The cultural background of personality


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Abstract

Reviews the book, The cultural background of personality by Ralph Linton (1945). This excellent little book stemmed from five lectures on Culture, Society and the Individual which Professor Linton delivered at Swarthmore College in 1943. By intent (vide the cryptic dedication) and in fact, these five short chapters constitute a challenge to the academic clannishness of vested departmental interests. But the book is not a mere polemic for unity among social scientists in the study of man. It consists of a cogent survey of areas usually allocated to cultural anthropology, but merges this with an intellectual invasion of ground over which psychologists have proprietary feelings. If I am any judge, the result is a decisive victory for Linton's cross-departmental, approach. The book is, in sum, an intellectual tonic for those who feel bound by the traditional fare of psychological textbooks. An enviable felicity of expression marks the writing. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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