Fred Strodtbeck, “Family Interaction, Values, and Achievement,” in Talent and Society: New Perspectives in the Identification of Talent, Princeton, Van Notrand Company, 1958, 156

An aspect of Calvinism…is the insistence that at every moment of every day a man must work to improve himself. The old Jewish culture also, with its emphasis on religious scholarship and study, represented a similar belief in the responsibility for self-improvement. For the achiever in the United States, this perfectability has, in one sense, been relaxed; but insofar as it remains, it has become even more stringent. Now, we are told, the improvement should be acquired in a relaxed manner, with no apparent effort; self-improvement is something to be “enjoyed” not “endured” as earlier. But in any case, an interest in education should be (and has been) high because it is so obviously one of the ways in which man perfects himself.


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