Social chemistry

Social Chemistry (bumber sticker)
A circa 2015 “faculty of social chemistry”, of Liquid Voodoo University, a CafePress bumper sticker (ΡΊ); which is humorous, per the motto that humor always has elements of truth to it, in that Libb Thims has been working to get a “faculty of physicochemical sociology” established at a leading university, to teach physicochemical sociology; a conceived admixture of the prototypes of the: Nightingale Chair of Social Physics (1890s), the Harvard Pareto circle (1930s), and Princeton Department of Social Physics (1940s).
In science, social chemistry, aka "chemical sociology" (Grant, c.1940), a terminological precursor to "sociochemistry" (Fores, 1976), is the chemistry of society or of a social system, wherein people are viewed as powered reactive chemicals or molecules; also the study of the attractions and repulsions of human molecules in unions.

The term social chemistry (Thomas Huxley, 1871) is a near-synonym to the terms human chemistry (E.B., 1851) and (Guillaume de Greef, 1902).

Overview
In 1863, French thinker writer-politician Eugene Pelletan, a deist freethinker, a follower of Marquis de Condorcet, in his “Address to the Cotton King”, said the following: [10]

“The man attracts man in the social chemistry [la chimie sociale], as the molecule to another order of composition. A new hut will pick the vicinity of the already built cabin by reason of sympathy along safety. Soon the industry will support agriculture; the blacksmith turn his forge next to the farm to beat the Ploughshares, the wheelwright and blacksmith will follow the carpenter the wheelwright, and so on to the tailor. Agricultural dispersed, the industry focuses. The village will be born of the industry. Do I need to predict the first public monument that will rise on the savings of the town? It will always be the school house.”

In 1871, English biologist Thomas Huxley stated his view that society as a whole is a social molecule and that "social chemistry" is what is called politics: [1]

“Every society, great or small, resembles ... a complex molecule, in which the atoms are represented by men, possessed of all those multifarious attractions and repulsions which are manifested in their desires and volitions, the unlimited power of satisfying which we call freedom.”

Huxley continues, ‘the social molecule exists in virtue of the renunciation of more or less of this freedom by every individual. It is decomposed, when the attraction of desire leads to the resumption of that freedom the expression of which is essential to the existence of the social molecule.’ Moreover, he reasons in a way that coins a new term:

“The great problem of social chemistry we call politics, is to discover what desires of mankind may be gratified, and what must be suppressed, if the highly complex compound, society, is to avoid decomposition.”

In 1885, American historian Henry Adams, in a letter to his wife, defined "social chemistry" as the study of the mutual attraction of equivalent human molecules; stated that this was a science yet to be created; and commented that the study of this subject was his daily satisfaction: [3]

Social chemistry—the mutual attraction of equivalent human molecules—is a science yet to be created, for the fact is my daily study and only satisfaction in life.”

In 1905, James Dealey and Lester Ward, in their A Textbook of Sociology, devote a section to “social chemistry”, which they describe as being the [reaction] processes of the tendency of the women of the conquered race to be appropriated by the conquerors. [9]

In 1962, in commentary on Huxley’s proposal for the science of social chemistry, in which the sociologists are suggested to “emulate and copy the chemists”, Austrian social economist Werner Stark famously asks:

“Why should no social chemistry ever been developed?”

Social chemistry
A 2008 afterparty flier using the term "social chemistry" as slang for getting schooled in after-hours chemistry. [6]
Stark states that “nobody would suggest that the social scientists should imitate meteorology, for this discipline does not appear to have got very far … but what about chemistry?” He states “a sociology based on chemistry [has] in fact been called for, but, significantly, [this call has] found no echo.” Stark reasons, naively, that it would have been easy to take up the suggestion of Huxley and develop it further. He reasons, “an intending social chemist would have found it one whit more difficult to manufacture a sociological parallel to the Boyle-Charles law than Haret did to the Newtonian propositions. But the experiment appears never to have been tried.”

In 2007, Canadian writer Chanel Wood, in her article "A Question of Social Chemistry", outlined a simplistic "combination lock theory" model of what she considered to be social chemistry.

Daniel Rigney considers Italian engineer Vilfredo Pareto’s 1916 social equilibria theory, supposedly based on Willard Gibbs' chemical thermodynamics, to be a type of “social chemistry”. [5] This, however, my be a mis-attribution, via Lawrence Henderson; for although Pareto did view people as "human molecules", he may have not actually used Gibbs' theories in his work?

Other
In the 2012 Environmental Chemistry Letters article “Social Chemistry”, European environmental chemists Eric Lichtfouse, Jan Schwarzbauer, and Didier Robert outline an essay in which they propose that “social chemistry” should be a new scientific discipline, conceived in a way that involved the bridging of chemistry and society, by integrating the social sciences in chemical research, which involves what they call “citizen discourse analysis” or polling citizens to see if newly designed chemicals (or the related) are acceptable by society, a methodology with which they seem to think will prevent nuclear meltdowns, global warming, and other types of repeatable human maladies. The article cites Huxley’s definition of social chemistry of men = atoms; society = complex molecule, but hardly digresses beyond this, or even seem to outline social chemistry in the same vein, but rather only seems to use the term as some type of catchy green phrase to platform their upcoming book Environmental Chemistry for a Sustainable World. [8]
Social chemistry (logo)
A 2011 logo giving a dictionary definition of social chemistry, as "the complex emotional or psychological interaction between people", for a newly-launched UK-based Social Chemistry Consulting group, launched by American-born English consultant Ryan Wenstrup-Moore. [7]

References
1. Huxley, Thomas. (1871). “Administrative Nihilism”, Fortnightly Review, pg. 536. Nov. 1.
2. Stark, Werner. (1962). The Fundamental Forms of Social Thought. (pgs. 261-63). Routledge.
3. (a) Adams, Henry. (1885). “Letter to Marian Adams”, April 12.
(b) Adams, Henry. (date). The Letters of Henry Adams: 1892-1899, Volume 4 (equivalent human molecules, pg. xxviii). Harvard University Press.
4. Wood, Chanel. (2007). "A Question of Social Chemistry", June 06. Sociology, ChanelWood.com.
5. Rigney, Daniel. (2001). The Metaphorical Society: an Invitation to Social Theory (pg. 50). Rowman & Littlefield.
6. Social Chemistry 101 (image) – PhotoBucket.com.
7. (a) Home – Social-chemistry.co.uk.
(b) Social Chemistry – Twitter.
8. Lichtfouse, Eric, Schwarzbauer, Jan, and Robert, Didier. (2012). “Social Chemistry”, Environmental Letters, 10: 1-4.
9. Dealey, James Q., and Lester, Ward F. (1905). A Textbook of Sociology (§234: Social Chemistry, pgs. 191-92). MacMillan.
10. (a) Pelletan, Eugene. (1963). “Address to the Cotton King” (“Adresse au roi coton”) (pg. 4). H. de Mariel.
(b) Eugene Pelletan (FrenchEnglish) – Wikipedia.

TDics icon ns

More pages