A General Psychology of Intergroup Relations

  • W. Peter Archibald


For the sake of continuity with the immediately preceding chapters I shall assume, as did Marx himself at many points in his writing, the existence of a mode of production, such as capitalism, which has been in existence long enough that traditional groupings from previous social formations have been largely broken down, but not long enough that the majority of producers have organized themselves as a group/ “class-for-itself”. However, conceiving of individuals as chickens and groups as eggs is only an analytical device. Groups are also chickens. Indeed, as we saw in Chapter 1, for Marx the most primeval chickens — and those most important for historic change — are groups rather than individuals, and on numerous occasions we shall have to acknowledge this fact.


Human Nature Relative Deprivation General Psychology Class Struggle Intergroup Relation 
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  1. 8.
    The interpretation of Marx on ideology employed here is closer to Bhikha Parekh’s (Marx’s Theory of Ideology (London: Croom Helm, 1982))Google Scholar
  2. 1.
    and Joe McCarney’s (The Real World of Ideology (Sussex/N.J.: Harvester/Humanities Press, 1980)) than to Althusser’s (“Ideology … ,” op. cit.).Google Scholar
  3. 21.
    See George Lichtheim, Marxism: An historical and critical study (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1961) pp. 187–90,Google Scholar
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    and Geoffrey Kay, The Economic Theory of The Working Class (London: Macmillan, 1979) pp. 44–53, 72–8.Google Scholar
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    For one critique of this conception, see Hillel Ticktin’s “The contradictions of Soviet society and Professor Bettleheim” Critique, 1976, No. 6 (Spring), pp. 17–44.Google Scholar
  6. 36.
    On the other hand, there is some evidence that individuals who have coercive power over others (for example, fathers in families) have less insight into those they rule than the latter have into the ruler (for example, see Darwin Thomas, David Franks and Janet Colonico, “Role-taking and power in social psychology” American Sociological Review, vol. 37 (October 1972), pp. 605–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    Barrington Moore is a case in point. See his Injustice: The Social Bases of Obedience and Revolt (White Plains, N.Y.: Sharpe, 1978).Google Scholar
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    Allen Wood argues this point forcefully in his “The Marxian critique of justice” pp. 3–41 in Marshall Cohen, Thomas Nagel and Thomas Scanlon (eds), Marx, Justice and History (Princeton University Press, 1980) pp. 21–2.Google Scholar
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    James H. Davis has reviewed this literature in Group Performance (Reading, Mass.: Addison-Wesley, 1969) Chapter 3.Google Scholar
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    On the effects of anonymity and “diffusion of responsibility” see, for example, Leon Festinger, A. Pepitone and T. M. Newcomb, “Some consequences of deindividuation in a group” (Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, vol. 47 (1952) pp. 382–9.),CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    and Bibb Latané and John Darley, The Unresponsive Bystander: Why Doesn’t He Help? (New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1970).Google Scholar
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    O. H. Mowrer, Learning Theory and Behavior (New York: Wiley, 1960).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    Although Martin Seligman does not use the term, parts of his analysis of Helplessness (San Francisco: W. H. Freeman, 1975. E.g., pp. 37–40.) appear to rely upon this process.Google Scholar
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    See David Gold, Clarence Lo and Erik Olin Wright, “Recent developments in Marxist theories of the capitalist state” Monthly Review, vol. 27 (October, November 1975) pp. 29–43; 36–51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    For reviews of later developments in these debates see Robert Jessop’s The Capitalist State: Marxist Theories and Methods (Oxford: Martin Robertson, 1982)Google Scholar
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    and Martin Carnoy’s The State and Political Theory (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1984).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    For a secondary account, see Henry Collins and Chimen Abramsky, Karl Marx and the British Labour Movement (London: Macmillan, 1965) Chapter 13, and pp. 298–300.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© W. Peter Archibald 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. Peter Archibald
    • 1
  1. 1.McMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada

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