|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.
Fromm is 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, Fromm is best known for his critique and revision of
Sigmund Freud's psychoanalytic theory, in conversation with the works of
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 Fromm's analysis of modern freedom, the sane society, the difference between humanistic and authoritarian religions, the seven types of nonproductive character orientations, and the mechanisms people use to avoid making a choice.
The course's overall goal is to help students become familiar with 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