Sunday, 14 April 2019


Residues are the most important among social factors. P.A. Sorokin has explained the meaning of residues. According to him, “Human actions depend greatly on the character of their drives. Among these drives, the especially important are those which are relatively constant.” Pareto calls them residues. His residue is not an instinct, nor is it exactly a sentiment.
From this explanation it is clear that residue is a sort of motivator which is more or less fixed in human behavior. Though it bears to instinct and sentiment, it is none of these.
According to Pareto, “The Residues are the manifestations of instincts and sentiments as the elevation of mercury in a thermometer is the manifestation of a rise in the temperature.” Thus according to Pareto residues are manifestations of instinct and sentiment but the manifestation is not constant. Thus sexual instinct may manifest itself heterosexuality, homosexually, auto-erotically or in some other way.
  1. Residues are not instincts and sentiments.
  2. They are the manifestation of sentiments and instincts.
  3. Residues are related to individual instincts but these residues do not cover all of them.
  4. Residues are intermediary between the sentiments we cannot know directly and the belief system and acts that can be known and analyzed.
  5. Residues are non-logical.
  6. Residues are not based on any reason.
  7. Residues are more or less permanent motivators of human behaviour. They guide human behaviour.
  8. Residues represent the general elements of human actions and behaviour.
  9. Residues cannot be explained with the help of logic and experimentation.
  10. Residues are responsible for maintaining social equilibrium.
  11. Residues may change according to the demand of time and condition even if they are relatively stable elements.
In his work “Treatise on General Sociology”, Pareto explained about residues by saying that residues as conceived as manifestation of sentiments or at least corresponding to them and not as equivalent of sentiments. Residues, Pareto says are motivating forces coming directly from sentiments. He considered residues as a fundamental analytical concept of sociology.
Pareto classified residues into six groupings which corresponding more or less to certain instincts or emotional propensities of mankind.
These six types are:
i.     Residues of Combination: These are the motivators which combine similar or opposites. These residues combine like with like. It explains human intellectual curiosity and ability to synthesize information. Legends and myths are built up by this residue.
ii.     Residues of Persistence of Aggregates: These are the drives to keep persistence or perseverance of man’s relations to other men or place. These are expressions of sentiments held in high esteem and handed down from generation to generation.
iii. Residues of Manifestation of sentiments through external acts: Such residues impel us to express our sentiments by external acts. Our sentiment of patriotism may manifest itself in burning the effigy of the enemy leadership.
iv. Residues of Sociability: These residues make for communal living. They also impel men to confirm and induce uniformity in behavior.
v.  Residues of the integrity of Personality: These are drives which helps us to integrate our personality and ward off injuries sentiments.
vi.  Residues regarding sexuality: These are the residues concerning the sexual urges. These residues influence our outlooks, attitude and thinking. Since there are many sex taboos, therefore sexual residues are very complex and complicated.
Both residues and derivations are interlinked with each other. Though the residues are present in every society, yet these differ according to nature of society. These have always influenced human behavior. Residues give birth to ideologies, whereas derivations go along with them. Derivations have much less influence as compared with residue. But to a varying degree both residue and derivation influence both social behavior as well as social activities.
Pareto’s views about residue and derivation have been criticized by some of the social thinkers. According to Vine, derivation is propaganda analysis. Sorokin has gone to the extent of saying that these are a kind of weather cock which turns according to the direction of the wind. It is said that concepts of derivation and residue give rise to wrong notions. But in spite of all this, it cannot be denied that Pareto contributed significantly to the study of social change, by expounding the concepts of residue and derivations.
The role, of ideology and propaganda as derivations of the Residue theory cannot be underestimated. These are how the starting points in the comparative analysis of government and politics. They have enormously reinvigorated the discipline and made it far more realistic, work is the only one which incorporates the elite, residue and derivations as positional references.