From Robert K. Merton, Social Theory and Social Structure.Glencoe, IL: Free Press, 1957, pp. 195-206.


VI BUREAUCRATIC STRUCTURE AND PERSONALITY


A formal, rationally organized social structure involves clearlydefined patterns of activity in which, ideally, every series ofactions is functionally related to the purposes of the organization.(l) In such an organization there is integrated a series of offices,of hierarchized statuses, in which inhere a number of obligations andprivileges closely defined by limited and specific rules. Each ofthese offices contains an area of imputed competence andresponsibility. Authority, the power of control which derives from anacknowledged status, inheres in the office and not in the particularperson who performs the official role. Official action ordinarilyoccurs within the framework of preexisting rules of the organization.The system of prescribed relations between the various officesinvolves a considerable degree of formality and clearly definedsocial distance between the occupants of these positions. Formalityis manifested by means of a more or less complicated social ritualwhich symbolizes and supports the pecking order of the variousoffices. Such formality, which is integrated with the distribution ofauthority within the system, serves to minimize friction by largelyrestricting (official) contact to modes which are previously definedby the rules of the organization. Ready calculability of others'behavior and a stable set of mutual expectations is thus built up.Moreover, formality facilitates the interaction of the occupants ofoffices despite their (possibly hostile) private attitudes toward oneanother. In this way, the subordinate is protected from the arbitraryaction of his superior, since the actions of both are constrained bya mutually recognized set of rules. Specific procedural devicesfoster objectivity and restrain the "quick passage of impulse intoaction." (2)


THE STRUCTURE OF BUREAUCRACY


The ideal type of such formal organization is bureaucracy and, inmany respects, the classical analysis of bureaucracy is that by MaxWeber. (3) As Weber indicates, bureaucracy involves a clear-cutdivision of integrated activities which are regarded as dutiesinherent in the office. A system of differentiated controls andsanctions is stated in the regulations. The assignment of rolesoccurs on the basis of technical qualifications which are ascertainedthrough formalized, impersonal procedures (e.g., examinations).Within the structure of hierarchically arranged authority, theactivities of "trained and salaried experts" are governed by general,abstract, and clearly defined rules which preclude the necessity forthe issuance of specific instructions for each specific case. Thegenerality of the rules requires the constant use ofcategorization, whereby individual problems and cases areclassified on the basis of designated criteria and are treatedaccordingly. The pure type of bureaucratic official is appointed,either by a superior or through the exercise of impersonalcompetition; he is not elected. A measure of flexibility in thebureaucracy is attained by electing higher functionaries whopresumably express the will of the electorate (e.g., a body ofcitizens or a board of directors). The election of higher officialsis designed to affect the purposes of the organization, but thetechnical procedures for attaining these ends are carried out bycontinuing bureaucratic personnel. (4)

Most bureaucratic offices involve the expectation of life-longtenure, in the absence of disturbing factors which may decrease thesize of the organization. Bureaucracy maximizes vocational security.(5) The function of security of tenure, pensions, incrementalsalaries and regularized procedures for promotion is to ensure thedevoted performance of official duties, without regard for extraneouspressures.(6) The chief merit of bureaucracy is its technicalefficiency, with a premium placed on precision, speed, expertcontrol, continuity, discretion, and optimal returns on input. Thestructure is one which approaches the complete elimination ofpersonalized relationships and nonrational considerations (hostility,anxiety, affectual involvements, etc.).

With increasing bureaucratization, it becomes plain to all whowould see that man is to a very important degree controlled by hissocial relations to the instruments of production. This can no longerseem only a tenet of Marxism, but a stubborn fact to be acknowledgedby all, quite apart from their ideological persuasion.Bureaucratization makes readily visible what was previously dim andobscure. More and more people discover that to work, they must beemployed. For to work, one must have tools and equipment. And thetools and equipment are increasingly available only in bureaucracies,private or public. Consequently, one must be employed by thebureaucracies in order to have access to tools in order to work inorder to live. It is in this sense that bureaucratization entailsseparation of individuals from the instruments of production, as inmodern capitalistic enterprise or in state communistic enterprise (ofthe midcentury variety), just as in the post-feudal army,bureaucratization entailed complete separation from the instrumentsof distinction. Typically, the worker no longer owns his tools northe soldier, his weapons. And in this special sense, more and morepeople become workers, either blue collar or white collar or stiffshirt. So develops, for example, the new type of scientific worker,as the scientist is "separated" from his technical equipment--afterall, the physicist does not ordinarily own his cyclotron. To work athis research, he must be employed by a bureaucracy with laboratoryresources.

