Social integration disintegration and disorganization
When social systems (or any other system for that matter) join together to form a larger one, they are said to integrate. When the opposite occurs, the larger system must be regarded as disintegrating – in other words, its order is being reduced: the bonds holding it together are being weakened until eventually they are no longer capable of holding the system together. At this point it breaks up into smaller systems.
This process can occur at all levels of organisation. Thus a modern state is often an unstable system held together externally by a vast bureaucracy. It may be made up of different territorially-based ethnic groups, each with its own culture and traditions that will furnish it with stronger and more lasting bonds than those linking it to the other groups which make up the national state. It is not difficult for such a state to disintegrate into such ethnic groups. Austria after the First World War and Spain during the Republic are particularly striking examples.
It may also disintegrate into ethnic groups that are not territorially based but, before disintegration set in, lived symbiotically with each other, as did the whites and the negroes in the USA when the latter worked on plantations in the Southern states; and more spectacularly as do the different castes in India.
When this occurs, then the national state ceases to be a self-regulating unit of behaviour; it becomes unstable and has to be run externally by a bureaucracy and possibly also an autocrat. In such cases the new social units into which the original society disintegrates can become viable, self-regulating societies if conditions are right, though in the latter case it would require granting each group its separate territory.
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