Racism From Analytical Psychology Perspective Research Proposals Example
Racism is a set of beliefs which are based on the provisions of physical and mental disparity of human races, nations, and the decisive influence of racial differences on the history and culture. There are also broader definitions of racism, for example, it can be defined as a belief that racial characteristics have a decisive influence on the ability, intelligence, morality, behavioral characteristics and traits of individual human beings, but not on the society or social group. Racism necessarily includes the idea of the original division of people into superior and inferior races, the first of which are the creators of the civilization and are designed to dominate over the latter ones. Implementation of the racist theories in practice often finds expression in the policy of racial discrimination. In this paper we shall analyze the reasons of racism from the point of view of analytical psychology the way they are applied to the social problem of racism.
Despite the fact that expression of racism is prohibited in most countries, it is difficult to admit that it provides enough protection from its manifestations. The International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (United Nations, 1966) defined racism as:
any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference based on race, color, descent, or national or ethnic origin which has the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an equal footing, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural or any other field of public life. (p.1)
Racism is an ideology that uses external differences as the main reason to refuse equal treatment for members of other groups, to consider them different from their own group and initially subordinate. Previously, racism was considered to be only a manifestation of negative attitudes toward blacks by whites, but the international documents of the second half of the twentieth century consider discrimination to be racial if the persons are discriminated not only based on the color of their skin but also basing on their descent or national or ethnic origin. Thus, it is no longer possible to understand racism as only a problem of a different skin color. Racism should be viewed more broadly as a social and psychological problem.
The psyche is set up in such a way that in order to respect themselves, to feel calm and dignified, most people are forced to ignore some of their properties which they actually possess. All the properties a person does not accept are called a “shadow” in the Jungian tradition of analytical psychology (Colombos, n.d.). Although people do not notice unacceptable qualities in themselves, they usually project these qualities to the external objects around them, i.e. to people in general, thus a greedy person suggests that all other people are greedy. Then the evaluation system comes into force allowing a person to believe that (s)he does not like that, which is followed by an assumption that the person does not belong to the group of people who possess the quality (s)he does not accept. But the person continues to see other people as those who possess an unacceptable quality and thus a “shadow” falls on the people around (Colombos, n.d.). Primitive personality (and mass personality reacts as a primitive personality) is not able to recognize evil as its personal evil because its mind is still so poorly developed that it cannot resolve the conflicts arising (Neumann, 1973). Therefore, mass personality always perceives evil as something alien and, as a result of this perception, the foreigners usually become the victims of the shadow projection. Within a country an object of shadow projection usually become the minorities. It is obvious that due to racial and ethnic background, and even more so due to a difference in the skin color, national minorities are the most suitable for shadow projection (Neumann, 1973).
The emergence of racism in the society is based on a number of reasons, such as the mentality of the ethnic group, the economic factors and the standard of living in the country. The social factors of low level of culture and consciousness of citizens that are additional catalysts of racism are also important. It is possible that in certain cases there are some objective sociological causes of hatred, hostility to other ethnic groups, but it still necessary to analyze the psyche of a number of individual reasons which cause racism and xenophobic attitudes to understand why different individuals in the same society expose different levels of racism (Neumann, 1973). The reason for the fact that racial discrimination continues to exist lies in social and psychological properties of the individuals as well as groups, which are influenced by the mechanisms that promote competition and then hostility between different groups.
Colombos, A. (n.d.). Analytical Psychology: The Theory of Carl Jung. Retrieved from http://www.academia.edu/4977212/Analytical_Psychology_The_Theory_of_Carl_Jung
Neumann, E. (1973). Depth Psychology and a New Ethic. Harper & Row: NY.
United Nations. (1966). International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. Selected articles. Retrieved from http://www.supremecourt.ge/files/upload-file/pdf/act6.pdf
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