Bureaucracy is administration which almost completely avoidspublic discussion of its techniques, although there may occur publicdiscussion of its policies. (7) This secrecy is confined neither topublic nor to private bureaucracies. It is held to be necessary tokeep valuable information from private economic competitors or fromforeign and potentially hostile political groups. And though it isnot often so called, espionage among competitors is perhaps ascommon, if not as intricately organized, in systems of privateeconomic enterprise as in systems of national states. Cost figures,lists of clients, new technical processes, plans for production--allthese are typically regarded as essential secrets of private economicbureaucracies which might be revealed if the bases of all decisionsand policies had to be publicly defended.


THE DYSFUNCTIONS OF BUREAUCRACY


In these bold outlines, the positive attainments and functions ofbureaucratic organization are emphasized and the internal stressesand strains of such structures are almost wholly neglected. Thecommunity at large, however, evidently emphasizes the imperfectionsof bureaucracy, as is suggested by the fact that the "horrid hybrid,"bureaucrat, has become an epithet, a Schimpfwort.

The transition to a study of the negative aspects of bureaucracyis afforded by the application of Veblen's concept of "trainedincapacity," Dewey's notion of "occupational psychosis" or Warnotte'sview of "professional deformation." Trained incapacity refers to thatstate of affairs in which one's abilities function as inadequacies orblind spots. Actions based upon training and skills which have beensuccessfully applied in the past may result in inappropriateresponses under changed conditions. An inadequate flexibilityin the application of skills will, in a changing milieu, result inmore or less serious maladjustments. (8) Thus, to adopt a barnyardillustration used in this connection by Burke, chickens may bereadily conditioned to interpret the sound of a bell as a signal forfood. The same bell may now be used to summon the trained chickens totheir doom as they are assembled to suffer decapitation. In general,one adopts measures in keeping with one's past training and, undernew conditions which are not recognized as significantlydifferent, the very soundness of this training may lead to theadoption of the wrong procedures. Again in Burke's almost echolalicphrase, "people may be unfitted by being fit in an unfit fitness";their training may become an incapacity.

Dewey's concept of occupational psychosis rests upon much the sameobservations. As a result of their day to day routines, peopledevelop special preferences, antipathies, discriminations andemphases. (9) (The term psychosis is used by Dewey to denote a"pronounced character of the mind.") These psychoses develop throughdemands put upon the individual by the particular organization of hisoccupational role.

The concepts of both Veblen and Dewey refer to a fundamentalambivalence. Any action can be considered in terms of what it attainsor what it fails to attain. "A way of seeing is also a way of notseeing--a focus upon object A involves a neglect of object B." (10)In his discussion, Weber is almost exclusively concerned with whatthe bureaucratic structure attains: precision, reliability,efficiency. This same structure may be examined from anotherperspective provided by the ambivalence. What are the limitations ofthe organizations designed to attain these goals?

For reasons which we have already noted, the bureaucraticstructure exerts a constant pressure upon the official to be"methodical, prudent disciplined." If the bureaucracy is to operatesuccessfully, it must attain a high degree of reliability ofbehavior, an unusual degree of conformity with prescribed patterns ofaction. Hence, the fundamental importance of discipline which may beas highly developed in a religious or economic bureaucracy as in thearmy. Discipline can be effective only if the ideal patterns arebuttressed by strong sentiments which entail devotion to one'sduties, a keen sense of the limitation of one's authority andcompetence, and methodical performance of routine activities. Theefficacy of social structure depends ultimately upon infusing groupparticipants with appropriate attitudes and sentiments. As we shallsee, there are definite arrangements in the bureaucracy forinculcating and reinforcing these sentiments.

