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The teadben, far the nant part, give their serrkes free. The lecturer KghtS held k above his head as he talked,

Some of dMsa spend dr days teaching the children of die whOe his disillusioned audience giggled.

they imiimt at night. OoWn are The odier party was studying porcelain and faiexte,

or even arbsts. aU f^ftof jeammg to QBOnfmsn tne \^nmese proilm I i HMM tne n]niB

tnne aad strength sa order to raise the educational or German and uglily ahsorbing die guides ininiik* on

' to them mght after ""gfc* ' **". : -, - * -r - - - . - ~ _ - v - - - - . .

ennaEii GO cower even tne sasau dnenscs or tae couejsc, ana - ' ~ ** ~ - ~~ - . - - - ^ ', ~ = ~ ~ ~~ ~ ~ ~ ~

the city of Cassd now Gontnbatzs tunjud its support, exercnes (BOOT work only; diey have no apparatas), plays,
the fnBnr or asnr yean of hud nmes and carrency lectures by wenVknown men ; weekly ialffs (to see nature

as well as to waft) ; trips of a week or more, to study
botany, geology, local history, and so on. By these and
other means, die Cassd l''Akih',cks(hule tries to educate its

August 15 September 15, 1927



students, in body, mind, and spirit. To quote from its
circular, it "hopes to give aspiring men and women from
all walks of life opportunity for general development. It
tries to cultivate community of interests and is, therefore,
neutral in politics and religion."

There is great need for such schools in the Germany of
today. Side by side with this hunger for education is a
lack of desire for anything uplifting. Again and again one
sees such statements as this from the thinkers of the country:
''What the mass of the German people sees today, especially
since they turned their backs on the church and such
spirituality as this might offer, is work, eating, drinking
and pleasure ; and they will remain stuck in the bare
materialism of these things unless the beacon of a spiritual
community-life is again uplifted. The great task of the
people's colleges is to help bring back this spiritual com-

New Pamphlets

FOURTEEN IS TOO EARLY: Some Psychological Affects of
School-Leaving and Child Labor, by Raymond G. Fuller. .V*-
tional Child Labor Committee, 215 Fourth Avenue, New York.

A study of child labor in the light of what mental
hygiene has taught us about the needs and the dan-
gers of early adolescence a scientific rather than an
emotional argument for a national child labor law.

the Joint Board of Cloak, Skirt, Dress and Reefer Makers' i'nions,
130 . 25 St., \ew York. Price 10 cents.

An analysis of the issues of the unfortunate split in
the garment unions, from the viewpoint of the "rad-
ical" wing.

AMERICA: .-! Symfosium by Sam A. LfTrisohn, Scott Hear-
ing, Co.'onel M. C. Rorty and Morris Hillquit. League for In-
dustrial Democracy, 70 Fifth Afenue, -Vr York. Price 10 cents.

Development of three attitudes on the question : first,
that capitalism is cleaning its own house and develop-
ing an industrial democracy within its own structure;
second, that a class war impends in this country; third,
that capitalism must swing into a completely socialized

Raymond B. Pinchbeck. Phelps-Stokes Felloarshif Publications,
L'nirersity of I'irainia, Richmond, I'a.

"The progress and the condition of the Negro in the
field of the skilled trades of Virginia and the South."

ference Board, Inc., \ear York. Price 75 cents.

Industrial group insurance treated "from the point of
view of its importance as a personnel problem in in-

ING INDUSTRY. 1911 TO 1926. Bulletin of the I'. 5. Bureau
of Labor Statistics .Vo. 435. Government Printing Office, H'zsh-
ington. Price. 10 cents.

A detailed picture of changing labor conditions in an
important industry during a period of change and
swift growth.

