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All the people of the community, includ-
ing those who share in the benefits of the
service, must become partners in the en-
terprise. Community chest and council
leaders are right in declaring that all cit-
izens are involved in the objectives of
their undertaking and that all, rich and
poor alike, should labor together for its
success.

They, however, too commonly have
made the mistake of putting the financing
of the program 'first instead of last. For



a community's social work to be genuine-
ly democratic requires evolution; and the
first stage is not financing, but discussion
and planning. In this first stage the rank
and file of people should be so stimulated
in their interest in social problems as to
be moved to attempts at social action.
Then, having clarified their ideals of how
things ought to be improved, and having
learned how difficult it is to improve
them and how necessary are time, expe-
rience and money, these laymen should
be invited to join in a great cooperative
enterprise to finance the work of effi-
cient agencies whose services, they should
now realize, are extremely important.

To this end the appearance all over
the horizon of neighborhood and coordi-
nating councils is welcome. To be sure
the immediate purpose of these organi-
zations is to promote some particular
project or to attack some special danger.
That is as it should be. You cannot get
a popular organization going on general-
ities. But along with- particular accom-
plishments an even larger value emerges,
especially when council members repre-
sent constituencies and not merely them-
selves. These neighbors have learned that
they have a neighborhood and that they
are mutually responsible for its interests.
This is fundamental preparation for par-
ticipation in democratic social service.
Social work democracy may be born in-
side such social planning. From our point
of view the best thing about coordinating
councils is that they are bringing laymen
further and further into the vitals of so-
cial work, are advancing the day when all
social work will be democratic.

Encourage laymen's organizations for
social planning, but start them at the
right end of the process. Then when fi-
nancial needs arise a constituency is ready
to meet them. This has been demon-
strated by practical experience. In a chest
city where a laymen's neighborhood coun-
cil had been planning for better social
conditions, that neighborhood gave the
heartiest and most intelligent response
to the call for campaign workers as well
a? the most satisfying financial returns.
ALBERT H. STONEMAN
Pigeon Cove, Mass.

Prisoner's Progress

To THE EDITOR: Not long ago several
prisoners, confined in one of Wisconsin's
prisons in which the Extension Division
of the University of Wisconsin had been
operating its voluntary and individualized
educational system, decided to make a
break. They needed another man and
picked out "Shorty," a life termer. Much
to their surprise, his answer to their pro-
posal was a heart-to-heart talk in which



Shorty argued that violence was no way
to get out of prison and stay out. He told
the plotters that he had learned more in
the prison than he had ever learned out-
side. The same opportunity was theirs If
only they would use it. He persuaded
them that education was the way to pre-
pare one's self for living outside.

Shorty is a long time University Exten-
sion correspondence study student. He
was practically illiterate when he was
admitted to prison, but he has steadily
developed in writing ability. The money
that Shorty was paid for a published ar-
ticle he gave to Dr. J. L. Gillin's inmate
scholarship fund to help others get an
education. Shorty spends his idle hours in
reading and study and uses the knowl-
edge gained to teach others. He is a liv-
ing example of the fact that education
pays, and he is proud of it. So are his
friends, the men who planned the break
and dropped it because Shorty told them
it wouldn't pay and proved it to their
satisfaction.
University of Wisconsin LELIA BASCOM

On Being Civilized

To THE EDITOR: One reason I like your
publication is that you do not let certain
iniquitous cases, such as that of the
Scottsboro boys, die down and be forgot-
ten. Through a number of years, even be-
fore I became a subscriber, I have fol-
lowed your attitude along certain lines
and feel encouraged on behalf of human-
ity in general that you are so consistently
in favor of a reasonable and fair inter-
pretation of social maladjustments.
Eventually we will be civilized.

MARIE M. CHELGRENE
Los Angeles, Calif,

The Other Side

To THE EDITOR: I write in regard to
transiency, not "Mobility in Trouble"
[see The Survey, October 1937, page
307] but the trouble in mobility.

