Debate about "self," "person," or "individuality" has come to be recognized as a crisis of modern times. Since it is our fashion to call problems that are either poorly formulated or inadequately resolved by empirical investigation "philosophic," a would-be "science of personality" may be labelled philosophic, though they could as easily be called logical or empirical.
This work represents a fruitful integration of the many approaches that have been taken by investigators of individual behavior within the social milieu in which it occurs. The author points out that while psychologists and sociologists in the past have each endorsed their own formulations of the relation between the individual and society, their influence on the heartland between the two disciplines, social psychology, has not been conspicuous. In setting forth the sociological side of contemporary social psychology by examining its research and its literature, all of which bear upon the "problem of personality," this book fills the vital need of showing the links of the individual with society along the perimeter of personality theory. Heine presents a summary of the positions on personality theory taken by psychologists and sociologists, with particular emphasis devoted to role theory and research. She offers systematic coverage of speculations about the influence of the individual on the various groups of which he is a part as they have been introduced in psychological literature. The author puts into historical perspective the significant contributions of theorists such as Allport, Mead, LeBon, Goffman, McDougall, Sherif, and Shibutani and analyzes and integrates psychological and sociological theory.
This book is for everyone interested in personality from a social/psychological viewpoint. It is well suited for courses in personality theory, social psychology, and sociological theory and will be a useful reference for both psychologists and sociologists.