29 OCTOBER 1937, Page 38


RACE ATTITUDES IN ;SOUTH AFRICA By I. D. MacCrone It is -to Professor MacCrone's credit that in these historical, experimental and psychological itudies of an important aspect of what is popularly known as the colour problem he has steadily refused to take up an ex-parte position. As he is careful to point, out, " for the kind of behaviour in which the psychologist is interested • it is not what things are but what they are believed to be that really matters," and a detached spirit of inves- tigation pervades his book (Oxford University Press, tzs. 6d.). He begins by tracing the development of relations between whites and natives at the Cape from the days of the first settlement to the frontier period. This account is followed by a statistical analysis of the results of a series of tests of social atti- tudes towards the native on the part of English- and Afrikaans-speaking South African and of Jewish university students, carried out by means of the technique for measuring opinions on controversial issues suggested by L. L. Thurstone. Finally the basis of individual reactions to the same question is considered from the psycho-analytical standpoint. The work as a whole is a valuable contribution to .the field of race relations and will be w:lcomed by the informed layman and -the 'specialist alike.