The Negro Personality: A Rigorous Investigation of the Effects of Culture.

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Criminological research about blacks’ criminality proliferated during the 1960s. Since then, a great body of knowledge about them has been produced that has attributed their criminality to various causes. However, prior to that date, such knowledge was scarce. What were the explanations of blacks’ criminality before that (roughly between 1630s-1950s)? I argue that during this period five successive explanations of their criminality emerged: popular, religious, speculative, pseudoscientific, and scientific. This mainly had to do with the gradual transformation of America from an agricultural-rural-communal-religious society to an industrial-urban-individualistic-scientific one.
In this chapter, I shall not attempt to review all the issues of validity of projective tests and the evidence relevant thereto. (That would take several volumes, rather than a chapter. One can summarize the literature briefly as follows: There are hundreds of articles on projective techniques which show them to be valid and hundreds of articles demonstrating them to be invalid.) Rather it is my intention to discuss some issues of validity both in clinical and research uses, to point out some of the considerations in the appropriate use of projective techniques in both settings, and to describe some of the common misconceptions which have led to confusion, conflicting evidence, and inappropriate conclusions.
It is usually assumed that the white man benefits from the American “caste” system. A Gallup sample of Northern, Border South, and Deep South whites was compared on the basis of the Tomkins-Horn Picture Arrangement Test, administered in 1954. Differences between the North and Border South did not replicate. More frequent among Deep South whites (compared with Northern whites) after cross-validating and correcting for age, sex, education, vocabulary IQ, rural-urban residence, population density, and degree of industrialization were: Low work and Low work endurance (i.e., the “horse-driver phenomenon,” a sapping of achievement and motivation by feelings of being unable to compete on equal terms as a consequence of ascribed upper status)∼ Submissive authoritarianism, and Compulsive negativism. So-called upper “caste” status thus is psychologically destructive.
We present observations on the use of racial and cultural stereotypes in psychoanalytic psychotherapy with patients from the majority culture and with those from minority backgrounds. Earlier work has centered on black/white patient dyads and has not taken other possible combinations into account. "Race" and "culture" have sometimes been used synonymously. Our clinical experience indicates that there is some overlap in the themes of transferences to us as members of different racial minorities. We note, however, that for the African-American therapist, projections are more often based on racial stereotypes, whereas for the Chinese-American therapist, projections are based more on cultural assumptions. When careful attention is paid to the manifestations of racial and cultural stereotyping, much can be learned about the patient's inner life, to the benefit of the analytic work.
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