Psychoanalytic Social Theory

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Karen Horney and Psychoanalytic Social Theory Final Janene Channell Liberty University Abstract The psychoanalytic social theory was founded on the premise that a person’s social and cultural experiences, especially childhood experiences are foundational for development of personality. Sigmund Freud is credited as the father of psychoanalysis, theorized that the condition of sex and aggression experiences determined a person’s personality. In contrast, Karen Horney (et. al.) who was labeled as one of many Neo-Freudian Psychologists believed that persons who have failed to have their basic human need for love and affection met during the child development phase develop hostility towards their caregivers. Furthermore, she theorized that from a cultural perspective, culture and early childhood experiences play a major role in forming human personality. This paper will examine Horney’s views and the views of others in relation to appropriate, normal healthy child development from a psychoanalytic social perspective. Research Topic: Psychoanalytic Social Theory Karen Horney’s psychoanalytic social theory stemmed from her work on social and cultural conditions of early childhood experiences and their impact upon personality. Horney’s research led her to conclude that, “Man is ruled not by the pleasure principal alone, but by two guiding principles: safety and satisfaction” (Horney, 1939, p. 73). Her belief was that individuals have an innate feeling to shield themselves against anxiety separation from their mother. The anxiety experienced morph's into feelings of hopelessness, and later influences the individual to view the world as hostile. The Horney theory surmised that individuals with traumatic experiences will react in one of three ways: aggression, complacency, or detachment. Horney theorized that persons who do not have their basic need for love and
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