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Survey midmonthly : journal of social work (Volume 74) online

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pretends to do. Moreover, it means that
the funds raised by taxing the poorest
members of the community will be used
for their benefit to supply the housing
which they so urgently need.

The alternative of a pay-as-you-go
policy, ignoring the future, might be bet-
ter. There is much to be said against a
policy of draining the meager resources
of today to build up reserves for the
future. But if we do, these should be
real reserves, so invested that they will
be there to meet future needs.

And I am sure that the Survey Mid-
monthly would do better for the masses
of the people if it argued along these
lines rather than supporting a very un-
sound scheme, which verges on deceit.


President, Borough of Manhattan
New York City

Another Term Is "Pauper"

To THE EDITOR: For about five months
I have been a relief client a public-
charge my family and I supported by
public funds, a liability instead of an
asset to our community. Another term
for us is "paupers."

The fact that I am a relief client is
still a surprise to me. From college on
my business future was full of promise.
We saved a good substantial stake and
owned our own home. Even when the
crash came in 1929 and I found myself
unemployed we felt no alarm. Now we
are "paupers," a case for the case

And it is on the case workers that I
want to comment, for during these five
months I have observed them closely.
Most of those with whom I have come
in contact seem truly interested in the
work they do, and try to help their cli-
ents in every possible way to retain self-
respect. Few have shown any superior-
ity in dealing with us. If I were to
criticize any of them it would be, I think,
on the score of their age. Some of them
are just too young to inspire confidence
in the maturity and soundness of their
judgment. Possessing the necessary edu-
cational qualifications they personally
lack the definite experience of any great
ill fortune or discouragement in their

own lives. "Book learning" and theory
is one thing, but "book learning" plus a
definite experience of the vagaries of life
is quite another, especially when one is in
a position of dealing with people who
have been buffetted about till they are
at the breaking point.

I hope I am right in expressing the
belief that the ultimate aim of relief
work is rehabilitation. If this is true,
why does not every agency have on its
staff a qualified man or woman as a
vocational counselor? Such a person
would check carefully the education, past
experience, and occupational qualifica-
tions for each applicant for relief; would
act as agent between individuals, the
WPA, and the National Employment
Service and, most importantly would, by
personal conference, keep alive in dis-
couraged people a sense of belonging in
a real working world. I am convinced
that there must be men and women of
outstanding ability "buried" in relief
files, who because of financial loss and
continued occupational changes have be-
come so weary and discouraged that they
have come to accept themselves in terms
of "case numbers."

Of course much can be said about the
recipients of relief. Some, it seems, have
no desire for anything else. Their wants
are supplied and they have allowed their
initiative and ambition to die. Others,
like myself, are deeply humiliated by the
fact of public dependence. What the
ultimate result of relief will be on the
ambition, industry, self-respect, and fam-
ily relationships of the coming genera-
tion no one is competent to say. That
there will be a measurable result seems
certain. Fortunately my children are too
young to realize that an agency has sup-
planted their father in supplying family
needs. God grant that before the time
of realization comes I again will be gain-
fully employed. A.A.A.
Burlington, la.

Am I a Doctor?

DEAR Miss BAILEY: I have just finished
reading Dr. Charles A. Neal's article
in the September Survey Midmonthly in
which he asks you if he is a social
worker. Honestly, Miss Bailey, since
reading the article, I am all confused
about myself. I thought I was a social
worker, but maybe I am wrong maybe
I am a doctor.

It is perfectly true that I have al-
ways worked in so-called social agen-
cies. I've always been labeled a social
worker ; I never questioned it until now.
I took my training in a school of social
work several years ago; I have carried
case loads, supervised staffs and directed
programs, but maybe I am not a social
worker after all.

