Full text: Ownership as interpersonal dominance

factor in defense of territory occupied by gratifying objects and beings, as well as in 
notions of property, quest for dominance and the establishment of hierarchies. There 
seems little doubt, moreover, that until the disciplines we know as social sciences begin to 
devote serious attention to the fundamental property of the human brain through which it 
creates and uses information in order to dominate individuals, groups and nations, were are 
not likely to see any evolution in this area. A society calling itself a ‘society of plenty’...must 
be prepared to share its goods and its members equitably at a planetary level. It must stop 
camouflaging the principle of ‘might makes right’ in the discourse of humanism. A start 
must be made at investigating the dynamics of these most archaic of motivations; an 
attempt made to go beyond them to a point where society’s rewards no longer go to its 
least compassionate members. (Laborit, 1978, pp. 746-747) 
Developmental psychologists have shown that boys tend to be less sharing than girls 
(Eisenberg-Berg, Bartlett & Haake, 1983), more frequently involved in disputes over possessions 
(Dawe, 1934), more frequent users of dominance strategies (Camras, 1984), more likely to 
provoke defensiveness (Eisenberg-Berg, Hand & Haake, 1981), and more likely to evoke adult 
intercessions (Houseman, 1972). In consumer psychology, it seems that men place a higher 
value than women on goods representing competitive achievement and less value on goods 
representing affiliation (Csikszentmihalyi & Rochberg-Halton, 1981; Belk, 1987). Although itis 
difficult to describe a feminist property theory before conceptual analyses and empirical 
research have been integrated, the writings of McClelland (1975) and Gilligan (1982) suggest 
that a feminist concept of owning would be more contextual and less rule-governed, more 
affiliative and less dominance oriented, more sharing and less exclusive. 
In conclusion, ownership is psychologically a social concept involving interpersonal 
dominance. However, this does not simplify the use, examination or explanation of ownership 
conceptualizations. Rather, the dominance component of ownership seems to be qualified and 
moderated by other psychological and cultural factors. “The formulation of explicit models of 
ownership, drawing on extended and replicated research in psychology and the other social 
sciences, might begin to clarify the complex yet important phenomena of ownership and 
property. It is hoped that this thesis will contribute to that effort.

Note to user

Dear user,

In response to current developments in the web technology used by the Goobi viewer, the software no longer supports your browser.

Please use one of the following browsers to display this page correctly.

Thank you.