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Balint, M. (1951). Tensions Affecting International Understanding: By Otto Klineberg. (New York: Social Science Research Council, 1950. Price $2.25.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 32:251-252.

(1951). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 32:251-252

Tensions Affecting International Understanding: By Otto Klineberg. (New York: Social Science Research Council, 1950. Price $2.25.)

Review by:
Michael Balint

Tensions That Cause Wars. Edited by Hadley Cantril. (University of Illinois Press, 1950. Price $4.00.)

Professor Klineberg's book is a veritable gold-mine of information. The whole field of experimental group tension research is admirably summed up here, not merely reviewed but each contribution critically evaluated. Looking back at the work done and in progress one cannot help having rather mixed feelings. All that has been or is being done is honest work, obviously needing to be done; and yet the sum-total of it all amounts to very little. It is as if the workers, consciously or unconsciously, had fought shy of every relevant issue, of every really burning problem.

One of the reasons for this is psychological. Since most field workers used either questionnaires or completion tests, both questions and answers had to be somewhat superficial, allowing only occasional glimpses into the deep cleavages separating the various groups from each other.

A second reason is lop-sided selection of material and problems. The workers' main concern was the attitude of the literate classes towards other classes. This is only one consequence of their use of questionnaires and completion tests. Obviously a grammar-school education qualifies better for such a survey than illiteracy or, say, literacy not going beyond the level of the comic strip. But perhaps the workers' own background militated also, albeit unconsciously, against extending their survey to the attitude of such oppressed classes as the destitute proletariat, illiterate Negroes, Lascar seamen, and so on.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

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