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Anthony, E.J. (1957). Integrating Sociological and Psychoanalytic Concepts: By Otto Pollak. (New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 1956. Pp. x + 284. $4.00.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 38:286-287.

(1957). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 38:286-287

Integrating Sociological and Psychoanalytic Concepts: By Otto Pollak. (New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 1956. Pp. x + 284. $4.00.)

Review by:
E. J. Anthony

The Russell Sage experiment in interdisciplinary integration has taken a further step forward in this second volume, and put its chosen social concepts—family of orientation, social rôle, social interaction and culture conflict—to the test of practical experience. These operational concepts have been used within the framework of psycho-analytical theory and the crucial issue at stake has been the question of their compatibility.

Judging from the cases presented and the authors' comments, they would seem to make reasonably harmonious bedfellows, but it is unlikely that orthodox analysts or interactionists will feel as happy with the result, which may seem to them coexistence rather than co-operation. There is an old saying, with possibly a modicum of scientific truth, that what is gained on the swings may be lost on the roundabouts, a compensatory device that bedevils the most honest attempts at scientific integration. In the present context, what is gained in width is lost in depth, so that the depth psychologist may find the outcome 'superficial', while the 'situationalist' may complain of the 'relatively heavy dependence upon psycho-analytic theory' as Leonard Cottrell does in his foreword. It is the fate of middlemen to be shot at from both sides, and their only hope is to meet the needs of some middle party.

A large potential market for such synthetic views does, in fact, exist. Children's clinics in Britain generally prefer to take their analytic and situational theory in moderate doses.

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