We have a small tourist court [camp].
Transients are here today and gone to-
morrow. This seems to breed an attitude
of irresponsibility.

Will describe in detail some of the
actions: broken windows, screen torn
from window, lock broken (this because
one member of the party had come in
before the one carrying the key), mat-
tresses ruined from urination, mattress
covers carried away. One party left the
seat of their Packard by the stove, this
caught fire and burned furniture and in-
side of the cottage. The next day they
were gone and I still have the burnt
cottage.

This irresponsibility seems to be in-
creasing with time.

This is looking out from within. Eliza-
beth Wickenden looked from without.
The two views are quite different.
Phoenix, Ariz. TURNEY ROBERTS



JANUARY 1938



27



Book Reviews



Hindsight and Foresight

STUDIES IN THE SOCIAL ASPECTS OF THE DEPRESSION,
RESEARCH MEMORANDA:

ON CRIME IN THE DEPRESSION, by Thorsten Sellin.

ON EDUCATION IN THE DEPRESSION, by The Educational Policies Commission.

ON THE FAMILY IN THE DEPRESSION, by Samuel A. Stouffer and Paul F. Lazarsfeld, with

the assistance of A. J. Jaffee.

ON INTERNAL MIGRATION IN THE DEPRESSION, by Warren S. Thompson.
ON MINORITY PEOPLES IN THE DEPRESSION, by Donald Young.
ON RECREATION IN THE DEPRESSION, by Jesse F. Steiner.
ON RELIGION IN THE DEPRESSION, by Samuel C. Kincheloe.
ON BURAL LIFE IN THE DEPRESSION, by Dwight Sanderson.

ON SOCIAL ASPECTS OF CONSUMPTION IN THE DEPRESSION, by Roland S. Vaile with
the assistance of Helen G. Canoyer.

ON SOCIAL ASPECTS OF HEALTH IN THE DEPRESSION, by Selwyn D. Collins and Clark
Tibbitts with the assistance of Arch B. Clark and Eleanor L. Ritchie.

ON SOCIAL ASPECTS OF READING IN THE DEPRESSION, by Douglas Waples.

ON SOCIAL ASPECTS OF RELIEF POLICIES IN THE DEPRESSION, by R. Clyde White and
Mary K. White.

ON SOCIAL WORK IN THE DEPRESSION, by F. Stuart Chapin and Stuart A. Queen.

Published by the Social Science Research Council. 2127 pp. Price $10 per set; $1 per volume
postpaid of Survey Midmonthly.



npHERE are many reasons why this
assignment must constitute a heavy
burden to the conscientious reviewer.
The fact that the thirteen volumes in
the series contain over two thousand
pages of material (or, measured by the
ruler, six inches in thickness) is only one
of these. The reviewer's interest in prac-
tically all the fields covered by the stud-
ies, without commensurate competence
or information, makes it difficult to do
justice within the amount of time rea-
sonably to be given to a book review.
Moreover, by design of the sponsors,
each contributor to the series had con-
siderable leeway in the definition of his
task and there is, therefore, great diversity
in procedure, organization of content,
and naturally, in quality of performance.
There is a further difficulty which arises
from the very nature of the undertaking.

These contributions are, in a sense,
outlines or prospectuses for pieces of re-
search that might or should have been
undertaken in the various fields of in-
quiry during the depression. In some
fields retroactive study may be possible
and even, to a limited extent, probable ; in
other fields the time referred to as "the
depression" is a five or six-year period
constituting part of the irretrievable past.
Research not only is not probable but
practically impossible. Being aware of
this fact some of the authors would
seem to have used the enterprise as an
occasion for presenting a general orien-
tation in the subject matter with some
actual compilation of materials relating
to the depression and emphasis on need
foi research independent of any particu-
lar time.

