreds and there are a number of textbooks. There are major interdisciplinary programs in several universities and many places where students can tak~ courses in sociolinguistics in one or more of the parent disciplines or in cognate disciplines or professional programs.

Some committee aC$ivities

In the approximately five-year period thaJ: elapsed between Susan Ervin-Tripp's report and the committees request that it be discharged, the committee simultaneously continued work on so~e of its "traditional" interests and initiated exploration of some previously less-defined sociolinguistic topics. An instance of the forme'r was the sponsorship in 1974 of a major conference bringing together anthropologists, linguists, and psychologists interested in how early * The author is a professor of sociology at Indiana University. childhood language acquisition is affected by who Until 1979, he served as cochairman (with Dell H. Hymes, dean, talks to children, and how. Not surprisingly, many of Graduate School of Education, University of Pennsylvania) of the Council's Committee on Sociolinguistics. The other members of the papers focused on mother-child speech; as in the committee during 1978-79 were Charles A. Ferguson, Stan- previous conferences, there was also an emphasis on ford University; Charles J. Fillmore, University of California, the introduction of comparative materials from across Berkeley; Shirley Brice Heath, University of Pennsylvania; Hugh societies and speech communities. The resultant volMehan, University of California, San Diego; Joel Sherzer, Uni- ume 2 , has now been joined by a number of volumes versity of Texas; David L. Szanton, staff. I See Susan Ervin-Tripp, "Two Decades of Council Activity in the Rapprochement of Linguistics and Social Science," Items, 28(1) : 1-4 (March 1974). 12

2 Catherine E. Snow and Charles A. Ferguson, editors, Talking to Children: Language Input and Acquisition (Cambridge University Press, 1977).

VOLUME

34,

NUMBER

1


Committee on Sociolinguistics Members, 1963-79

I

Name

Affiliation*

Jacques Brazeau Susan M. Ervin-Tripp Charles A. Ferguson Charles J . Fillmore Joshua A. Fishman Joseph H . Greenberg Allen D. Grimshaw John J. Gumperz Einar Haugen Shirley Brice Heath Eduardo Hermindez-Ch . Everett C. Hughes Dell H. Hymes Nathan Keyfitz Rolf Kjolseth William D. Labov Stanley Lieberson Hugh Mehan Gillian Sankoff Thomas A. Sebeok Joel Sherzer Roger W. Shuy John Useem

University of Montreal University of California, Berkeley Stanford University University of California, Berkeley Yeshiva University Stanford University Indiana University University of California, Berkeley Harvard University University of Pennsylvania Stanford University Boston College University of Pennsylvania University of Chicago University of Colorado University of Pennsylvania University of Washington University of California, San Diego University of Montreal Indiana University University of Texas Georgetown University Michigan State University

Period of membership 1967-1970 1966-1970 1963-1979 1973-1979 1964-1969 1963-1964 1967-1979 1966-1973 1964-1967 1977-1979 1973-1976 1963-1969 1964-1979 1964-1967 1972-1976 1967-1972 1964-1970 1977-1979 1972-1976 1963-1964 1972-1979 1972-1976 1963-1967

• At time of membership.

!

devoted to social variation in inputs and consequences of that variation for early-and continuinglanguage socialization. The committee subsequently sponsored a smaller conference on postchildhood modifications of social interactional, linguistic, and sociolinguistic rules. 3 An instance of the latter was the sponsorship of a major conference in 1976, bringing together a varied group of scholars to address two quite different questions: (1) the nature of social, psychological, and neural constraints on individual differences in language ability and language behavior, and (2) the nature of those .differences. For at least some of the social scientists in attendance, the papers on aphasia, ~plit-brain research, individual differences in the perception of dichotic chords, and other (for them) esoteric topics constituted an introduction to an entirely new dimension of language-based social differentiation, i.e., the existence of categories of individuals sharing socially-stigmatized speech problems 3 See Allen D. Grimshaw and Leah Holden, "Postchildhood Modifications of Linguistic and Social Competence," Items , (30)3:33-42 (September 1976).

MARCH

1980

based on common neural problems rather than on membership in speech communities that are constituted on the basis of the common use of socially disvalued speech codes. This perspective, as manifested in the conference and the resultant volume" and by the committee discussions preceding and following the conference, played an important role in the emergence of a developing consensus on the necessity for more explicit attention to language as a social problem. I will return to this theme.

The Multiple Analysis Project (MAP) A third major project, and the only one which is both unfinished and still active at this time, is the Multiple Analysis Project. From the beginning, the committee had three identifying characteristics: (1) interdisciplinary membership and constituencies; (2) a strong comparative interest; and (3) a unifying intellectual concern with talk in social contexts (or, 4 Charles J. Fillmore, Daniel Kempler, and William S-Y Wang, editors, Individual Differences in LAnguage Ability and LAnguage Behavior (New York: Academic Press, 1979).

13


more broadly, the "ethnography of speaking."). The first and second of these characteristics have sometimes seemed contradictory to the third, with the result that sociolinguistic research has remained somewhat diffuse and noncumulative. There are now literally hundreds of studies, by anthropologists, linguists, psychologists, and sociologists (and a smattering of professionals, philosophers, etc.) of dozens of different varieties of speech acts or events,5 e.g., classroom lessons, commercial transactions, diagnoses, greetings, story telling, trials, and just plain talk, in further dozens of speech communities, cultures, and societies. There have been a few studies of classroom interaction in English-speaking societies; there have been some studies in which similar speech events were investigated in different cultures or speech communities; but there has been no completed study in which representatives of different disciplinary orientations and of different theoretical and analytic perspectives within the several disciplines have concurrently investigated the same data record of the same speech event. Such .concurrent investigation of a common data specimen would, the committee agreed in a 1972 meeting, permit at least a rough testing of the relative strengths and weaknesses of at least some of the many contemporary perspectives, permitting practitioners to learn from both the successes and the failures of their colleagues. To that end, the committee sought su pport for the collection of an extensive data base on a naturally-occuring conversational event. The data were collected, ~nd frame-numbered color sound film, stereo audio tapes, monoural audio tapes (for use with sound stretchers),6 transcripts (of varying levels of refinement), still photographs, and ethnographic information on the background of the event under study are now in the hands of MAP participants with disciplinary backgrounds in anthropology, education, linguistics, psychology, and sociologyand representing a variety of perspectives in those disciplines. When individual analysts and analyst teams have completed their draft analyses of a 12minute fragment of the event recorded, drafts will be 5 See Dell H. Hymes, Foundations of Sociolinguistics: An Ethnographic Approach (University of Pennsylvania Press, 1974). 6 Sociolinguistic analysis, particularly that of discourse, has been greatly facilitated in recent years with the development of new technologies for both data collection (hand-held video cameras, videotapes with high resolution, frame-numbered sound film, light microphones of high sensitivity and accuracy) and analysis (sound stretchers which don't distort pitch, feedback loops for work with audio materials, computer software specifically designed for use in textual preparation and analysis).

