Major types of interests present in society are: 1. Like and Common Interests 2. Exclusive Interests 3. Inclusive Interests 4. Motivation.
1. Like and Common Interests:
We stated that interests may be both like and common while attitudes may be like but not common. Generally the two words like and common are used interchangeably. Thus we often say that men have common habits. In fact their habits are not ‘common’ but ‘like’.
“The like is what we have distributive, privately, each to himself. The common is what we have collectively what we share without, dividing up.” Like interest may lead to common interests, for example, two businessmen, with like interests in profit may form a partnership and thus possess a common firm.
Commonness is built out of the likeness. Whereas like interests lead to competition for the same good, common interests lead to co-operation. One of the most important problems for every society as said earlier is how to turn like interests into common interests.
2. Exclusive Interests:
Again interests may be exclusive or inclusive. An exclusive interest generally limits social relationship or divides individuals and groups. Man comes to think of himself, and begins to dislike others. He divides people into the ‘we’ and the ‘they’. He devotes himself to the ‘we’ and manifests hostility to the ‘they’.
Thus individual and group prejudices are created. Resultantly, there comes in a bitter division and competition among individuals and groups which accentuate the problem of peace and harmony. The modern civilization is faced with that problem.
The various groups within the nation—cultural, racial, and economic—often seriously damage through their tension and conflict, the unity and prosperity of the people. And within the world the nations regard their people exclusively belonging to them, thus leading to mutual jealousies. What we need today for world peace is to limit exclusive interests.
3. Inclusive Interests:
Inclusive interests promote collaboration. These interests are usually non utilitarian like interest in art, science, religion, or sport. The interest of a man in science or art is a common interest in so far as he does not pursue it merely for his own self but for its own self. If he is interested in science because it brings him money, he lacks common interest and is an unsatisfactory scientist.
It is true that man is egoistic or self centered and it is inevitable that he should seek his private interests. It is equally inevitable that he should feel pleasure in the pursuit of economic or utilitarian objects. But it is also evident that if ail our interests are self limited, society cannot endure.
Man is at once egocentric and socio-centric. He lives for himself and also lives for others. If other people were merely means to our satisfaction, we would not belong together as social beings. Examination of human behaviour reveals that in all human activity both common and like and self-limited interests are combined.
An aggregate of individuals, becomes a society not because each individual possesses ‘life content’ which actuates him, but because there is a reciprocal influence, direct or indirect. According to Park and Burgess, social interaction is of a dual nature, of persons with persons and of groups with groups. Contact is the first stage of interaction.
Here we shall add only a few words about the question of motivation. In society, we often seek to discover the motives of a person behind his behaviour and it is so particularly when his behaviour is unexpected. Under the complicated frame-work of our attitudes and interests, there is some dominant factor or factors which explain our behaviour in a particular situation.
We may call this factor our motive. Motives, then, “are the effective incitements to action that lie behind our acts, behind the show of things.” Motive is that factor which moves the person towards a thing. It differs from interests inasmuch as an interest is the object of one’s action.
A motive may be immediate or ultimate, conscious or subconscious. The immediate motive of a businessman behind entering into a literary club may be to gain political power. A man may join a recreational club with the conscious motive of play and recreation, but the subconscious motive may be an undefined wish to compensate for a failure in some aspects of life. There is a vast psychoanalytic literature about conscious or unconscious motives.