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woman and the family in a changing order. Old age like
childhood is a liability. How passionately we think on
such vital matters as birth control, race, immigration, crime
and the economic aspects of social pathology! Dexter's dis-
passionate frankness is not new just as his subject matter is
not new to social science. It is doubtless new to social
pathology as taught in many colleges.

Not many college students or laymen either will read
books on social problems for pastime. By experience they
have found most such books either too erudite or dull. Such
charges cannot be made against this book which touches
bedrock without dragging. It is a reasonably complete
introduction to the field. More space might have been spent
on the role of the city in exaggerating social maladjustments
and probably more could have been said about the social
implications of migrations. A chapter is given to social
work and another on community organization. These, too
are of necessity sketchy. From one group of social pathol-
ogists will come the protest that Dexter did not use the
case method in presenting his material. That method would
not take with the audience in view who respond best to the
discursive presentation.

Whittier House NELS ANDERSON

Why Boys Go Wrong


bv John Slawson, Ph.D., Research Secretary, Federation of Jewish
Charities, Cleveland. Richard G. Badger. 477 pp. Price $5.00 post-
paid of The Survey.

JOHN SLAWSON has done in this book a valuable
piece of research in the field of statistical psychology.
While the body of the treatise is probably too technical to
interest the layman, the author's conclusions, based on a
study of some 1,500 boy delinquents in four New York
state institutions, are of significance to social workers and
sociologists. Recognizing the importance of the genesis of



April 15, I92' t

adult criminality in youth, the author purposes to evaluate
the "contributory strengths of various mental, physical, and
environmental factors to juvenile delinquency."

After a judicious application of selected tests and measure-
ments and a correction of his findings by comparison with
control groups of non-delinquents, he found no significant
association between male juvenile delinquency and any of
the following factors: intelligence, mechanical aptitude,
weight, height, sensory defects, psychophysical status, having
been in an orphan asylum, step-parents, mother obliged to
be gainfully employed, and overcrowding in the home.
Associations high enough to be significant were found be-
tween male juvenile delinquency and abnormal marital
status of parents (death, divorce, and separation), inferior
paternal occupational levels, inferior social status, and
psychoneurotic make up. The author does not venture to
commit himself, however, as to the innateness of psycho-
neurotic tendencies.

These conclusions, of course, hold only within the limita-
tions of the author's data. They do not measure male
juvenile delinquents who are never caught, who escape
contact with the law through economic, family or political
influence, who are arrested but dismissed, and who are put
on probation merely. The inferences to be drawn from the
statistical findings achieved are somewhat uncertain and
need to be supplemented by numerous case studies which
would reveal some of the mechanisms behind the indicated
trends as well as clues for further statistical research. The
author has made no attempt to correlate demoralizing social
patterns or group excitations with the genesis of juvenile

Like all pioneering work, however, this book raises many
more questions than it answers.


Illinois Wtsleyan University

Every Child Is A Problem

CHILD GUIDANCE, by Smtlei Blantan, B.S., M.D., and Margaret Gray
Bluniim. Century. 301 pp. Price $2.25 postpaid of The Survey.

THIS book bears further witness of the increased em-
phasis which is coming to be placed upon the normal
child, especially during the all-important preschool years,
in the general fields of clinical and child psychology. The
guidance clinic, originally instituted for the purpose of deal-
ing with the abnormal or the "problem" cases, has been
steadily widening its aim to meet the fact that every child
is potentially a "problem" child, and that the greatest
problem of all is that of aiding the normal child to meet
the difficulties of gradual personal-social adjustment in such
a way that he may realize as fully as possible his best
capacities. The inadequacy in most cases of the old attitude
of "leave it to the parents" is appreciated by none more
than by the parents themselves, as is evidenced by their
eagerness to seek expert advice when such advice is made
available. Such studies as the present one will do much to
increase the amount of aid that can be given.