WHAT industrial accidents mean in
human terms, in the lives of boys and
girls who try to run air hoists,
elevators, punch presses, drills, trucks,
and other complicated mechanisms
which they have neither the strength
nor the judgment to control, is told
in the first chapter of a study of
Accidents to Working Children of
Ohio, published by the Consumers'
League of Ohio, 308 Euclid Avenue,
Cleveland, price 50 cents. The second half of the book is a
careful analysis of accident statistics, based on a nine-months
study of accidents to minors made by the State Bureau of
Safety and Hygiene at the request of the Consumers' League
and on a simultaneous study of compensable cases, made by
the League itself. For the nine months period, 2,763 boys and
girls in Ohio suffered accidents while at work. Three children
died as the result of their injuries, 27 were permanently
disabled. 563 were so badly hurt that they lost more than a
week's work. Of the latter group, one out of every 14. was
hurt on a job prohibited by the Child Labor Law, and less
than half of them had working certificates required by law.
The report recommends an increase of minimum compensation,
double or triple compensation for minors hurt while illegally
employed (see The Survey, June I, 1926, p. 323) and prohibition
of employment of children under 1 8 on dangerous machines.

A LOCAL of the Cooks and Waiters Union and a Student
Workers' League to include all student workers have been
organized at the University of Wisconsin. The students hope
that through collective bargaining they can protect themselves
against cut-throat competition, resulting from the demand of
thousand* of students for jobs in Madison, which has reduced
the prevailing wage rate for student labor to thirty-five cents
an hour. Glenn Frank, president of the University, states,
"I am greatly interested in the proposed unionization of the
wage-earning students of the university. . . . The student union
may go far as an experiment in practical economics. Students
may learn a wholesome respect for organized craftsmen if
even a dishwasher is expected to keep up with standards of
skill. And they may learn of what the strength of organization
is made as they sound out and repair their own."

THE LABOR BUREAU, INC., established seven years ago
"to meet the need of the labor movement for technical service,
chiefly expert research in the field of economics,'' gives an
interesting resume of services rendered in its annual report.
Besides its New York office at 2 West 43 St., the Bureau
now has a middle western branch in Chicago and a Pacific
Coast branch in San Francisco. Its activities include the
publication of a monthly economic news letter, Facts for
Workers; assistance to labor unions in accounting and book-
keeping through the auditing department, and studies covering
a wide range of industrial subjects. The Bureau has also
furnished representation or expert testimony at hearings, before
arbitration boards, national and state legislative committees.

RESULTS of a study of health conditions in the printing
trades from 1922 to 1925, carried out by Frederick L. Hoffman
under the joint auspices of a group of employers' organizations
and unions have recently been published by the federal Depart-
ment of Labor as Bulletin No. 427 of the United States
Bureau of Labor Statistics. (Government Printing Office,
price 30 cents.) In general "health conditions were found to
have been decidedly more satisfactoy than had been antici-
pated," and show, in common with the general population,
a material improvement over earlier periods. One of the most
pressing needs is for measures to conserve eyesight, since
visual defects were of common occurrence.


The Casework of Supervision


MANY a competent caseworker thinks of super-
vision as a not altogether necessary nuisance
and views the supervisor herself as someone
who has renounced the satisfactions of case-
work in return for executive dignity and an
increase in salary. The supervisor herself often remembers
wistfully the thrills of direct contact with clients and rests
uneasy in a superiority that bristles with difficulties. In fact
she spends much of her energy trying to evade the stigma
of her job. She soon learns that the distinction between the
constructive criticism every student is vehemently willing
to accept and the destructive criticism she indignantly re-
jects is very delicate indeed, and that the line between the
two is as theoretical as the equator. Her supervisory exist-
ence becomes an unpleasant compromise between the de-
mands of an executive and board who naturally expect
certain things to be done and the innumerable varied re-
sistances of those whose doing of them she has to supervise.
The core of the supervisor's difficulties lies in her relation-
ship to the student. What is that relationship to be*? May
not the supervisor consider herself a caseworker whose case-
work must embrace not only the student's cases but the
student herself? This demands, of course, that the super-
visor investigate and treat the personal problems of the
student as the latter investigates and treats those of the
client. At first blush, the proposal may seem presumptuous,
but what choice is there? Is it better for the supervisor to
deal with every personal issue as a matter for executive
action or to broaden her concept of casework to include
those personal issues and so subject her handling of them
to conscious analysis and control?

