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Taking It BigC. Wright Mills and the Making of Political Intellectuals$
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Stanley Aronowitz

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780231135412

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231135412.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM COLUMBIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.columbia.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Minnesota Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CUPSO for personal use.date: 18 September 2021

On Social Psychology and Its Historical Contexts

On Social Psychology and Its Historical Contexts

The Origin of Psychology as an Independent Discipline

(p.150) 5 On Social Psychology and Its Historical Contexts
Taking It Big

Stanley Aronowitz

Columbia University Press

This chapter first discusses early efforts to develop a social psychology based on psychoanalytic categories. It details how Wilhelm Reich, Otto Fenichel, and Siegfried Bernfeld, who were among Freud's more politically minded students and followers, insisted that psychoanalysis, fused with Marxism, could yield a fruitful social psychology, especially of fascism and other authoritarian tendencies, such as anti-Semitism. But it was Reich's Character Analysis (1933) and his 1935 study The Mass Psychology of Fascism that developed most fully the key concept linking psychoanalytic categories with politics and especially political ideologies. The chapter then turns to the book Character and Social Structure (1953) written by Mills and his mentor and greatest influence, sociologist Hans Gerth. Gerth introduced Mills to European, especially German sociology, of which Weber was among the two or three leading figures. In Character and Social Structure they set out a pluralistic conception of social structure configured in terms of three domains: the economic, political, and military orders.

Keywords:   social psychology, psychoanalysis, Hans Gerth, Character and Social Structure, power elite, social structure, Wilhelm Reich, Otto Fenichel, Siegfried Bernfeld

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