To their task the authors bring a wide range of clinical
experience, backed by a familiarity with present-day psy-
chology and a refreshing sanity of outlook. The first of
the book's three sections deals chiefly with functional
development, and training in the fundamental personal
habits; in Part II are discussed the more complex social
adjustments; while in Part III there is presented a system-

atic method for personality study found useful by tht
authors. No topic of importance is really slighted, althougl
the wide range of materials naturally prevents a full devel
ment of many. The book is, therefore, to be recommeni
more as supplementary reading, or as a text-book in con
nection with lectures that may more fully develop the
several topics, than as complete in itself. It should not b<
regarded as a handbook for parents, although to parent!
seeking a new point of view, it should be of interest and
value. Its discussions are clear and concrete, its illustrative
cases representative and apt, and its methods generally sound.
Its psychology is that of the present day. The authors
have had the courage to throw overboard the outworn
fatalistic "instinct"-psychology that still hampers so much
the progress of educational psychology, and to proceed on
an empirical basis. Theirs is the only attitude that can make
such work really far-reaching, and to their clear realiza-
tion of the assumptions from which they start may be
ascribed in no small part the success of their effort.

The Yale Psycho-Clinic

The Negro In Our Midst

THE AMERICAN RACE PROBLEM, by E. B. Renter. Thos. Y. CrmveU
Co. 448 pp. Price $2.75 postpaid of The Survey.

THE strong point of this book is its clear and interesting
interpretation of social statistics, not only in the
general chapter on Negro population but also in those on
health, on education, on delinquency, in which material not
easily accessible is presented with fulness and authority.
The author is less happy indeed, very unhappy in some
of those sections upon race psychology, and a parallel listing
of seeming contradictions in his account would fill one of
these pages. Perhaps one or two fundamental misconcep-
tions are the cause of other errors of judgment. For example,
he repeatedly states that the attitudes of Negroes toward
the white race in the period immediately after the emanci-
pation remained one of complete self-abasement, a state-
ment in striking contrast with the available evidence. There
are many other estimates of doubtful validity in regard to
cultural traditions and contributions.

Like other recent textbook writers, Professor Reuter
gives much space to the historical backgrounds. Such
retrospect is an essential of understanding; but when it is
partial and over-emphasized in relation to the influence of
more recent events and developments, it may actually make
for misunderstanding. After all, the vast majority of
present-day Americans have no history of slave-ownership
behind them and the frequent reminder that their colored
fellow-citizens are, in part, the descendants of slaves en-
courages a wrong attitude unless there are equally strong
reminders that many of the oldest native white families
are descended from indentured servants, deported convicts
and impressed Hessians. But unfavorable race memories,
as a matter of fact, are not cherished and therefore lose
their potency more quickly than favorable ones.

The author's conclusions as regards the future of Negro-
white relations are pessimistic. It is a great merit of this
book, going far to balance its imperfections, that it does
not substitute sentimental hopes for ugly realities in the
present race situation.


The Inquiry, New York

: '1'pril 15, 1927

H '





THE SOCIOLOGY OF RURAL LIFE, by Horace Boies Hawthorn.
Century. 517 pp. Price $3.75 postpaid of The Survey.

WITHIN the scope of a college text-book this volume has
utstanding merits. Its treatment of such approved topics as
Tenancy and the Rural Mind is reliable, sensible and inter-
sting, and on such fundamentals the reader will find real
uidance at the minimum expenditure of time. Though a
t, the book through its literary quality will bring the student
ito contact with an inspiring teacher. But its scope is only a
xt-book's. The author's optimism about the outcome of the
| ural exodus is based on the accepted economics of Adam
imith. "The present stampede to the city, occasioned by
industrial dislocations of the War, will exhaust itself as
as the underproduction from under-manned farms boosts
ricultural prices, and city jobs are swamped by job-hunters."
he process described requires no rural sociology or other
Ixercises of intelligence: plants make such adjustments as well
is men. That Wisconsin farmers market cheese cooperatively
reported; that they manufacture the cheese cooperatively
Iocs not appear. There is passing mention that manufacturing
night be done in rural regions: "Since such work would be in
form of a 'windfall' the cost of the labor would be lower."
absentee farm-owner is recognized as an evil; the absentee
| : actory-owner is not. The bibliographical references include
's Theory of the Leisure Class, but not his Absentee
vnership; Kropotkin's Mutual Aid, but not his Fields,
Factories, and Workshops.


