The work of Alex Inkeles is emphasized as a high point in the study of national character. The value of the anthropological field once known as culture and personality, now called psychological anthropology, for the study of political psychology is also highlighted. In some ways his work has not been surpassed because the issues he dealt with to a large extent have been ignored since his time. The ultimate usefulness of his approach is for understanding the variability of personality traits in a population area, particularly one that falls within particular political boundaries, and how individual personalities can conform to or resist the pressures, particularly political pressures, that result. The relevance of this kind of analysis is for the understanding of “modal personality” as it exists within political boundaries, thus having relevance for political anthropology and political sociology, and how these cultural and political boundaries relate to each other.
Social Cohesiveness and Modern Democracy
Jerome Braun, known for his writings in interdisciplinary social science, in this book provides a concrete reference for such abstract issues of social theory as democracy from a cross-cultural perspective, alienation in modern society, and the relation between social cohesiveness and political democracy. This book also includes a great deal of writing on practical issues ranging from nihilism to figurehead politicians to working-class life. In the summary section it deals with the kinds of things critical theorists like to comment on, but rarely with so much practical insight.