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Mexican time. A point of view

  • The way in which Mexicans deal with time differs considerably from that of Europeans or Northamericans: the Mexican >has< or >allows himself< more time. The virtue of punctuality, which is so highly valued in countries with protestant work ethics, is unknown to him. >Mexican time< includes many festivities and reveals a social character related to a matriarchal complex. One lives day by day without concern, expects to always have enough for a living, and tries to regain the paradise lost. How was Fromm able to cope with this attitude to life? To begin with many of his students saw him—the psychoanalyst who had emigrated from Germany and who had been working and teaching in the USA—as an >authoritarian< person. They found the very demand for a punctual start of the sessions and a limitation to a 50- minute duration unacceptable. As time went by, however, a fruitful interchange evolved: not only did the students learn from Fromm the psychoanalytic technique, but they were also deeply impressed by the personality behind it. On the other hand Fromm's comprehensive view of human beings and his humanitarian disposition could not be understood without the experience he gained during his long stay in Mexico. In this way >Mexican time< contributed to a large extent to the development of a >humanitarian psychoanalysis<.

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Author:Salvador Millán
Parent Title (English):International Forum of Psychoanalysis, Oslo (Scandinavian University Press), Vol. 5 (No. 1, March 1996), pp. 65-68.
Document Type:Articles
Year of first Publication:1996
Release Date:2012/12/13
Format:PDF-scan upon request / PDF-Scan auf Anfrage
Writings about Erich Fromm (Secondary Literature):Articles / Artikel
Erich Fromm's Library and Erich Fromm Archive:Articles / Artikel
Licence (German):