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Tang, N.M. (2012). THE RELATIONAL ORIGINS OF PREJUDICE: A Convergence of Psychoanalytic and Social-Cognitive Perspectives, by Ron B. Aviram, New York, NY: Jason Aronson, 2008, 143 pp., $50.00.. Psychoanal. Psychol., 29(2):270-273.

(2012). Psychoanalytic Psychology, 29(2):270-273

THE RELATIONAL ORIGINS OF PREJUDICE: A Convergence of Psychoanalytic and Social-Cognitive Perspectives, by Ron B. Aviram, New York, NY: Jason Aronson, 2008, 143 pp., $50.00.

Review by:
Nadine M. Tang, M.S.W.

That the field of psychoanalysis has much to offer to the understanding of larger social questions seems self-evident, at least to psychoanalysts. Equally obvious is how much psychoanalysis has to learn from the social sciences. In recent decades, certainly since the 1960s, there has been a balkanization of the social sciences. The fear of confrontation and of being labeled politically incorrect sent academics retreating to their offices and departments. Little real exchange was possible. Needless to say, this has been a regrettable turn of events.

In his book The Relational Origins of Prejudice: A Convergence of Psychoanalytic and Social-Cognitive Perspectives, Ron B. Aviram takes a step toward reversing this trend. His major argument is that the field of social psychology is doing research in the very things that are also of interest to psychoanalysts. This is a relatively recent development, because historically the field of psychoanalysis was limited to observations about individual behavior and motivation, and not to identity with larger groups. In recent years, psychoanalysts have begun to turn their attention toward a consideration of ethnic differences and prejudice (Altman, 2007, 2010; Hamer, 2006; Layton, 2006; Smith & Tang, 2006; Young-Bruehl, 2007). Furthermore, as clinicians have broadened their outlook to include the impact of society on the individual, there is a greater interest in the work of social psychology.

This slender volume is divided into a brief introduction of his thesis and 6 chapters.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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