At the moment, it suffices to observe that in order to ensurediscipline (the necessary reliability of response), these sentimentsare often more intense than is technically necessary. There is amargin of safety, so to speak, in the pressure exerted by thesesentiments upon the bureaucrat to conform to his patternedobligations, in much the same sense that added allowances(precautionary overestimations) are made by the engineer in designingthe supports for a bridge. But this very emphasis leads to atransference of the sentiments from the aims of theorganization onto the particular details of behavior required by therules. Adherence to the rules, originally conceived as a means,becomes transformed into an end-in-itself; there occurs the familiarprocess of displacement of goals whereby "an instrumentalvalue becomes a terminal value." (11) Discipline, readily interpretedas conformance with regulations, whatever the situation, is seen notas a measure designed for specific purposes but becomes an immediatevalue in the life-organization of the bureaucrat. This emphasis,resulting from the displacement of the original goals, develops intorigidities and an inability to adjust readily. Formalism, evenritualism, ensues with an unchallenged insistence upon punctiliousadherence to formalized procedures. (12) This may be exaggerated tothe point where primary concern with conformity to the rulesinterferes with the achievement of the purposes of the organization,in which case we have the familiar phenomenon of the technicism orred tape of the official. An extreme product of this process ofdisplacement of goals is the bureaucratic virtuoso, who never forgetsa single rule binding his action and hence is unable to assist manyof his clients. (13) A case in point, where strict recognition of thelimits of authority and literal adherence to rules produced thisresult, is the pathetic plight of Bernt Balchen, Admiral Byrd's pilotin the flight over the South Pole.

According to a ruling of the department of labor BerntBalchen . . . cannot receive his citizenship papers. Balchen a nativeof Norway, declared his intention in 1927. It is held that he hasfailed to meet the condition of five years continuous residence inthe United States. The Byrd antarctic voyage took him out of thecountry, although he was on a ship carrying the American flag, was aninvaluable member of the American expedition, and in a region towhich there is an American claim because of the exploration andoccupation of it by Americans, this region being Little America.


The bureau of naturalization explains that it cannotproceed on the assumption that Little America is American soil. Thatwould be trespass on international questions where it has nosanction. So far as the bureau is concerned, Balchen was out of thecountry and technically has not complied with the law ofnaturalization. (14)


STRUCTURAL SOURCES OF OVERCONFORMITY


Such inadequacies in orientation which involve trained incapacityclearly derive from structural sources. The process may he brieflyrecapitulated. ( 1 ) An effective bureaucracy demands reliability ofresponse and strict devotion to regulations. (2) Such devotion to therules leads to their transformation into absolutes; they are nolonger conceived as relative to a set of purposes. (3) Thisinterferes with ready adaptation under special conditions not clearlyenvisaged by those who drew up the general rules. (4 ) Thus, the veryelements which conduce toward efficiency in general produceinefficiency in specific instances. Full realization of theinadequacy is seldom attained by members of the group who have notdivorced themselves from the meanings which the rules have for them.These rules in time become symbolic in cast, rather than strictlyutilitarian.

Thus far, we have treated the ingrained sentiments making forrigorous discipline simply as data, as given. However, definitefeatures of the bureaucratic structure may be seen to conduce tothese sentiments. The bureaucrat's official life is planned for himin terms of a graded career through the organizational devices ofpromotion by seniority, pensions incremental salaries, etc., all ofwhich are designed to provide incentives for disciplined action andconformity to the official regulations. (15) The official is tacitlyexpected to and largely does adapt his thoughts, feelings and actionsto the prospect of this career. But these very devices whichincrease the probability of conformance also lead to an over-concernwith strict adherence to regulations which induces timidity,conservatism, and technicism. Displacement of sentiments from goalsonto means is fostered by the tremendous symbolic significance of themeans (rules).

Another feature of the bureaucratic structure tends to producemuch the same result. Functionaries have the sense of a commondestiny for all those who work together. They share the sameinterests, especially since there is relatively little competition inso far as promotion is in terms of seniority. In-group aggression isthus minimized and this arrangement is therefore conceived to bepositively functional for the bureaucracy. However, the esprit decorps and informal social organization which typically developsin such situations often leads the personnel to defend theirentrenched interests rather than to assist their clientele andelected higher officials. As President Lowell reports, if thebureaucrats believe that their status is not adequately recognized byan incoming elected official, detailed information will be withheldfrom him, leading him to errors for which he is held responsible. Or,if he seeks to dominate fully, and thus violates the sentiment ofself-integrity of the bureaucrats, he may have documents brought tohim in such numbers that he cannot manage to sign them all, let aloneread them. (16) This illustrates the defensive informal organizationwhich tends to arise whenever there is an apparent threat to theintegrity of the group. (17)

