DID YOU KNOW? DTIC has over 3.5 million final reports on DoD funded research, development, test, and evaluation activities available to our registered users. Click HERE
to register or log in.
CHINESE 'THOUGHT REFORM' AS A SOURCE OF PERSPECTIVES TOWARD WESTERN CORRECTIONAL PRACTICE
BUREAU OF SOCIAL SCIENCE RESEARCH INC WASHINGTON DC
Studies of Chinese Communist brainwashing practices proceeded with little reference to Western literature on penology and correction. When serious comparative consideration of Western and Chinese reform efforts did take place, however, the normative outlook from which Westerners had viewed Chinese thought reform gave uniquely valuable perspectives on Western practices. Several illustrations are given of how the examination of deplored reform practices can provide valuable, chastening insights regarding the meaning and effectiveness of reform efforts that one values positively. The sympathetic regard of Western observers for those they considered victims of the Chinese practices contrasts with difficulties practitioners have in identifying with the subjects of their own correctional procedures. The explicitly positive valuation which was placed on the efforts of subjects to resist brainwashing contrasts with the tendency of practitioners to regard resistance as obduracy. The literature on brainwashing emphasizes the malleability of attitudes and behavior as contrasted with the emphasis on the intractability of inmates or patients typical of Western correctional literature. Despite great difference in theories applied by practitioners, similar emotional reactions are experienced by their subjects.
A paper presented at the First International Congress of Social Psychiatry, London, August 17-22, 1964.