14

circulated, a conference will be held in which the different analyses will be juxtaposed and critically discussed (both by participants and by additional scholars representing still other perspectives), and a volume including the several reports, critical discussion, and the common data will be published. Support is now being sought for completion of the project.

Applied linguistics During this same period, the committee was engaged in a nu mber of other activities, several of which reflected increasing concern with the problems of translating substantive knowledge about language in social use into viable programs in applied sociolinguistics. The committee provided modest support for the initiation of a series of working papers (a series which has grown to have a strong emphasis on applications) and for that of the Carrier Pidgin, a newsletter which follows both theoretical and applied developments in the area of languages in contact. In the mid-1970s; the committee sponsored a workshop on comparative ethnographic analysis (across institutional sectors) in the United States; during the same period, it sponsored, again moving in the direction of applications, a series of workshops bringing together educational administrators, professionals, and sociolinguists (and linguists) interested in problems of educational practice. At about that same time, the cochair of the committee, Dell Hymes, put his concern about applications in the educational area "on the line" by accepting a position as the dean of a school of education. I have enuciated some of these concerns about social policies concerning language in a committee-inspired but nevertheless unofficial statement. 7

Problems and prospects Interdisciplinary research has a particular excitement for its participants who, as mature scholars, suddenly discover that data, theories, and methods from previously unfamiliar fields illuminate problems in their own discipline. It also has some common dangers, most particularly an ahistoricity whereby those who "discover" the resources of a new discipline which can be employed in their own work often overlook the historical development, within disciplinary contexts, of those resources, and the caveats 7 See Allen D. Grimshaw, "Social Problems and Social Policies: An Illustration from Socioli nguistics," Social Problems, 26(5):582-598 Qune 1979).

VOLUME

34,

NUMBER

1


about use of those resources which practitioners of the donor discipline take for granted. Sociolinguistics has not been exempted from this danger. The problem is perhaps exacerbated by a curious anomaly of this interdisciplinary activity; namely, that while many social scientists view autonomous linguistics as a formidable specialty practiced by arcane polyglots, they nonetheless contrarily believe that they can easily learn enough about language-in-use to include it as a variable in their own work. This is particularly ironic, since the social scientists themselves (sociologists to perhaps a greater extent than, say, economists) are frequently disturbed by the fact that academic colleagues in fields as disparate as physics and Romance literature appear to believe that anyone can comprehend society and explain social behavior. There is, in the case of sociolinguistics, a mutual and路 unacknowledged ignorance (as compared to the acknowledged mutual ignorance in some other interdisciplinary enterprises) which leads to redundancy, error, partial understandings, and ill-conceived expenditures of research effort and fiscal resources. If some of the nonlinguists now investigating issues of language use in social contexts knew a bit more about the history of linguistics they might be more sensitive in their dealing with linguists and more cautious in their employment of linguistic data and theory. Nonlinguists are sometimes taken aback by linguists' references to and insistence upon an "autonomous" linguistics-although other disciplines sometimes act to protect their boundaries, one seldom hears of "autonomous" sociology or anthropology. As recently as the beginning of World War II, most scholarly research on linguistics as the study of language (i.e., grammar) was located in other disciplines, and linguistic issues were often confounded with those of literature and/or philosophy. Sociology was recognized as falling within the purview of National Science Foundation programs only in the 1950s (after demography and political science had been admitted); lingUistics is an even later arrival. As modern linguistics began to flourish in the post-World War II years, in part because of the boost given to the field by warti me needs and in part because of new theoretical and comparative work, linguists became increasingly aware of the complex and unique nature of the phenomena they were studying. A first reaction was a widespread openness to new interests; there were linguists in the early 1950s who sensed that a plateau had been reached with phonology and morphology, that syntax needed to be explored and developed, that semantics was an issue. They also believed, however, that other areas should be investigated, and it MARCH

1980

was during this period that "kinesics," "paralinguistics," and "psycholinguistics" were created and christened; Whorf posthumously republished and debated; and "glottochronology" invented and pursued. The humanist side of linguistics was not neglected; at the end of the decade, Roman Jakobson presented his influential statement on linguistics and poetics. It was also at the end of the 1950s that Noam Chomsky began to publish, first impressing his colleagues thrQugh elaboration and extension of Zellig S. Harris' arguments on the merits of a syntactic as contrasted to a phonological syntax, and then gradually developing a new ideology which argued the primacy of the formal character of language structure and denigrated the study of "performance" as "behaviorism." Those linguists who were attracted by the brilliance of Chomsky's arguments came increasingly to view speech as defective data, too complex to comprehend without prior development of an adequate theory. As these linguists drew back into the "core" of linguistics proper, many of them became increasingly testy about workers from other fields who wandered across disciplinary boundaries and borrowed linguistic concepts and methods with little attention to the language phenomena in which these concepts and methods were rooted and from which they were derived. Nonlinguists who studied language phenomena related to their own disciplinary concerns were sometimes treated as noncredentialed interlopers; those linguists who themselves became engaged in studies of actual speech were treated with disdain by transformational zealots. 8 The fact that there are language phenomena which are explainable only linguistically was invoked as a reason to deny legitimacy of any study of language by those outside the transformational grou p. While impressed with the elegance of Chomskian theory, many scholars were not persuaded that the study of language-in-use in social contexts was profitless, and an increasing number of investigators, spurred on by their own disciplinary concerns and by the ever-greater visibili ty of language as a social problem, pressed ahead with studies of "performance." Anthropologists did this because they have al8 Not many years ago, in some departments of linguistics, students were warned of the dangers of wandering away from the study of grammatical forms (i.e., true linguistics) into such seductive bypaths as studies of language-in-use. There are still linguists who are not persuaded of the value of a socially-informed linguistics, just as there are still sociologists who see little point in investigating language phenonoma. See Allen D. Grimshaw, "Language in Society: Four Texts," review article in Language. 54:156-169 (March 1978).