Of course it all depends on your definition of casework.
Is it a collection of techniques justifiably used only on those
who cannot help themselves, who cannot escape exposure to
it, who have to submit to it to get assistance in overwhelm-
ing difficulties? Are its philosophy and methods such that
they would offend the self-respect of the caseworker if she
were to exchange places with the client? Or is casework
an art of living, experienced by the caseworker, used by her
to guide her own behavior, and so naturally expressed in all
her relationships that to exclude any of them as beyond its
province would be a violation of her personal as well as of
her professional code? If casework is an art and a
philosophy, and not merely a trade practiced on the handi-
capped and helpless, it has to be just as thoroughly a part
of the caseworker's attitude toward herself as toward others
and therefore the necessity does not arise for dividing those
others into the sheep who are her colleagues and the goats
who are her clients. The supervisor who is a caseworker
in this sense formulates as her function something more
than the full communication to the student of the techniques
of investigation and treatment as these arc commonly under-

stood ; she wants to develop in the student the capacity for
thinking, feeling and living a casework that she need not
scruple to employ on others because she has accepted it when
employed on herself. The supervisor has gone through the
same casework process of learning how to live and knows
that the student must go through it if she is to guide her
clients to a control of themselves and their situations. It
cannot come through learning rules of procedure; it rests
on understanding and personal development which furnish
the real resources for that casework growth toward which
we are all struggling. Without philosophy, technique be-
comes a bundle of sterile arbitrary tricks, useful if the case-
worker has nothing else but dangerously separated from
those creative sources which spring from living itself.

But let us come down to brass tacks to follow the ad-
ventures of a hypothetical student and a hypothetical super-
visor. The student was first attracted to casework by her
concern for unfortunates whose misery seemed to be in-
flicted upon them by material circumstances. She thought
of them as the poor, the sick, the widowed, orphaned and
aged. She soon learns that these pitiful externals which
first enlisted her sympathy are complicated by problems of
personality and behavior obscure and varied beyond her
wildest imaginings. Some of them stare her in the face;
others are masked.

No matter how thorough her theoretical training may be,
when it comes to field work, one of the student's first prob-
lems is to see and to see beyond her immediate sympathies.
It sounds simpler than it really is, for the young worker
may see that a weak, lazy husband left his wife and children
to starve, that a mother drinks and lets her children run
the streets unwashed and unfed, and that a child of harassed,
respectable parents steals everything he can lay his hands on,
and yet she may be stone blind to the fact that the husband
ran away from a good woman who did not allow him to call
his soul his own, that the alcoholic mother finds her sober
thoughts too dreary to bear, and that the thieving child steals
his satisfactions because he has none that are legitimately
his. The supervisor at once embarks on the task of awaken-
ing in the student an awareness to emotions and behavior,
the meaning of which the clients don't recognize and the
existence of which she has never had to explore in herself.
Again and again, the supervisor has to stimulate the student's
curiosity about what lies behind the scenes; this stimulation
constitutes the initial phase of her casework upon her.

FOR example, the father in the case may be a ne'er-
do-well with a record of alcoholism, wife-beating, and
tearful grievances against employers, family and agency.
The young worker missed him on all her calls and seems to
have forgotten the necessity for interviewing him. The
supervisor suspects that missing him was quite a relief and


August 15 September 15, 1927



undertakes to find out why. She asks the worker what she
thinks of the quiet, hard-working wife whose children are
all devoted to her and allied against the father in a silent
union of fear, dislike and contempt. She inquires into the
beginnings of the alcoholism, the first loss of a steady job,
the births of the older children in rapid succession, the wife's
worry, nagging and absorption in domestic duties, the grad-
ual accumulation of debts, and the obvious discrepancy be-
tween the father's limited wages and the burdens of the
present plus those of the past. She interests the worker in
considering the effect on the husband of having lost his place
in the wife's affections, of never having attained any in those
of his children, of being unable to pay the butcher and
grocer, of being regarded as a failure by his own family,
his wife's family and the neighbors.

