The 'Definition of the Situation' as a Community Distinguishing Characteristic by RICHARD E. DU WORS University of Saskatchewan, Canada 1 HE statements of both Durkheim and Gumplowicz that society is of a reality sui generis, in toto genere, obscured the more exact statement pos- sible : All social units must first be defined in social terms. The person and the community, the social organization of a region, the nation, the civilization, must have something in common if they are to be classified as social things. After this general definition one must separate out the social character- istics that distinguish one category of social units from another. Finally, one must denote or define the units within a category in such a way that the definition allows one to indicate that individuality through which one knows a unit is one unit and not another in the same category. One must, to illustrate, define community to indicate (a) it is a social unit, (b) so that one can dis- tinguish one community from another within the category "community". In short, every research project does involve a complete system of sociology. One does not have to write it all out in a
International Journal of Comparative Sociology (in 2002 continued as Comparative Sociology) – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1962
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