Page:American Journal of Sociology Volume 10.djvu/726
710 THE AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SOCIOLOGY
life is essentially a national life, it is very important to keep clear the distinction between the social and the political. The sphere of the political includes such matters as forms of government, and the conditions under which men have formed this or that governmental institution, while sociology may be concerned with such things as the material, social, economic, and intellectual conditions of life.
In order to comprehend the true nature of the social life, it is not enough to consider it at a single given epoch. The sociologist should study each epoch, fol- lowing its ideas, its tendencies, and its needs ; he should trace similar modes of activity through different civilizations, back from bewildering complexities to simpler beginnings ; thus will become evident " the gradual and continuous influ- ence of generations one upon another." Not only such phenomena of society as political and religious movements, moral reforms, and industrial revolutions are to be accounted for, but, on the other hand, the conserving, immobilizing forces, such as instincts, habits, customs, institutions, must be given due importance.
In an attempt to understand society, every significant aspect of its life must be weighed ; the unconscious or the subconscious no less than the deliberate, the moral no less than the cognitive, the life of the crowd no less than the doings of the great. As M. G. Tarde has well said : " Having to reform and remold itself deliberately, society is seeking to understand itself." In this article no attempt has been made to do more than make an analysis of social life. JULES DELVAILLE, " La vie sociale," Revue philosophique, December, 1904. E. B. W.
The Spread of the Poles in Prussia. The latest volume of Prussian sta- tistics, a review of the development of Prussian population from 1875 to 1900, furnishes significant figures regarding the spread of non-German population in Prussia.
For obvious reasons, the foreign elements in the great cities are of less absorbing interest than those dwelling in closed circles in the country. If one compares the figures for 1858 with those for 1900, one sees that the number of Danes has fallen from 6.55 to 1,000 of the total population of Prussia to 3.97, and of Lithuanians from 6.40 to 3.08. But with the Poles it is quite different ; their relative number has remained unchanged at about 95 per i.ooo. In their native province of Posen their numbers rose from 59.8 per 100 in 1890 to 61.3 in 1900; in Silesia, from 23 to 23.6. Through Polish migration into the province of West- phalia the Polish population increased from i per cent, in 1890 to 2.9 per cent, in 1900 ; in Rhineland, from o.i to 0.4 ; and in Hanover, from 0.2 to 0.4.
The more strongly the Poles are represented in the separate districts the more, in general, does the birth-rate rise. While the average of births for Prussia for 1875-1900 is 39.16, in those districts of the four eastern provinces of Prussia which have a predominantly Polish population the figure rises to 46.8, while in those districts where a non-Polish population predominates it falls to 36.9.
When one considers the excess of births over deaths, it becomes apparent that the districts with a high birth-rate coincide roughly with those having a high excess of births, although infant mortality in the Polish districts is also high. While the average excess of births for Prussia is 17.6 for 1896-1900, that in the Polish districts ranges from 21 to 34. Also in the coal-mining districts of Rhenish-Westphalia, where the Poles are strongly represented among the miners, the excess runs high above the average. In these latter districts the Poles are forming almost closed settlements. " Die Ausbreitung der Polen in Preussen," Archiv fiir Rassen- und Gesellschafts-Biologie, November- December, 1904.
E. B. W.
Marriage Relations in India. Two sets of influences affect the institution of marriage among the people of India : one tending to restrict, and the other to enlarge, its sphere. In the first group of restrictive influences are to be mentioned first of all endogamy, which forbids members of a given social group to marry outside of that group. In India endogamous groups are not only ethnic, but linguistic, occupational, and sectarian. Exogamy, which is also very common in India, acts as a further obstacle to unrestricted marriage, while the prohibition of v a woman's marrying a man of a lower social caste than her own is a still further