The December 2017 issue of History of the Human Sciences is now online. Full details below.
“Psychoanalytic sociology and the traumas of history: Alexander Mitscherlich between the disciplines,” by Matt ffytche. Abstract:
This article examines the way aspects of recent history were excluded in key studies emerging from psychoanalytic social psychology of the mid-20th century. It draws on work by Erikson, Marcuse and Fromm, but focuses in particular on Alexander Mitscherlich. Mitscherlich, a social psychologist associated with the later Frankfurt School, was also the most important psychoanalytic figure in postwar Germany. This makes his work significant for tracing ways in which historical experience of the war and Nazism was filtered out of psychosocial narratives in this period, in favour of more structural analyses of the dynamics of social authority. Mitscherlich’s 1967 work The Inability to Mourn, co-authored with Margarete Mitscherlich, is often cited as the point at which the ‘missing’ historical experience flooded back into psychoanalytic accounts of society. I argue that this landmark publication does not hail the shift towards the psychoanalysis of historical experience with which it is often associated. These more sociological writers of the mid-century were writing before the impact of several trends occurring in the 1980s–90s which decisively shifted psychoanalytic attention away from the investigation of social authority and towards a focus on historical trauma. Ultimately this is also a narrative about the transformations which occur when psychoanalysis moves across disciplines.
“The making of burnout: From social change to self-awareness in the postwar United States, 1970–82,” by Matthew J. Hoffarth. Abstract: Continue reading New HHS: Psychoanalytic Social Psychology, Burnout, & More →
The Winter 2016 issue of the Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences is now online. Included in this issue are articles exploring James McKeen Cattell’s time at Johns Hopkins, the early 20th century classification of “defective delinquent” girls, and the various versions of the Weber Thesis in the social sciences. The issue also includes a special section, organized by Ben Harris, which pays tribute to the late historian of psychology Franz Samelson (right). Full titles, authors, and abstracts follow below.
“LAUNCHING A CAREER IN PSYCHOLOGY WITH ACHIEVEMENT AND ARROGANCE: JAMES McKEEN CATTELL AT THE JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY, 1882–1883,” by Michael M. Sokal. The abstract reads,
The scientific career of eminent experimentalist and psychological tester James McKeen Cattell (1860–1944) began at the Johns Hopkins University during the year (1882–1883) he held the university’s Fellowship in Philosophy. This article opens by sketching the scope of Cattell’s lifetime achievement and then briefly reviews the historical attention that his life and career has attracted during the past few decades. It then outlines the origins and evolution of Cattell’s “scientific ideology,” traces the course of events that led to his fellowship, reviews his earliest studies at Johns Hopkins, and analyzes in some detail his initial laboratory successes. These laid the groundwork for his later distinguished work as a psychological experimentalist, both in Europe and America. It concludes, however, that even as Cattell’s early experimental achievements impressed others, the personal arrogance he exhibited during his year in Baltimore served to alienate him from his colleagues and teachers. Over the long run, this arrogance and his often-antagonistic approach to others continued to color (and even shape) his otherwise distinguished more than 50-year scientific career.
““SAFEGUARDING THE INTERESTS OF THE STATE” FROM DEFECTIVE DELINQUENT GIRLS,” by Kate E. Sohasky. The abstract reads, Continue reading New JHBS: Cattell at Johns Hopkins, A Tribute to Franz Samelson, & More →