There is an additional reservation



well phrased by Warren S. Thompson
in his Memorandum on Internal Migra-
tion in the Depression: "There is always
danger that the researcher will overvalue
facts as such, or that he will forget the
purpose for which the facts are being
gathered. . . ." "At no point," says Pro-
fessor Thompson of his own monograph,
"is any effort made to outline definite re-
search projects. There are two chief rea-
sons for this: (a) the incompetence of
the author to do so in most fields, and
(b) the belief that much less information
that is useful can be secured by means of
outlines which are not prepared with a
definite situation in mind, than from
those which are developed with the ex-
press purpose of getting information on
concrete points."

At the risk of continuing the monotony
of this category of difficulties it must be
added further that the basic concept un-
derlying the series of studies may itself
have been only partly true. In one sense
there has been a depression with a begin-
ning, middle and end and with sufficient
individuality to be referred to, perhaps,
as The Depression. In other ways, how-
ever, the period which inaugurated this
depression may represent a more far-
reaching shift in the quality of economic,
political and social life in this country
and in the interlocking western civiliza-
tion. For this country, at any rate, such
depression products as the public relief
problem and the social security act as
well as the NIRA, national labor rela-
tions act, and others are examples of a
very fundamental change in government,
applied political science, and so on.

Much, therefore, that might apply to
tht depression in the sense in which these



studies were related to it might apply
very well to a continuing era which dates
its beginning back to 1929. As Professor
Dwight Sanderson puts it in the conclud-
ing remarks of his contribution:

"Although we cannot yet discern funda-
mental changes in rural life brought
about by the depression, it is clear that
the depression has precipitated certain
problems of adjustment whose solution
will require the best research of social
scientists. The general recognition of
these problems and the determination to
deal more effectively with them may be
the most important contribution of the
depression to future changes in rural
life.

"The revelation of the serious plight
of the poorer agricultural classes, the
tenants and croppers of the South, the
migratory agricultural laborers and the
farm families on large areas of marginal
land, has forced the nation to consider
how their condition may be permanently
improved. The studies of the types of
cases given relief have also shown the
considerable number of rural families or
individuals who are more or less perma-
nently dependent and for whose care
there has been wholly inadequate provi-
sion in the past. There have been various
studies of these classes in the past, but
mostly in terms of their function in the
economic system of agriculture. When
we are forced to consider how they may
be made independent and self-supporting
as an alternative to maintaining them in-
definitely on public relief, we become
aware that, under existing conditions,
there is little possibility for most of them
to improve their situation and that our
boast of America's being the land of op-
portunity has little meaning for them. It
is evident that much more thorough study
is required of the factors which are re-
sponsible for rural poverty and which
prevent its victims from the advancement
that might seem possible."

THE SAME POINT OF VIEW IS EXPRESSED

by Professor Young. He says, "It must
also be recognized that the depression
created no new minority problems or
programs for social action. Every depres-
sion modification in the circumstances of
minority living, whether unplanned or the
consequence of purposeful action, could
be described either as a change in degree
rather than one of kind, or as a prede-
pression latent possibility which has been
afforded an opportunity for development
by the economic crisis. This denial to the
depression of an originally creative role,
however, is not to be construed as a re-
fusal to recognize fundamental shifts in
emphasis and even reversals of trends in
minority life when these are really con-
sequences of the depression." It would
appear that some of the authors in the
series have been aware of this and in-



28






stead of indulging in nostalgic retrospect
over what might have been studied in the
depression focus their attention on what
ought to be studied in general and what
has already been contributed in their re-
spective fields.

Noteworthy within this group is Don-
ald Young's Memorandum on Minority
Peoples, Collins' and Tibbitts* Memoran-
dum on Health and perhaps some others
which the reviewer has had no occasion
to peruse with equal care. In some in-
stances it would seem as if neither what
happened in the depression nor the pres-
ent facts are nearly so important as a
critical consideration of ideas that have
gained importance as a result of the de-
pression. In the Memorandum on Social
Aspects of Relief Policies, for example,
among the questions isolated for atten-
tion are such as the following: "What
degree of destitution is required for
granting relief; what are the effects of
relief policies upon health or upon minor-
ity groups?" These are questions of in-
finitely greater importance for outlining
social policies for the future than for
evaluating occurrences ol the past.