Why, I remember my first year out
of college, almost my first assignment
was to spend several days in a rural



county with a nurse assisting in getting
a lot of children ready for clinic. Doc-
tors have come to me frequently to work
out social and health problems in

I'll never forget one night a few years
ago in a northern midwestern state when
I was called by the county doctor and
his nurse to drive forty-five miles across
country to a family in which a tiny in-
fant was reported abused and dying. I
went. It was fearfully cold, too. We
found the family huddled around the
kitchen stove, cold, hungry and scared.
The baby was so weak we expected him
to die any minute. The doctor was
great, though. I watched him take hold
of the situation and fairly breathe life
into that child. I stood by and he kept
me busy handing him things. Do you
know, it never occurred to me then
but tonight I wonder am I a doctor?

Right now I am working with the
dental clinic getting all our children in
relief families ready for dental examina-
tions in school. Most of my time one
winter was spent in coordinating health
and social work in a county and my
closest contacts were with the medical
group. It seems queer, though, to think
of myself as a doctor just because I have
worked so closely with them.

Now, Miss Bailey, 'I haven't had any
real medical training. Oh, I know some-
thing about first aid, and I understand
medical terminology fairly well, but as
to actual medical or pre-medic training,
I just haven't had any. But do you
think I should inquire into the possibil-

ity of membership in our county or state
medical association? I would certainly
enjoy it and perhaps I am entitled to it.
Confidentially, I would never have
thought of it if it were not for Dr.
Neal's suggestion regarding his member-
ship in the AASW, which, as I under-
stand it, is the association for profes-
sional social workers, just as the medical
association is for doctors.

So, Miss Bailey, please tell me, am I
a doctor? Can you tell me right away
so I'll know? Perhaps I am unusually
tired tonight and just misunderstood Dr.
Neal's question.

Portland, Ore.


"You Must Realize, Dr. Neal . . ."

To THE EDITOR: Perhaps Dr. Charles
A. Neal would be interested in the re-
action of some of us or at least one of
us in the American Association of So-
cial Workers to his question, Am I a
Social Worker? so interestingly pro-
pounded to Miss Bailey in the September
Survey Midmonthly. My answer, Dr.
Neal, is that until your age, education,
character, experience have been checked
and rechecked no one can give you an
official answer. But on your impressive
statement of social point of view and ac-
complishments my guess is, you are a
social worker de facto but never de jure.
That is to say you are a social worker
in fact and in deed but you might have
a hard time proving it to the satisfaction
of AASW membership committees.

If the test of being a social worker
were an abiding interest in social prob-
lems and people and a measurable con-
tribution toward improved community
conditions and the happiness and comfort
of human beings you'd probably pass the
test. But that is not the test.

Words and labels are terribly and I
mean terribly important in the world
today, Doctor. What do you know about
such words as psychoanalytical approach,
participation, integration, identification,
levels of response, relationships? You
surely must realize that our professional
status and terminology are maintaining
only a fingertip hold these days because
thousands of people who never saw the
inside of an accredited school of social
work are being called on to do social
work jobs. When they somehow manage
to carry on capably and effectively with-
out 300 hours of supervised field work,
that's fine, but it would never do to give
them the professional title, social worker.

You may say that we social workers
are in the grip of a kind of tyranny of
words and maybe we are. You may say
that now would be a good time to look
into the meaning of some of our favorite
words and see what they have accom-
plished for the world. Maybe so. I'm
not very sure about anything any more.
I reckon it wouldn't do any harm though
to consider whether, sometimes, we con-
fuse "social worker" and "social case

Member Executive Committee
Richmond, Va. Chapter
American Association of Social Workers

HERE IN WASHINGTON (Continued from page 349)

not covered to make himself eligible for
minimum benefits. Unless these people
are brought under the act, they will
skim the cream of the benefits.
SOCIAL WORKERS: Besides supporting nu-
merous amendments for liberalizing the
act for others, many social work groups
will urge the extension of unemployment
compensation and old age insurance to
protect employes of non-profit educa-
tional and charitable organizations.

Come One, Come All

MISCELLANEOUS measures which are be-
ing demanded or whispered about in
Washington are proposals to provide fed-
eral aid for: services for the blind and
other handicapped people; medical care
for needy persons; expanded public
health services, especially for control of
cancer and social diseases; hospital con-
struction and maintenance; Puerto
Ricans; people over sixty; people over
forty-five; children between sixteen and
eighteen; probation and parole; prisons;
care of the insane and feebleminded;

housing; slum clearance; and production
for use.

