What is Accommodation ?

What is Accommodation ?

          Accommodation is the adaptation or adjustment that people make through socially acquired behavior or by adopting new behavior. Psychologist James Mark Baldwin first coined the term to describe the behaviors or activities by which people engage with their environment.

In other words, when a person is born, the conflict with his environment begins. Social control is exercised over physical nature, his impulses and drives, and without adapting to this environment it is not possible for man to become an active member of society.

According to Park and Burgess, adaptation establishes control over the conflicting elements so that the conflict seems to disappear (although it may remain dormant and reactivate in the future). Adaptation may be permanent, eg, the co-existence of different castes in a caste-based society, or it may be temporary, eg, the co-existence of different classes in a open society.

Classification of Accommodation :

Park and Burgess, mention two main types of Accommodation.

a) Adaptation to the new natural environment.

b) Adjustment to new social environment.

By the first type of adaptation is mainly meant adaptation to new climate, land etc. In one word that can be called Acclimitization. The second type of adaptation refers to adapting to new social norms, customs, social institutions. In one word it can be called Naturalization.

According to (Simmel), In the individual case this adaptation can take two main forms. a) Superordinate and b) Subordinate. However, this superiority or inferiority of individuals or groups is not one-sided. It seems that subordinates obey without question what an authoritative person or group gives. In fact, the first party is also influenced by the second party.

Method of Accommodation :

Adaptation can be in multiple ways or methods. Gillin and Gillin mentioned the following methods- (1) submission to coercion (2) Compromise (3) mediation and appeasement (4) tolerance (5) conversion (6) Magnificence (7) imposition of rationality.

Coercion involves the use of force or the threat of force. In Compromise the opponents are fairly equally powerful and accept some of the other’s demands.

In mediation and conciliation, a third party plays the role of arbitrator or peacemaker.

Conversion means rejection of one’s own faith, ideology, allegiance, etc., and adoption of another’s faith and ideology.

Magnificence means adopting an aggressive rather than a peaceful attitude.

Rationalization is the making of possible excuses and explanations for people’s behavior.

        Thus adaptation not only reduces or controls conflict but also secures social norms so that groups and individuals with conflicting interests can live their lives together.

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