Personality and the Cultural Pattern

Personality and the Cultural Pattern

Personality and the Cultural Pattern

Personality and the Cultural Pattern

Excerpt

Theoretically this volume is an outgrowth and expansion of a short series of lectures before the Seminar on the Impact of Culture on Personality assembled at Yale University during the academic year 1933-1934. Nor would it be complete without an expression of profound gratitude to the Director of that Seminar--Professor Edward Sapir of the Department of Anthropology. Not only has he given me an enormous amount of help in this present work; back of that, for some years I have owed much both to his sound scholarship and to that sensitive intuition with which he looks upon the problems of life.

Actually the book recapitulates a developing point of view over the last fourteen years. Some thousands of children, and their parents, have talked over their problems with us, and practically every late afternoon for nine months of each year there have been discussions with groups of social workers, teachers, physicians, nurses, employers, and parents as to our findings. If I seem to wander far afield--it is because the child's mind leads me there. If the book raises many questions and answers none--again, it is only a true picture of years of work with those who look out upon life. The only real excuse for the volume is that my work over these years has convinced me that the usual psychiatric formulations for the problems of children are inadequate and that in some way the forces of the pattern in which we live are of great dynamic value to the personality.

Since the book is thus an expression of individual thinking and development, I as author of course assume sole responsibility for the statements of fact and for the views set forth.

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