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ERIC Number: EJ774486
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Apr
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0031-7217
The Psychology of Patriotism
Bader, Michael J.
Phi Delta Kappan, v87 n8 p582-584 Apr 2006
Patriotism can be a force for good or evil. American patriotism helped vanquish fascism; German patriotism helped create and sustain it. Wars of national liberation depend on patriotic fervor to oppose colonial rule; unfortunately, ethnic cleansing draws on this same fervor. Appeals to the transcendent value of the nation-state can be progressive or regressive. However, regardless of the purpose to which patriotism is harnessed, all forms of it share similar psychological dynamics. Patriotic symbols such as the "nation"--including its manifestations in images like the flag or the Founding Fathers--represent the fulfillment of one's longings for connectedness and safety. In this sense, the nation is a metaphor for a family. Families serve the function of providing psychic security and attachment. In this article, the author explains that patriotism is so compelling because it promises to satisfy some of the people's deepest psychological needs and the vulnerability that those needs create can be exploited by either the Right or the Left. (Contains 3 endnotes.)
Phi Delta Kappa International. 408 North Union Street, P.O. Box 789, Bloomington, IN 47402-1789. Tel: 800-766-1156; Fax: 812-339-0018; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A