Other proposals will seek: to bar
"reliefers" from voting; to obtain cheap-
er relief; to earmark WPA funds; to
provide for the administration of PWA
by states; to protect the consumer; to
consolidate the Bureau of Unemploy-
ment Compensation and the U. S. Un-
employment Service ; to place them both
in the Department of Labor; to place
them both under the Social Security
Board; to nationalize unemployment
compensation; to establish a federal wel-
fare department; to provide $30 every
Thursday for old folks; to provide $60
every Saturday for old folks; to pro-
vide $200 every month for old folks ;
to bury dead old folks; to expand cover-
age of unemployment compensation and
old age insurance to seamen, to bank
employes, to seasonal workers, to em-
ployes of non-profit organizations con-
cerned with the prevention of cruelty to
animals, to the self-employed, and to em-
ployes of the states and their political

subdivisions; to increase the provisions
for maternal and child health.

Still others will seek to reduce social
security taxes; to increase social security
taxes; to require employes' contribution
to unemployment compensation systems;
to provide for federal contributions to
both old age insurance and unemploy-
ment compensation funds; to abolish the
old age insurance reserve; to utilize the
reserve to finance low cost housing and
slum clearance; to earmark the reserve
from other treasury receipts; to keep
the reserve in gold and bury it in Ken-
tucky; to put it in special bonds and bury
them instead of the gold; to provide
that the federal treasury shall collect
in one payment all federal old age in-
surance taxes and both federal and state
unemployment compensation taxes thus
abolishing state unemployment compensa-
tion tax collection agencies; to open all
social security positions to patronage;
to extend further the merit system; to
publish the names of all "reliefers"; and
to prevent publishing their names.



Book Reviews

On Young Behavior

LUCENT BoYsTby Hedley S. Dimock, with fore,
word by Hugh S. Hartshorne. Pictographs by
Harold E. Hayden. Association Press. 287
pp. Price t-'i postpaid of Survey Mtd-

THE personality development of 200
adolescent boys, twelve to fourteen
years of age, was studied systematically
for two years. The boys, members of
organized groups in two industrial cit-
ies, include Catholics, Protestants and
with I.Q.'s ranging from 70 to
The small group studied may not be
wholly representative of youth, but the
carefully checked data demand thought-
ful consideration.

Carefully selected pictographs show
the decline of activity in sports, the in-
crease of hours of study, of work and
of travel, with the lessening of sleep
and time devoted to eating during ado-
lescence. Changes in adolescent social
activities are shown to be gradual, the
major changes occurring before the age
of sixteen. A growth in heterogeneity
of activity accompanies a slow weaning
from parental dominance.

The problem of emancipation from
parents is insufficiently developed because
of the age limitation of the group stud-
ied. The growth of religious thinking is
difficult to evaluate because the corre-
lations are not sufficiently high and the
groups are too small to permit reason-
able conclusions. The major religious
growth is not between ages twelve and
fourteen, and obviously the element of
social conditioning for moral and relig-
ious thinking is far more important than
the biological changes incidental to ado-
lescent growth.

The volume presents much new data,
with various degrees of adequacy in in-
terpretation, calling for further studies
for a consistent interpretation of adoles-
cence. Pubescence is reflective of physi-
cal growth rather than indicative of mor-
al and religious ideas, in which social
factors inhere. Time and type of play
and participation in group activities tend
to decline as independence increases. The
degree to which shifts in play interest
depend upon psychological evolution in-
cidental to physical change is uncertain.
Behavior adjustment, per se, shows no
substantial correlations with pubescence
any more than does popularity or eman-

The understanding of the adolescent
involves more than the tabulation of
physical, physiological, psychological and
social facts. Adolescence is not a mere
matter of physiological growth and ma-
turation, but of social expansion in terms
of environmental influence. The adoles-

cent himself cannot be interpreted in
terms of biology and psychology, with-
out reference to the external pressures
involved in social influences.

