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La Barre, W. (1962). The Psychoanalytic Study of Society, Vol. I. Edited by Warner Muensterberger and Sydney Axelrad. New York: International Universities Press, Inc., 1960. 384 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 31:385-386.
(1962). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 31:385-386
The Psychoanalytic Study of Society, Vol. I. Edited by Warner Muensterberger and Sydney Axelrad. New York: International Universities Press, Inc., 1960. 384 pp.
Review by: Weston La Barre
It is a satisfaction to students of the social sciences with interest in psychoanalysis to know that the series of volumes, Psychoanalysis and the Social Sciences, founded by Géza Róheim (Volumes I—V, 1947-1958), are to be continued, with revised title, under the able editorship of Drs. Muensterberger and Axelrad. Despite inevitable variations in quality of the essays, this is a worthy first volume in the new series.
In Characteristics of Totalitarianism, Robert Waelder writes an excellent summary of the nature, tactics, and paranoid trends of totalitarianism, and the inducing of the same traits in defenses against totalitarianism. Norbert Bromberg's Totalitarian Ideology as a DefenseTechnique brings these points into focus clinically in the individual patient, the insecure authoritarian personality. K. R. Eissler, in The Efficient Soldier, contributes an edifying essay on how adaptation to military culture embodies the 'pathology of the normal' in dull, constricted, almost inhuman personality molds: the ideal soldier is not quite the ideal human being characterologically. In A Cross-Cultural Study of the Relationship Between Values and Modal Conscience, Monica Bychowski Holmes reports on the Harvard studies by Dr. Florence Kluckhohn, and relates time, relational, activity, human nature, and nature orientations to corresponding hedonistic and authoritarian conscience types in France and America. These four essays form a natural unit: the cultural, the clinical, the subcultural, and the cross-cultural approaches to the same subject.
Primitive Therapy, by Ari Kiev, is a cross-cultural study in ethnopsychiatry of the relationships between child training or socialization and therapy techniques in a number of societies,—techniques that require patient-activity, forcing the disease agent to desist, sacrifice, blood-letting, and other activities; pathogenesis itself shapes the cultural assumptions and conceptualizations to be found in the respective primitive therapies.
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