Personality and Ideology: Towards a Materialist - download pdf or read online

By Peter Leonard

ISBN-10: 0333347269

ISBN-13: 9780333347263

ISBN-10: 1349174394

ISBN-13: 9781349174393

Ebook via Leonard, Peter

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Extra info for Personality and Ideology: Towards a Materialist Understanding of the Individual

Sample text

It directs attention to individual pathology and the need for individual adjustment, and in vulgarised forms acts as a justification, in liberal welfarism, for treating 'deviant' people as if they had no conscious intentions. Whether the basic elements of psychoanalytic theory can be held responsible for all of these oppressive consequences, as the most ferocious critics argue, is a matter of debate. Marxism, THE LIMITATIONS OF PSYCHOLOGY 37 after all, has also been utilised for immensely oppressive purposes.

Of course, we cannot simply 'read off' attitudes, intentions, or behaviour by studying material circumstances- we cannot expect a direct correspondence between them and states of mind - but we cannot begin to understand without considering the individual's material existence. Although material life determines the general character of consciousness historically, there is at any given point a dialectical relationship between them. States of mind, intentions, can also change material circumstances, though always within certain historically determined limits such as the availability of resources and the level of scientific development.

Although the major streams of psychology are anxious to account for individual deviance, predominantly for the purpose of learning how to control it (because these accounts cannot comprehend structured contradictions), they are unable to place individual resistance or deviance within a systematic analysis of class, gender and ethnic relations. Only where they have attempted to connect with Marxist and feminist theory have some phenomenological and psychoanalytic approaches to deviance, resistance and contradiction begun to render a more effective account.

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Personality and Ideology: Towards a Materialist Understanding of the Individual by Peter Leonard

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