Full text: Ownership as interpersonal dominance

Fourth, this reinterpretation of the Leadership scale would seem justified when it is recalled that 
the best independent predictors of a favorable societal attitude towards private property were 
preferences for Leadership over Benevolence, over Recognition and over Conformity. 
Controlling people, but with no care for them, no reciprocal appreciation from them, and no wish 
to comply with their social norms, is clearly identifiable as dominance. 
Next consider the interpretation of the correlations of of Conformity with attitudes towards 
the institution of private property. Making comparisons across societies, where many educated, 
young adult men value social Conformity, there they also think that the acquisition of private 
property is based on fraud, theft, and violence. This is also the case for individual men across 
societies. Favoring social conformity coincides with disfavoring private ownership. However, 
within particular societies, this appears to hold least for those societies in which the educated 
young men value individual Independence. Where autonomy, control of others, and private 
property are favored, Conformity to social norms goes hand in hand with positive attitudes 
towards private property. Consent to social rules extends to consent to property rules as well. 
Within societies in which relatively few men prefer individual Independence, those who value 
Conformity to social norms believe that private property is anti-social. 
Conformity might also be considered in terms of dominance, in the sense that conformity 
represents control of the individual by social norms. Placing little importance on Conformity 
might represent a desire to escape societal dominance. The SIV manual (Gordon, 1976) reports 
that Conformity on the SIV correlates with Deference on Edward's Personal Preference Schedule 
(n=98, r=.52, p<.01) and with Levinson's measure of Authoritarianism (n=189, r=.31, p<.01). 
Hofstede (1980) defines Power-Distance as societal authoritarianism, the preference a peopie 
have for superordination-subordination relationships. For the 11 societies in this study for 
which Hofstede (1980, Figure 3.1) has computed Power-Distance Index values, the correlation 
of SIV Conformity with power-distance is positive (n=11, r=.79, p<.01). 
Although it is difficult to interpret low scores on a measure of preference, it is plausible 
that a preference for other interpersonal values over Conformity indicates a rejection of the 
superordination-subordination relationship. As before, consider the degree to which the actual 
scale items for Conformity indicate compliance with being controlled:

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