Charles Cooley - Social Quotes
10 Sourced Quotes
It happens from time to time in every complex and active society, that certain persons feel the complexity and insistence as a tangle, and seek freedom in retirement, as Thoreau sought at Walden Pond. They do not, however, in this manner escape from the social institutions of their time, nor do they really mean to do so; what they gain, if they are successful, is a saner relation to them.
"SOCIETY and the Individual" is really the subject of this whole book, and not merely of Chapter One. It is my general aim to set forth, from various points of view, what the individual is, considered as a member of a social whole ; while the special purpose of this chapter is only to offer a preliminary statement of the matter, as I conceive it, afterward to be unfolded at some length and variously illustrated.
If the man succeeds in becoming indifferent to the opinions of his neighbors he runs into another danger, that of a distorted and extravagant self of the pride sort, since by the very process of gaining independence and immunity from the stings of depreciation and misunderstanding, he has perhaps lost that wholesome deference to some social tribunal that a man cannot dispense with and remain quite sane.
In the days of witchcraft it used to be believed that if one person secretly made a waxen image of another and stuck pins into the image, its counterpart would suffer tortures, and that if the image was melted the person would die. This superstition is almost realized in the relation between the private self and its social reflection. They seem to separate but are darkly united, and what is done to the one is done to the other.