THE supervisor discovers the worker had been viewing
this man through the eyes of the wife, that she felt
such a husband to be hopeless, a liability not worth further
investigation. Without argument, the supervisor directs her
efforts toward helping the worker to see through his eyes
a world that is hostile, a wife who emotionally deserted him
and children who resent his existence. She excites in the
worker an interest in what this particular man wanted from
life, how circumstances denied him, how he turned his back
on reality, asserted himself by beating his wife on whose
love and respect he no longer had any hold, and expressed
complaints that were real to him if not true to the facts
as others might see them. If she interests the worker suffi-
ciently, the latter will meet the husband not as a disgusting
bully of whom she is a little afraid, but as a man vanquished
by problems that must be understood if anyone in the family
is to benefit by the caseworker's activities. If the student
realizes how he came to be what he is, she may help him
as well as his wife, but if she cannot help him by adjust-
ments that will bring into his life the satisfactions he needs
for more wholesome behavior, she can at least explain him to
the wife and alleviate the bitterness which is poisoning the
entire household.

The supervisor repeats the process described above in case
after case and in the successive situations that arise in every
case. She knows, however, that the student's problem is
not limited to seeing, that she would see for herself if it
were not that she has a more fundamental problem, that
of understanding what she does see. The student has to
understand that each person plays the part he does, not from
conscious choice or mere perversity, but because he cannot
do otherwise. She cannot really understand if she succumbs
to the temptation of believing that some special accident of
race, heredity, constitution or external circumstance accounts
for behavior so alien to her own private experience. This
temptation is apparent to the supervisor in the student's un-
conscious reservations about the necessity for behavior that
seems so cowardly, vicious or irresponsible to the student that
she cannot think it quite human. The student wearies and
stops with a reservation because she cannot quite give up
the law and order she used to trust as governing human
behavior. None of her clients has a clear case. It is only
a question of going far enough to discover that the best and
the worst of them are alike in being strange mixtures of
love and hate, responsibility and helplessness, tyranny and
submission, remorse and self-righteousness; that any villain
is somewhat of a victim and any martyr something of a
vampire. This may sound melodramatic and exaggerated but

it is true. Many of us still deny its truth because it is up-
setting. We don't like chaos and the dislike is healthy
unless we close our eyes to its existence.

The supervisor knows that the student must get used to
this underlying chaos and before she dismisses her reluctant
glimpses of it as irrelevant nightmares must ask herself if
after all chaos is not her first and most important business.
She must learn that chaos is not so chaotic after all, that
only that which we do not understand seems chaotic, and
that this chaos of ours has its reasons, that these reasons
in themselves are not bad, repulsive, morbid and disgusting,
and that there are causes and effects which operate in the
mental life of the client just about as they operate in the
mental life of the caseworker. If the supervisor is to meet
the demands of her role she must have gone through and sur-
vived the student's experience ; she must have viewed this
under-world and have come to terms with it. She realizes
that the student is disturbed and knows that the only way
she can ever escape is by plunging in, that otherwise she
will suffer from blind-spots, be limited by her fears of what
lies beyond the next corner and never control either her
own situations or those of her client sufficiently to enjoy
her work.

