Persons do not become a society by living in physical proximity, any more than a man ceases to be socially influenced by being so many feet or miles removed from others. .......... {Individuals do not even compose a social group because they all work for a common end.}"

Source: Democracy and Education by John Dewey

I don't understand the sentence in the bracket. Does it mean that those who work for a common end (a common goal) cannot be called a social group nor establish a social group?

Can anyone help me understand the gist of the sentence?
What is the point it tries to convey?

  • It doesn't mean that they cannot be called a social group. What it means is that merely working for a common end is not sufficient to call people a social group; it takes more than just that. Commented Jan 23, 2018 at 15:44

1 Answer 1


This is what that line seems to be saying:

Just because people work towards a common goal does not necessarily mean that they constitute (or are) a social group.

Your understanding is correct.


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