In this intriguing study, two social psychologists and an intellectual historian describe the people and intellectual currents which have given rise to the complex discipline of American social psychology. The authors examine the influence of British evolutionary theory, French social theory, American pragmatism, and the ideas of Freud, Marx, and Lewin on the evolution of social psychological theory, and explain how these traditions contributed to later developments such as group dynamics, cognitive social psychology, and symbolic interaction. American social psychology during this century has shifted back and forth from a focus on individual psychological processes to a concern with the role of the broader social context and social interaction. This has resulted in the development of several quite distinct social psychologies, which are all valid rather than mutually exclusive, and it should be possible to build a discipline in which all aspects of social psychology, sociology, and related areas, as well as those interested in the history of the social sciences, will find this important and comprehensive appraisal of the field useful.
This book is intended for professionals and graduate students in social psychology, sociology, history and theory of psychology, intellectual and social history, and the history of science.
"It is an extremely impressive and useful contribution . . . . pages of illuminating cultural analysis, knowledgeable depictions of institutional and social contexts, and engaging biographical anecdotes about the lives of our forebears. I would like to stress again the very high quality of the scholarship displayed throughout this volume and the straightforward clarity of the writing. The authors do a remarkable job of summarizing complex positions in a page
or two." -- Contemporary Psychology
"This is a well-written and intelligent book, most useful probably for graduate students and advanced undergraduates, and in parts stimulating and provocative for professionals." --Theory and Psychology
2: Social Psychology as Social Instinct
4: Social Psychology as Social Interaction
5: Social Psychology as Individual Psychology
6: Socialization and Personality Development
7: Group Processes
8: Social Psychology and Social Commitment
9: Small Groups and Intergroup Relations
10: Cognitive Social Psychology
11: Symbolic Interaction
12: Crisis and Revision