SOME OF THE STUDIES EVOKE A FEELING

of sorrow for lost opportunities because of
this very possibility, now perhaps irretriev-
ably lost, of obtaining factual evidence
during the depression for the establish-
ment of future policies. It would seem
too bad that we were not able to do on a
larger scale what the Welfare Council
of New York did in providing for an in-
tensive and scholarly observation of what
was done to meet the emergency during
the critical years of the depression in
New York City. This study, organized
betimes, and pursued throughout the dur-
ation of the depression by Lilian Brandt,
should, when published, provide the type
of information that no doubt many of
the authors would have liked to arrange
for their respective fields. It would be
unfair, however, to regard the value of
these monographs as determined only or
chiefly by what they contribute to depres-
sion facts, whether actual or by way of
hoped-for projects. For many of the fields
these condensed studies will serve as
summaries of the high points of the sev-
eral divisions of social science and of re-
search in their areas as of 1937 and after.

The reader, at this point, will undoubt-
edly expect a summary by the reviewer
of these summaries in the thirteen sepa-
rate fields covered by the enterprise. Both
the reader and the list of specialists re-
sponsible for the monographs would,
however, be unfairly treated by such an
effort. The books, or most of them, de-
serve separate reviews and certainly more
time than a hurried evaluation of their
many pages would produce.

There is, of course, a fundamental
difference between two groups of sub-



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jects dealt with in these monographs:
the one in which the sociological point of
view predominates as in the case of the
family, migration, reading, and so on;
and the other in which the effect of the
depression on organized social instrumen-
talities is gauged, as for example, in the
case of social work, relief and health
agencies. Despite a certain overlapping
these two orientations are obvious. The
immediate preoccupations or vocational
interest of the reader will determine
which point of view or set of monographs
is more directly in his field of interest.
To the professional social worker there
is a more immediate interest in those ef-
fects of the depression that have a direct
bearing upon the social and health ser-
vices of the community especially as these
may arise from the conditions of eco-
nomic distress that became so universal
and remained so widespread since the
depression. His primary interest may,
therefore, be in those volumes relating to
social work, relief and recreation.

It is somewhat disappointing that these
three phases have been treated as separ-
ate enterprises in three different mono-
graphs. Recreation has constituted a very
large area of social work and to many it
would seem as if the .separation were a
prejudgment of the scope of social work.
Equally serious, it would seem to some,
is the separation of relief from the rest
of the social work field. Relief is the very



heart of social work, agencies providing
it are the backbone of social work insti-
tutions, and the lower economic group
composes the vast body of all social work
clients. The separate treatments of these
fields may themselves constitute an un-
acceptable perspective for the treatment
of the entire field. Somewhat the same is
true of the inclusion among social work
activities of group work agencies con-
ceived in a somewhat narrow sense rath-
er than as leisure time activities inclusive
of much that is discussed separately in
the monographs on recreation.

The reviewer lays aside these thirteen
volumes with a feeling that he wants to
get back to them at the very first oppor-
tunity for the timely information that
they contain in suggestive and condensed
form on sorpe of the most important con-
cepts and data on dynamic social forces
of our day. PHILIP KLEIN

New York School of Social Work
Habits of Human Association

MEMORANDUM ON RESEARCH IN' COM-
PETITION AND COOPERATION, by Gor-
don Allport. Gardner Murphy and Mark May.
389 pp.

COMPETITION AND COOPERATION, by
Mark May and Leonard W. Doob. 191 pp.

Published by the Social Science Research Council.
Price $1 per volume postpaid of Survey Mid-
monthly.

