chapter  Ten
10 Pages

The median group and the psyche*

WithPatrick de Maré

In A Critical Dictionary of Psychoanalysis, CharlesRycroft writes that psyche and mind are used synonymously. In addressing the issue of psyche and the social world, the median group of between twelve and thirty people offers us an operational approach. The medium group, provides an opportunity for each member to have his say within a reasonable time; it is a good setting for learning to talk and think, and for direct access between psyche and society. The author's experience has been that the medium-sized group, ranges between twelve and thirty, Anthropologists have described such groupings as bands or camps of hunter-gatherers, ranging between twelve and fifty. The social psychologist Charles Cooley described similar groups in Human Nature and the Social Order which represented the first modern coverage of such groups and which he called primary groups. The author suggests that the median group can address operationally the socio-cultural context in which we reside, usually as helpless onlookers.