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THE IDEA OF COMMUNITY / Vol. 42, No. 2 (Summer 1975)

April 2, 1975

Arien Mack, Editor 

 

Table of Contents

 

Adolph Lowe

Hans Philipp Neisser

On September 3rd of this year Hans Neisser would have celebrated his eightieth birthday had he not succumbed on New Year's Day to a long illness. Thus came to an end the life and
work of another of the eminent scholars whom the catastrophic events in Germany brought to these shores in 1933.

 

David Gutmann

The Psychotherapist as Advocate and Adversary: A Comparison

Two modes of relating dominate the field of individual psychotherapy. Their human exemplars are the therapist-as-stranger and the therapist-as-lover. These distinct styles can coexist within therapists. To be manifested with different patients or with the same patient depending on the stage of therapy. But in the main these modes are antagonistic, and schools of thought, factions within schools, historical periods, and individual therapists can be distinguished on this basis: do they favor the lover or the stranger? This paper will briefly look at the two styles and consider the dramatic shift, manifested over a few generations, from the mode of the stranger to the mode of the lover.

 

Harold Kaplan

Beyond Society: The Idea of Community in Classic American Writing

The way to get past some serious confusion in understanding the major American works of the nineteenth century is to see that community and society have separate definitions, because in fact they are often demonstrated in opposition to each other. Now I am proposing that this should not be seen as a conflict between two kinds of society, one idealized and good and the other historically real and corrupt, but rather as an effort to distinguish between the moral ground of community and the formal structure, the nature in being, of a society.

 

Sanford Pinsker

Piety as Community: The Hasidic View

Discusses the life, philosophy, and attitudes of Hasidic Jews in the United States, speculating on whether the traditional Jewish community is currently disintegrating.

 

George Rosenwald

Small Groups and the Family in Society

When does institutional reform satisfy the individual's natural requirements, and when does it attempt to alter them? When does it provide him with the opportunity for development, and when does it merely require change? In recent decades, the widespread dissatisfaction with organized life has given rise to experimentation with traditional models of human relations. The first part of this paper offers a critical examination of the humanizing potential of various artificial groups. The methodological concepts developed in this section are then applied to recent assaults on certain traditional groupings. The second part of this paper examines whether one may hope that more humane forms of social organization will rush into the vacuum left by the abolished family and facilitate personal growth.

 

Walter S. Neff

Community Psychology: A New Academic and Professional Specialty in Psychology

My intentions in this brief account are to describe some of the more important circumstances that have led to the development of a comparatively new area of research and training in academic psychology, to indicate some of the persistent problems that perplex the field, and to list the chief areas of substantive content with which community psychology appears to be preoccupied. Since some of the main features of the history of academic psychology in the United States may be unfamiliar to the readers of this journal, I wilI begin with some references to the past.

 

Miles F. Shore

Community Psychiatry

Community psychiatry has existed as an official entity since the Federal legislation of 1963 and 1965 provided money to construct and staff medical health centers across the country. By now, a half generation of psychiatrists has been exposed to its tenets. Having passed through the inevitable stage of oversell, community psychiatry has been undergoing searching, critical evaluation as a program and as a set of concepts. There is a distinct possibility that what has been learned and experienced as useful will be an innocent victim of the crossfire.Thus it is timely to ask at the conceptual level what community psychiatry has meant to the profession and to society, and what should be salvaged.

 

Milton Kotler

The Ethics of Neighborhood Government

Assembly-based neighborhood government promotes a particular class of good actions and particular virtues--those pertaining to our absolute duties of humanity, good will. and compassion oward our neighbors. It does this in a way that representative and centralized governments cannot. Although necessary for the development of these virtues, assembly-based neighborhood government is not by itself sufficient for the achievement of human happiness; there are other virtues that lie beyond its capacities.

 

Reinhard Bendix

Science and the Purposes of Knowledge

Until recently, nearly everyone wanted the benefits bestowed by science. Nearly everyone assumed that there are some scientists who understand or could analyze natural phenomena which are puzzling or unintelligible to us. But today these desires and assumptions have become troublesome. We have come to weigh the benefits of science against its destructive potential. And the questions arising from that comparison are casting a shadow of doubt over the quest for knowledge itself. In the light of these apprehensions I want to explore what scientists have said about the purpose of their work and what light these statements shed on the relations between scientists and the community at large. As a background for this discussion, I find it useful to review some of the different purposes which men have pursued in their search for knowledge.

 

Judith Adler

Innovative Art and Obsolescent Artists

Work in the fine arts is endowed with a special symbolic significance in industrial society: the art occupations and their workers have played a mythic role as important as their more obvious productive one by serving as an exemplary alternative to industrial labor. Thus, while art provided the critical view of industrial work as alienated labor with the oppositional image it required, it also drew mythic power from an industrial civilization's apotheosis of production—from its exaltation of "Man the Producer." If art was the heir of religion in seeming to offer a new sphere of transcendent values in a secularized world, this was because the romantic image of the artist as a demigod of creativity, embodying the promise of a new kind of human immortality, was one of the purest symbols of homo faber available.

 

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