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Schmidl, F. (1956). Psychoanalysis and the Social Sciences, Volume IV: Edited by Warner Muensterberger, Ph.D. and Sidney Axelrad, D.S.Sc. New York: International Universities Press, Inc., 1955. 295 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 25:101-102.
(1956). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 25:101-102
Psychoanalysis and the Social Sciences, Volume IV: Edited by Warner Muensterberger, Ph.D. and Sidney Axelrad, D.S.Sc. New York: International Universities Press, Inc., 1955. 295 pp.
Review by: Fritz Schmidl
This volume contains seventeen articles, organized in three parts: Theory, Problems of Leadership, Religion. Two of the papers on theory seem to deserve special mention: Comments on Anthropology and the Study of Complex Cultures by Sidney Axelrad, and Louisa P. Howe's article on Some Sociological Aspects of Identification. Axelrad scrutinizes in a very enlightening way some of the difficult methodological problems in the use of psychoanalytic concepts for the study of culture. Howe attempts to integrate into psychoanalytic theory some theories of the late sociologist, G. H. Mead. Although some of her conclusions are not quite convincing, the article is an important and stimulating contribution to psychoanalytic theory.
Among the articles on Problems of Leadership we find a discussion of failure of leadership, introduced by Otto E. Sperling, and a number of other papers related to the subjects of group dynamics and leadership. The third part consists of two rather extensive articles, one by the late Géza Róheim, the other by Sidney Tarachow, and one brief contribution by S. S. Feldman.
The papers in Parts II and III are full of ideas. The reader who wants to learn what psychoanalysts think about problems of leadership and social organization, and about problems of religion and its history, will be richly rewarded. From a scientific point of view, however, most of these papers show shortcomings of which, in all likelihood, the authors are aware.
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