Every generation of children has the same jokes and

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Unformatted text preview: never break!" This ritual was a symbol of the unity of the pair, so that they fought for each other, shared all personal goods (such as candy, pocket money, etc.,) and were to be loyal and sympathetic throughout life. Alas, dear partner of my boyhood, most gallant of fighters and most generous of souls, where are you, and where is our friendship, now? For the student of mankind the gang is one of the most fascinating phenomena. Here the power of tradition, without the aid of records, is seen. Throughout America, in a mysterious way, all the boys start spinning tops at a certain season and then suddenly cease and begin, to play marbles. Without any standardization of a central type they have the same rules for their games, call them by the same names and use in their songs the same rhymes and airs. Every generation of children has the same jokes and trick games: "Eight and eight are sixteen, stick your nose in kerosene"--"A dead cat, I one it, you two it, I three it, you four it, I five it, you six it, I seven it, you eight it!" The fact is, of course, that there are no generations as distinct entities; there are always individuals of one age, and there is a mutual teaching and learning going on at all times, which is the basis of transmission of tradition. Children are usually more conservative and greater sticklers for form and propriety than even men are; only now and then a freer mind arises whose courage and pertinacity change things. Therefore, in the understanding of character the influence of the environment becomes of as fundamental importance as the consideration of the organic make-up of the individual. The environment in the form of tradition, social ideal, social status, economic situation, race, religion, family, education is thus on the one hand the directing, guiding, eliciting factor in character and on the other is the repressing, inhibiting, limiting factor. Putting the whole thing in another way: the organism is the Microcosmos, or little world, in which the potentialities of character are...
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This note was uploaded on 09/26/2011 for the course PSYCHOLOGY 110 taught by Professor Kannan during the Spring '11 term at Anna University Chennai - Regional Office, Coimbatore.

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