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Ribble, M.A. (1940). New Horizons for the Family: By Una Bernard Sait. New York: The Macmillan Co., 1938. 747 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 9:573-574.
   

(1940). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 9:573-574

New Horizons for the Family: By Una Bernard Sait. New York: The Macmillan Co., 1938. 747 pp.

Review by:
Margarethe A. Ribble

This book is for the most part an extensive historical review of family life, ancient and modern, with some discussion of the social, economic, religious and educational factors which the author thinks have brought about change in this 'nuclear process within which the future of humanity is wrought'. The author hopes that such a review will bring perspective and orientation to the outstanding problems of family life. By bringing home these facts to parents of the present day she thinks that they can be educated to take some sort of united action against adverse conditions while furthering those social conditions which are beneficial to the family. They will then be able to train their children for marriage and family life of a better sort. The book is therefore meant to be a contribution to the philosophy of the family and a text book for parents, teachers and social workers. The author states that she is applying the educational philosophy of John Dewey to this special field.

Two hundred of the seven hundred and fifty pages are devoted to The Family in Historical Perspective. Some four hundred pages deal with an extensive group of twentieth century problems including progressive education, the nursery school, physically, mentally, and socially handicapped children, the status of women, and birth control and marital adjustments. A small section deals with home life, budgets, clothing, food, amusements, religion, etc.

Psychoanalysis is discussed in two pages. Very gingerly some credit is given it for directing attention to childhood, for emphasis on individual development, and for stressing the unconscious forces which determine behavior. The point of view of the author is distinctly not biogenetic, however, and she seems to be unable to consider the factors of instinctual development, control and sublimation as the most fruitful field of study bearing upon the problem she has chosen.

Infantile sexuality, which she refers to in quotation marks, seems to affect her much as the theory of organic evolution disturbed the Kentucky and Tennessee mountaineers. It is obviously out of the question for her to recommend to parents that they make observations in this field.

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