It would be much too facile and partly erroneous to attribute suchresistance by bureaucrats simply to vested interests. Vestedinterests oppose any new order which either eliminates or at leastmakes uncertain their differential advantage deriving from thecurrent arrangements. This is undoubtedly involved in part inbureaucratic resistance to change but another process is perhaps moresignificant. As we have seen, bureaucratic officials affectivelyidentify themselves with their way of life. They have a pride ofcraft which leads them to resist change in established routines, atleast, those changes which are felt to be imposed by others. Thisnonlogical pride of craft is a familiar pattern found even, to judgefrom Sutherland's Professional Thief, among pickpockets who,despite the risk, delight in mastering the prestige-bearing feat of"beating a left breech" (picking the left front trousers pocket).

In a stimulating paper, Hughes has applied the concepts of"secular" and"sacred" to various types of division of labor; "thesacredness" of caste and Stande prerogatives contrasts sharplywith the increasing secularism of occupational differentiation in oursociety. (18) However, as our discussion suggests, there may ensue,in particular vocations and in particular types of organization, theprocess of sanctification (viewed as the counterpart of theprocess of secularization). This is to say that throughsentiment-formation, emotional dependence upon bureaucratic symbolsand status, and affective involvement in spheres of competence andauthority, there develop prerogatives involving attitudes of morallegitimacy which are established as values in their own right, andare no longer viewed as merely technical means for expeditingadministration. One may note a tendency for certain bureaucraticnorms, originally introduced for technical reasons, to becomerigidified and sacred, although, as Durkheim would say, they arelaique en apparence. (19) Durkheim has touched on this generalprocess in his description of the attitudes and values which persistin the organic solidarity of a highly differentiated society.


PRIMARY VS. SECONDARY RELATIONS


Another feature of the bureaucratic structure, the stress ondepersonalization of relationships, also plays its part in thebureaucrat's trained incapacity. The personality pattern of thebureaucrat is nucleated about this norm of impersonality. Both thisand the categorizing tendency, which develops from the dominant roleof general, abstract rules, tend to produce conflict in thebureaucrat's contacts with the public or clientele. Sincefunctionaries minimize personal relations and resort tocategorization, the peculiarities of individual cases are oftenignored. But the client who, quite understandably, is convinced ofthe special features of his own problem often objects to suchcategorical treatment. Stereotyped behavior is not adapted to theexigencies of individual problems. The impersonal treatment ofaffairs which are at times of great personal significance to theclient gives rise to the charge of "arrogance" and "haughtiness" ofthe bureaucrat. Thus, at the Greenwich Employment Exchange, theunemployed worker who is securing his insurance payment resents whathe deems to be "the impersonality and, at times, the apparentabruptness and even harshness of his treatment by the clerks. . . .Some men complain of the superior attitude which the clerks have."(20)

Still another source of conflict with the public derives from thebureaucratic structure. The bureaucrat, in part irrespective of hisposition within the hierarchy, acts as a representative of the powerand prestige of the entire structure. In his official role he isvested with definite authority. This often leads to an actually orapparently domineering attitude, which may only be exaggerated by adiscrepancy between his position within the hierarchy and hisposition with reference to the public. (21) Protest and recourse toother officials on the part of the client are often ineffective orlargely precluded by the previously mentioned esprit de corpswhich joins the officials into a more or less solidary ingroup. Thissource of conflict may be minimized in private enterprise since theclient can register an effective protest by transferring his trade toanother organization within the competitive system. But with themonopolistic nature of the public organization, no such alternativeis possible. Moreover, in this case, tension is increased because ofa discrepancy between ideology and fact: the governmental personnelare held to be "servants of the people," but in fact they are oftensuperordinate, and release of tension can seldom be afforded byturning to other agencies for the necessary service. (22) Thistension is in part attributable to the confusion of the status ofbureaucrat and client; the client may consider himself sociallysuperior to the official who is at the moment dominant. (23)

Thus, with respect to the relations between officials andclientele, one structural source of conflict is the pressure forformal and impersonal treatment when individual, personalizedconsideration is desired by the client. The conflict may be viewed,then, as deriving from the introduction of inappropriate attitudesand relationships. Conflict within the. bureaucratic structure arisesfrom the converse situation, namely, when personalized relationshipsare substituted for the structurally required impersonalrelationships. This type of conflict may be characterized as follows.

