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ERIC Number: ED263468
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1985-Aug
Pages: 30
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Psychodynamics of the Ku Klux Klan.
Salmony, Steven E.; Smoke, Richard
The Ku Klux Klan (KKK), characterized by disguises, secrecy, bigotry, and terror, came into power in the South after the Civil War. In some parts of the country the KKK, an extreme example of pathological group process, appears as strong and violent today as ever. Fromm (1941) noted that the basis of group psychology is the individual personality and defined social character as that part of the individual character structure that is common to most members of a group. The dynamics of the KKK may be better understood in terms of the individual psychodynamics of the group members. In the process of maturation, individuals need to progressively transfer to some matrix the feelings of support that they originally felt with their mothers. Because society as a whole is too vast and remote to meet this need, individuals seek additional support through group membership. The split-mother concept of Klein's (1975) Object Relations Theory can be projected into group life. Some individuals experience the maternal presence of society as split and have special requirements for group support. Under certain circumstances, pathological groups like the KKK may meet those requirements. In addition, the eruption of group violence of the KKK type may be explained by analyzing the psychodynamics of group regression to an infantile level and the accompanying arousal of the "unmanageable mother." (Author/NRB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A