American Military Theoretical Perspectives in Personality Theory Discussion
This week’s forum discussion is a super interesting one. As much as the theories we’ve studied were relevant during the time in which they were introduced, I think it could be said that some of those theories are even more relevant in understanding personality development in our modern, ever-evolving society built upon technological and sociological influences we are succumbing to on a daily basis.
The psychodynamic perspective that really stuck out to me in relation to the cultural, societal, and historical influences that make up the framework of the theory is Alfred Adler’s inferiority complex theory which came to fruition after Sigmund Freud’s psychosexual development theory. Any time I’ve read about this theory in the past, I’ve brushed it aside because I couldn’t quite grasp the concept surrounding the level of inferiority infants/children feel from such a young age. As someone who really believes in the power of one’s environment, I felt as if Adler’s theory lacked substance especially compared to other theories that delved deeper into internal childhood conflicts. What I’ve learned in this class and upon further research of his inferiority/superiority complex theory is that it is recognizable regardless of social class, status, ethnicity, gender, etc. whereas other theories, i.e. Erikson’s psychosocial stages of development, were so specific to their concepts, and what seemed to be specific classes of people, that it made it harder to distinguish other valuable takeaways for other types of people, i.e. lower social classes, cultures, environments, etc. Adler’s personality theory, introduced in the early 1900’s, can be applied to so many historical, societal, and cultural issues through the lens of gender and race issues, i.e. social class, inequality, etc. which have been ongoing historical issues all over the world.
From a humanistic perspective, people are capable of growth, acceptance, wisdom, fulfillment, etc. if they are able to promote certain physiological, psychological, and self-fulfilling needs. In relation to culture, societal and historical framework, humanistic theorists including Abraham Maslow and Carl Rogers, introduced the opportunity for achievement in individuals, promoting more of a healthy road to one’s potential instead of using developmental stages to identify potential psychopathy. Maslow sought to distinguish individuals who could achieve self-actualization but found it necessary to build on physiological and psychological needs prior to being able to fulfill one’s road to self-actualization. Rogers, on the other hand, found that people could achieve if genuine and found acceptance in others, all within a growth promoting environment. Although their perspectives sought fulfillment for the individual, it was at the expense of some of their social and cultural exposures.
Have a great week!
Response #2 (150 words +)
In this week’s lesson, individualism and collectivism was mentioned in regard to the role culture has on individuals pertaining to the development of their personality. It also touched on the ways in which the culture in each of the two societies affects and molds an individual’s personality and how they conduct their self as a person. I thought taking a deeper dive into these two topics would bring a pretty good discussion for this week’s forum topic.
First and foremost, I will summarize the two theoretical perspectives. Individualism involves an individualistic society in which emphasis is placed solely on an individual’s success, goals, and rights of the individual to utilize their independence and meet their personal goals. The key motivation derived from an individualistic society is an individual’s personal rewards and benefits they obtain for their self. An example of an individualistic society would be the United States of America.
Collectivism places focus on group goals, what is best for the group or society, and interdependence. Individuals who live within a collectivistic society are motivated by abiding by and meeting group goals; essentially sacrificing any individual benefit or praise. An example of a collectivistic society would be Japan.
Generally speaking, individuals within an individualistic society will more often than not be more concerned with their self (separating their self from others), define their self by personal traits and accomplishments, and be more inclined to have a single-minded view on things. On the other hand, individuals within a collectivistic society will be more inclined to see their self as very well connected to others, define their self by their relationship with others (who they are with other people), and be more inclined to have characteristics of an open and ever changing mindset across different environments.
I can relate and provide real world experience with these two perspectives and societies. When I was stationed in Okinawa, it was like culture-shock to me. The main difference that stuck out to me the most was the manner of how the people of Japan conducted their self, which led to a very different demeanor and personality I saw in most of the locals I came into contact with, or became friends with. Personally, I loved it out there, and here’s one of the main reasons why. After being out there for two years, it was refreshing to see a society in which people were so respectful, non-confrontational, hard-working, and took pride in what they did; no matter what their profession was. Walking into a McDonald’s out there – everyone was dressed in slacks, a button-down shirt, and a tie; the food came out looking like you reached into the TV and grabbed it out of a commercial; and everyone worked together in an efficient and timely manner – much different than anything I’ve experienced in America. One day I mentioned this major difference to a local friend of mine, named Teru. Her response still sticks with me to this day. She told me, “in this country, what you do for a job does not define you. As long as you are doing something to benefit others in the society (big or small) and provide for your family, you are respected.” Can we say the same for America?
The two theoretical perspectives I have chosen are the psychoanalytic perspective and the humanistic perspective. Throughout the last several weeks we have learned about several different perspectives, but these two stood out to me the most. So, for the first, the Psychoanalytic as we know, the major emphasis within this one is Childhood experiences, along with the actions of the unconscious mind. Then within these, we have the major theorist that have contributed the most that we still somewhat follow today, Freud, and Erickson, along with Jung.
Now when we talk about the cultural, societal, and historical context of each theorist, one must remember that they established themselves within different periods of time within each. So, in Freud’s case, he was the first to establish his portion, he was moving around a lot, and we know Jung and Freud worked together and were invited. We know that majority of the tenants and history that derived these theories were mostly built on the society that played heavily on it at the time slavery and women’s rights were the things that America was gripping with, which is why the majority of the theory in Freud’s work is today why it’s considered sexist to a degree.
The next is the Humanistic Perspective, and the major emphasis within this field is Psychological growth, free will, and personal awareness. The major contributors to this one is Maslow and Rogers. Now when we talk about the tenants of this, we must first begin with Rogers. In his cultural context, he was based heavily on faith; from the readings, we know that So, you must understand that majority of these values of culture were carried from the ’70s to the early ’80s with his work and contribution to it. That, with a heavy hand in faith-based teaching in conjunction with his work, is where we see this portion of events altering an individual’s life based on faith or belief in a higher entity.
Now when we observe Maslow’s portion, we know that he and Rogers worked together at one point, and from our reading, we know that “According to Maslow, his holistic-dynamic theory of personality was a blend of theories that had come before his” (Kelland, 2017), which is a blend into the humanistic perspective as a tenant. In the base during his time at that moment in culture of the 70’s he believed that values are important in society and psychology. Now from this time period, we know that culture was about fighting for the marginalized people within America fighting for equality, which is why we see that this theory was derived, and the majority formed of bettering self-sprinkled with religious meaning and understanding your purpose as a human.
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