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September 25, 1972

The Psychoanalytic Study of Society

Author Affiliations

Princeton, NJ


vol 5, edited by Warner Muensterberger and Aaron H. Esman, 258 pp, with illus, $12, International Universities Press, 1972.

JAMA. 1972;221(13):1522. doi:10.1001/jama.1972.03200260056034

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This volume continues the important series of studies on the nonclinical applications of psychoanalysis. The articles vary widely in quality and level of sophistication, and show a varying degree of understanding of the methodological issues involved in widening the scope of psychoanalysis.

L. Bryce Boyer and Ruth Boyer have contributed an excellent study of aggression among the Apaches during the acculturation to contemporary society. There is a good study by Robert Levy on the personality factors integrated by the Tahitians into their moral system.

Some of the authors, however, have difficulty in relating to their subjects. J. L. Titchener's "The Day of a Psychoanalyst at Woodstock" was a valuable chance for expert reportage; unfortunately the young seem more alien to him than aboriginal tribesmen, and his work is devoid of genuine understanding or empathy. The opposite extreme of overinvolvement is shown in Dale Meer's "Sexual Identity in the Ghetto." He