F. ROBB resumes as follows G. AHRNE's concept of affiliation (in his critique of this author's book in Syst. Practice and Action Res.12(3), p. 312):

"People are related (in organizations) by "affiliation ", which is usually compulsory in the cases of kinship and citizenship and which is usually entered into by choice in other cases (i.e. in entreprises and voluntary organizations) "Affiliation allows access to certain material resources accumulated by the organization and it entails the performance of some more or less well-defined obligations.

Almost all goods�are owned and controlled by organizations. Hence, if people want to have access to anything more than the most simple goods, they have to join organizations, and promise to come back again.

"To become an "affiliate", you have to be admitted, perhaps by passing some test, and to be recognized by others in the organization as having a unique identity: but only an identity in relation to the organization. You have to exchange a loss of some autonomy for access to the organization's collective resources and power, you have to promise to submit to surveillance, recorded control, and coercion, and you must return to the organization. But all affiliates are substitutable, no one is indispensable to the viable organization"

While in this description affiliates are human, members of human organizations, it is obvious that affiliation is a feature in different forms of all elements of all types of systems, from cells in the living being to ants in the anthill. It is in fact a basic feature of sociality.

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