The bureaucracy, as we have seen is organized as a secondary,formal group. The normal responses involved in this organized networkof social expectations are supported by affective attitudes ofmembers of the group. Since the group is oriented toward secondarynorms of impersonality, any failure to conform to these norms willarouse antagonism from those who have identified themselves with thelegitimacy of these rules. Hence, the substitution of personal forimpersonal treatment within the structure is met with widespreaddisapproval and is characterized by such epithets as graft,favoritism, nepotism, apple-polishing, etc. These epithets areclearly manifestations of injured sentiments. (24) The function ofsuch virtually automatic resentment can be clearly seen in terms ofthe requirements of bureaucratic structure.

Bureaucracy is a secondary group structure designed to carry oncertain activities which cannot be satisfactorily performed on thebasis of primary group criteria. (25) Hence behavior which runscounter to these formalized norms becomes the object of emotionalizeddisapproval. This constitutes a functionally significant defence setup against tendencies which jeopardize the performance of sociallynecessary activities. To be sure, these reactions are not rationallydetermined practices explicitly designed for the fulfillment of thisfunction. Rather, viewed in terms of the individual's interpretationof the situation, such resentment is simply an immediate responseopposing the "dishonesty" of those who violate the rules of the game.However, this subjective frame of reference notwithstanding, thesereactions serve the latent function of maintaining the essentialstructural elements of bureaucracy by reaffirming the necessity forformalized, secondary relations and by helping to prevent thedisintegration of the bureaucratic structure which would occur shouldthese be supplanted by personalized relations. This type of conflictmay be generically described as the intrusion of primary groupattitudes when secondary group attitudes are institutionallydemanded, just as the bureaucrat-client conflict often derives frominteraction on impersonal terms when personal treatment isindividually demanded.


PROBLEMS FOR RESEARCH


The trend towards increasing bureaucratization in Western Society,which Weber had long since foreseen, is not the sole reason forsociologists to turn their attention to this field. Empirical studiesof the interaction of bureaucracy and personality should especiallyincrease our understanding of social structure. A large number ofspecific questions invite our attention. To what extent areparticular personality types selected and modified by the variousbureaucracies (private enterprise, public service, the quasi-legalpolitical machine, religious orders)? Inasmuch as ascendancy andsubmission are held to be traits of personality, despite theirvariability in different stimulus-situations, do bureaucracies selectpersonalities of particularly submissive or ascendant tendencies? Andsince various studies have shown that these traits can be modified,does participation in bureaucratic office tend to increase ascendanttendencies? Do various systems of recruitment (e.g., patronage, opencompetition involving specialized knowledge or general mentalcapacity, practical experience) select different personality types?(27) Does promotion through seniority lessen competitive anxietiesand enhance administrative efficiency? A detailed examination ofmechanisms for imbuing the bureaucratic codes with affect would beinstructive both sociologically and psychologically. Does the generalanonymity of civil service decisions tend to restrict the area ofprestige-symbols to a narrowly defined inner circle? Is there atendency for differential association to be especially marked amongbureaucrats?

 

The range of theoretically significant and practically importantquestions would seem to be limited only by the accessibility of theconcrete data. Studies of religious, educational, military, economic,and political bureaucracies dealing with the interdependence ofsocial organization and personality formation should constitute anavenue for fruitful research. On that avenue, the functional analysisof concrete structures may yet build a Solomon's House forsociologists.


ENDNOTES:


1. For a development of the concept of "rational organization,"see Karl Mannheim, Mensch und Gesellschaft im Zeitalter desUmbaus (Leiden: A. W. Sijthoff, 1935), esp. 28 ff.

