Writer: Mary Watkins & Helene Shulman, Toward Psychologies of Liberation
Subject: Profound Problems Of The Current Era
Link: Tumblr / 21.03.2023 / Reauxsrecollection
Profound Problems Of The Current Era
One of the most profound problems of the current era is that many people do not have any viable visions of what could be different in their lives or communities. This is a psychological problem sometimes referred to as fatalism, anomie, or symbolic loss: a despairing sense that social networks, valued customs, and shared memories are irretrievably weakened, lost, or forgotten. Attempts to imagine new and vibrant social arrangements with others seem hopeless.
Symbolic loss (Homans, 2000) is a catastrophic decay of the fabric of meanings and rituals that link individuals in a common culture. Sometimes symbolic loss involves complete cultural disintegrations that render rituals and customs seemingly pointless, and histories forgotten. Such symbolic loss affects hearts and minds, physical health, and abilities to build community.
It is a psychological issue that profoundly impacts possibilities for democratic processes. Passive, disengaged, and divided populations can be more easily manipulated and controlled. In such environments, psychologies of regeneration are needed, ways to imagine rebuilding psychological spaces where one can develop a critical analysis of one’s situation improvise new practices for the healing of individuals and communities, and recover or create a sense of common purpose and vision.