Mr. Dimock has provided a book
which should be read carefully by those
who work with children, whether as
physicians, mental hygienists, sociologists
or social workers.
New York IRA S. WILE, M.D.

Facts for Consumers

tor Lazo and M. H. Bletz. Harper. 129 pp.
Price J1.25 postpaid of Survey Midmonthly.

CONCRETELY, readably and use-
^ fully this book tells consumers what
portions of their family food outlay go
to farmers, manufacturers, wholesalers,
retailers and other functionaries who
render accessory services ; how much cov-
ers costs and what remains for profits;
what factors make for higher or lower
prices; and how consumers can effect
savings by more careful and simplified
buying on a cash basis.

The authors are identified with the
Cooperative Food Distributors of Amer-
ica. This is not a consumers' coopera-
tive, but an association or voluntary
chain of retail food stores which main-
tain certain joint facilities to promote
their common interests. Mr. Lazo is the
executive vice-president.

Church and Community

Murray H. Leiffer. Willet Clark. 301 pp.
Price $2.50 postpaid of Survey Midmonlhty.

"nPHE typical church. One is some-
times alarmed that it accomplishes
so little, and then again amazed that it
contributes so much to the lives and souls
of people." The author is thinking of
the Protestant church in the medium
sized American city. Well equipped with
a religious and sociological background,
he has written a good book for the min-
ister and for the intelligent layman "with
a concern," as the devout express it.

Mr. Leiffer recognizes the importance
of the fact that the church with all its
limitations is an institution, along with
the school, and the state, which touches
the life of the people as a whole.
Whether it waxes or wanes, it is impor-
tant. Out of years of travel and study,
from consultations with some 363 clergy-
men, and from many seminars in urban
communities, the material for his study is

In a way the book is a pathetic reve-
lation of how the average church is
molded and fashioned by the circum-
stances of environment, rather than by a

strong creative force. In part this is due
to the difficulty and reluctance with which
the Protestant churches have acknowl-
edged a social responsibility and tried
to meet it. It is encouraging that the
author reports progress in this direction.
The majority of ministers, he finds, now
state their conception of the work of the
church in terms of establishing the
"Christian community." Yet there is a
strong hangover of the personalistic and
otherworldly idea of religion in that the
socially minded clergyman as a rule still
works as an individualist. He still does
not cooperate easily and effectively with
the other forces looking toward the good
life in his community. In fact, the chief
value of the book to this reviewer is the
inferential suggestion that the clergyman
must become better acquainted with the
social and relief agencies, health officers,
housing experts, political and economic
leaders and forces and must learn to
work closely with them. Not least, he
must understand and cooperate with the
people and movements concerned with
the education and recreation of the young.
With its appendices and index the book
presents much valuable source material
and practical suggestions for methods of

Steps to Understanding

gei. Womans Press. 149 pp. Price $1 postpaid
of Survey Midmonlhly.

THE household employment committee
of the Chicago Young Women's
Christian Association has here brought
together a number of short but vital case
stories in one of the most complex and
baffling fields of human relationships, that
between the employer and the employe in
the home. Starting nine years ago with
"the conviction that no area of social
contact or of economic interdependence
needs intelligent understanding and con-
trol more than does the field of household
employment," the committee applied sci-
entific methods, accumulated facts, held
group discussions with employers, em-
ployes and others related to the field and
gradually emerged with "certain ideas
of cause and effect, or of relationships
which make understanding and even pur-
poseful direction possible."

The case histories are arranged rather
roughly under type subjects which have
been found to be widely useful categories.
These include wages, hours, living ar-
rangement, status, use of leisure time and
accidents. On the whole the material is
well selected and balanced, presenting
problems, both of the employer and the
employe. The questions which follow
each case story are thought-provoking and
valuable assets as a starting point for
group discussion.

