Document 9: George W. Goethals and teaching assistants, Social Relations 152, Syllabus and Final Examination, Harvard University Department of Social Relations, Spring 1964, Elaine DeLott Baker Papers, Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University. 9 pp.


   Harvard grouped the disciplines of Psychology, Sociology and Anthropology together in a single major called "Social Relations" (Soc Rel). In my freshman year, I was chosen to participate in a new experiment for incoming freshmen, a Soc Rel tutorial of about forty students, led by two preeminent scholars, Erik Erikson from psychology and David Reisman from sociology, facilitated by graduate students Susan Tax (anthropology) and Kenneth Keniston (sociology). We met once a week as a group and twice a week in sections. For my final term paper I did an Eriksonian study of Dorothy Day, founder of the radical publication, The Catholic Worker. Erikson's theory of identity formation had a huge impact on how I viewed the world--then and now. I explored identity formation further in Social Relations 152, "The Psychology of Adolescence."

   Part IV of the Soc Rel 152 exam (pages four and five) asks the students to comment on premarital sex, where "Lust and need for intimacy seem to collide rather than complement each other." Taken from a letter to the editor of the Harvard Crimson by former Harvard student Paul Cowan (page five of the exam), the statement pointed to the emergence of the sexual revolution among young people in the mid-1960s. Cowan's letter challenges the rigid "parietal rules" that governed the presence of women in Harvard dormitories, while acknowledging the psychological pitfalls of adolescent sexual encounters. The passages that I underlined in the exam mirrored my personal attitudes toward the "restrictive social rules" of society in relationship to sexual behaviors. Paul Cowan was a member of SDS, which used the issue of campus restrictions as one of its major organizing projects. Paul subsequently went to Mississippi as a Freedom Summer volunteer and later wrote for The Village Voice.

[p. 1]


Social Relations 152
Spring 1964

Dr. George W. Goethals
Mrs. Claire Fishman
Mr. James Uleman

Basic Texts:

Daedalus, "Youth: Change and Challenge, "Winter 1962

Grinder, Robert E. (ed.), Studies in Adolescence, (New York: Macmillan Co., 1963).

Required Readings, February 4 - April 9

I. Physical changes during adolescence

Tanner, J. M., "The Course of Children's Growth, "in Grinder, R.E. (ed.) Studies in Adolescence, pp. 417-432.

II. Psychoanalytic theories of adolescence

Freud, A., "Adolescence," in Rosenblith, J. and Allinsmith, W., (eds.) The Causes of Behavior (Boston: Allyn and Bacon, Inc., 1962) pp. 240-246.

Blum, G., "Prepuberty and Adolescence," in Grinder (ed.), Studies in Adolescence, pp. 39-106.

Freud, S., "The Transformations of Puberty," in Three Contributions to the Theory of Sex, (Standard Edition) Vol. 7, (London: Hogarth Press, 1953).

Deutsch, H., Psychology of Women (New York: Grure and Stratton, 1944) Vol. 1.

Erikson, E., Identity and the Life Cycle: Psychological Issues, (New York: International Universities Press, 1959) Vol. 1, #1, pp. 50-165.

Gardner, G., "Psychiatric Problems of Adolescence," in Arieti, S. (ed.) American Handbook of Psychiatry (New York: Basic Books, 1959) Vol.1.

Jacobson, Edith, "Adolescent Noods and the Remodeling of Psychic Structures in Adolescence," in PsychoanaIytic Study of the Child (New York: International Universities Press, Inc., 1961) Vol. XVI.

[p. 2]

[Suggested readings:

Blos, P., On Adolescence: A Psychoanalytic Interpretation (New York: Free Press, 1962)

Lorand, S., and Schneer, H. I., (eds.), Adolescents: Psychoanalytic Approach to Problems and Therapy (New York: Hoeber, 1961)]

III. Empirical Studies on Adolescent Sexuality and Identity

A. Cross-Cultural Data

Benedict, Ruth, "Continuities and Discontinuities in Cultural Conditioning," in Martin and Stendler (eds.) Readings in Child Development (New York: Harcourt, Brace and Co., 1954) pp. 142-148.

Mead, Margaret, "Adolescence in Primitive and Modern Society," in Maccoby, Newcomb, Hartley (eds.), Readings in Social Psychology (New York: Henry Holt, 1958) pp. 341-349.

Brown, J. K., "Adolescent Initiation Rites among Preliterate Peoples," in Grinder, (ed.), Studies in Adolescence, pp. 75-35.

Ford, C.S. and Beach, F.A., "Development of Sexual Behavior in Human Beings," in Grinder (ed.), Studies in Adolescence, pp. 433-445.

[Suggested readings;

Mead, Margaret, From the South Seas

--------------, Coming of Age in Samoa

--------------, Sex and Temperament in Three Primitive Societies

Kaplan, B. (ed.), Studying Personality Cross-Culturally (Evanston: Row, Peterson, 1961)

Bettelheim, B., Symbolic Wounds, Puberty Rites and the Envious Circle (Chicago: Free Press, 1956)]

8. Studies of American Adolescents

Burton, R.V. and whiting, J.N., "The Absent Father and Cross-Sex Identity," in Grinder (ed.) Studies in Adolescence, pp. 107-117.