15


ways done so, because for many of them field work was not possible without extensive linguistic data collection and analysis, and because traditional concerns with symbols were taking on new centrality within the discipline. Psychologists did this because they (and here they agreed with Chomsky) saw the critical importance of the ties between cognitive and linguistic studies. Some linguists, like William D. Labov, did this because they saw that there were "core" linguistic issues which could not be attacked without attention to actual speech and to sociological constraints upon that speech. A small ~umber of microsociologists did this because they found in language-in-use the order which they believed undergirded all social behavior. The 1960s and 1970s were disputatious decades for many scholars with interests in language. As the 1980s begin, however, most linguists have accepted, with varying degrees of enthusiasm, the legitimacy (and for some, the importance) of studies of language-in-use. Some continue to employ invented examples and their own intuitions as primary resources, using data from naturally occurring talk only to make specific theoretical points and not because of an interest in the patterning of situations, events, activities, and groups. Whatever residual discomfort some linguists may have about current work in psycho- and sociolinguistics, or studies in discourse, conversational analysis, pragmatics, poetics, or symbolic anthropology (to name only a few directions of current work), the new activitiâ‚Źs have become firmly established, and the new hybrids have flourished.

Problems of success

guage in social use (also already mentioned) resulting in a proliferation of the "rediscovery of America" syndrome. The very successes of the field have resulted in (1) the extremely uneven development of theory and research; (2) the rapid growth of applied programs of questionable merit; (3) social policies based on dubious assumptions; and (4) academic programs of marginal value (both for students and for the constituencies they are presumably planning to serve).

Neglected topics A specific consequence of the situation I have described has been the neglect of topics that are central to the development of both a mature sociolinguistic theory and an optimally useful applied sociolinguistics. Among the neglected concerns are, nonexhaustively: (1) investigation of the United States as a sociolinguistic entity; (2) a comprehensive ethnography of speaking, i.e., the investigation of the implications of the individual linguistic variation associated with category membership, particularly in personally critical interaction in medical, legal, and work settings and in contacts with police and other representatives of authority; and (3) sociolinguistic evaluation research, i.e., the investigation of the consequences of the application-and misapplication-of sociolinguistic methods, theories, and substantive findings to language-related social problems. This neglect, particularly of the ethnography of speaking in critical situations and of sociolinguistic evaluation research, has contributed to the proliferation of instant "experts" and dubious programs about which I complained above. There are, unfortunately, many examples of the consequences of the combinations of enthusiasm for "social uplift" with linguistically uninformed social science expertness. Consider, illustratively, programs which have uncritically accepted the premises of socalled "deficit theory" (i.e., that minority children cannot talk or that certain ways of talking are not "logical"9), and which have employed behavior modification techniques to "teach" children to talk or read. The notion that a child is "wrong" who, instead of answering a question about an absent classmate, "He's sick," makes a distinction between "He be sick" (i.e., right now [immediate present]) and "He sick" (i.e., all the time [continuous present]) is founded on a misunderstanding of language-whether or not the

The very successes of the new scholarship have, however, generated some additional problems. It is to some of these that I now turn. There are certain elements of faddishness in the growth of the activities now popularly designated as sociolinguistics, a faddishness resulting from a com~ bination of (1) the social salience of certain sociolinguistic issues (e.g., gender and language, problems of bilingual education and bilingualism generally, a heightened consciousness of the costly consequences of failure in intercultural communication); (2) the large sums of money available for applied research on sociolinguistic issues; (3) the fact that much of what passes for sociolinguistic research is not founded on a truly-interdisciplinary knowledge base (i.e., the previously mentioned fact that sociologists think they "know about" language without understanding lin9 For a concise review, see Clifford A. Hill, "A Review of the guistics and linguists think they know about society); Language Deficit Position: Some Sociolinguistic and Psycholinand (4) a generally ahistorical view of topics of lan- guistic Perspectives," IReD Bulletin, (12)4: 1-13 (Fall 1977). 16

VOLUME

34,

NUMBER

1


child can be "trained" with M&M candies to provide the latter rather than the former response. Children are frequently aware of differences between their own language and that preferred by their teachers. A nice illustration of this point is provided by a taperecorded exchange in a course in Black Language Arts:

language prescripttvlsts concerned about purity 路of language, concerns about, e.g., literacyll or crosscode communicative failure, have long histories. This is also the first historical period, however, in which governments have invested massive resources in attempts to solve language "problems." I have noted some of the more unhappy outcomes, both scholarly and institutional, of this new interest in language as a Student (reading from an autobiographical essay): social problem. There is also sound work and there This lady didn't have no sense. are promising programs-especially in educationTeacher: What would be a standard English alterbut increasingly in other institutional areas as well. nate for this sentence? Members of the committee believe that sociolinStudent: She didn't have any sense. But not this guistics is now an established scholarly enterprise. lady: she didn't have no sense. IO They also believe that many of the components necesThe social scientists who involve themselves in such sary for effective social programs are now available. enterprises would never accept, as the bases for re- There is a danger, however, that both scholars and search in their own areas, the highly questionable policy makers wiH be inundated by the simple mass of claims which they uncritically incorporate into pro- new publication. Scholarship in sociolinguistics now grams aimed at changing children's language be- appears to have a self-sustaining momentum. What havior; I suspect that they would be equally skeptical appears to be needed at this juncture is the organizaif they were working in areas of medical practice and tion and facilitation of studies (including evaluation health. Their critical faculties seem to disappear when research) contributing to a comprehensive ethnogthey work on language. Such programs, and the one raphy of speaking in the United States (and, of described is unhappily not atypical, show ignorance, course, in other world areas as well). Committee misreading, or distortion of research findings in lin- members see such study, first, as investigating the guistics, psychology, psycholinguistics, and sociolin- consequences of linguistic differentiation by strata (primarily social class and ethnic) and language (e.g., guistics. standard, vernacular, register, etc.) in a variety of (primarily public) institutional settings. We see it, secAn assessment ond, as investigating practices, and consequences, of A reader of the litany of problems I have related change attempts in these settings themselves and in might reasonably ask, "That's success?" or "Did the the institutions in which professional practitioners are committee ask to be discharged because it had ac- trained. There is, as I have noted, a beginning of such complished its goals or because it found them unat- work in studies of educational settings. Some work tainable?" The fact is that more work is being done on has been done in medical settings (primarily of language-related topics than ever before-and that a doctor-patient interaction and primarily across substantial proportion of that work is well-conceived classes) and research is under way in language and and well-executed. Our historical epoch is not the law. These several research efforts need to be exfirst in which languages have spread, met, contracted, panded to include examination not only of a greater fused, homogenized, differentiated, or disappeared. variety of institutional settings, but also of different Nor is it the first in which languages have gained and combinations of languages and of codes within lanlost prestige and taken on new and sloughed off old guages (it is sometimes forgotten that the middle-class functions. It is the first, however, in which language Anglo majority also complains about problems of phenomena have drawn so much scholarly attention communication with professional specialists). and in which the awareness of their social conseThe Social Science Research Council has as its purquences has been so acute. There have always been See John J. Gumperz and Eduardo Hernandez-Ch., "Bilingualism, Bidialectalism, and Classroom Interaction," in Courtney B. Cazden, Vera P. John, and Dell H. Hymes, editors, Functions of Language in the Classroom (New York: [Columbia University] Teachers College Press, 1972). See also William D. Labov, Language in the Inner City: Studies in the Black English Vernacular (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1972). 10

