The ‘Primitive’

  • Hannah ProctorEmail author
Part of the Mental Health in Historical Perspective book series (MHHP)


In 1931 and 1932 Luria led two expeditions to Soviet Central Asia. Conducted during the period of the First Five Year Plan (1928–1932), the experiments were conceived as an attempt to trace the cognitive effects of that state policy. Luria defined Uzbek society as culturally ‘backward’, but hoped to describe a process of psychic advancement, which he assumed would accompany the collectivisation of agriculture and other dramatic social changes then occurring in the region. This chapter analyses the publications that emerged from these expeditions, asking what they reveal about Luria’s understanding of the relationship between culture and cognition.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for the Social History of Health and HealthcareUniversity of StrathclydeGlasgowUK

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