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Rapaport, D. (1949). Personality: In Nature, Society and Culture: Edited by Clyde Kluckhohn and Henry A. Murray. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1948. 561 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 18:525-528.

(1949). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 18:525-528

Personality: In Nature, Society and Culture: Edited by Clyde Kluckhohn and Henry A. Murray. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1948. 561 pp.

Review by:
David Rapaport

This is a rich source book reflecting our knowledge, our ignorance, and our disagreements about the interrelationships of society and personality. Many would insist nowadays that to speak of an 'interrelationship' in this context is misleading, since in speaking of personality and society one refers merely to two aspects of a unitary process. The volume is timely, for we do not possess as yet the particulars of tested knowledge to substantiate such sweeping conclusions on general principles. One of the great merits of this volume is that it brings into relief the gaps of such cohesive, tested knowledge.

Even though the volume avowedly did not strive to attain completeness (p. xiii), it reflects a great variety of theories, approaches, methods and findings. Its lack of conscious bias in selection offers much food for thought, not only to the layman and the student, but to all who are involved in the study of either personality or society. There is some attempt at integrating the contradictory views of the various contributors by the Introduction, by the chapters A Conception of Personality and The Determinants of Personality Formation, by the introductions to each section and to each contribution by the editors.

The views of the editors are most clearly presented by the following: 'Some anthropologists have tended too much to view personality simply as the product of special cultural conditions, particularly the patterns for the training of children. Some psychiatrists have, on the other hand, presented oversimple formulations which derived culture patterns almost wholly from the projection, sublimation, or symbolization of various unconscious dynamics in individuals.

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