Social temperature

The Thermometer of Social Relations
A 2009 study by Hans Ijzerman and Gun Semin, entitled “The Thermometer of Social Relations: Mapping Social Proximity”, wherein in room temperature was varied and social proximity was analyzed per use of thermal words. [9]
In social thermodynamics, social temperature is the standard thermodynamic definition of "temperature" applied socially, to social systems, or two or bodies of humans; or the "heat that is generated within a society" (Beg, 2019). [8]

In 1870, American reverend Summer Ellis used the term social temperature in a metaphorical sense: [2]

“The story has a moral, which is this—that we should turn our sunny side to society, and do our best to keep up the social temperature to the most genial heights.”

In 1930, French sociological philosopher Maurice Halbwachs employed both the terms social temperature and in another instance moral temperature, as follows, wherein he introduces a type of human thermodynamic instrument conception: [4]

“The number of suicides [in a region] can be considered a sort of thermometric indicator which informs us of the condition of the mores, of the moral temperature of a group.”

Here we may recall the fact that in 2012 suicide rates among the US active-duty personnel eclipsed the number of troops dying in battle. [6] This would seem to be some kind of marking point on Halbwachs' moral temperature indicator or moral thermometer. As mores, by definition, are a “set of norms that define the most fundamental ideas about what is considered right and wrong, or moral, in human behavior”, it would seem that the Halbwachs indicator, gauges the nature of the collective trajectory of the belief system of a group in respect to the actual trajectory of the group. [7]

In 1983, American sociologist Philip Rieff, in his introduction to a reprint of Charles Cooley’s 1902 Human Nature and the Social Order, employs not only the term “social temperature” but a whole coterie of thermal words: [3]

Human Nature and Social Order is a classic examination, first published in 1902 and then again in a revised edition in 1922, of the flash point at which the human imagination ignites to produce the infinitely adjustable social temperature without which man has not yet learned to live. That flash point may produce the cold of the concentration camp or the warmth of family.”

In 1995, American anthropologist Paul Bohannan discussed ideas of heat, work, and "cultural temperature". [5]

In 2009, Chinese physicist Yi-Fang Chang gave the following formula for social temperature: [1]

 T = c \bar{K} (t) \!

where  \bar{K} \! is an average value of the social kinetic energy.
flaming girl
A artistic take (Ѻ) on girl blazing with some type of anger or hotness, or something, which crudely illustrates the notion of “social temperature”; although social thermometers are wanting.

See also
Economic temperature

1. Chang, Yi-Fang. (2009). “Social Synergetics, Social Physics, and Research of Fundamental Laws in Social Complex Systems” (abstract), eprint arXiv: 0911.1155.
2. Ellis, Summer. (1870). “Social Life”, The Ladies’ Repository (pgs. 35-38), Vol. 44. (term: pg. 37). A. Tompkins.
3. (a) Cooley, Charles H. (1983). Human Nature and the Social Order (Introduction by Philip Rieff, pg. ix). Transaction Publishers.
(b) Philip Rieff – Wikipedia.
(c) Flash point – Wikipedia.
4. Halbwachs, Maurice. (1930). The Causes of Suicide (social temperature, pg. 289; moral temperature, pg. 6). Taylor and Francis.
5. Bohannan, Paul. (1995). How Culture Works (section: Transformation, pgs. 65-67; cultural temperature, pg. 66). Simon and Schuster.
6. Williams, Timothy. (2012). “Suicides Outpacing War Deaths for Troops”, The New York Times, Jun 8.
7. Mores – Sociology,
8. Mirza, Beg. (2019). "Interview of Mirza Beg by Libb Thims" (Day 1, Part 1), Karachi, Pakistan, Sep.
9. (a) Ijzerman, Hans; Semin, Gun R. (2009). “The Thermometer of Social Relations: Mapping Social Proximity” (abs) (pdf), Psychological Science, 20(10):1214-20, Oct 1.
(b) Anon. (2009). “Study Maps Social Proximity to Temperature” (Ѻ), Psychological Science, Oct 3.

TDics icon ns

More pages