Prejudice as a function of self-organization

  • Ryan M
  • Buirski P
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Abstract

This article reviewed the traditional psychoanalytic theories of the development and maintenance of prejudiced attitudes and affects. To this body of understanding, the authors offered a self psychological perspective. They described the treatment of Sandy, a woman who presented with extreme expressions of prejudice, to illustrate how self psychology provides a framework for understanding the narcissistic roots of her prejudice and a therapeutic stance for promoting the transformation of her prejudiced attitudes and affects. From this perspective, prejudice is understood not as the displacement or projection of aggression, but as an expression of a vulnerable, fragmentation-prone self-organization struggling to overcome a traumatic developmental history., (C) 2001 by the American Psychological Association

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Authors

  • M. K. Ryan

  • P. Buirski

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