December 1967

Negro Group Dynamics

Author Affiliations

From the Veterans Administration Hospital and the Department of Psychiatry, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1967;17(6):646-651. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1967.01730300006002

IN RECENT YEARS the American community has awakened to the sociologic problems produced by its geographically limited, impoverished minority groups. In response we are now investing substantial amounts of money and energy in a variety of programs designed to enrich the cultural, educational, and economic environment of the urban "ghetto-dweller."1,2

Generally the lower-class Negro receives the benefits of these programs, and the middle-class Negro is employed to implement them. This means that few whites are involved in the programs or with the people they serve. Thus, when the trained professional, such as the psychiatrist, is asked to serve in an advisory or consultative capacity, he finds himself in unfamiliar surroundings. It is rare for him to have worked with the poor people themselves; he seldom treats them in his private practice, and in public hospitals and clinics he usually must delegate their

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