The meaning and measurement of the concept of solidarity



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Purpose: The objectives of this thesis were threefold: (1) To explicate the concept of solidarity, (2) To define solidarity in a clear manner; and (3) To construct an instrument suitable for the measurement of solidarity. Methods: The data for this research were obtained from a sampling of four independent groups: (1) the employees of a large bank; (2) the faculty of a high school; (3) the congregation of a protestant church; and (4) a naval reserve training center. The members of these groups were administered a questionnaire consisting of twenty-four items derived from Seashore's Index of Group Cohesiveness and Klapp's Questionnaire for Rating Solidarity. The questionnaire items were analyzed by the principal axis method of factor analysis and a cluster analysis. Findings: As operationalized, it was determined by the factor analysis of items that there is considerable overlap between solidarity and cohesion. As a means of mitigating the problem of operational confusion between these concepts a clear definition of solidarity has been suggested. Solidarity may be defined as; a positive affective relationship existing between a group of two or more individuals, characterized by a feeling of 'weness'. The factor analysis revealed several dimensions of group relations including integration, harmony, conflict, agreement and cooperation. The factorial design also suggested five other factors which were not interpreted. The cluster analysis suggested particular dimensions of group life such as perceived integration and group unattractiveness. Finally, the cluster analysis revealed several items which were incorporated into an index of solidarity.



Solidarity, measurement of solidarity, cohesion, perceived integration