Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Social Dynamics of One Law: Understanding the Interplay of Primary Groups, Intimacy Needs, and Total Assimilation

So a sociologist named Cooley developed the idea in sociology of primary and secondary groups.  I'll explain these concepts and then I'll explain how they relate to One-Law.

A primary group is "characterized by intimate face-to-face association and cooperation" (Cooley, Social Organization).  "The result of intimate association, psychologically, is a certain fusion of individualities in a common whole..."

So which groups are primary and which secondary?

"The true distinction between primary and secondary groups is in how intimate the group members feel about one another and how dependent they are on the group for sustenance and identity." (Sociology, Andersen and Taylor).

So the test for determining whether a group is primary or secondary is examining which need it serves:

"Primary and secondary groups serve different needs.  Primary groups give people intimacy, companionship, and emotional support.  These human desires are termed expressive needs (also called socio-emotional needs)," (ibid).

According to Andersen and Taylor then, a local religious group is a primary group.

Now recall from the previous post that Gordon (a leading sociologist) said that once a person joins a primary group the inexorable process of total assimilation follows:

"Once structural assimilation has occurred, either simultaneously with or subsequent to acculturation, all of the other types of assimilation will naturally follow," (Gordon).


If we look at the template given in the New Testament for mixed congregations (this is another post in itself) then, applying what we've learned about sociology and primary group membership leading to total assimilation of the host culture, the vision of the New Testament is for Jews and Gentiles to assimilate completely into a pro-Judaic culture.

But I've gotta run.  We'll talk more about this later.

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