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Men in Groups
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com
I suspect that there must be something biological, or genetic, in this obvious truth. Who knows? But I have heard curses from men who are coaching teams of women (soccer, basketball, etc.): "They just don't GET IT!"
The reviewer who claims that the book is "obsolete," in my opinion, has a highly-inflated idea of human flexibility.
Nevertheless, although this is a "ground-breaking" book, I find that it has aged, and it has not aged well. I don't know whether Lionel Tiger was simply too lazy to attempt a revision of this book, or whether his mind has gone to sleep over the last fifty years. Whatever: there are false notes struck on almost every page, and they are mostly political false notes. An example would be Lionel Tiger smugly asserting that racial segregation in America was due to whites not wanting to live with blacks. It does not even seem to occur to him that there is another side of the coin: that blacks do not want to live with whites. Even more incredible (for Tiger) is the concept that this might be a pretty good way to arrange life: whites and blacks do not necessarily live cheek-by-jowl, but perhaps in adjoining suburbs, where they have softball games on the weekends. OK, the whites probably lose the softball games most of the time, but why is this sort of living pattern assumed to be unthinkable?
Another example is Tiger's feminism: he actively wants more women participating in politics. ("Why?" does not seem to occur to him.) He confesses that the political strength of men in groups is going to make realizing that goal very difficult, and therefore *profound political changes might be necessary to achieve this goal.* Making "profound political changes" to achieve some (perhaps imaginary) goal is actually an extremely dangerous idea, and I suspect that its time is very nearly over.
A lot of important data is gathered here. I don't think it's well organized, but it is at least *gathered.*
But I don't think any of this changes the fact that men naturally tend to form self-selected teams. If you have a social unit with fifteen guys in it, perhaps seven or eight will form themselves into a team. They will probably do it (in Western society) by trading insults (in person or over the Internet). Very often, a guy's "mates" are among the most important things in his life. An entrepreneur in New Zealand; a college boy in Chiang Mai; a Burmese refugee who has a pack of at least twenty friends --- find me a woman who operates like these guys. :-)
Why do we Western folks need an entire book to document the obvious? Search me!
Actually, some of Tiger's suggestions seem fresh and relevant, especially in light of recent trends that take another look at long buried, "dangerous" ideas like "Human Universals." (Notably referenced in Steven Pinker's excellent The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature)
Current thinking on chimpanzee social structure is irrelevant to the ideas presented in this book.
The key idea is here is that men seem to gain some sort of sense of well-being from male-male bonding and that male bonding seems to center around aggression (which Tiger defines broadly, not only in terms of violence but of seeking mastery of something--where violence is but one possible outcome of aggression). That aggression can be real or simulated. So this idea, in an age where cooperative online gaming (a new but highly male interest), ESPN, UFC and the movie 300 are all such popular points of reference for young , straight men, it actually seems that Tiger was actually more correct than he wished to be. Male bonding, and aggression, ARE part of human nature, and they can't necessarily be suppressed or rendered impotent despite the best intentions of "positivists."
He was correct that male bonding needs to be accommodated in our plans for our species, and I would add, in a productive and positive way. Because young men will seek out manly identity and bonding from those who offer it--be they Boy Scouts or gangs. Old school feminists can continue to put their hands over their ears and wish human nature away, but it ain't going anywhere. Not completely.