Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences

Living Edition
| Editors: Virgil Zeigler-Hill, Todd K. Shackelford

Social Character (Fromm)

  • Jarno HietalahtiEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-28099-8_612-1

Social Character (Fromm)

Erich Fromm (1900–1980) analyzes the relationship between an individual and a society throughout his works in an attempt to understand how a society influences its individuals and vice versa, how individuals form a society. In his attempt to understand the processes through which ideologies are created and absorbed by groups of people, Fromm formulates a social psychological position based on a unique combination of Sigmund Freud’s and Karl Marx’s thinking. Fromm’s firm belief is that Marxism needs a psychological theory, and psychoanalysis needs to adopt Marxist insights. From this original mixture, he posits the concept of social character, which is widely agreed to be Fromm’s single most important idea (E.g., Funk and McLaughlin 2015; Cortina and Maccoby 1996).

Fromm’s social character is “the core of the character common to most members of a culture, in contradistinction to the individual character, in which people belonging to the same culture differ from...

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of JyväskyläJyväskyläFinland

Section editors and affiliations

  • Kevin Meehan
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyLong Island UniversityBrooklynUSA