« PreviousContinue »
Sociology in Its Psychological Aspects. By CHARLES A. ELLWOOD,
Ph.D. New York and London: D. Appleton & Co., 1912.
This book presents an extremely well-conceived and wisely executed survey of the chief theoretical positions of psychological sociology. It is admirable for its many lucid and illuminating formulations. It affords a telescopic view of human society from the vantage-ground of functional psychology-telescopic rather than microscopic in character, since the author conceives the various parts of his subject in almost uniformly abstract rather than concrete terms. His abstract and elliptical style, due to the high degree of generalization involved, will make the book difficult reading to those unacquainted with social facts as organized by the science of sociology, but to the student or reader somewhat familiar with that field, following the author's clean-wrought, coherent argument will prove an intellectual treat.
The value of the book is augmented by the fact that the author is not a system-maker but an eclectic who looks impartially at every aspect of social theory and seeks to mediate between conflicting or confused positions.
“The position of the writer is ... that sociology is a study of the biological and psychological factors in the social life (p. vii). Leaving the biological problems on one side the author addresses himself to the other half of the field, the psychological. Thus the scope of social psychology, which by most writers is limited to a fraction of the field of general sociology in this view is enlarged to include all of sociology except the biological elements. Obviously the term social psychology must be supplanted by one which defines this larger scope more adequately.
The first five chapters, comprising nearly a fourth of the book, are taken up with what the author calls "preliminary methodological problems.
." These excellent chapters might well be compressed in order to afford space for a fuller treatment of such topics, for example, as public opinion, which is allotted but five pages in chap. xv.
Chap. vi is entitled “The Psychological Basis of Sociology.” It presents, with numerous references to well-chosen authorities, the main
positions of modern psychology relative to individual human nature. It is a handbook of sociology for the student of sociology, condensed into thirty well-packed pages.
Other chapters deal with the origin of society, social co-ordination, social self-control, instinct, feeling, intellect, imitation, sympathy, the theory of social order, and of social progress, and other topics.
Social co-ordination is the central idea of the book; by this term the writer means the process of social habit-formation by which "folkways," customs, and institutions grow up as channels of social activity. Revolutions are cited as cases where a group has been unable gradually to readjust its habits to changing circumstances; at last the habits become fatally inadequate to the group needs and a convulsive breakdown takes place. Enlarging upon this idea, the author regards the general social process as fundamentally a co-ordination of individual activities which are continually undergoing readjustment in response to changed conditions.
Professor Ellwood agrees with McDougall in according a large place to the instincts: "they may well be characterized, therefore, as the real propelling forces of society” (p. 246). Space does not permit an account of the relations which the other psychological factors mentioned abovefeeling, intellect, imitation, etc.-bear to the main process of social co-ordination. In general it may be said that each is recognized as a more or less important element in a synthetic account of social facts. “There can be no single key either to social evolution or to social progress” (p. 379).
In conclusion, attention should be called to the author's conception of the meaning of social life and the goal of social effort: “The great fundamental need of our civilization, therefore, is an ethics of service, a humanitarian ethics which will teach the individual to find his selfdevelopment and his happiness in the unselfish service of others, and which will forbid any individual, class, nation, or even race from regarding itself as an end in itself apart from the rest of humanity" (p. 394).
ERVILLE B. WOODS DARTMOUTH COLLEGE
My Life. By AUGUST BEBEL. Pp. 343. Chicago: University of
Chicago Press, 1913. Pp. 344. $2.14 postpaid.
By what combination of circumstances the University of Chicago Press was induced to publish the autobiography of the most prominent socialist in Germany during the last thirty years, others must explain.
Not that it is out of character, but it certainly contradicts reputation. One might as soon look for a life of Karl Marx from the Oxford University Press.
I have not seen the original of this book, and do not know whether it explains its title as a half-truth. It does not give an account of Bebel's life, but only of the first thirty-eight years of his life. As the longer and more important portion of his public life falls after the year 1878, with which the volume closes, it will be a flat disappointment unless a sequel is forthcoming. The index which this volume contains does not encourage the assumption that the account is to be continued.
Even this fragment, however, is a fascinating story, but it is rather a contribution to the general social history of Germany than to the history of socialism. It adds touches of local and temporal color which at once require readjustment of impressions about the origins of the German labor movement. For instance, it will surprise most Americans who have given attention to German socialism to read: "I don't remember anyone at that time (1861) in Leipzig who was acquainted with the Communist Manifesto, or with Marx and Engels' part in the revolutionary movement” (p. 45). The kind and degree of bitterness which the book discloses in the rivalry between the Lassalleaner and the Eisenacher will be a revelation to most American readers, even to those who thought they knew the essentials of the controversy. On the other hand, an inveterate enemy of socialism could hardly follow Bebel's account of the sacrifices which men of his sort have made for the cause, without some feeling of admiration for their spirit if not for their theories. Still more, not merely the injustice, but the impolicy and absurdity of the Bismarckian attempts at repression appear with a vividness that makes intolerance as despicable as it is futile.
