chapter  III
Age Groups in Nonkinship (Universalistic) Societies
Pages 71

I A . In this chap ter w e shall t r y to validate th e first p art o f o u r hypothesis: nam ely, th a t age groups ten d to arise in those societies w hose m ain in tegrative principles are

T h ird ly , w e shall describe the com position, activities, au tho rity structu re , etc., of age groups arising under these conditions, and, in v ery broad lines, the ir place bo th in the individual’s life and w ith in the social s tructure . W e shall a ttem pt to show th a t the ir nature and organization are v ery closely related to th e needs postulated in ou r basic hypothesis. T h ro u g h o u t this description th e fact, already seen and stressed in the previous chapter, nam ely, th a t there exists a g rea t varie ty of such groups, w ith m any dif­ ferences in the ir com position and structure , w ill be emphasized once m ore; although some basic com m on characteristics will be easily discernible. In this chap ter w e shall analyze and explain only a few of these differences. A full explanation or analysis o f the conditions under w hich different types of age groups arise will be possible on ly w hen some o ther criteria, in addi­ tion to those o f particularism -universalism , are taken in to ac­ count. These additional variables w ill be analyzed in subsequent chapters. T h u s the m aterial presented in this chapter does n o t constitu te a full “functional” analysis of age groups, b u t purports on ly to validate the first part o f the basic hypothesis; and to analyze, partly on the basis of the descriptions given in the previous chapter, the general characteristics o f age groups, the variations of w hich w ill be analyzed on ly subsequently.