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Stengel, E. (1959). Group Processes: By Bertram Schaffner (ed.) (New York: Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation Publications, 1957. Pp. 328. $4.00.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 40:350-351.

(1959). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 40:350-351

Group Processes: By Bertram Schaffner (ed.) (New York: Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation Publications, 1957. Pp. 328. $4.00.)

Review by:
E. Stengel

This is a record of the third conference on group processes. It deals with the following four subjects: interpersonal influences within the family, interpersonal persuasion, maternal-neonate interrelationships, and Chinese Communist thought reform. The points of view from which these problems were approached were chiefly those of sociology and social psychiatry, some of which were informed by psycho-analysis. Rôle theory played a considerable part in the discussion of the first two topics. Interpersonal persuasion was studied in the mental hospital. In the discussion of the third subject animal observations were introduced. The last topic takes up one-third of the book. It is based on interviews with ex-prisoners who underwent systematic brain-washing in Chinese prison camps. The chief contributor to the discussion, the Harvard psychiatrist Lifton, prefers the term 'thought reform' to 'brain washing' which is of Chinese origin. The main psychological events which lead up to the prisoner's complete capitulation are annihilation of identity, establishment of guilt, and total conflict with the environment. Strong influences from all parts of the human environment, including the fellow-prisoners, contributed to the final surrender.

Article Citation [Who Cited This?]

Stengel, E. (1959). Group Processes. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 40:350-351

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