Nussen, P.N., "Some Antecedents and Consequents of Masculine Sex-Typing," Psychol. Mono., 1961, 75, whole no. 506.

[p. 3]

Mussen, P.N., and Jones, N.C., "Self-Conceptions, Motivations, and Interpersonal Attitudes of Late- and Early-Maturing Boys," in Rosenblith and Allinsmith (eds.) The Causes of Behavior (Boston: Allyn and Bacon, Inc., 1962) pp. 43-51.

Jones, N.C, and Mussen, P.H., "Self-Conceptions, Motivations, and Interpersonal Attitudes of Early- and Late-Maturing Girls," in Grinder (ed.) Studies in Adolescence, pp. 454-453.

Engel., M., "The Stability of the Self-Concept in Adolescence," J. Abn. Soc. Psych., 1959, 58, pp. 211-215.

Bronson, G.W., "Identity Diffusion in Late Adolescents," J. Abn. Soc. Psych., 1959, 59. pp. 414-417.

Harris, D.B. "Sex Differences in the Life Problems and Interests of Adolescents, 1935-1957," in Grinder, (ed.), Studies in Adolescence pp. 219-226.

Allinsmith, W., "Conscience and Conflict: the Moral Force in Personality, in Rosenblith and Allinsmith (eds.), The Causes of Behavior (Boston: Allyn and Bacon, Inc., 1963) pp. 380-384.

[Suggested Reading:

Ehrmann, Winston, Premarital Dating Behavior, Bantam (S2149) paperback

IV. The Adolescent in Society: Social-Psychological Readings

Daedalus, Winter 1962.

Parsons, T., "Age and Sex in the Social Structure of the United States," in Martin and Stendler (eds.) Readings in Child Development, (New York: Harcourt, Brace and Co., 1954) pp. 301-309. [article also in Kluckhohn, Murray and Schneider (eds.) Personality, Nature, Society, and Culture]

Allport, G., "Values and Our Youth," in Grinder (ed.) Studies in Adolescence, pp. 17-27.

Parsons, T., "The School Class as a Social System," in Grinder (ed.) Studies in Adolescence, pp. 28-49.

Cohen, A.K., Delinquent Roys: the Culture of the Gang (New York: Free Press, 1955)

[p. 4]

[Suggested Readings:

Eisenstadt, S.N., From Generation to Generation (Chicago: Free Press, 1956)

Goodman, P., Growing Up Absurd (New York: Vintage Books, 1962) Paperback

Wheelis, A., The Quest for Identity

Hollingshead, A., Elmtown's Youth (New York: Wiley, 1959)

Grinder, R., Studies in Adolescence, other appropriate articles.]

V. "Case Studies" of Adolescents

Joyce, James, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

Salinger, J.D., Catcher in the Rye

Haimowitz, N.L. and Haimowitz, N.R., Human Development, Selected Readings (New York: Thomas Y. Crowell, Co., 1960) [Select sections you would like to read.]

[Suggested Readings:

Kiell, N., The Adolescent Through Fiction (New York: International Universities Press, 1959)

White, R. (ed.), The Study of Lives (New York: Atherton Press, 1963)

[p. 1]


Social Relations 152

Final Examination

Spring 1964

Dr. George W. Goethals
Mrs. Claire Fishman
Mr. James Uleman

There are four parts to this examination. You are to take one question from each part. Give about 45 minutes to each question.

Be certain that you hand in your notes with your name on each card with your examination.

[p. 2]

Part I

Choose one of the following two questions.

1. If you were interested in creating an ideal community for adolescent development (psychosocially, sexually, intellectually) to what extent would that community resemble a college community? In other words, what are the environmental requirements for optimal development during adolescence and to what extent does the college community satisfy these requirements? Discuss these issues from the point of view of various theories you have read about. Present relevant empirical findings wherever possible.

2. The college experience has been described by students in many ways, including 1) a time to find themselves and set their own course in life, 2) just another step in a clearly outlined life plan, and 3) a tremendous challenge which forms a sort of rite de passage into adulthood. What pre-college factors would you use to try to predict which view a given student might have, and why? (Assume all students can be clearly put into one or another class). What features of the college itself might modify your predictions? In what directions? Why? (Answer in terms of personal experiences only if you can defend their general validity and applicability.)

Part II

Choose one of the following two questions.

1. Trace the development of the character Steven Daedalus (Joyce's Portrait of an Artist) in terms of the theoretical issues of adolescence, discussed in this course, that you feel are most relevant to him. Include at least two major theorists in your discussion. In what ways, if any, do these theoretical formulations and Joyce's description conflict? What significant developments described by Joyce, if any, do not seem to be covered by these theorists?

[p. 3]

2. Arrived now at adolescence I burned for all the satisfactions of hell, and I sank to the animal in a succession of dark lusts; my beauty consumed away, and I stank in Thine eyes. . . .

