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Roheim, G. (1922). The Group Mind: By William McDougall M.B., F.R.S. (Cambridge University Press, 1921. Pp. 304. Price 21s.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 3:99-109.

(1922). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 3:99-109

The Group Mind: By William McDougall M.B., F.R.S. (Cambridge University Press, 1921. Pp. 304. Price 21s.)

Review by:
G. Roheim

The most remarkable thing about books that deal with the 'Group Mind' is that they are frequently difficult to distinguish from the leading articles of a daily paper. Mr. McDougall's book is not one of these that err the most in this line, but still, from a purely scientific point of view, we must ask why the author finds it necessary to state that 'politically, my sympathies are with individualism and internationalism, although I have, I think, fully recognized the great and necessary part played in human life by the "Group Spirit" and by that special form of it which we now call nationalism' (p. xi Preface). What have 'sympathies' to do with the topics in question, which concern a department of applied psychology, localised on the border-line between psychology and social anthropology or sociology? We do not generally 'sympathise' with totemism or animism: why should we not be able to adhere to this 'désintéressement' when discussing other questions of collective psychology? The father of sociology, Herbert Spencer, has given us a book (the Study of Sociology) in which the authors of books on this subject might see, as in a mirror held before their eyes, how nation and party distort their view of facts. But it has had remarkably little effect on them and books are still written, calling themselves scientific, which try to show that one nation was 'wrong', another 'right', that certain politics are 'justified', others 'condemned', by science. The superiority of the British type of social organisation over the German is one of the leading themes of W.

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