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Eisenbud, J. (1954). In the Minds of Men: In March 1949 the Ministry of Education of the new government of India applied to UNESCO for help in a systematic study of social tensions among the people of India. This long-festering problem had become terrifyingly acute during the mass riots leading up to and following the partition of the country in 1947. UNESCO invited Dr. Gardner Murphy, then head of the Psychology Department of City College, New York, to serve the Indian universities as consultant. Dr. Murphy spent six months in India helping to set up integrated research on the problem by university workers. He here reports the background and results of this research.. Psychoanal Q., 23:284-285.

(1954). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 23:284-285

In the Minds of Men: In March 1949 the Ministry of Education of the new government of India applied to UNESCO for help in a systematic study of social tensions among the people of India. This long-festering problem had become terrifyingly acute during the mass riots leading up to and following the partition of the country in 1947. UNESCO invited Dr. Gardner Murphy, then head of the Psychology Department of City College, New York, to serve the Indian universities as consultant. Dr. Murphy spent six months in India helping to set up integrated research on the problem by university workers. He here reports the background and results of this research.

Review by:
Jule Eisenbud

It is impossible in a short review to do justice to the great amount of significant data gathered on the religious, economic, and cultural factors contributing to the tensions in India today. These data were culled mainly from questionnaires given to villagers, students, factory workers, partition refugees (a sore problem), and others, from Aligarh and Lucknow in the north to Madras in the south, and from Calcutta near the border of East Pakistan to Ahmedabad in the west. There emerge patterns of frustration, of prejudice, of mutual suspiciousness and resentment between Hindu and Moslem, which are undoubtedly of great importance to the problems under study. No satisfactory approach to an understanding of group behavior in India could be made without such studies.

Nevertheless the psychoanalyst will inevitably feel that what begin to be defined in these studies are the facilitating, re-enforcing and channelizing forces affecting the explosive tensions of India, not the powerful forces of aggression closer to the source. An interesting chapter on Indian Child Development by Dr. Lois Barclay Murphy, and a penetrating discussion of the structure of the Indian family by the author himself, provide some excellent hints on where to look for the hidden sources of aggression. But these hints are not explicitly followed up.

One gets an impression—which might be tested by appropriate research—of tremendous aggression built up in the child against the important figures in its environment; such figures, in the close-knit multiple family Indian domestic group, are many.

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