2. H. D. Lasswell, Politics (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1933),120-21.

3. Max Weber, Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft (Tubingen: J. C.B. Mohr, 1922), Pt. III, chap. 6; 650-678. For a brief summary ofWeber's discussion, see Talcott Parsons, The Structure of SocialAction, esp. 506 ff. For a description, which is not acaricature, of the bureaucrat as a personality type, see C. Rabany,"Les types sociaux: le fonctionnaire,' Revue generaled'admistration, l907, 88, 5-28.

4. Karl Mannheim, Ideology and Utopia (New York: Harcourt, Brace,1936), 18n., 105 ff. See also Ramsay Muir, Peers and Bureaucrats(London: Constable, 1910), 12-13.

5. E. G. Cahen-Salvador suggests that the personnel ofbureaucracies is largely constituted by those who value securityabove all else. See his "La situation materielle et morale desfonctionnaires, ' Revue politique et parlementaire (1926), 319.

6. J. Laski, "Bureaucracy," Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences.This article is written primarily from the standpoint of thepolitical scientist rather than that of the sociologist.

7. Weber, op. cit., 671.

8. For a stimulating discussion and application of these concepts,see Kenneth Burke, Permanence and Change (New York: NewRepublic, 1935), pp. 50 ff., Daniel Warnotte, "Bureaucratie etFonctionnarisme, Revue de l'Institut de Sociologie, 1937, 17,245.

9. Ibid., 58-59.

10. Ibid., 70.

11. This process has often been observed in various connections.Wundt's heterogony of ends is a case in point; Max Weber'sParadoxie der Folgen is another. See also MacIver'sobservations on the transformation of civilization into culture andLasswell's remark that the human animal distinguishes himself by hisinfinite capacity for making ends of his means. See Merton, Theunanticipated consequences of purposive social action," AmericanSociological Review, 1936, 1, 894-904. In terms of thepsychological mechanisms involved, this process has been analyzedmost fully by Gordon W. Allport, in his discussion of what he callsthe functional autonomy of motives. Allport emends the earlierformulations of Woodworth, Tolman, and William Stern, and arrives ata statement of the process from the standpoint of individualmotivation. He does not consider those phases of the social structurewhich conduce toward the transformation of motives. The formulationadopted in this paper is thus complementary to Allport's analysis;the one stressing the psychological mechanisms involved, the otherconsidering the constraints of the social structure. The convergenceof psychology and sociology toward this central concept suggests thatit may well constitute one of the conceptual bridges between the twodisciplines. See Gordon W. Allport, Personality (New York:Henry Holt & Co., 1937), chap. 7.

12. See E. C. Hughes, Institutional office and the person,American Journal of Sociology, 1937, 43, 404-413; E. T. Hiller,Social structure in relation to the person," Social Forces, 1937, 16,34-4.

13. Mannheim, Ideology and Utopia, 106.

14. Quoted from the Chicago Tribune (June 21, 1931, p. 10)by Thurman Arnold, The Symbols of Government (New Haven: YaleUniversity Press, 1935), 201-2. (My italics.)

15. Mannheim, Mensch und Gesellschaft, 32-33. Mannheimstresses the importance of the "Lebensplan" and the "Amtskarriere."See the comments by Hughes, op. Cit., 413.

16. A. L. Lowell, The Government of England (New York,1908), I, 189 ff.

17. For an instructive description of the development of such adefensive organization in a group of workers, see F. J.Roethlisberger and W. J. Dickson, Management and the Worker(Boston: Harvard School of Business Administration, 1934).

18. E. C. Hughes, Personality types and the division of labor,American Journal of Sociology, 1928, 33, 754-768. Much the samedistinction is drawn by Leopold von Wiese and Howard Becker,Systematic Sociology (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1932), 222-25et passim.

19. Hughes recognizes one phase of this process of sanctificationwhen he writes that professional training carries with it as aby-product assimilation of the candidate to a set of professionalattitudes and controls, a professional conscience and solidarity.The profession claims and aims to become a moral unit." Hughes,op. cit. 762, (italics inserted). In this same connection,Sumner's concept of pathos, as the halo of sentiment which protects asocial value from criticism, is particularly relevant, inasmuch us itaffords a clue to the mechanism involved in the process ofsanctification. See his Folkways, 180-181.

