Reconstructing Erich Fromm’s ‘pathology of normalcy’: Transcending the recognition-cognitive paradigm in the diagnosis of social pathologies

  • Erich Fromm’s analysis of >pathological normalcy< offers promising social-theoretical resources to help transcend the contemporary, >domesticated<, diagnosis of social pathologies. This article commences by briefly tracing the numerous limitations of the current orthodoxy, epitomised by the recognition-cognitive >pathologies of recognition< approach. A sympathetic reconstruction of Erich Fromm’s diagnosis of pathological normalcy is then presented as a promising palliative. The strengths of Fromm’s social-theoretical framework are then outlined: Fromm’s scholarship presents a structure through which objectively inadequate and contradictory social conditions can be diagnosed, while emphasizing their important connections to the social-psychological pathologies which sustain them. The efficacy of Fromm’s approach is then defended against post-modern and social-constructivist critiques. This article thus supports the rehabilitation of Fromm’s work within the sociological mainstream as an important antidote to the ‘domesticated’ framing of social pathology which continues to dominate contemporary scholarship.

Download full text files

  • Harris_N_2019.pdf

    File not available?

        (You will be redirectet to a request-form. You will need the IdNo there.)

Export metadata

Additional Services

Share in Twitter Search Google Scholar
Author:N. Harris
Parent Title (English):Social Science Information, Vol. 58, pp. 714-733.
Document Type:Articles
Year of first Publication:2019
Release Date:2022/05/04
Format:PDF-scan upon request / PDF-Scan auf Anfrage
Erich Fromm's Library and Erich Fromm Archive:Articles / Artikel
Licence (German):
Einverstanden ✔
Diese Webseite verwendet technisch erforderliche Session-Cookies. Durch die weitere Nutzung der Webseite stimmen Sie diesem zu. Unsere Datenschutzerklärung finden Sie hier.