On the action of social groups

Inquiry 19 (1-4):443 – 454 (1976)
Abstract
This paper deals with the question of whether and when it is appropriate or inappropriate to say that a social group performs an action. After some remarks on the concept of action three kinds of groups are distinguished, i.e. assemblies, institutions, and classes. It is found that in the first two of these cases predication of action is possible: an assembly can act in that all its members act, or some of them do who are interchangeable with any others; and an institution can act because it has a structure and some individuals can act on its behalf. A class, however, cannot be said to act, for its concept may be freely formed, its members cannot be assembled, and it has no organs through which actions could be performed
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