Crntury Co. 588 pp. Price $4.00 postpaid of The Survey.

'HANK HEAVEN the day of the little green "civics" text-
)k with its drab pages of definitions and lists of petty
lierarchies has gone forever. When a man writes about
rernment today he writes about an administrative or a social
irocess, or both. The director of the Detroit Bureau of
)vernment Research heads his first chapter Administrative
Organization, but he gets to a list of municipal functions on
page 8 and never strays very far from them for the rest of
I the book. In treating of such matters as health, charities,
| correction, the courts (each of which has a separate chapter)
Mr. Upson shows his familiarity with the viewpoint of current
| leaders in social and health work and his footnote references
j will put the careful reader in touch with excellent authorities.
JIA bulky book for general reading, but a well-considered and
(useful text for school and college use. G. S.


' Houghton Mifflin. 568 pp. Price $3.00 postpaid of The Survey.

SCIENTIFIC control has been applied to financing, inventory
[{reduction, straight line production, and working conditions.
: But the average executive approaches scientific worker selection
i'like a playful maverick steer shying at a geological survey
marker. For one, the reviewer does not blame them; employ-
ment psychology until recently has been principally negative
iland seemingly designed to show that the executive could not
pick men and did not tell them how to apply psychology in
! picking workers. Burtt casts some of the false Gods out of
the temple but devotes most of his book to explaining and
i illustrating how mental tests are and should be used. It is not
a manual of tests which can be immediately used by the
j employer, but rather a faithful portrayal of how they can be
!used and adapted to specific firm needs. The reviewer's high

!s B shown by his discardin * ne f hi

and Bum for use in a practical training course.

,-. , , rr . DONALD LAIRD

Colgate University

Social Practice

authors of this text for discussion groups and church-
school classes really know better. But the temptation to
isty a large and unintelligent demand for study material, so
predigested that any well-meaning if ignorant Sunday-school
teacher can administer it, was too great. No less than thirty-
big topics are covered with half a dozen questions and
two or three informative quotations each. Instead of offering
easy steps for little feet-the ostensible purpose of this sort of
literature the booklet really encourages giant leaps from cloud
to cloud. The churches fool themselves when they offer this
sort of text to make enlightened Christian opinion on social


fe^f *

1HE New Social Research by Professor Bogardus of the
University of Southern California is an interesting and prac-
tical account of the plans, organization and work of the Race
Relations Survey on the Pacific, of which Professor R. E.
Park is director, and in which Professor Bogardus had a
prominent part. The survey was designed to study that phase
of public opinion which concerns race relations and to de-
termine why it is what it is. The author seeks to give an
accurate description of a survey in operation and so secures
concreteness that makes it intelligible to social workers and
other lay persons not familiar with the more technical side of
research. Welfare workers and citizens with a social view-
point will gain an understanding of what a survey of special
problems in their own community would mean from reading
the book.

The book really deals not with research, but with a survey.
It is the description of the methods used to set forth clearly
the very difficult problem created by the contact and conflict
of Americans, Japanese, Chinese, Hindus, Mexicans and
Negroes on the western coast. The director of a social agency
or a case worker, noting the unfortunate title, is likely to pass
by. "Research" connotes to the layman something that is ab-
struse, full of technical words and perhaps frequent flirtation
with higher mathematics. Professor Bogardus's book is nothing
of the kind.

