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Tip: To sort articles by year…

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After you perform a search, you can sort the articles by Year. This will rearrange the results of your search chronologically, displaying the earliest published articles first. This feature is useful to trace the development of a specific psychoanalytic concept through time.

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Lomas, P.E. (1959). The Family in Contemporary Society: The Eastern States Health Education Conference. Edited by Iago Galdston. (New York Academy of Medicine. Pp. 147.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 40:352.

(1959). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 40:352

The Family in Contemporary Society: The Eastern States Health Education Conference. Edited by Iago Galdston. (New York Academy of Medicine. Pp. 147.)

Review by:
P. E.S. Lomas

The importance of the study of the family as a whole is becoming increasingly recognized, and this book is an expression of it. The basis of the conference reported here is a study of the contemporary family especially in its relation to health education. The various contributors include psychiatrists, sociologists, and anthropologists, as well as health educators. Throughout the book emphasis is laid on the fact that it is profitable to study the gestalt of the family, and to think in terms of sick or healthy families as well as sick or healthy individuals.

Particularly valuable is the chapter by Dr. Nathan W. Ackerman, who describes the individual's loss of personal identity—which is the mark of our time—and its result. 'The family is called upon to make up to its individual members in affection and closeness for the anxiety and distress which is the result of failure to find a safe place in the world.' The family in its turn, however, is lost and insecure, owing to rapid social change, and cannot meet this challenge. The various family defences which result, e.g. static patterns of conformity, or ceaseless social activity, and the consequences to the individual members, are described with great clarity and insight.

Despite some excellent chapters this book is not a successful whole. Perhaps this is the fate of most symposia. One notable defect is that several of the contributors have succumbed to the prevailing American fashion of a clipped and bloodless style which manages somehow to be long-winded yet condensed to the point of ambiguity.

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