MARCH

1980

Jl A major motivation for the establishment of literacy programs has always been the enhancement of modernization and rationalization through making written materials available to all. Dell Hymes has noted the irony of a counter phenomenon, in some highly developed societies, of a growth of handicrafts requiring nonverbal skills and permitting individual development. He interprets this phenomenon as being a reaction to media control over standardized linguistic production.

17


pose the advancement of research in the social sciences. If the proliferation of a monographic and periodicalliterature, the development of public and private agencies and programs, the initiation of academic programs, and the acceptance of a scholarly area within disciplinary organizations through regularization of session programming are seen as reflective of the advancement of research-then sociolinguistic research has advanced in the 20 years or so in which the Council has taken an active interest in the area. The extent to which the Committee on Sociolinguistics contributed to the acceptance and growth of sociolinguistic research cannot be determined; it can be argued that its contribution has been significant and that the committee and its members have been involved in changes in each of the several indicators listed. Research on language-in-use, contributed to by investigators in a number of scholarly and professional areas, is now an established component of social science research. Unfortunately, however, the realities of language as a social problem are such that, in spite of the quantum growth of research, that research lags increasingly behind government policy and action. This is perhaps most noticeable with regard to Black English and to Spanish bilingualism; it is also true of a large variety of other social problem areas. Political action and political demands produce responses; those responses are too often uninformed by an adequate base of research-validated knowledge. This imbalance can be corrected only by research路 directed to

specific problem areas. There are many such; one of the most socially costly lacunae in research is a comprehensive domestic ethnography of speaking based on work in language-in-use, attending to features and relations in that language, not in the context of a formal grammar or theoretical problem of a linguistic model but rather in the contexts of social groups, events, activities, and institutions such as schools, courts, prisons, clinics, and public and private bureaucracies. Members of the committee hope that the Council will assume some role in remedying this important omission in current research programs. 12 0 12 I am deeply indebted to a number of persons. Dell H. Hymes was my colleague on the Committee on Sociolinguistics from the time I joined it in 1967 until its discharge last summer-and my valued guide and instructor in sociolinguistics from the time we first met in 1964. This report draws heavily on conversations and correspondence with Hymes; I have plagiarized sentences and whole paragraphs from his letters and paraphrased passing comments he has made in conversation. He is not responsible for my misinterpretations or misreporting of his views, nor are the other committee members whose thinking has so much influenced mine over the last 15 years. I am grateful for their unselfish and patient assistance; I will miss the regular interaction occasioned by our meetings. I would also like to express gratitude, in the name of the Committee on Sociolinguistics, to those staff members of the Council who served successively as staff to the committee: Elbridge Sibley (1963-70), David Jenness (1971-77), Ronald P. Abeles (1977-78), and David L. Szanton (1978-79). I am personally grateful to David Jenness, who has been a continuing source of intellectual stimulation, professional encouragement, and sound counsel.

Otto N. Larsen, Council Chairman, Appointed to the National Science Foundation OTTO N. LARSEN, A PROFESSOR OF SOCIOLOGY at the University of Washington, has been appointed director of the Division of Social and Economic Sciences at the National Science Foundation, effective August 1980. Mr. Larsen joined the Council's board in 1976. He served as a member of the Committee on Problems and Policy from 1977-78, and was elected chairman of the board in 1978. After service in the Army Air Corps from 1943-46, Mr. Larsen graduated from the University of Washington in 1947. He remained at the university as a graduate student, teaching fellow, and instructor, and received the Ph.D. in sociology in 1955. He was appointed professor in 1962. Mr. Larsen is the co-author of a successful textbook, Sociology, now in its fourth edition. He has written or edited five other books and some three

18

dozen articles. Much of his scholarly work has been in the fields of mass communication and of violence, and in their relationship to each other. This new assignment will be Mr. Larsen's second period of residence in Washington, D.C.: from 1972-75, he served as Executive Officer of the American Sociological Association. He has been a frequent visitor to Washington in connection with the work of two presidential commissions: on the Causes and Prevention of Violence (1968-69) and on Obscenity and Pornography (1968-70). He has also served as a consultant to the National Endowment for the Humanities (1973-78) and the United States Civil Service Commission (1961;1973) and as a site visitor for the National Institute of Mental Health (1965) and the National Science Foundation (1974- 7 5). He has been on numerous committees of the American VOLUME

34,

NUMBER

I


Council of Learned Societies, the American Sociological Association, the National Academy of Sciences, and the Social Science Research Council. The position of director of the Division of Social and Economic Sciences at the National Science Foun-

dation involves both the supervIsion of the grants program of the Division and the representation of the interests and potentialities of the social sciences both within' the Foundation and in the Washington community more broadly. 0

Council Appoints Working Group on International Program IN SEPTEMBER 1979, AN INFORMAL WORKING GROUP was appointed to explore ways of redirecting and restructuring the international research activities of the Council during the 1980s. The Working Group is chaired by Mr. Prewitt; the other members are Clifford Geertz, Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton, New Jersey); H. Field Haviland,Jr., Tufts University; Michael Piore, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and John M. Thompson, American Universities Field Staff (Hanover, New Hampshire). The staff assigned to the Working Group are David L. Sills and David L. Szanton of the Council and Jason H. Parker and Gordon B. Turner of the American Council of Learned Societies. The activities of the Working Group are supported by a Ford Foundation grant. In 1972, a somewhat similar effort--chaired by Mr. Thompson-led to the incorporation of the Foreign Area Fellowship Program into the Council's international research planning and award program. At the first meeting of the new Working Group, Mr. Prewitt outlined three levels of problems. First, there is a need to make a fresh case to the Ford Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities for the support of international re-

search. The basic outlines of the program were set in the 1950s and 1960s; since then, the world, the interests of researchers, and foundation programs have all changed. Second, at the Council there has been an increased internationalization of committee membership, more collaboration among committees, more comparative research projects, and a new awareness of the need to link "domestic" and "international" research. Third, the Council and its committees are increasingly concerned with a number of epistomological issues: the methodology of comparative research; the advantages and limits of both narration and numeration; and the need for more effective research collaboration between the humanities and the social sciences. All of these issues have important implications for international research. On the basis of its discussions-as well as with the guidance of area committee members, the Committee on Problems and Policy, and the staff-a framework is being developed that will shape both the Council's program and future funding requests for the support of international research.

