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July 1970

Men in Crisis: A Study of a Mine Disaster.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1970;23(1):96. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1970.01750010098019

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A multidisciplinary team of psychologists, psychiatrists, and sociologists studied the survivors of a major Canadian mine disaster. The same instruments were then applied to a "control" group of miners who had not been trapped. The first study emanating from this experience was Individual and Group Behavior in a Coal Mine Disaster by H.D. Beach and R.A. Lucas. The results of psychiatric and psychological tests were described, together with some observations of interest to sociologists. Now R.A. Lucas has written a second volume, Men in Crisis, in which he presents a detailed sociologic analysis of the data. Sociologic concepts such as normative priority, pluralistic knowledge, and anticipatory socialization will present difficulty for the psychiatrist, but he will be repaid by reading these volumes. The relationship between social imperatives and behavior is nicely illustrated by the observation of a shift in group leadership as the task of the group changed from seeking

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