In a field where serious maladjustment
is so widespread, it is perhaps inevitable



that most of the case stories tell the tale
of human failure to understand and to
adjust. Like oases in the desert are a
few stories of success and happy adapta-
tion to this employment relation. Social
conflict and discord must be faced and
thought through, but the solution of con-
flict is our ultimate goal and should be
stressed whenever possible. The positive
note is constantly needed.

The book is a valuable contribution to
the rapidly growing literature in this
field. A summary of its findings is stated
in the preface: "The average employer
today wants intelligent, responsible, self-
respecting assistance in her home; the
average employe wants work that assures
her continued self-respect, a future in her
profession, and, in the meantime, a nor-
mal way of living. If employer and em-
ploye are to meet face to face on the
basis of these requirements, they must
understand themselves, each other and
their jobs." This book is an excellent
primer for such an understanding.
Harrisburg, Pa. AMEY E. WATSON

The Truth About Lies

ton Marston. Richard R. Smith. 179 pp. Price
$2 postpaid of Survey Midmonthly.

'HPHE psychologist who in 1915 origi-
nated the blood pressure "deception
test" here discusses its development and

The underlying principle of the test is
that the increased effort of lying causes
the heart to beat more strongly and so
causes a measurable rise in blood pres-
sure. Since the constitution provides that
no one can be compelled to incriminate
himself, the consent of the defendant is
necessary before the test may be used.
Test results have been approved by courts
in Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin and Ohio.
Five state and a hundred local police
organizations employ the lie detector. Al-
though Verne W. Lyon has criticized the
lie detector before a meeting of the
American Psychological Association as
detecting "painful complexes"*rather than
"lies," Mr. Marston has no difficulty in
convincing the reader of its superiority
to the methods of torture sometimes em-
ployed in extracting confessions. He is
perhaps optimistic in his belief that its
ultimate use is not for crime detection but
for crime elimination. Unfortunately, the
criminal does not expect to be caught; he
will not be deterred by fear of a lie
detector in the police station, nor will it
remove the pressures which are responsi-
ble for his crime.

The author gives other interesting ap-
plications of the test. Insurance com-
panies give a 10 percent discount in
bonding premiums to any business or-
ganization which tests its employes. It
has been demonstrated that 40 percent of
bank employes who handle cash are
guilty of theft and are clever enough,
without the lie detector, to continue for

years. Psychologists have also found in
the test a new tool for making person-
ality adjustments. Mr. Marston goes so
far as to suggest that we might test our
candidates for public office.

Inaccurate feature articles have preju-
diced many against the lie detector. This
authoritative book, full of interesting
cases, clarifies the subject. It is regretta-
ble that Mr. Marston could not have
obtained permission to examine Haupt-

Nursing As a Vocation

by Dorothy Deming, R.N. Dodd, Mead. 266
pp. Price $2 postpaid of Sun'ey Midmonthly.

AT conferences of student organiza-
tions, one of the resolutions almost
unfailingly adopted is for more vocational
information as a basis for wise voca-
tional choice. The Dodd, Mead "Ca-
reer Books" seek to help fill this need
with accounts in fiction form of the
training requirements, problems and op-
portunities in various fields of work open
to young people today. This book by
the general director of the National Or-
ganization for Public Health Nursing
adds the story of a young public health
nurse to the group that already includes
a news cameraman, a girl reporter, a
naval aviator, a retail store clerk, and a
librarian. Miss Deming's young hero-
ine, Penelope Marsh, making the shift
from private duty nursing to the public
health field, takes special training for
her new job as a substitute on the staff
of the Visiting Nurse Association in an
Ohio city. The story gives lively details
of her work in the city, in the county
health field and in disaster relief. Girls
of highschool age, for whom this book
is written, seem likely to be more inter-
ested in Penny's professional explorations
and discoveries than in the very con-
ventional "love interest" rather arti-
fically added to a story essentially con-
cerned with the community service and
the human drama of public health

The Road to Harmony

Online LibrarySurvey AssociatesSurvey midmonthly : journal of social work (Volume 74) → online text (page 98 of 109)