Book Reviews

Book Reviews BOOK REVIEWS Jules Henry, Pathways to Madness. London, Jonathan Cape, 1972, pp. 477,5.50. The author, who had preached that "researchers should live for a short time with families of the emotionally ill", took his own advice and did exactly that. He moved in with one family; with three other families he spent each day between breakfast time and time to retire for the night. A fifth family was observed by a trained observer who had been coached by the author in the techniques of observation. As a result, his naturalistic observations of the families give us a very humane, perceptive and sympathetic account of the people studied. The author makes no claim about the "objectivity" of his observations, but any reader who accepts an existential approach to the study of man will find these studies scientific. Unfortunately, naturalistic observations imply that one is merging one's own feeling and values into such studies; to observe without careful control and knowledge of variables is to disqualify the authenticity of one's study. However, I am inclined to agree with the author that good ob- servation of naturally occurring phenomena is a much needed approach to the study of human psychology. In http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Comparative Sociology (in 2002 continued as Comparative Sociology) Brill

Book Reviews

International Journal of Comparative Sociology (in 2002 continued as Comparative Sociology) , Volume 15 (3-4): 212 – Jan 1, 1974

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Publisher
BRILL
Copyright
© 1974 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
0020-7152
eISSN
1745-2554
D.O.I.
10.1163/156854274X00189
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

BOOK REVIEWS Jules Henry, Pathways to Madness. London, Jonathan Cape, 1972, pp. 477,5.50. The author, who had preached that "researchers should live for a short time with families of the emotionally ill", took his own advice and did exactly that. He moved in with one family; with three other families he spent each day between breakfast time and time to retire for the night. A fifth family was observed by a trained observer who had been coached by the author in the techniques of observation. As a result, his naturalistic observations of the families give us a very humane, perceptive and sympathetic account of the people studied. The author makes no claim about the "objectivity" of his observations, but any reader who accepts an existential approach to the study of man will find these studies scientific. Unfortunately, naturalistic observations imply that one is merging one's own feeling and values into such studies; to observe without careful control and knowledge of variables is to disqualify the authenticity of one's study. However, I am inclined to agree with the author that good ob- servation of naturally occurring phenomena is a much needed approach to the study of human psychology. In

Journal

International Journal of Comparative Sociology (in 2002 continued as Comparative Sociology)Brill

Published: Jan 1, 1974

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