Social Structure and Personality: A Casebook

Social Structure and Personality: A Casebook

Social Structure and Personality: A Casebook

Social Structure and Personality: A Casebook

Excerpt

The present volume is a casebook which attempts to provide the student with a theoretical structure in one subbranch of social science. Starting out with a quest for certain kinds of principles underlying the relationships of personality to the social-structural arrangements of society, case illustrations have been selected for those theoretical points and issues which appear to require case illustration; these have been selected from the anthropological, sociological, and psychological literatures. Like most casebooks, especially legal ones, this one attempts to begin with theoretical tools and case illustrations of basic concepts. On this foundation we shall attempt to develop a consistent theoretical approach, starting with relatively simple principles and then working toward more complex and more inclusive principles. The cases form a little more than half of the volume; a considerable number of these are reprinted almost in their entirety; a relatively small number, however, are selections taken from books of considerable magnitude. It will be for the specialized reader to judge whether the latter selections have been taken "out of context" and have changed the intended meanings of the original authors. Naturally, the attempt was made to retain the original meanings intended. In most instances, footnotes and bibliographical references have been omitted from the case selections. Where there are footnotes, they appear at the bottom of the page and refer to materials listed in the Bibliography and Suggested Readings; the latter are located at the end of each chapter.

Around these case illustrations are woven textual and theoretical commentaries. Usually, the case selections from the literatures speak for themselves; however, in almost all instances, they have been introduced, summarized, and related to each other; at other times, they have been elaborated upon at length. In a few instances, the flow of the book has been shifted and short cases from the literatures have been used to illustrate a hypothesis offered in the theoretical discussion. In four or five cases, the role of commentator and editor has been set aside for that of primary source. In the overwhelming majority of instances, only the case selections have been referred to and mentioned in the table of contents and not the textual and theoretical commentaries.

This casebook is not trying to do anyone else's job for him by interlacing commentaries through the case materials. The reader will notice early in the book that the chapter summaries are quite . . .

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