Psychodynamics of fanaticism
Goka, E. (2009) Psychodynamics of fanaticism. Anatolian Journal of Psychiatry (Anadolu Psikiyatri Dergisi), 10 (4). pp. 325-331.
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Although, the danger of fanaticism is continuously brought out as an issue in politics, social life and popular culture, science could not reach a conceptional consensus about the danger of fanaticism yet, let alone discussing how to counter it. The purpose of this essay is to determine a generally acceptable definitional framework of fanaticism phenomenon. Although, there are some discussions, which have very similar meanings, about fanaticism, fundamentalism and radicalism, it is generally accepted that fanaticism covers these two concepts. Fanaticism is a cluster of phenomenons, that is built on four basic properties, which can be summarized as ‘extremism’, ‘externalization’, ‘opposition’ and ‘dogmatism’. One of many aspects of fanaticism concerns psychology and to fight against fanaticism, its’ psychology should be understood. Psychodynamic Approach is used to define the methodology which claims the legacy of psychoanalysis founded by Sigmund Freud, which looks for the reasons of our behaviors in their childhood roots and in unconscious struggles that takes place in our mental apparatus, as well as approaches that derive from psychoanalysis, such as Ego Psychology, Object Relations Theory, Psychology of Selfand Theory of Attachment. In this article, with an aim to enlighten the individual and social psychology of fanaticism, our view utilizes psychodynamic approach. It can be said that fanaticism is a pathological type of attachment, which is simple but not ordinary, and it covers numerous prospects about pathologic types attachments, which can be seen in person-to-person and person-to-object relations. While looking into the individual psychodynamics of fanaticism; it is seen that there is a difficulty in separation-individualization processes and fanatics are applying the primitive defense mechanisms. When the sociological psychology of fanaticism is analyzed from the viewpoint of psychodynamic approach, terms such as large-group regression or basic assumption groups are very functional.
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