Escapes from Freedom: Political Extremism, Conspiracy Theories, and the Sociology of Emotions

  • Neil McLaughlin
Part of the Studies in the Psychosocial book series (STIP)


Although sociology and psychoanalysis have a troubled history and relationship, Erich Fromm’s theory of social character is a good entry point for reconciling and reviving dialogue between the two traditions. Ironically Fromm—who can be characterized as a “forgotten intellectual”—had a conflicted relationship with empirical sociology, the Freudian tradition and the Frankfurt School within which his theory of character was forged (McLaughlin, 1998). To many sociologists, he was perceived as a second-rate thinker within two discredited traditions, Marxism and psychoanalysis. And Fromm was also discredited among some psychoanalytic theorists, particularly those holding to mid-twentieth century “drive” orthodoxies as well as language-oriented Lacanians who thought his work undermined core Freudian insights into the unconscious and human emotions.


Critical Theory Lower Middle Class Frankfurt School Nazi Party Extremist Movement 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Neil McLaughlin 2014

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  • Neil McLaughlin

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