juliusbeezer + theory + authoritarianism   1

Peter E. Gordon — The Authoritarian Personality Revisited: Reading Adorno in the Age of Trump | boundary 2
Just a few months ago, in mid-January, 2016, the online magazine Politico published a report with the title: “One Weird Trait that Predicts Whether You’re a Trump Supporter.”

If I asked you what most defines Donald Trump supporters, what would you say? They’re white? They’re poor? They’re uneducated? You’d be wrong. In fact, I’ve found a single statistically significant variable predicts whether a voter supports Trump—and it’s not race, income or education levels: It’s authoritarianism. That’s right, Trump’s electoral strength—and his staying power—have been buoyed, above all, by Americans with authoritarian inclinations...
And yet it seems fair to say that the very notion of an authoritarian personality or character worked against sociological explanation, discouraging an account of individual human psychology as a social artifact. Instead of enforcing a dialectical image of the relation between the psychological and the social, it tended to reify the psychological as the antecedent condition, thereby diminishing what was for critical theory a sine qua non for all interdisciplinary labor joining sociology to psychoanalysis. The recent work by MacWilliams (which reflects formidable research effort and should not be lightly dismissed) would appear to reflect this understanding of psychology as the prior explanatory variable because of the way it tries to isolate “authoritarianism,” as if it were a stable category for sociological analysis prior to other affiliations or identifying social factors...
It should not surprise us that the collaborative research team did not include these remarks in the published text of The Authoritarian Personality. For if Adorno was right, then the very notion of individual psychology had to be treated with deepest skepticism. Even psychoanalysis in his view promoted the model of an integrated and separable personality, but while this expressed the sociological truth of the nineteenth century bourgeoisie it was no longer adequate for understanding the dynamics of a fully integrated modern social order. In this respect even psychoanalysis was objectively false and, in cleaving to a model of autonomous depth, it was ideological in the technical sense.
philosophy  sociology  psychology  politics  theory  authoritarianism 
september 2016 by juliusbeezer

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