But, as a species individual consciousness emerged out of the group, much like individual consciousness arises in the child out of the matrix of relations between the infant and its primary caretakers. Western civilization finds its origins in ancient Greece, and for the Greeks, individual and social experience was united . For the last century, sociologists, philosophers, and psychologists have wrestled with the question of how the individual relates to the group. Now, there is a growing body of evidence to suggest that groups are a basic form of social and cognitive organization that is essentially “hard-wired” into our species and that our ‘group-self is the core component of our sense of personal identity .
1. Dubois, P., The Prehistory of Art: Cultural Practices and Athenian Democracy., in The Subversive Imagination: Artists, Society and Social Responsibility, C. Becker, Editor. 1994, Routledge: New York.
2. Ettin, M.F., J.W. Fidler, and C.B. D., eds. Group Process and Political Dynamics. 1995, International Universities Press: Madison, CT.