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June 1968

Mental Health and Contemporary Thought.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1968;18(6):763-765. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1968.01740060123017

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Tradition vs science, custom vs rationality, folklore vs fact . . . the ever-challenging encounter between these opposing forces and influences is invitingly depicted for the mental health professional and informed layman in this second of the three volumes from the International Study Group on Mental Health. The book defines the basic dilemma of contemporary society as a deficiency of ability in interpersonal relations. By this pragmatic definition, the study group places international relations, intergroup (political, cultural, and subcultural) relations, the impact of industrialization, technology, and social and geographic mobility, and the effect of increasing population directly in the context of mental health concern and planning. The study group demonstrates clearly how tradition, custom, and folklore inhibit or confine action for improvement in mental health and propose a comprehensive, multi-faceted blueprint for a world-wide plan of action. The four parts of the report have differential appeal and

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