o

Gordon B. Turner Retires as Vice President of the American Council of Learned Societies AITER 21 YEARS OF SERVICE to the American Council of Learned Societies and to the world of scholarship, Gordon B. Turner retired on January 31. He was vice president of the ACLS and he served informally as the principal liaison person with the staff of this Council. He expects to travel more frequently than in the past but to maintain his residence in Princeton, New Jersey. Among his duties at the ACLS, Gordon served as staff for the committees on Eastern Europe and Slavic Studies, both sponsored jointly by the two Councils, as well as for the ACLS Committee on Studies of Chinese Civilization. The latter responsibility brought him into frequent and direct contact with the CounMARCH

1980

cil's staff, since the China committees of the two Councils collaborate on a number of their programs. Gordon's presence at meetings of SSRCadministered area committee meetings not only contributed to the conduct of the meetings themselves; it also symbolized the close cooperation between the humanities and the social sciences that characterizes the programs of the two Councils. Trained as an historian at Princeton University, where he taught before joining the ACLS, Gordon represented the distinctive values of the humanities on all occasions with knowledge, with humor, and with tact. He will be badly missed by the Council staff, which wished him happiness and long life at a luncheon in February. 0 19


Current Activities at the Council The incidence and consequences of major life events Since its appointment in 1977. the Council's Committee on Life-Course Perspectives on :'v!iddle and Old Age has had as one of its primary goals the further elaboration and specification of the lifecourse perspective through direct confrontation with the findings of longitudinal and historical studies. One area in which. additional work has been particularly needed is the life-course analysis of personal "events." such as marriage. divorce. job changes. and health crises. Studies of the patterning and sequencing of such critical events during a person's lifetime are basic to an understanding of life-span development. However. very little systematic knowledge has been acquired concerning the occurrence of these events. Past studies have generally focused on the effects of a subset of life events on a small (and sometimes un representative) subset of the population. A large-scale study at the University of Michigan Survey Research Center-the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID). directed by James N. Morgan and GregJ . Duncan-includes reports on a large number of life events obtained from a national sample of families and individuals by means of repeated interviews over an I I -year period (1968-78). Stimulated by ideas that emerged from committee discussions and with funds provided by the committee. ~essrs. Duncan and Morgan (with the assistance of Sue Augustyniak) are using these data to describe the frequency of different life events in the lives of people of different ages. to learn the intercorrelations of these events. to explore their determinants. and to search for their possible effects. Publicat.ion is planned in Volume V I II of their Five Thousand American Families-Paltems of Economic Progre.lJ. The committee and the directors of the PSID are interested in facilitating additional life-course analyses of these data-on personal events and other issues. Toward this end . a workshop is planned for June I9HO to inform potential users of the mechanics of working with the data set andlor to develop actual proposals for Ii fe-course research with the PSI D. An announcement of the workshop is made on page 23 of this issue of Item.\. 20

The 1979-80 membership of the Committee on Life-Course Perspectives on Middle and Old Age consists of Paul B. Baltes. Pennsylvania State University (chairman); Orville G. Brim. Jr .• Foundation for Child Development (New York); Glen H. Elder. Jr .• Cornell University; Caleb E. Finch. Andrus Gerontology Center. University of Southern California; Martin E. P. Seligman. University of Pennsylvania; M. Brewster Smith. University of California. Santa Cruz; Aage B. SJ>$rensen. University of Wisconsin; Franz E. Weinert. University of Heidelberg; and Lonnie R. Sherrod. staff. Matilda W. Riley. National Institute on Aging. is committee adviser. For an exposition of the life-course approach. see Ronald P. Abeles and Matilda W. Riley. "A LifeCourse Perspective on the Later Years of Life: Some Implications for Research." published in the Council's I 97~ 77 Annual Report. Reprints may be obtained by writing to Lonnie R. Sherrrod at the Council.

Social stratification and mobility in Japan and the United States A conference on social stratification and mobility in Japan and the United States was held in Hawaii on January 3-7. 1980. The conference. sponsored by the Social Science Research Council with funds from the Japan-United States Friendship Commission and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science. featured papers by Japanese and American researchers on the following topics: trends in social stratification and mobility; the effect of status on values. education, and opportunity; careers and the labor market; the occupational experience of women; status attainment; status and life styles; and stratification theory. The cochairmen of the conference were Ken'ichi Tominaga. University of Tokyo, and Donald J. Treiman. University of California, Los Angeles. Others attending were Bunshiro Ando. Kwansei Gakuin University; Robert E. Cole, University of :'v!ichigan; David L. Featherman. University of Wisconsin; Hidenori Fujita. Nagoya University; Junsuke Hara. Yokohama National University; Robert ~. Hauser. University of Wisconsin; Takatoshi Imada. Tokyo Institute of Technology; Melvin L. Kohn. National

Institute of Mental Health; Karen A. Miller. National Institute of Mental Health; Atsushi Naoi. University of Tokyo; Sigeki Nisihira. Institute of Statistical Mathematics (Tokyo); Hideo Okamoto. Sophia University; Carmi Schooler. National Institute of Mental Health; William H. Sewell. University of Wisconsin; Aage B. SJ>$rensen, University of Wisconsin; Seymour Spilerman. Columbia University; Wendy C. Wolf. University of Arizona; Saburo Yasuda. Kwansei Gakuin University; and Ronald Aqua. staff. The proceedings of the conference will be published both in English and in Japanese. in books to be edited by Messrs. Tominaga and Treiman.

