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(1989). Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences. XXIV, 1988: The Utopia of Human Relations: The Conflict-Free Family in American Social Thought, 1930-1960. Fred Matthews. Pp. 343-362.. Psychoanal Q., 58:514.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences. XXIV, 1988: The Utopia of Human Relations: The Conflict-Free Family in American Social Thought, 1930-1960. Fred Matthews. Pp. 343-362.

(1989). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 58:514

Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences. XXIV, 1988: The Utopia of Human Relations: The Conflict-Free Family in American Social Thought, 1930-1960. Fred Matthews. Pp. 343-362.

The American family literature from the late 1920's through the 1950's is surveyed in the context of the broader history of Western thought and popular attitudes. The writings of human-relations experts represent a late flowering of the Englightenment's dream of an end of history, achieved through the scientific reconstruction of institutions and personalities to eliminate the tensions that caused conflict. Early in the period, the most influential work was that of Watsonian behaviorism, a direct expression of scientific utopianism. The traumas of the 1930's and 1940's—depression, war, persecutions—encouraged a turn to a richer theoretical mix, based on the merger of neo-Freudianism with cultural anthropology allied with empirical social science. This literature used the frustration-aggression cycles as master key to public therapy; its most popular expression came later in the manuals of Dr. Benjamin Spock.

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Article Citation

(1989). Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences. XXIV, 1988. Psychoanal. Q., 58:514

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