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Gordon, R. (1959). The People of Ship Street, by Madeline Kerr. London, Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1958. pp. 211. 23s.. J. Anal. Psychol., 4(1):87-90.

(1959). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 4(1):87-90

The People of Ship Street, by Madeline Kerr. London, Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1958. pp. 211. 23s.

Review by:
Rosemary Gordon

A few months ago Dr. Kerr published this most interesting study of a lower-working-class group in “some town” in the north of England. The combination of field work, psychological testing, and theoretical speculation appears to me to be a particularly valuable and fruitful approach, capable of rendering much information and much crosschecking. The book is well structured and the material is well presented. Most important for me is the impression that, although the data were handled and used by Dr. Kerr in her role as a social psychologist, she nevertheless continued to relate to her informants as people, remained emotionally alive to them as individuals, and in personal touch with them.

This is essentially a social-psychological study and its review might therefore be considered to be outside the scope of the Journal of Analytical Psychology; yet both the facts and the speculations presented raised for me many questions which I felt were both important and relevant, even within our own frame of reference. Dr. Kerr herself has drawn on several of Jung's concepts.

The principal and predominant feature of the Ship Street community, and one to which Dr. Kerr draws repeated attention, is the dominance and power of the “Mum” in the family unit.

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