South Asian political economy The Joint Committee on South Asia recently organized a multidisciplinary and international subcommittee on South Asian Political Economy (SAPE). com-' posed of Michelle B. McAlpin. chairman (economics. Tufts University); Veena Das (sociology. Delhi School of Economics); Meghnad Desai (economics. London School of Economics); Ralph W. Nicholas (anthropology. University of Chicago); Susanne H. Rudolph (political science. University of Chicago); and Ashok Rudra (economics. Vishva Bharati. Shantiniketan). with Veena Oldenburg and David L. Szanton as staff. Drawing on planning meetings held in 1977-79. the SAPE subcommittee has developed a three-year program aimed at outlining a set of broad models to help account for the interaction of economic and political processes in the subcontinent. and to generate a new research agenda on the subject. From among the numerous potential approaches to the political economy of South Asia, the subcommittee has focused on decision making in the allocation of resources at various levels of society. paying explicit attention to issues of process. reproduction, and historical change. Within this general framework. three component projects have emerged: Project I. Agricultural Productivity and Local Power Systems; Pr<~ject I I. Health and Nutrition at the Household and Family Levels; and Project I II. Societal Response to Crisis. VOLLJME

34.

NUMBER

I


Each of these projects will bring together small multidisciplinary working groups to produce a set of volumes. In addition, a major international conference is planned for 1981. The working group for Project I met in New Delhi on November 24-26, 1979. Its participants included Hamza Alavi (University of Manchester); Marshall Bouton (U.S. Embassy, New Delhi); Sukhamoy Chakravarty (Delhi School of Economics); B. . B. Chaudhuri (University of Calcutta); Veena Das; Meghnad Desai; Ronald j. Herring (Northwestern University); David Ludden (University of Virginia); Michelle B. McAlpin; Suzanne Rudolph; Lloyd I. Rudolph (U niversity of Chicago); Ashok Rudra; and T. N. Srinivasan (World Bank and Yale University). The initial Project II meeting, held in New York, on December 20-22, 1979, included janyathi Beliappa (Delhi School of Economics); Charles M. Leslie (University of Delaware); Michelle B. McAlpin; Ralph Nicholas; Klaas W. van der Veen (University of Amsterdam); and Sylvia Vatuk (University of Illinois). Initial funding for the SAPE project is being provided by the Ford Foundation and the Indian Council of Social Science Research.

Transnational corporations in Latin America Since 1976, the joint Committee on Latin American Studies has sponsored a working group to study ql,lestions associated with the activities of transnational corporations (TNCs) in Latin America. During the week of january 7-11, 1980, members of this group took part in a conference held at the Latin American Institute of Transnational Studies (ILET) in Mexico City. The purpose of the conference, which was cosponsored by ILET and the Council, was to promote interchange between the working group and ILET-sponsored researchers carrying out projects on transnational corporations. Founded in 1976, ILET is a private research institution devoted to the study of transnational economic, political, and cultural phenomena. Based in Mexico, the institute coordinates a program of complementary projects carried out by researchers resident in most of the countries of South America. Major projects currently under way include studies of the Latin American automobile industry MARCH 1980

and of the organization and cultural impacts of the transnational communications industry (e.g., news agencies, the motion picture industry, and advertising). The conference was organized around the presentation and discussion of case studies and theoretical essays prepared by members of the two groups. Discussion covered a broad range of issues and questions. Participants debated the analytical utility of focusing on specific industries (steel, petrochemicals, automobiles, etc.) as opposed to more broadly defined industrial complexes or overarching structures of financial control. Considerable attention was devoted to the role of public policy and state-TNC interaction in defining the conditions under which TNCs enter and operate in Latin American economies. Participants also discussed varying definitions of the concept of economic surplus and explanations of how the accumulation of surplus creates and perpetuates political and economic power relationships. The meeting was organized and cochaired by Richard Newfarmer, University of Notre Dame, and Raul Trajtenberg, ILET. Participants included David Barkin, Center for Ecodevelopment (Mexico City); Douglas Bennett, Temple University; Victor Manuel Bernal, National Autonomous University of Mexico; juan Carlos Bossio, Third World Center of Social and Economic Studies (CEESTEM, Mexico City); Peter Evans, Brown University; Fernando Fajnzylber, Na: tional Investment Corporation (NAFINSA, Mexico City); Gary Gereffi, Harvard University; Fernando Gonzalez Vigil, Center for the Study and Promotion of Development (DESCO, Lima); Louis Wolf Goodman, Yale University; Rhys jenkins, University of East Anglia; Edgardo Lifschitz, ILET; David D. Martin, Indiana University; David H. Moore, American University; Theodore Moran, Georgetown University; Enrique Ponce de Leon, ILET; Fernando Porta, Central University of Venezuela (Caracas); Elsa Rivas, ILET; Waldemar Sarli, Montevideo; Antonio Schneider, ILET; Kenneth Sharpe, Swarthmore College; Phillip Shepherd, Northern Illinois University; juan Somavia, lLET; Blanca Suarez San Roman, ILET; Miguel Teubal, ILET; HipOlito Trevino, Ministry of Commerce and Finance; Raul Vigorito, ILET; Rene Villareal, Ministry of Commerce and Finance; Peter West, Caracas; Van Whiting, Harvard University; and George Reid Andrews, staff.

Mr. Newfarmer will now undertake the editing of a volume to be composed of the papers presented by members of the Council-sponsored working group. It is anticipated that the volume will be published in both English and Spanish.

The Japanese colonial empire Few subjects have been the source of greater contention among students of imperialism than that of the "new imperialism" of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and nowhere do the generalizations about the imperialism of that period encounter more hazardous 'conditions than in East Asia. In large part, this situation derives from the fact that East Asia poses an anomaly in the study of modern imperialism because of the existence of japan, the only non-Western imperium in modern times. The japanese imperialist phenomenon, moreover, has for some time been the center of heated controversy but of only fitful scholarly investigation. Although Western imperialism in East Asia has been studied by a number of scholars over the decades, japanese imperialism has received careful attention only recently, and its concrete manifestation, the japanese colonial empire, has been almost entirely neglected as a comprehensive and integrated topic. It was in order to bridge this gap that the joint Committee on japanese Studies organized a workshop at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, August 23-25, 1979, bringing together 18 japanese and American scholars to study the nature and implications of the japanese colonial empire (Korea, Taiwan, Sakhalin, the Kwantung Leased Territory in China, and the japanese-mandated islands in Micronesia) from its origins in 1895 to its demise in 1945. The workshop opened with several papers assessing the origins, evolution, and self-image of the japanese colonial empire as a recognizable, yet unique, modern colonial undertaking. Other papers dealt with the economic dynamics of the empire, including agricultural production and capital formation, as well as problems of colonial law and administration. A number of case studies of particular colonies were also presented. Finally, two commentators surveyed the preliminary findings of the meeting and placed them within the context of japan's modern history and of 20th century colonialism more generally. 21


