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Jones, K. (1921). Psychoanalyse Und Soziologie—Zur Psychologie Von Masse Und Gesellschaft: By Aurel Kolnai. (Internationaler Psychoanalytischer Verlag, Vienna, 1920. Pp. 152. Price 2s. 6d.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 2:451-453.
(1921). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 2:451-453
Psychoanalyse Und Soziologie—Zur Psychologie Von Masse Und Gesellschaft: By Aurel Kolnai. (Internationaler Psychoanalytischer Verlag, Vienna, 1920. Pp. 152. Price 2s. 6d.)
Review by: Katherine Jones
The book consists of two main parts, the first dealing with the sociological results of Psycho-Analysis, the second with the possibilities of Psycho-Analysis in the field of sociology.
The first part, which is sub-divided into several chapters, endeavours to draw a distinction between the results gained by direct observation of society itself and those gained by observation of the individual. Psycho-Analysis, working with entirely new methods, might be expected to produce new results. Its research into the sphere of sex has thrown light on the formation of primitive society and at the same time on the dissolution of it. Can Psycho-Analysis play any great part in sociological science? The question is answered in the negative; as Psycho-Analysis occupies itself only with the individual it cannot possibly play an important part in the science of society. Nevertheless, the aim of Psycho-Analysis, though it started only as a purely therapeutic one, has become wider and wider. It coincides with the aim of politics, namely to make the individual better adapted to his surroundings, his conditions, in short to his milieu. Any reform of sexual and family life (a sociological question) can only be successful when helped by psychoanalytical insight.
Psycho-Analysis has reached three important results for sociology: the research into Race Psychology, into Primitive Society and into the Connection between the Individual and Society. This last point comprises the vast fields of Pedagogics and Family Life.
Psycho-Analysis is able to explain primitive processes, not however the differentiated ones. Collective ideas on a low level, being the sum of individual thought, can be explained by these methods. The neuroses are regressions to that level.
Sexuality forms the most important link between the two sciences, since it can be observed in both the individual and society. The central question of incest, the feeling towards the father, changing from hate to ambivalency, is the beginning of social conflict. Psycho-Analysis by its methodical investigation of the unconscious mind has rendered the most valuable services to Sociology.
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