May 6th and Freud

Well May 6th has some interesting birthdays. In 1856 Sigmund Freud, Austrian cigar smoker and father of psychology/psychotherapy was born on this day…… Lots of theories of individual racism have been influenced by Freud, especially the large set of Frustration-Aggression theories.

Sociological analysts of stereotyping tend to emphasize group pressures on individuals for conformity/rationalization, while psychological analysts tend to stress individual irrationality or personality defects. Much research has highlighted the expressive function of prejudice for the individual. Frustration–aggression theories, psychoanalytic theories, and authoritarian personality perspectives focus on the externalization function of prejudice—the transfer of an individual’s internal psychological problem onto an external object as a solution to that problem. Psychologically oriented interpretations often attribute racial or ethnic prejudice to special emotional problems of “sick” or “abnormal” individuals, such as a deep hatred of their own fathers.

In a classic study of prejudice and personality, The Authoritarian Personality, one heavily shaped by the Frankfort school’s take on Freudianism, T. W. Adorno and his colleagues argued that people who hate such groups as Jewish Americans typically differ from tolerant people in regard to central personality traits—specifically, that they tend to exhibit “authoritarian personalities.” Those with authoritarian personalities differ from others in their greater submission to authority, tendency to stereotype, superstition, and great concern for social status. They often see the world as sinister and threatening, a view that easily leads to intolerance of outgroups that occupy subordinate positions in the social world around them. Thus, the Nazis and neo-Nazis, of the past and the present……

Then, too, some other folks were of course born on this day, like me:)


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