Neal, Arthur G.; Seeman, Melvin
April 1964
American Sociological Review;Apr64, Vol. 29 Issue 2, p216
Academic Journal
The theory of mass society Proposes that organizations mediating between individual and state serve as a bulwark against the development of alienation. An empirical test of this proposition is presented, focusing on perceived powerlessness as a critical form of alienation. As predicted, members of work-related organizations are generally lower in powerlessness than non-members; this difference is sustained under appropriate controls for socio-economic status and mobility. The clearest associations between non-membership and powerlessness are found among the mobility-minded workers. Systematic exceptions to the mediation thesis are noted; and the problem of causal imputation (organization leads to a sense of mastery) is reviewed.


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