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Khan, M.R. (1982). Society Against Nature: the Emergence of Human Societies: By Serge Moscovici. Translated by Sasha Rabinovitch. London: The Hogarth Press. 1976. Pp. 159.. Int. R. Psycho-Anal., 9:247-248.

(1982). International Review of Psycho-Analysis, 9:247-248

Society Against Nature: the Emergence of Human Societies: By Serge Moscovici. Translated by Sasha Rabinovitch. London: The Hogarth Press. 1976. Pp. 159.

Review by:
M. Masud R. Khan

Serge Moscovici should not be an unfamiliar name to French-reading psychoanalysts. He made his impact on the French analytic world with his book: La Psychanalyse son image et son public (P.U.F.) It appeared first in 1961, and a revised edition in 1976, which I am given to understand is being translated into English. To Serge Moscovici we owe the concept: 'Homo Psychanalyticus'. For those amongst the analysts who search for 'filiations', it should be sufficient to be told that this book had a preface from no less a personage than the late Professor Daniel Lagache. The blurb of the book under review does not tell us anything about Serge Moscovici. But the blurb of his latest book in French, L'Age des Foules (Fayard, 1981) tells us that the author is 'directeur d'etudes a l'Ecole des haute etudes en sciences sociales …' In many respects, Serge Moscovici is a 'vagrant' scholar/intellectual (of the Parisian breed and brand) like Michel Foucault, only not with the same will for recognition. Moscovici writes lucidly, and has no axe to grind or faction to sponsor. The argument of his present book is neatly stated by him:

For a long time society seemed to be the answer to this problem. Man emerged from nature a social being, and society is the negation of nature … We have come to wonder if man is not in fact part of this material world he manipulates. On the other hand individualism, together with the individualization of human actions, interests and relationships, tends to stress the contrast between nature and society.

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