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The Neo-Adlerians

Fritz Wittels
American Journal of Sociology
Vol. 45, No. 3 (Nov., 1939), pp. 433-445
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2769857
Page Count: 13
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The Neo-Adlerians
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Abstract

Freud and his psychoanalysis are today being assailed as taking insufficient cognizance of the direct influence of the social situation upon the individual. Insecurity, competition, lack of charity, we hear, are the chief causes of neuroses, and not-as Freud's school teaches-our native constitution plus early childhood impressions, such as the well-known oedipus complex, its forerunners and derivatives. The field of "social" etiologies was the exclusive object of Alfred Adler's research, and although his heirs rarely quote him, the "new" discoveries in this field are based on his theories. For this reason I call this school which is now in formation the Neo-Adlerians. Inasmuch as psychoanalysis long ago absorbed a good deal of Adler's investigations, the "discoveries" of these newcomers appear to be the products of cryptomnesia. Psychoanalysis has always reckoned with social factors, the oedipus complex itself being one of the first social experiences of the infant. Without dialectic interweaving of the biological with social ego, there could be no psychoanalytic progress. In contesting the salient features of Freud's psychology the Neo-Adlerians are attempting to set the clock back to pre-Freudian times.

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