One is a little at a loss to see the justification for the use
of the word "new." Life histories, personal interviews,
schedules, community organization and the nature of public
opinion have been described ad infinitum by others with the
same viewpoint and with more space available for adequacy
of discussion. A "group interview" is not new as method;
neither is the "research interview."

Only one chapter is in any sense technical or new, and that
is the one on "social distance" or "the grades and degrees of
understanding and intimacy which characterize pre-social and
social relations generally" (Park), a concept which Bogardus
has elaborated elsewhere. This may be the key to the under-
standing of public opinion which results in conflict or co-
operation, but it hardly unlocks the door to the solution of
social problems produced by mental defectives, insanity, vice,
overcrowding in cities and family disorganization. It does
tend to give unity to the variety of subjects treated in thU
handbook for surveying public opinion.



What Is a Social Work Executive?

II. Leadership

"f V



JERHUNE, come here." The head of a great
industry stood at a high point in the road, over-
looking a wide stretch of valley. "Look at
that three-hundred-acre patch. That is to be
the site of our mill in this section. Our rail
terminal should lead through that pass at the South."
"Yes, sir," responded the clean-cut young man.
"Unfortunately that valley belongs to somebody else and
they probably suspect what we want. I'm going to Europe
next week. Get the title. Macomber has the plans and
specifications. I want to see you pouring the footings one
week after the deed is recorded."

Modern business is constantly handing riddles of this sort
to an able lieutenant with the tacit understanding that his
job is the price of failure. Terhune as an executive has over
him a director who fills the title in every sense of the word.
He will exact the last measure of success. The title must
be secured: the owners convinced, persuaded, cajoled, led.
Nothing short of the impossible will pass for an excuse.
And after that, the problem of pioneer construction, always
at high speed.

The social work executive has no such master. He is
directed by persons who for the most part play with social
work as. an avocation intimately connected with their social
standing. Where they take a sincere part in public service
they still of necessity carry on their directing as a side issue.
The social executive lacks the business manager's spur, and
his expert overhead direction. Yet he has a task as hard
as Terhune's harder in fact, because it contains less that is
tangible. Who shall say what constitutes the best interest
of the community? Compared to building a mill, it is a
mystery not fully solvable. The mill is concrete: this is
abstract. The social engineer deals with persons and prin-
ciples. His task calls for vision of the field ; it demands also

If in the real tests of an executive, vision is the first and
greatest qualification [see The Survey for March 15, page
820], the next must be leadership. The two are not com-
pletely separable, but for purposes of discussion may be
treated severally. An effective executive must be capable
of leadership. That stage of excellence calls for tact and
diplomacy in his dealings with directors, with staff, with
clients and the public. It calls for an abiding faith in the
usefulness of the enterprise, and a consequent sincerity that
raises him above the suspicion of being merely a self-seeker.
It requires wisdom a thorough posting on the philosophy
and all the details of the work in hand. Such a leader must
of course have initiative in the launching of enterprises and
force in pushing them to completion. For the pay of a
"charity" secretary this is a large order; yet the require-

ments for effective work are independent of the wage-scale
which must adjust itself in time to the needs of the service.

It is the lack of this same quality of leadership that makes
federation so difficult and holds back the day when a con-
sistent program of integrated service shall emerge out oi
the present ruck of opportunist and remedial charities. Tak
for example the plight of a board of managers who discovei
that the year-long morality play which they and their pre-
decessors have been enacting for half a century in the form
of a maternity shelter for "fallen females" is in fact only
a fosterer of stray babies. While they have slept in con-
tentment at the glowing reports of reform made by a sincert
but misguided spinster, the public, and in particular the rest
of the social work group in that city, have come to know
the shelter for a dumping ground for illegitimates. No-
body has any faith in it as a force for social reform. The
mottoes over its doors are quoted in jest. The trustees be-
come something of a laughing stock. Meantime the matron,
after a devoted life of petulant moralizing, dies, leaving
"the work" with no defense but its own questionable merit.

