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Lanes, M. (1951). Sargent, S. Social Psychology. [New York: Ronald Press, 1950. Pp. x + 519. $4.50.]. Psychoanal. Rev., 38(2):201.

(1951). Psychoanalytic Review, 38(2):201

Sargent, S. Social Psychology. [New York: Ronald Press, 1950. Pp. x + 519. $4.50.]

Review by:
Mariette Lanes

The preparation of a text in social psychology for a college class presents problems not ordinarily encountered in setting forth a treatise on the Nature-Nurture theory. History of course, must enter into the treatment, but how extensive and detailed is difficult to ascertain. The limited background of the students is the determining factor. Explanations of the components of the subject must be given, but much more than a mere definition is needed for this particular audience. The author finds himself in the unenviable position of attempting to synthethize elements of human study which have since the time of Plato and Aristotle appeared to be unreconcilable. While his task has been alleviated to a degree by increasing knowledge, and an attitude of seeking to understand the “whole” of human behavior, daily evidence found in the ever new subdivisions of these fields, makes the effort tedious. Never-the-less he bravely set off to integrate individual and group psychology; to present the study of the “participating persons” as individuals, as members of society, and as a part of a culture; to show that whole has many parts but that they are more than a mere summation; to accomplish this without dogmatic assertions; and to do this for a college group.

It is this latter aspect that gives the book its limitations. The history is sketchy. The treatment of the components of the subject—psychology, sociology and anthropology appears inadequate.

The book may well serve as an outline for a course, but much supplemental reading must be done to gain sufficient insight into the subject.

The subdivisions of the book do much to orient the student to an understanding and appreciation of this dynamic field.

[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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