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Jaques, E. (1955). The Study of Culture at a Distance: Edited by Margaret Mead and Rhoda Metraux. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press; London: Cambridge University Press, 1954. Pp. x + 480. 37 s. 6 d.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 36:416-417.

(1955). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 36:416-417

The Study of Culture at a Distance: Edited by Margaret Mead and Rhoda Metraux. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press; London: Cambridge University Press, 1954. Pp. x + 480. 37 s. 6 d.)

Review by:
Elliott Jaques

This is a manual whose purpose is to outline methods that have been developed during the last decade for analysing societies which are inaccessible to direct observation, in terms of the cultural regularities in the characters of their members. These methods have been used and developed in researches which were inaugurated by the late Professor Ruth Benedict, under the title of Columbia University Research in Contemporary Cultures. The book is intended primarily for students.

Various authors illustrate a number of working hypotheses, including, for example, the swaddling hypothesis, and then go on to illustrate the use of various techniques. These techniques include work with informants, analysis of written and oral literature, film analysis, projective tests, and analysis of imagery.

Of most interest to psycho-analytic readers is some of the illustrative material given. The difficulty, however, is that, since the material is given mainly to illustrate methods, it cannot be expected to be wholly satisfactory from the point of view of the clinician.

For those interested, however, in techniques of social analysis, this book will be found useful. The methods are described clearly and well illustrated.

Article Citation [Who Cited This?]

Jaques, E. (1955). The Study of Culture at a Distance. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 36:416-417

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