The coming triumph of the psychosocial perspective: lessons from the rise, fall and revival of Erich Fromm

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  • 1 Sociology, McMaster University, , Canada
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This article presents the story of the rise, fall and revival of Erich Fromm, arguably the most important psychosocial thinker of the 20th century. Fromm was a major intellectual figure in the 1940s, 1940s and 1950s in a period of time when psychosocial work was growing in influence. Work that continues in that tradition is outlined and the implications this story holds for the psychosocial school of thought is spelled out through given events in the world today (Trumpism and right wing nationalism in particular) that once again create space for psychosocial ideas. The opportunities and the challenges faced today by the psychosocial perspective are discussed in light of the lessons that can be learned by looking at the earlier case of the rise and fall of Erich Fromm and the current global revival of interest in his theories. I conclude by offering some thoughts on how elements of sectarianism have sometimes plagued the psychosocial perspective and how this can be avoided in the coming years as we look forward to the coming triumph of depth psychological perspectives in the social sciences.

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  • 1 Sociology, McMaster University, , Canada

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