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ERIC Number: EJ889515
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Dec
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 27
ISSN: ISSN-0190-2725
Classics in What Sense?
Camic, Charles
Social Psychology Quarterly, v71 n4 p324-330 Dec 2008
They seem the perfect bookends for the social psychologist's collection of "classics" of the field. Two volumes, nearly identical in shape and weight and exactly a century old in 2008--each professing to usher "social psychology" into the world as they both place the hybrid expression square in their titles but then proceed to stake out the field in divergent ways that presage the rift between the "two social psychologies" which would characterize the 100 years ahead. A more apt start for the Janus-faced enterprise is hard to imagine than this co-appearance of psychologist William McDougall's "An Introduction to Social Psychology," with its hollow treatment of "the social," and sociologist's Edward Alsworth Ross's "Social Psychology: An Outline and Source Book," where "the psychological" is a cipher. This historical co-occurrence has long furnished the stuff for tidy origin stories about social psychology as a field. Yet, examining the two books today, the question inevitably arises as to whether they still merit attention for any reason beyond the plain fact of their arrival in the same calendar year under the banner of "social psychology." Beyond confirming notions about the deeply rooted bifurcation of social psychology, however, McDougall's "Introduction" and Ross's "Social Psychology" initially seem to confound expectations for works that have attained the status of classics. To see why this is so, the author presents a few comments about how works from the past achieve classical standing. (Contains 2 footnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A