The Sociology of Erich Fromm
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In this sociology course, we will will survey the works of Dr. Erich Fromm (1900-1980), one of the most notable psychoanalysts, social psychologists, and humanistic philosophers of the 20th century. Dr. Fromm was an author of over 30 books, two of which were best sellers: Escape from Freedom (1941) and The Art of Loving (1956). Originally associated with the Institute for Social Research or, as it is better known, the Critical Theory of the Frankfurt School, Dr. Fromm is best known for his critique and revision of Sigmund Freud's psychoanalytic theory, in conversation with the works of Karl Marx. Dr. Fromm's writings were quite popular in the middle of the 20th century and their influence endures, though he is arguably a neglected figure in contemporary sociology.

In this reading intensive course, students will study Dr. Fromm's analysis of modern freedom, the sane society, the difference between humanistic and authoritarian religions, the seven types of non-productive character orientations, and the mechanisms people use to avoid making a choice. The course's overall goal is to help students become familiar with Dr. Fromm's work and its significance for both psychology and sociology. As for the particulars, there are three: first, to present an overview of Dr. Fromm's understanding of the interplay or, more precisely, the dialectical relationship between sociology and psychology; second, to explore and evaluate how he connects "the base" to "the superstructure;" and, third, to facilitate the student's development so they may contribute to, as Prof. Siebert (b. 1927) has advocated for over 50 years, a more just, humane, and reconciled society that is not based on exploitation and/or social Darwinism.

   See you in class or around campus,
   Dr. Jensen
   P.S. Please print and read the syllabus; we will discuss it in detail during the second day of class.