WHAT sort of executive should undertake the rehabili-
tation of this service? The public forget a good
reputation : they remember a bad one for long. Social
workers themselves, like wolves, have been known to eat
their kind. Maternity service and case-work with problem
girls is a crying need in every American metropolis. Let
the new executive settle down to a routine of house duty:
let her put the whole establishment on a standard hospital
basis; let her supplant the hours of struggle with wayward
souls by the time-equivalent in kindly helpfulness toward
facing each girl's problem in life. Let her do all this and
there is still the community to reckon with. Where effi-
ciency might accomplish the transformation of the shelter
itself, it requires more to re-establish the service before the
public. The executive must go among her colleagues in
social work. She must help rebuild her board of directors.
She must persuade abler citizens to go on her board for
the purpose of making the renovated enterprise an asset in-
stead of a liability. This quality in the new matron may
be called leadership. It is the power to make vision prac-
ticable and effective.

The development of itemized budgets through financial
federation frequently develops duplication and gross failures
of cooperation among the several agencies in this city pro-
gram. A day comes when the increasing demands for ex-
pansion by a single executive must be refused because other
needs are more pressing. Disagreement arises, with the
result that public confidence a tenuous thing at best is
quickly destroyed The diagnosis is "too much individual-


lipril 15, 1927

Ism." The real trouble is a lack of leadership. Someone
I nust come forward who has the ability to outline the bal-
t meed program for that community and to persuade the
j:ontending factions to accept it for the good of the cause.
|[n this role your executive is a diplomat who knows how
l:o compromise a situation without surrendering a principle,
lit is a rare gift, costing high pay in the field of business,
jut all the more necessary in the service of the whole people.
Some time ago a thriving community with a good deal of
wealth, and for that reason also a good deal of poverty, was
[losing in social work values because its public and private
Irelief interests were at outs and would not work together.
Factional interest made joint program-building imprac-
ticable. The Social Service Exchange was a vest pocket
(affair hardly worth the name.

A? this juncture a director was sought for the Exchange,
in the hope that he might stimulate the agencies to
come together. A young chap without much preparation out-
side of a first class academic course and a couple of years of
case-work in the field, took the position. His first move was
to go to see Bluebeard, otherwise known as the city almoner.
Surviving this encounter, he invaded barbarian territory by
hunting up the members of the city council one by one and
making friends. Next in order came the representatives of
the several churches, who liked him for a sincere young
fellow. The conquest of the human factors in this commu-
nity was made slowly and methodically, while the Exchange
was being put on an efficiency basis. Soon articles began to
appear in the local press. The editors had become his

In three years the old stalemate had been broken. The
Exchange served all agencies, both public and private. The
church factions united in Christmas giving and showed a
desire to cooperate. The catalysm which caused this trans-
formation was no other than this boy in his twenties with a
vision of his community and the power for leadership which
could put that vision into practice.

The leader in social service must have initiative. In
his capacity of executive he is master of the unsupervised
day. His directors come together usually once a month and
individually attend if no personal interest interferes. They
do not meet in the summer time. They are hardly available
at the Christmas season, and they often winter abroad, in
Bermuda, or elsewhere. The only person holding the fort
is the executive. Board members rarely initiate new ideas
about the work. If by chance they see defects or incon-
sistencies, their criticism is almost invariably confined to
objections. The executive is expected to find the construc-
tive solution of the trouble.

NEW situations arise, new policies are foreshadowed.
Emergencies call for decision quickly. Some executives
of strong personality cut the tiresome process of keeping the
board informed in advance and take the reins gradually into
their own hands until the directors are little better than
"scenery" a green "tormentor" on either hand and the exec-
utive's one-man show in the middle! Others defer action
until board members can be assembled and consulted; no
vote, no action. The executive who can never move until

Online LibrarySurvey AssociatesThe Survey (Volume 58) → online text (page 26 of 130)