20. " 'They treat you like a lump of dirt they do. I see a navvyreach across the counter and shake one of them by the collar theother day. The rest of us felt like cheering. Of course he lost hisbenefit over it. . . . But the clerk deserved it for his sassy way.'" (E. W. Bakke, The Unemployed Man, 79-80). Note that thedomineering attitude was imputed by the unemployed client whois in a state of tension due to his loss of status and self-esteem ina society where the ideology is still current that an "able man" canalways find a job. That the imputation of arrogance stems largelyfrom the client's state of mind is seen from Bakke's own observationthat "the clerks were rushed, and had no time for pleasantries, butthere was little sign of harshness or a superiority feeling in theirtreatment of the men." In so far as there is an objective basis forthe imputation of arrogant behavior to bureaucrats, it may possiblybe explained by the following juxtaposed statements. "Auch dermoderne, sei es offentliche, sei es private, Beamte erstrebt immerund geniesst meist den Beherrschten gegenuber eine spezifischgehobene, 'standische' soziale Schatzung." (Weber, op. cit.,652.) "In persons in whom the craving for prestige is uppermost,hostility usually takes the form of a desire to humiliate others." K.Horney, The Neurotic Personality of Our Time, 178-79.

21. In this connection, note the relevance of Koffka's comments oncertain features of the pecking-order of birds. "If one compares thebehavior of the bird at the top of the pecking list, the despot, withthat of one very far down, the second or third from the last, thenone finds the latter much more cruel to the few others over whom helords it than the former in his treatment of all members. As soon asone removes from the group all members above the penultimate, hisbehavior becomes milder and may even become very friendly. . . . Itis not difficult to find analogies to this in human societies, andtherefore one side of such behavior must be primarily the effects ofthe social groupings, and not of individual characteristics." K.Koffka, Principles of Gestalt Psychology (New York: Harcourt, Brace,1935), 668-9.

22. At this point the political machine often becomes functionallysignificant. As Steffens and others have shown, highly personalizedrelations and the abrogation of formal rules (red tape) by themachine often satisfy the needs of individual clients more fully thanthe formalized mechanism of governmental bureaucracy. See the slightelaboration of this as set forth in Chapter I.

23. As one of the unemployed men remarked about the clerks at theGreenwich Employment Exchange: " 'And the bloody blokes wouldn't havetheir jobs if it wasn't for us men out of a job either. That's whatgets me about their holding their noses up.' " Bakke, op.cit., 80. See also H. D. Lasswell and G. Almond, "Aggressivebehavior by clients towards public relief administrators,"American Political Science Review, 1934, 28, 643-55.

24. The diagnostic significance of such linguistic indices asepithets has scarcely been explored by the sociologist. Sumnerproperly observes that epithets produce "summary criticisms" anddefinitions of social situations. Dollard also notes that "epithetsfrequently define the central issues in a society," and Sapir hasrightly emphasized the importance of context of situations inappraising the significance of epithets. Of equal relevance isLinton's observation that "in case histories the way in which thecommunity felt about a particular episode is, if anything, moreimportant to our study than the actual behavior. . . . A sociologicalstudy of "vocabularies of encomium and opprobrium" should lead tovaluable findings.

25. Cf. Ellsworth Faris, The Nature of Human Nature (NewYork: McGraw-Hill, 1937), 41 ff.

26. Community disapproval of many forms of behavior may beanalyzed in terms of one or the other of these patterns ofsubstitution of culturally inappropriate types of relationship. Thus,prostitution constitutes a type-case where coitus, a form of intimacywhich is institutionally defined as symbolic of the most "sacred"primary group relationship, is placed within a contractual context,symbolized by the exchange of that most impersonal of all symbols,money. See Kingsley Davis, "The sociology of prostitution," AmericanSociological Review, 1937, 2, 744-55.

27. Among recent studies of recruitment to bureaucracy are:Reinhard Bendix, Higher Civil Servants ln American Society(Boulder: University of Colorado Press, 1949); Dwaine Marwick,Career Perspectives in a Bureaucratic Setting (Ann Arbor:University of Michigan Press, 1954); R. K. Lelsall, Higher CivilServants in Britain (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1955); W.L. Warner and J. C. Abegglen, Occupational Mobility in AmericanBusiness and Industry (Minneapolis: University of MinnesotaPress, 1955 ) .

 


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