MASS PANIC AND SOCIAL ATTACHMENT: THE DYNAMICS OF HUMAN BEHAVIOR

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                                                   BOOK REVIEWS
   MASS PANIC AND SOCIAL                           and a decline in personality function during       caregivers, and families, and that this change
 ATTACHMENT: THE DYNAMICS                          panic leading to confusion and further sug-        is spreading far beyond the small group of
    OF HUMAN BEHAVIOR                              gestibility. Mawson writes a nicely consid-        initiators. Engaging and passionate, it is
                                                   ered discussion of Freud’s unfamiliar paper        a thoroughly well-organized treatment of
 Anthony R. Mawson                                 examining group psychology, and continues          this thesis, full of supporting evidence. Beth
 Surrey, UK: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2007,       on to theories of behavior in warfare, wherein     Baker is a skilled, prizewinning storyteller, a
 309 pp., $124.95 (hardcover)                      panic is intrinsic and must be addressed with      reporter who has concentrated on the sub-
                                                   prevention and management. Modern ori-             ject of aging for many years. She tells the
 A psychotherapist, musing on mortality,           entations of panic include concepts of neu-        story better than the managers who devel-
 mentioned to me that, were the plane to go        ropharmacological regulation of behavior           oped and led the transformation movement.
 down, she would prefer be traveling from a        and learning.                                      I only hope that in any sequels she will give
 vacation with her spouse so as to spend the          Mawson argues that human response               more weight to the obstacles in the way of
 last moments with a person she loved devot-       to danger is affiliation or attachment. The         transformation becoming nationwide.
 edly. Anthony Mawson applies science to           group coheres when threatened (safety in               The thrust of the story is that the cul-
 human responses to catastrophe. Mass Panic        numbers), with predictable outcomes: the           ture changes that transform caregiving
 and Social Attachment begins curiously invit-     group may be safer but simultaneously more         also produce astonishingly good results for
 ingly: It is dedicated to Professor Mawson’s      prone to irrational and emotional reactions.       nursing home residents and their families
 parents and brother, it is introduced with a      The persistence of such behavior is based on       and for their caregivers. The changes move
 chronicle of an academic career not over-         the association of affiliation with the benefits     away from traditional health-driven custo-
 looking warm details such as the author’s         of proximity or lack of separation, strongly       dial institutional care in which elders are
 musical performances (perhaps a diversion?)       viewed as the ultimate human danger.               identified by their disabilities and are told
 at bars and restaurants in Massachusetts. The        It is to the author’s credit that Mass          what they must do; each caregiver per-
 book cover is a photograph emphasizing the        Panic and Social Attachment is a theoreti-         forms only one specialized kind of work
 angularity of city streets and reminiscent of     cal psychological review not based on the          with all the residents, and success is mea-
 the opening shots of “North by Northwest,”        2001 attacks on the World Trade Center             sured in terms of reducing a short list of
 itself a familiar 
				
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