Social Character in a Mexican Village

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Overview

After the completion of the revolution in 1920, Mexico quickly became an increasingly industrialized country. The vast changes that occurred in the first fifty years after the revolution inspired Erich Fromm and Michael Maccoby to find out how the Mexican people were adapting. The result, Social Character in a Mexican Village, provides a new approach to the analysis of social phenomena.

The authors applied Fromm's theories of psychoanalysis to the study of groups. They devised an ingenious method of questionnaires, which, combined with direct observation, clearly revealed the psychic forces that motivated the peasant population. In his new introduction, Michael Maccoby thoroughly explains the basis of the study, how it originated, and how it was carried out. He goes on to delineate the results and determine their impact on the present day. Social Character in a Mexican Village throws new light on one of the world's most pressing problems, the impact of the industrialized world on the traditional character of the peasant. This ground-breaking work will be invaluable to the work of sociologists, anthropologists, and psychoanalysts.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Social Character in a Mexican Village is notable both for methodology and theory. The first serious attempt to combine intensive psychological and psychoanalytic research techniques with detailed anthropological observations, it gives insights into peasant life going far beyond more traditional studies."

—George M. Foster, University of California, Berkeley

"Fromm and Maccoby have written a study of crucial importance. They have documented the destructiveness to a Mexican village of this developmental concept. They have presented this evidence in the framework of a seminal theory of social character. And they have pointed the way to a more human type of development."

—Richard J. Barnet, Co-Director, Institute for Policy Studies

Booknews
A reprint of the 1970 groundbreaking study combining psychoanalytical and anthropological methods to analyse the impact of industrialization on "peasants." Fromm and Maccoby consider a Mexican village from the perspectives of social character, socioeconomic and cultural factors, gender relations, alcoholism, childhood formation of character, and cooperative and anticooperative attitudes within the village's structure. The new edition has an introduction by Maccoby who describes the study's methodology in detail and discusses its results in the light of present day circumstances. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781560008767
  • Publisher: Transaction Publishers
  • Publication date: 1/1/1996
  • Edition description: REPRINT
  • Pages: 303

Meet the Author

Erich Fromm until his death in 1980, was professor at Michigan State University; and adjunct professor of psychology at New York University from 1955 to 1968. He also served as head of the Department of Psychoanalysis at the Medical School of the National University of Mexico. His many works include The Art of Loving, Man for Himself, Escape from Freedom, The Heart of Man, and The Revolution of Hope.

Michael Maccoby has taught at the College of the University of Chicago, the National Autonomous University of Mexico, and the University of California, Santa Cruz. From 1978 to 1990 he directed the Program on Technology, Public Policy and Human Development at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He now directs the Project on Technology, Work and Character in Washington, D.C. He is author of The Gamesman, The Leader, and Why Work?

Michael Maccoby has taught at the College of the University of Chicago, the National Autonomous University of Mexico, and the University of California, Santa Cruz. From 1978 to 1990 he directed the Program on Technology, Public Policy and Human Development at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He now directs the Project on Technology, Work and Character in Washington, D.C. He is author of The Gamesman, The Leader, and Why Work?

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Table of Contents

Introduction to the Transaction Edition
Foreword
1 The Social Character of the Peasant and Problems of Methodology 1
2 A Mexican Peasant Village 31
3 A Socioeconomic and Cultural Picture of the Village 41
4 The Theory of Character Orientations 68
5 The Character of the Villagers 83
6 Character, Socioeconomic and Cultural Variables 126
7 Sex and Character 144
8 Alcoholism 156
9 The Formation of Character in Childhood 179
10 Possibilities for Change: Character and Cooperation 203
11 Conclusions 226
Appendix A: The Interpretative Questionnaire and Examples of Scoring 239
Appendix B: Scoring Agreement and the Use of the Rorschach and Thematic Apperception Tests 271
Bibliography 292
Index 295
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