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Erich Fromm

Updated October 4, 2019

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Erich Fromm essay

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Erich Fromm . Erich Fromm who is a liberal social psychodynamic psychologist who was also a student of Freuds’. He believes that man is innately good and society is the thing that corrupts him. He also feels that the conscious mind dominates over the unconscious. Fromm says man is a social creature and he believes that mankind has social needs.

He says life is a struggle and society makes our lives difficult. Fromm feels that the four needs of mans’ social life are relatedness, frame of reference, identity, and transcendence. Relatedness is a basic need and it states that man needs to feel connected to humanity whether it be friends, family, or activities. It also states that man has to be interacted with other in order to belong. The problems start when a person feels that they are not a part of something.

Relatedness is probably the most powerful need. Frame of Reference are common ideas and beliefs of looking at the world. This is when we seek out a belief system or a value system. We receive our frame of reference from where we find our relatedness. Without frame of reference there is no meaning to life.

Identity is the next out of the four needs of mans’ social life which is when you know who you are and what you stand for. With identity you have to establish your own uniqueness or identity. Recognizing differences in others help you to find your own identity. Next comes transcendence which is rarely achieved and this means to rise above societies conformities in order to be an individual. With transcendence there is a risk of losing your relatedness, and for this not to happen relatedness must allow you rise above society. A conflict of freedom and loneliness means that the more that we become transcendent the more we lose the relatedness.

I agree with Fromm when he states that society corrupts man. I also feel that the conscious mind dominates over the unconscious. I do not agree that man is 100% social either. When Fromm says that the four needs of social life are relatedness, frame of reference, identity, and transcendence I could not agree with more. Everyday you see people that have to be well connected in the social pipeline and without it I do not think they would function normally. There are plenty of people that have to be liked and be in a certain group in order to be mentally stable.

People think it is a bad thing when you are not in the popular group or not cool enough to be liked and accepted by a certain group. I also do feel that there are some people who know who they are and what they stand for. These are the people that survive the longest is the long run because they know who they are and they will not change for anything. Realizing other people’s differences also helps to boost your identity which in turn causes a person to create their own uniqueness.

I think that I am a perfect example of a person who has all four needs met at all times and that I know exactly what I am and who I stand for. I would not change who I am and my behavior just to fit into the social pipeline. I have to plenty of parties where there has been everything from drinking to sex and I have never given in to the peer pressure of drinking, smoking or anything else while I was there, but I still had all the fun in the world. The reason why I don’t give in is because I care about my health I have set values for myself and I like to follow them exactly like I planned.

This way I will never do something that I would regret. All of Fromm’s theories are very accurate when it comes to social needs, but when it comes to human behavior in general I don’t feel that man is completely social. Psychology Essays.

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Erich Fromm. (2019, Oct 04). Retrieved from