Full text: Ownership as interpersonal dominance

The relationship of dominance to ownership also needs to be qualified by the moderating 
effect of autonomy motivations, as noted in the multi-cuitural archival study. It appears that 
dominance is most closely related to private ownership in those societies that value individual 
autonomy. This was established on opportunistic samples of young adult men in 15 national 
societies, and should be replicated before speculating further about its significance. However, 
if it is a valid finding, it would seem that in societies where individual autonomy is valued, such 
as in Cree society, those with a relatively greater appreciation and practice of dominance 
should value private property and those with the strongest distaste for dominance should be 
least exclusive about access to their possessions. Although this is empirically testable, the 
present data are not adequate to confirm or disconfirm this for the Cree. 
A third and more speculative qualification Is that the relationship between dominance and 
owning may be a particularly male, or male-conceived, relationship. Dominance tends to be a 
male trait. For example, there was a significant correlation in Study 2 between the trait of 
Dominance on Jackson's Personality Research Form and the dummy coding for maleness 
(0 =female, 1 = male) for both the student sample (n=187, r=.29, p<.001) and the ferry sample 
(n=85, r=.41, p<.001). In this thesis research, data were not collected and analyzed with sex 
differences in mind, especially considering the all-male samples in the archival research. 
However, the conclusion that dominance is a component of owning does set the stage for 
consideration and future research on a feminist theory of property. The existing social science 
literature does support this possibility. Even as far back as the sixth century B.C., Pythagoras 
(DeVogel, 1966) described women as having a less private concept of owning than men, and one 
of the first articulations of communism was Aristophanes’ play Ecclesiazousae, in which women 
assumed control of all property (Fairbanks, 1903). Within anthropology, patriarchy has long 
been linked to property (e.g. Morgan, 1878; Sumner & Keller, 1927). Leacock (1955) has argued 
that the non-exclusive quality of Cree ownership is a product of matriarchal social organization. 
Within the social sciences generally, there is now a feminist critique of classical property theory 
(e.g. Coontz & Henderson, 1986; Fisher, 1978; Hirschon, 1984; Smith, 1987). 
Laborit (1978) has argued that ownership represents a moderated competitive aggression 
and-has recommended that the relationship of dominance to ownership be examined 
Competition aggression seems to be the type most frequently encountered. We have seen 
that it rests on remembered gratification, hence on learning, and that this is the controlling

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