Several conclusions emerged from the workshop about the nature, character, and evolution of japan's formal colonial empire. First, japan did not retain its empire for very long compared to most Western empires-less than a half century-but its policies and controls proved very successful in maintaining law and order and in promoting rapid economic development. Second, japan's colonial control and management were very repressive and always for the best interests of japan, especially to serve as an instrument for japan's self-strengthening against foreign imperialism and to ensure safeguards for her sphere of influence in East Asia, notably in China. Third, the gains realized by the colonial peoples were mixed. On the one hand, they benefitted from rising per capita incomes, new social and economic opportunities, and more education. On the other hand, they were increasingly frustrated by not being permitted to share power with their colonial master and by enormous restrictions placed upon them in the pursuit of their nationalistic goals. The workshop was organized by Ramon H. Myers, The Hoover Institution, and Mark R. Peattie, University of California, Los Angeles. They will also serve as general editors of a planned conference volume. Other participants included Ching-chih Chen, Southern Illinois University of Edwardsville; Edward Chen, Bowling Green State University; Fu Mei Ch'en, The Hoover Institution; Albert M. Craig, Harvard University; Bruce Cumings, University of Washington; Peter Duus, Stanford University; Shinkichi Eto, University of Tokyo; Lewis H. Gann, The Hoover Institution; Samuel P. S. Ho, University of British Columbia; Marius B. jansen, Princeton University; Toshiyuki Mizoguchi, Hitotsubashi University; Felix Moos, University of Kansas; Michael E. Robinson, University of Washington; Saburo Yamada, University of Tokyo; Yuzo Yamamoto, Kobe University; and Ronald Aqua, staff.

ACLS-SSRC China committees visit China A delegation of scholars representing the joint Committee on Contemporary China (ACLS-SSRC) and the Committee on Studies of Chinese Civilization (ACLS) undertook an information-gathering visit to the People's Republic of China from 22

December 28, 1979 to january 18, 1980. The primary purposes of the visit were to learn about research and scholarship in the social sciences and humanities; to meet with Chinese counterparts; and to explore possibilities for future exchange, cooperation, and collaboration. The delegation was hosted by the national Chinese Academy of the Social Sciences in Beijing and by local social science associations during its visits to other cities. The members of the delegation were Donaldj. Munro, cochair, CSCC, University of Michigan; Burton Pasternak, cochair, JCCC, City University of New York; Thomas P. Bernstein, Columbia University; Cyril Birch, University of California, Berkeley; Hok-lam Chan, University of Washington; Paul A. Cohen, Wellesley College; Robert F. Dernberger, University of Michigan; Merle Goldman, Boston University; Patrick D. Hanan, Harvard University; Victor H. Li, Stanford University; and Martin K. Whyte, University of Michigan. Anne F.. Thurston served as staff to the joint committee, and jason H. Parker served as staff to the Committee on Studies of Chinese Civilization. The group visited social science associations, research institutes, and universities in Beijing, Chengdu, Nanjing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou. Two members of the delegation, Cyril Birch and Patrick D. Hanan, also visited Suzhou, and Paul A. Cohen, Robert F. Dernberger, and Merle Goldman visited Nankai University in Tianjin. In meetings with Chinese scholars, the delegation divided into small groups, according to discipline. Anthropology and sociology, economics, history, law, literature, philosophy, and political science were the core disciplines represented by the group, and the report on the visit will carry separate sections on each of these. The group found considerable variety in both the state and quality of research in the disciplines it explored. Activity in several social science disciplines, such as anthropology, political science, and sociology, had been virtually halted as early as 1952, and plans for new research in these areas have only recently begun. Other disciplines, such as history and philosophy, had suffered severe setbacks as a result of China's Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, beginning in 1966. While Chinese scholarship is currently undergoing a lively renaissance, virtually all the social sciences and humanities are nonetheless subject to constraints im-

posed by both resource scarcity and political considerations. The group noted considerable Chinese interest in social science methodology, however, and the Chinese Academy of the Social Sciences plans to send up to 30 scholars for study and research in the United States in the coming two years. Another 60 scholars will go to japan, Western Europe, and other countries outside China. The delegation is currently drafting the report of the visit and expects to be able to make copies available by early summer. Copies will be distributed at cost and can be obtained by writing Anne F. Thurston at the Council.

Local government and public policy in advanced industrial societies A planning conference on local government and public policy in the advanced industrial democracies was held at the Institute for European Studies in Turin, Italy, on january 14-16, 1980. The conference, which was convened under the auspices of the joint Committee on Western Europe and the joint Committee on japanese Studies, brought together specialists from japan, the United States, and several European countries to discuss methods for stimulating comparative studies of local policy making and to plan a series of major international conferences based on these studies. The organizers of the meeting were Michael Aiken, University of Wisconsin, and Terry MacDougall, Harvard Univer- . sity. Other participants included Hiroshi Akuto, University of Tokyo; Akira Amakawa, Yokohama National University; Andrea Comba, University of Turin; Peter Lange, Harvard University; Franco Levi, University of Turin; Enrico Luzzati, University of Turin; Guido Martinotti, University of Milan; Kenneth Newton, University of Dundee; Wataru Omori, University of Tokyo; Michio Muramatsu, Kyoto University; Guenther Schaefer, Institute for Systems Technology and Innovation Research (Karlsruhe); Sidney Tarrow, Cornell University; and Ronald Aqua and Robert A. Gates, staff. The conference was supported by grants from the Institute for European Studies (Turin), the japan Society for the Promotion of Science, and the Ford Foundation. VOLUME

34,

NUMBER

1


Workshop on the Use of Panel Data for Life-Course Research-A Call for Applications The Committee on Life-Course Perspectives on Middle and Old Age announces a workshop on the use of the Michigan panel of families and individuals (Panel Study of Income Dynamics, PSID) for life-course research. The workshop will provide an opportunity to meet with past and prospective users of a rich and complex data set, and to learn how to use such a data set for life-course research. Prior experience with the data set is not necessary. The workshop will be held in Ann Arbor, Michigan, on June 19-20, 1980, and wiD be codirected by Glen H. Elder, Jr., professor of sociology, Cornell University, a member of the committee, and James N. Morgan, professor of economics and project director, Survey Research Center, University of Michigan. Travel and expenses will be paid. Applications are invited from all disciplines, and from all levels of career development (both pre- and postdoctoral). Applications should include a curriculum vitae and a brief statement of the applicant's substantive interests. Additionally, the applicant, depending on degree of familiarity with the PSID data set, should submit either an explicit plan of analysis using the

PSID data to address issues of life-span human development or a statement establishing the rationale in terms of substantive interests for participation in the workshop. Applications should be mailed to: Lonnie R. Sherrod Social Science Research Council 605 Third Avenue New York, New York 10016 (212-557-9529) Initial selections will begin on May 1, and accepted applicants will be informed on May 15. Applications received after May 1 will be considered to the extent that space remains available. This workshop will be held in conjunction with a workshop on the use of the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) data, sponsored by the Survey Research Center, University of Michigan. Inquiries concerning the PSID workshop should be directed to James N. Morgan, Room 3267, Survey Research Center, University of Michigan, Post Office Box 1248, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48106.