' I *HESE two volumes constitute a re-
port by the council's sub-committee
on competitive-cooperative habits and



In answering advertisements please mention SURVEY MIDMONTHLY

29



others. They are of singular interest to-
day especially in view of the intense con-
flicts now occurring in Spain and the Far
East not to mention those threatened
elsewhere. I have tried these terms on
my friends and students and I find that
they almost uniformly associate "compe-
tition" with business rivalry and "cooper-
ation" with the peculiar form of business
enterprise developed so successfully in
the Scandinavian countries. Messrs. May,
Allport and Murphy and their associates
give these terms the broadest possible in-
terpretation. In the second report, which
is a synthetic summary of the informa-
tion assembled by their research associ-
ates in the Memorandum, they relate
competition and cooperation to the wider
field of personality and culture, present a
tentative orienting theory of the competi-
tive-cooperative equilibrium, indicate the
manner in which existing information is
relevant to the problem, and suggest
fields for further inquiry.

THE REPORT IS, THEN, A PROJECT IN MAK-

ing the social sciences more truly scien-
tific. To the thousands of editors, preach-
ers, teachers and writers in this country
who have tried to teach men to live to-
gether amicably, efficiently and intelli-
gently this report offers little hope. There
remains such a vast amount of informa-
tion to be assembled, such a bewildering
array of techniques to be mastered before
we can even begin to devise instruments
for the more proper ordering of human
association. Meanwhile, nations war on
each other without declaring their inten-
tions, men and women are snubbed,
thwarted, threatened, starved, kill'ed. And
we do not even know how to avert these
human calamities when we discern the
precursors to them long in advance of
their incidence, or whether it would be
possible to restrain conflict or desirable.

I do not think that the average person
realizes how poorly prepared the social
sciences are to cope with the problem of
competition-cooperation. The natural or
physical sciences are sciences because the
fields of action and competence are fairly
well marked off and because the tools
which the practitioners employ for meas-
uring, evaluating and utilizing the facts
which fall within each one's province, are
satisfactorily standardized. But what, for
example, is the field of political science?
How can an economist speak with any
assurance regarding a proposal to estab-
lish a distributive society in a given com-
munity when his data are resistant to
measurement and his prejudices inex-
tricably intertwined with his convictions?

To answer these two questions the
political scientist confines himself as
much as possible to those matters which
are associated with the structure and
functions of the organized instruments
of society for maintaining order and sup-



plying services ; the economist, in the sit-
uation alluded to above, merely draws on
the imperfectly comprehended experiences
of other communities and applies them
as well as he can to the conditions which
confront him. The more complex life be-
comes, the more difficult it is to effect
approximations. Hence the need for the
redefinition of areas of study and interest.
The council, after some deliberation,
concluded that the area of Personality
and Culture embraced the disciplines of
anthropology, social psychology, sociology,
psychiatry, political science and even a
number of the biological sciences in
sum, sixteen recognized disciplines. In
the mimeographed report of the asso-
ciates studying competition-cooperation,
representatives of all these disciplines
joined hands to summarize and interpret
the research literature in the field, to
indicate research problems and to prepare
a selected bibliography. Here is a veritable
mine of information, expertly classified
and annotated. One subsidiary report
deals with the cooperative and competi-
tive habits of children ; another concerns
primitive behavior; a third analyzes the
Russian system.

Students of economic cooperation will
find the literature in this field exhaus-
tively explored. Those who are concerned
with institutions will find this volume a
handy reference library. The only insti-
tution which I missed is one in which I
am particularly interested, namely, the
political club. I do not see how we can
plan effectively for non-partisan local ad-
ministration until we know what effect
membership in political clubs has on the
political morality of urban citizens. But
this is a minor point. The sub-committee
of the council was faced with a gigantic
task. It has taken a long stride forward.
As a citizen of the United States in these
parlous times, I am impatiently awaiting
the next step. As a political scientist, I
am resigned to the inevitable lag between
human behavior, and human understand-
ing and control of that behavior.
Nezv York University R. V. PEEL

Unavoidable and Essential

ECONOMIC BACKGROUNDS OF THE RE-
LIEF PROBLEM, by J. P. Watson. Univer-
sity of Pittsburgh Press. 144 pp. Price $2 post-



Online LibrarySurvey AssociatesSurvey midmonthly : journal of social work (Volume 74) → online text (page 10 of 109)