The supervisor has learned from experience that the case-
worker can eventually accept any behavior without con-
demnation once she understands what caused it and that
as soon as she can reconcile the abnormal and antisocial
with the normal and social she is on the road to casework.
Theoretically, the student knows that each individual's de-
velopment is determined by his family relationships and that
his early experience with the mother and father, his sisters
and brothers established the patterns which he has been apply-
ing ever since to his advantage or disadvantage. The fact
that supervisor, caseworker, student and client were all born
into families and grew up under the influence of the per-
sonalities they encountered in their family group furnishes
a common basis of experience on which they can all meet
once they break down those barriers of race, religion, social
position and personal endowment which obscure the funda-
mental similarity. The supervisor knows, however, that the
student cannot break down her own barriers by an act of
will, that she takes refuge behind them because she is afraid
of these very emotions which she shares with her clients, and
that her apparent acceptance of the thesis that every in-
dividual is largely governed by influences beyond his control,
influences set in operation by his early experience, frightens
her because it ends in her admitting that she, an aspirant
to a casework guiding other people, is not guiding herself.

THIS situation brings the supervisor back to that vexa-
tious problem, the personality difficulties of the student
herself. The problem wears a new guise. The supervisor sees
that as long as the student is afraid to believe in cause and
effect because it may mean that she too is living over a chaos,
she will remain this side of helping her clients to win control
over the cause and effect in their own lives. The super-
visor faces then the task of working out with the student
those personal problems that have gradually appeared in an
uneven series of symptoms, symptoms in her casework, in
her relations to the supervisor, and in her relations to her

The supervisor has been accumulating data about the
student. They may be partial but they give her clues to
the student's own case. The student is capable, ambitious



August 15 September 15, 1927

and in love with her job. She is always seeking suggestions
but they have to be carefully worded not to throw her into
the depths of a depression from which she sees all her work
as intolerably poor. For most of her clients she has un-
limited sympathy but her sympathy is mixed with anger
against those who do not see them as she sees them, mis-
understood, neglected and harshly treated. Her relation-
ships with clients are usually excellent, but if one of them
shows resentment of her good intentions, she loses confidence
and begins to express judgment on the client's motives. She
is very thorough and conscientious and has done some bril-
liant if expensive work, but although she has been generally
regarded as the star student, she feels that her casework is
unappreciated by the agency and argues hotly when the
supervisor asks her to adjust her work to the caseload and
her relief plans to the budget. She wants interminable con-
ferences with the supervisor and believes that the other
visitors are allowed more time than she. She has a dis-
turbing tendency to encourage all the little grievances of
the other visitors.

THE supervisor has refrained from direct criticism and
argument. She finds the student likeable and gifted even
if she is a problem. She manages to work out the incidental
difficulties that crop up in cases but as the same difficulties
recur she realizes that she must go deeper. She gives the
student recognition and gradually her own non-critical atti-
tude and her apparent ability to understand the vagaries of
human nature result in the student's telling her something
of her own history. She learns that the student was the
youngest child, the pet of a large family all much older
than she, that she had everything she wanted until both
indulgent parents died when she was sent to live with a
frugal, repressive aunt and uncle. She could not resign
herself to this exile, she rebelled against the frugality and
the repression, she demanded that she be taken home to
the working brothers and sisters, she told them how she was
treated but nothing happened. At first they gave her com-
fort, then they scolded her, and finally they told her she
must not be ungrateful for generosity beyond anything any
of them had received. The supervisor could see that the
student felt that they had all given her up, that no one
cared for her, that she would have to fight for her due.
She resented the authority that denied her and took pleas-
ure in asserting her independence of rule and regulation, in
running up college bills, in leading several campus rebel-
lions. When she was graduated, she threw over aunt, uncle,
brothers and sisters and made up her mind to prove that
she could do without them, that she who had been rejected
could amount to something in spite of them.

The supervisor surveying all her data realized that the
student was still looking for the abounding, uncritical love
of her early childhood, that love which had been so pain-
fully withdrawn, that her work was not just for the work's
sake but to prove defiantly a value in herself which she
felt had been denied. So long as she tried to make her
work serve an unconscious purpose that had nothing to do
with helping human beings to adjust, she was bound to fail
in her own eyes and could not be secure in her real accom-
plishment, accept criticism or recognize limitations in the
agency which made it necessary for her to deprive her clients

Online LibrarySurvey AssociatesThe Survey (Volume 58) → online text (page 125 of 130)