Upon his own showing, neither Bebel nor his group was always a model of good judgment, their own interests being the criterion. They were of course less able than men of more education to co-ordinate their "class-consciousness" with the views of other elements. They did not judge such phenomena as the Paris Commune, for instance, by the same standards which the ruling classes applied. At the same time, after looking at these things through Engels' eyes it would have to be a very injudicial man who could deny that the interests which he represented deserved very different treatment from that which they received.
If Bebel leaves a continuation of his life-story that covers his maturer years as graphically as he pictures his early manhood, the whole will make up a human document of rare value.
ALBION W. SMALL
The New Immigration. A Study of the Industrial and Social Life
of Southeastern Europeans in America. By PETER ROBERTS, PH.D. New York: Macmillan, 1912. Pp. xxi +386. $1.60.
This comprehensive yet compact study of the problems arising from the influx into this country of millions of southeastern Europeans in the last twenty years is valuable because the author writes from the fulness of his own personal experience.
The book is divided into six parts: Part I, “Inducements and Impressions,” 48 pp.; Part II, "Industrial Life," with four chapters: (iv) “Industries They Enter," (v) “Conditions of Work,” (vi) “Accidents,” (vii) “Efficiency and Progress,” pp. 49-108; Part III, “Community Conditions," with four chapters: (viii) “Camp and Town Life," (ix) “Housing Conditions,” (x) “Home Life,” (xi) “Cities Where They Gather,” pp. 109-72; Part IV, “Social Relations," with eight chapters: (xii) "Leaders,” (xiii) "Societies,” (xiv) “Churches," (xv) “Banks and Savings,” (xvi) “Crime and the Courts," (xvii) “Politics,” (xviii) “Recreation,” (xix) "Culture," pp. 173–291; Part V, "Assimilation and Hindrances," with three chapters: (xx) “Relations to Americans," (xxi) “Reaching the Newcomer," (xxii) “The Child of the Foreigner, pp. 291-340; Part VI, with a single chapter: "The Immigrant Problem," and addenda of statistical tables, pp. 341-73. Index, pp. 375–86.
The discussions are straightforward, concise, and filled with concrete illustrations from the lives of the immigrants. The spirit is much like that of E. A. Steiner's volumes. The key offered for the solution of the problems is personal contact giving rise to sympathetic study and understanding, thus enabling the natives to help the newcomers to become, as they can and will, good American citizens. Mr. Roberts sets the example, in his own life, of how to go to work.
VICTOR E. HELLEBERG UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS
An Introduction to the Study of Adolescent Education. By CYRIL
BRUYN ANDREWS. New York: The Rebman Co., 1912.
Mr. Andrews' Introduction to the Study of Adolescent Education is a discussion of the problems of adolescence, and particularly, as they appear in the public and preparatory schools of England. For this reason and for the further reason that it is an introductory study, compared with the masterful books on adolescence, by G. Stanley Hall, and others, it will find no large place in American libraries or American education,
Mr. Andrews believes the time is ripe for a close study of adolescence by scientists instead of scandalmongers. In the English preparatory schools, he says, there is greater need for such study than in the state schools, since much in private school life naturally escapes public notice.
Adolescents should receive instruction in regard to sex in the schools. Parents will take not more than a languid interest in such instruction until a generation grows up which has been taught, when young, the science of human development.
There are six classes of perversion: (1) moral perversion, due to youth or ignorance; (2) victims of slightly pathological tendencies, inherited; (3) mentally deranged; (4) perverts, due to herding together one sex; (5) perverts, due to late meals, beer-drinking, overheated dormitories, etc.; (6) "mutual hypnotists,” or, instances of abnormal love between two of the same sex similar to love later between two of opposite sex.
Three remedies are proposed: (1) the conservative method, i.e., supervision, religious instruction, and athleticism; (2) the rational method, development of self-reliance, instruction in sex matters and in civic and social life; (3) coeducation.
Whatever the method, the principle that should be followed is “self-assertion” as opposed to “discipline.” The last-four chapters are given to an appeal for the reconstruction and administration of the curriculum in harmony with this principle-the essential trait in the adolescent makeup.
EDGAR F. RILEY KANSAS STATE NORMAL SCHOOL
An Introduction to the Study of Adolescent Education. By CYRIL
BRUYN ANDREWS. New York: The Rebman Co., 1912.
This book is an arraignment of education as it is found in schools of the type of the English " public and preparatory schools,” the schools to which the members of the well-to-do and aristocratic classes send their sons. These schools, according to the author, violate the cardinal principles which should govern the education of the adolescent, and which are deduced from a study of the adolescent psychology, particularly as concerns his sexual impulses. The fundamental difficulty is that whereas the adolescent craves above all else an opportunity to