Aarhus Universitetsforlag

Working on Boundaries

Gunnar Hjelholt and Applied Social Psychology

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332 pages
ISBN 87 7934 255 8

Edited by

With contributions by
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About the book

Gunnar Hjelholt (1920-2002) described himself as an "Applied Social Psychologist" and was one of the pioneers in the development of European group dynamics. In Denmark he was both a mentor and a source of inspiration for a whole generation of organisational psychologists.

Working on Boundaries may be read as a professional biography, but it is at the same time a historically oriented case study in professional culture and culture construction. It is about the life and work of an exceptionally talented person.

In May 1945, after nine months' internment in the concentration camp Porta Westphalica, Gunnar Hjelholt returned to Denmark in miserable shape. However, in a biographical perspective the book demonstrates how his personal experience as a camp inmate had contributed to shaping his professional profile as an applied social psychologist.

Part I is based on a series of interviews the editors had with Gunnar Hjelholt. Two long articles draw a fascinating double-portrait: partly of an enthusiastic and ardent professional and partly of the group dynamics movement on which Hjelholt set his own definitive mark. 

In Part II, this double portrait is illustrated in seven contributions written by Hjelholt's collaboration partners and friends from six different countries.

The concluding third part presents a selection of Hjelholt's own articles written over a 35 year period.


Press reviews

Helgi Rasmussen Psykolog Nyt

"Bogen kaster lange reflekstionsskygger ind over feltet 'det, der ligger imellem os'....nøgen og hudløs...behandler socialpsykologiske temaer på en ret så kvalificeret måde igennem Gunnar Hjelholts liv, samtidig med at de fortæller socialpsykologiens historie...en milepæl for socialpsykologien som fag..."

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