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The Fundamentalist MindsetPsychological Perspectives on Religion, Violence, and History$
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Charles B. Strozier, David M. Terman, James W. Jones, and Katherine A. Boyd

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195379655

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195379655.001.0001

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Theories of Group Psychology, Paranoia, and Rage

Theories of Group Psychology, Paranoia, and Rage

Chapter:
(p.16) 2 Theories of Group Psychology, Paranoia, and Rage
Source:
The Fundamentalist Mindset
Author(s):

David M. Terman (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195379655.003.0002

This chapter situates the fundamentalist mindset in a group psychological context. A review of the psychoanalytic theory of groups shows some conflation between the psychology of the individual and that of the group. Several trends in research are evident. The group's history, values, and goals are central to the group's concerns, and threats to these elements — experienced by the group as assaults on its self-esteem — are increasingly cited as the source of violence. The history of the theory of paranoia shows the same direction: there is more recognition of the problems of fragile self-esteem, shame, and humiliation in the genesis of the paranoid structure. Intrinsic to the structure is dualistic thinking and the Manichaean view of the world. Work on violence in groups shows analogous psychological organization: great investment in the ideology of the group that contains its goals, values, and sense of group self-esteem. An injury to those goals and values produces a paranoid organization and an analogy to rage in the individual, and subsequent violence.

Keywords:   fundamentalism, fundamentalist mindset, group psychology, paranoia, rage, psychoanalysis

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