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Feldman, S.S. (1949). Sigmund Freud, an Introduction. A Presentation of his Theory, and a Discussion of the Relationship Between Psychoanalysis and Sociology: By Walter Hollitscher, Ph.D. New York: Oxford University Press, 1947. 119 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 18:92-92.

(1949). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 18:92-92

Sigmund Freud, an Introduction. A Presentation of his Theory, and a Discussion of the Relationship Between Psychoanalysis and Sociology: By Walter Hollitscher, Ph.D. New York: Oxford University Press, 1947. 119 pp.

Review by:
S. S. Feldman

In a brief introductory essay and a postscript the author considers freudian psychology as the only one which can help the sociologist understand the psychology of the human individual and the group. The bulk of this little book is a fair presentation of identification, formation of the superego, transference, sublimation, rationalization, etc. Hollitscher presents psychoanalytic theory without distortion, leaving the sociological reader to use and evaluate it. The author states that he 'made no use of such works of Freud as Totem and Taboo, Civilization and its Discontents, The Future of an Illusion, or Moses and Monotheism', because they belong to 'applied' psychoanalysis. Hollitscher does not want the sociologist to be influenced by Freud's application of psychoanalysis to sociology. One has the feeling that Hollitscher values more highly Freud's fundamental psychological conceptions than he does Freud's contributions to sociology.

The reviewer agrees with the author that when one applies psychoanalytic understanding of the individual to groups one should take into consideration all possible environmental forces. The sociologist explains the behavior of a certain group by his own knowledge of social forces, but only psychoanalytic psychology can teach him which of the instinctual forces of the individual will be used in a given group. It is important to discover whether sociological forces have a greater molding power on the instinctual-psychic drives of the individual and the group, or vice versa.

Psychoanalysts probably assign more importance to sociological forces than do sociologists to biological drives. A close collaboration between psychoanalysts and sociologists should prove very beneficial to both sciences.

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