« AnteriorContinuar »
expect the selected materials of the schools to be as dominating over our society as are the heterogeneous materials of unconsciously propagated social heredity. Much can be done to improve presentday materials and methods, but the day is far distant when we can persuade the boy to give up his street vernacular for the language of the textbook, to read only the type of literature found in the school library, to produce and listen only to the music selected for school use, to eat the food, wear the clothes, adopt the habits, and live the ideals suggested by his teachers. In the meantime he will inherit from his social environment a large share of his personal characteristics as unconsciously as he inherits the physical traits of his ancestors.
Generalizing the analysis of the preceding pages, it is to nurture rather than nature, to environment rather than organic heredity, that we must look mainly for social progress. Even such studies of degeneracy as that of the Jukes family, or of genius as shown in the Edwards family, or the vast array of materials collected by the eugenicists fail to be convincing when it is remembered that the children of these families grew up under the educative conditions surrounding their homes. It may be impossible to develop a genius out of an ordinary individual or a good citizen out of a born criminal by providing a favorable educational environment; but it is equally impossible to develop a genius without affording him opportunities, or a good citizen where there is no reward for virtue. Professor Ward may have overstated the case when he asserted that genius inheres in all classes of society almost equally, but he certainly did not overemphasize his thesis when he elaborated the role of opportunity in human progress. When such a preponderating number of great actions grow out of great occasions, when a man born in Paris has thirty times the chance of greatness of one born in rural France, when from two to four times their relative proportions of our own leaders are born in our larger cities, and when such an enormous percentage of our criminals come from vicious environments, it is scarcely necessary to assume that one's doom is sealed by his unwitting choice of ancestors.
Moreover, granting the influence of organic heredity claimed by the eugenicists, they have comparatively little to offer in the way
stimulating progress They do not show how, by taking thought, we can greatly improve the organic heritage of our descendants. On the other hand, we can consciously and deliberately improve the social heritage we expect to transmit. Since mere physical features, such as climate and topography, exercise increasingly less influence over us, we can very largely control our environment artificially. With each new age we pile up additional economic, cultural, and institutional treasures for the use of posterity. We have the privilege, even the duty, of making over our social, religious, political, and educational systems to provide greater safeguards and more effective media for the training of the young. While the telic programs outlined to improve organic heredity touch vitally only the few, mainly the abnormal, the telic programs for improving social heredity are equally vital for all. In other words, the laws of organic heredity are biological and hence beyond psychic control, while the laws of social heredity fall within the province of psychic direction and form the basis of the great educative scheme to guarantee social progress through improving social conditions. NEWS AND NOTES
COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY George W. Kirchwey, formerly dean of the Law School, has been appointed director of the United States Employment Service of the state of New York.
The Trustees have appointed Mr. Dwight Sanderson as professor of rural organization in the New York State College of Agriculture at Cornell University. His work will comprise the field of rural sociology and rural social organization. Professor Sanderson entered on his new duties last fall. Professor Sanderson is also the executive secretary of the recently organized National Country Life Association.
Professor S. C. Coolidge, who has been in Paris with the American Peace Commissioners, has been made chairman of a smaller committee which is to study the political, social, and economic conditions in Austria and the adjoining countries.
UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS Professor Edward C. Hayes will offer two courses of lectures in sociology at the University of Chicago during the first term of the Summer Quarter.
UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA This University announces the establishment of a course in “Americanization” which will be a recognized part of the curriculum from the beginning of the spring quarter. Among the leaders of the movement which resulted in the organization of this course is Dr. A. E. Jenks, professor of anthropology, whose work has given him a broad knowledge
of present-day racial conditions. He saw, as few did, that the United States is being peopled with little Italies, little Germanies, and other foreign settlements, whose inhabitants are not accepting our ideals, nor are they being assimilated by our institutions. The war has convinced many of this truth, and as a result active and intelligent effort will be made to remedy the evil.
The course of study proposed provides for a solid foundation in the natural and social sciences upon which all Americanization must be based, and in the upper years a thorough grounding in the fundamentals of anthropology, broadly interpreted, together with an opportunity for specializing along lines to which the student decides to devote his attention. The time required for its completion is four college years and provision is being made for one year of graduate work. Its object is to prepare men and women for the important work of Americanization.
UNIVERSITY OF NEw MEXICO Lieut. Russell Howard, formerly an instructor in Oregon Agricultural College, has been appointed acting professor of economics and business administration in the University of New Mexico. Lieut. Howard was personnel officer in the local S.A.T.C. This addition allows Professor Dow more time for the developing of the department of sociology.
Professor G. S. Dow was recently elected a director of the Albuquerque Bureau of Charities.
NEW YORK SCHOOL OF SOCIAL RESEARCH In New York City there has been organized a school for social research. This school hopes to meet the needs of intelligent men and women who desire a more thorough knowledge of the social, political, economic, and educational problems of the day. Lectures are already being given, but the school hopes to greatly increase its staff next fall. Among the lecturers are Thorsten Veblen, James Harvey Robinson, and Frederick W. Ellis.
OBERLIN COLLEGE Professor W. M. Burke, acting professor of sociology, has resigned to enter educational work with the United States Army overseas, under the auspices of the International Y.M.C.A.
UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS Professor Max S. Handman was given a leave of absence for the month of December for the purpose of translating President Wilson's addresses to Congress into the Roumanian language.
F. G. Franklin, Ph.D. (Chicago), after nine years as Professor of History and Political Science in Albany College, has been made head of the department of Social Science in Willamette University. He has been at work in the latter institution since October 1. He is the author of “The Legislative History of Naturalization in the United States."