-- St. Augustine, Confessions, 23

Watkins: I'm a bum--that's the way I am. . .

Mike: I don't think so.

Linn: Don't you realize where are are, Mike? Look around you; this is the project--this is where the bums live.

I'd like to fight one of those cops--I know he'd clean me out, but it'd be worth it just to get in a few punches. Someday I'm going to get drunk and fight one of those bastards--then maybe it won't hurt so much.

-- Billy Watkins

It was a close place. . . I was a-trembling, because I'd got to decide forever, betweixt two things, and I knowed it. I studied a minute, sort of holding my breath, and then says to myself:

"All right, then I'll go to Hell"--and tore it up.

It was awful thoughts and awful words, but they was said. And I let them stay said; and never thought no more about reforming. I shoved the whole thing out of my head and said I would take up wickedness again, which was in my line, being brung up to it, and the other warn't. And for a starter I would go to work and steal Jim out of slavery again; and if I could think up anything worse, I would do that, too; because as long as I was in, and in for good, I might as well go the whole hog.

-- Huck Finn

So once again what did I enjoy in that theft of mine?. . . Perhaps it was the thrill of acting against Your law--at least in appearance, since I had no power to do so in fact, the delight a prisoner might have in making some small gesture of liberty--getting a deceptive sense of omnipotence from doing something forbidden without immediate punishment.

-- St. Augustine, Confessions

Comment upon these statements in the light of theoretical material and/or research studies having to do with adolescence--delinquent and nondelinquent.

[p. 4]

Part III

Choose one of the following two questions.

1. Erik Erikson and Harry Stack Sullivan both subscribe to what might be called the life cycle sequence of development.

a) Enumerate the major differences between Sullivan and Erikson in regards to the following: first, the chronology of sequence; second, the provision for sex differences.

b) Contrast this "sequence theory" with at least two other theoretical interpretations of adolescence.

2. You have been asked to interview and test a person who is "normal" in every respect except that he is invisible and can speak only through typewritten messages. On the basis of what you have learned in this course, you are to determine whether the person is 1) adolescent or not; 2) male or female; and 3) pre- or post-pubescent. Outline your interview and test procedure, giving the theoretical or empirical rationale for each step. Of course, you may not ask directly if the person is male or female (for example) or if he is wearing a skirt or pants, etc. Also, you must assume he is psychologically naive, and doesn't know the "soc. rel. lingo".

Part IV

Choose one of the following two questions.

1. "'Nature's cruelest joke' makes an already difficult period in life even more difficult. Lust and need for intimacy seem to collide with rather than complement each other,"

Comment on this statement and discuss the relevant research on premarital sex which bears on the problem.

[p. 5]

2. I was never yet once, and commend their resolutions who never marry twice: not that I disallow of second marriage; as neither, in all cases, of Polygamy, which, considering some times, and the unequal number of both sexes, may be also necessary. The whole World was made for man, but the twelfth part of man for woman: Man is the whole World, and the Breath of GOD; Woman the Rib and crooked piece of man. I could be content that we might procreate like trees, without conjunction, or that there were any way to perpetuate the World without this trivial and vulgar way of union: it is the foolishest act a wise man commits in all his life; nor is there any thing that will more deject his cool'd imagination, when he shall consider what an odd and unworthy piece of folly he hath committed.

-- Sir Thomas Browne, Religio Medici

What bothered me about social rules at Harvard, then, was the type of relationship which they created, beyond the actual act of sexual intercourse. If a man and woman make love but do not spend the night together, then their relationship has in it something of the hit-and-run. If a man takes a woman to his room with the central objective of making her within an externally imposed period of time, then there is apt to be something grasping and furtive about the entire affair. Sex is, or should be, just one part of a fuller relationship: a relationship that involves working together and eating together and sitting and talking together, and even lying peacefully together without some thought in the miserly part of the mind that one must feel desire another time tonight, before the St. Paul's clock tolls 12 times. As soon as a man feels a primary obligation to sex, and ceases thereby to be partner of the particular woman he is with, then he is indulging in an act that to my mind has become distasteful, if not immoral. This sense of obligation to sex becomes intensified under restrictive social rules. It is my impression that this sense of obligation accounts for most of the millions of sexual casualties that presently litter our land.

In another age, it is true, these matters would never have presented themselves: at Harvard especially one would have devoted oneself to one's studies, and kept covert his social activities. But in the 1960's the doors to sex open early and there are few people who fail to enter them, however loudly older people might cry "shame" from their platforms outside. To an extent, as Dr. Carl Binger has pointed out, this phenomenon pressures people into relationships that demand maturity before they are fully prepared. Many couples, as well as many individuals, have met with major or minor misfortunes from beginning too young, and one of the worst consequences of these new social forces is that, just as there once was pressure on young people to retain their virginity until they got married, now there is pressure on them to possess experience, at whatever cost.

-- Paul S. Cowan, Harvard Crimson
October 29, 1963

Comment upon these two quotations in the light of material presented either in lectures or reading.


| Documents Projects and Archives | Teacher's Corner | Scholar's Edition | Full-Text Sources | About Us | Contact Us |