The Envelope, a Study of the Impact of the World upon the Child

The Envelope, a Study of the Impact of the World upon the Child

The Envelope, a Study of the Impact of the World upon the Child

The Envelope, a Study of the Impact of the World upon the Child

Excerpt

In dealing with people one is forever haunted by the question of how much each individual brings to a given situation --how much his inherent needs for growth predetermine the shifting, kaleidoscopic scenes in which he is involved. In a sense it is the only question that a person dealing primarily with people ever asks, and the social scientist needs the answer before he can go very far in his field. This book, which consists chiefly of raw material collected in working with ten thousand or so children, won't supply the answer, but the author hopes it will lead to further questions and new formulations.

The usual approach to this subject has been that of looking for certain recurring patterns in the mental life or behavior of a great number of individuals. The larger the sample and the wider its variety in age, economic and social status, ethnic background, and problems to be met, the more sure one would be that these distilled, recurrent residues represent characteristics of living tissue in making social adjustments. I am therefore sorry that my material comes only from children--and from those of a circumscribed area colored chiefly by the pigments of industrial and commercial America.

THE SOCIAL PRESSURES

Psychobiological and psychosomatic are on everyone's lips- psychosocial should be. For twenty years I have been sure that social pressures and trends are as important to the individual as the heart and the stomach, and I have hoped that the vital needs of the patient would shame us all out of our sectarian bickerings and misunderstandings. In the following pages, I have therefore included a great many references to data outside the usually . . .

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