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Schmidl, F. (1960). My Name is Legion. Foundations for a Theory of Man in Relation to Culture: By Alexander H. Leighton. New York: Basic Books, Inc. 1959. 452 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 29:579-581.

(1960). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 29:579-581

My Name is Legion. Foundations for a Theory of Man in Relation to Culture: By Alexander H. Leighton. New York: Basic Books, Inc. 1959. 452 pp.

Review by:
Fritz Schmidl

This is the first volume of the Stirling County Study of Psychiatric Disorder and Sociocultural Environment, a project conducted by Cornell University in collaboration with the Department of Public Health of the Province of Nova Scotia. It presents the 'foundations for a theory of man in relation to culture'. Volumes II and III (to be published later) will concern themselves with the findings of the study and their analyses.

Professor Leighton states the main purposes of the book as follows: '1. To suggest a conceptual bridge whereby certain aspects of personality viewed as process, and certain aspects of society and culture viewed as process may be seen as related to one another. 2. To review and suggest ways in which sociocultural factors may affect personality to produce psychiatric disorder. 3. To formulate some problems and show openings for research operations.'

The concept of 'sentiment' takes a central position in Leighton's theoretical framework. Sentiments are described as 'subdivisions and clusters of thought-feeling about a central idea such as home, love, child, and success'. The author suggests that sentiment as a conceptual device be used as a 'bridge for analysis and inquiry between sociocultural processes and personality processes'.

Much in this book deserves praise. It is written in good style. Where Professor Leighton uses case examples they are presented in the manner of an excellent prose writer. Where the book deals with theoretical concepts the presentation is clear.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

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