Recent Council Publications Crises of Political Development in Europe and the United States, edited by Raymond Grew. Volume 9 in Studies in Political Development sponsored by the Committee on Comparative Politics of the Social Science Research Council. Princeton University Press, 1978. 433 pages. Hardbound, $27.50; paper, $6.95. Towards the latter part of its long history (1954-1972), the Council's Committee on Comparative Politics arrived at a set of theoretical formulations to use in the analysis of the political development of modernizing societies. It presented these formulations in the form of "crises"-in a volume by Leonard Binder, James S. Coleman, Joseph La Palombara, Lucien W. Pye, Sidney Verba, and Myron Weiner, Crises and Sequences in Political Development (Princeton University Press, 1971). The crises were (l) identity, or the development of a shared nationality; (2) legitimacy, or the acceptance of the government of the state as morally valid; (3) participation, or the involvement of the MARCH

1980

citizenry in the affairs of the government; (4) penetration, or the ability of the government to exercise control over the various social and territorial aspects of people and nations; and (5) distribution, or the allocation of resources and benefits among different people and groups within society. The present volume is a collection of essays by historians and historicallyminded social scientists invited by the committee to test these theoretical formulations by reviewing the historical experiences of selected Western countries: the United Kingdom, by Keith Thomas, Oxford University; Belgium, by Aristide R. Zolberg, University of Chicago; Scandinavia, by Folke Dm'ring, University of Illinois; the United States, by J. Rogers Hollingworth, University of Wisconsin ; Spain and Portugal, by Stanley G. Payne, University of Wisconsin; France, by David D. Bien and Raymond Grew, both of the University of Michigan; Italy, by Mr. Grew; Germany, by John R. Gillis, Rut-

gers University; Russia, by Walter M. Pinter, Cornell University; and Poland, by Roman Szporluck, University of Michigan. None of the authors found either the crises or the sequences an entirely comfortable analytical framework, and some found them a procrustian bed, doubting whether any two historians confronting the same data would either classify the same events as crises or identify the same sequences. In his Foreword to the volume, Lucien W. Pye, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, comments that "the collaboration [between the Committee and the historians] was not easy, but the results are instructive .... " He then adds, "the Committee is pleased that its theoretical concepts were in no case automatically and unthinkingly applied, but that they challenged the authors and led to new creative formulations about the histories of the countries we all thought we knew the best."

23


24

VOLUME

The present volume identifies, for special attention, the historical issues and perspectives of African "disease and social change" and "history of pluralistic medical systems." It proposes to shift the focus in historical writing about medicine in Africa from the history of a single medicine, usually colonial medicine and its successes, to a social history of concurrent perspectives on diseases, forms of therapies, and their accompanying social conditions; and to the underlying reasons for the ascendence, persistence, and decline of major constellations of concepts, practices, and consequences of medicine. This perspective emphasizes both the systematic relationship of various institutions to each other and the competition of therapies for scarce resources.

The Social History of Disease and Medicine in Africa, edited by John M. Janzen and Steven Feierman. Special issue of Social Science & Medicine, 13B(4):239-356 (December 1979). A publication of the Joint Committee on African Studies. Exeter, Devon, England and Elmsford, New York: Pergamon Press. (Available from Pergamon Press, Maxwell House, Fairview Park, Elmsford, New York 10523.) This publication is part of a larger project of the Joint Committee on African Studies concerning medicine and society in Africa. The objective of the project is to stimulate the integrated study of health, illness, and therapy in Africa from a perspective which takes into account the lay person's view, the biological context, and the structure of therapeutic institutions.

34,

NUMBER

1

The papers in the volume, which were originally presented in 1978 at two committee-sponsored conferences, were solicited to offer theoretically probing approaches to these problem areas. They represent a cross-section of theoretical orientations, and insofar as possible, the major regions and cultural groupings of Africa. The contributors are John M. Janzen, University of Kansas, chairman, Joint Committee on African Studies; Steven Feierman, University of Wisconsin; E\1en Corin, University of Montreal; Marc H . Dawson, University of Wisconsin; John Ford , deceased; Peter Gran, Temple University; K. David Patterson, University of North Carolina, Charlotte; Gwyn Prins, Cambridge University; and Patrick A. Twumasi, University of Ghana.

SOCIAL SCIENCE RESEARCH COUNCIL 605

THIRD AVENUE, NEW YORK, N.Y .

10016

Incorporatpd in thp Statp af Illinois, Decpmber 27, 1924. for the purpose of advancing resparch in the .Iacial sciencps Directors, 1979-80: IRMA ADEl.MAN, ROSEDITH S'TGREAVES BOWKER, CLIFFORD GEERTZ, PETER R. GOULD, GERALD H . KRAMER, PHILIP W . JACKSON, JASE B. LANCASTER, OTTo N . LARSEN, ROBERT A. LEVINE, ELEANOR E. MACCOBY, CORA BAGLEY MARRETT, DWIGHT H. PERKINS, KENNETH PREWITT, \1"URRA\' L. SCHWARTZ, STEPHAN A . THERNSTROM, FINIS R. WELCH, WILLIAM J. WILSON Officers and Staff: KENNETH PREWITr, Presitknt; DAVID L. SILLS, Executive Associate; GEORGE REID ANDREWS, RONALD AQUA, ROBERT A. GATES, MARTHA A. GEPHART, DONALD HERNANDEZ, ROBERTA BALSTAD MILLER, ROWLAND L. MITCHELL, JR. , ROBERT PARKE, PETER B . READ, RICHARD C. ROCKWEl.L, LONNIE R . SHERROD, DAVID L. SZANTON, ANNE F. THURSTON; RONALD J. PEl.ECK, Controller; NANCY McMANUS, Librarian

J.

SOCIAL SCIENCE RESEARCH COUNCIL 605 Third Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10016

Non-Profit Org. U.S. POSTAGE

PAID ADDRESS CORRECTION REQUESTED

New York, N. Y. Permit No. 1514

Items Vol. 34 No. 1 (1980)  
Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you