Social Character Seminar

The purpose of the Social Character Seminar was to build and develop Erich Fromm's socio-psychoanalytic approach to understanding the interrelationship between society and character development. Social character types represent the predominant forms of adaptation among people within society.

The study of social character is by necessity interdisciplinary and requires a grasp of technological, economic and cultural factors that influence peoples adaptation to society, as well as the in-depth understanding of personality formation.

Attendance was by invitation only. The meetings were small, informal and provide a forum for exchange of ideas and works in progress. The seminar included psychoanalysts, psychiatrists, psychologists, sociologists and anthropologists who shared research on social character and its function in society. This concept, first formulated by Erich Fromm and developed by Michael Maccoby refers to the values, and patterns of thinking and behaving shared by members of a society, culture, or social class and formed by family, schooling, religion and modes of work.

The Workshop has had two to three day meetings in 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2000 where papers were presented and discussed. The workshop held in April 1998 focussed on social character and the health care system.


Participants have included:
  • Ana Maria Barrosso, MD
  • George Casey
  • Mauricio Cortina, MD
  • Bob Duckles, PhD
  • Sonia Gojman de Millan, PhD
  • Alan L. Grey, PhD
  • Charles Heckscher, PhD
  • Barbara Lenkerd, PhD
  • Paul Lippmann, PhD
  • Michael Maccoby, PhD
  • Richard Margolies, PhD
  • Neil G. McLaughlin, PhD
  • Salvador Millan, MD
  • Federico Ortiz Quesda, MD
  • Carlos Sierra, MD
  • Catherine Silver, PhD


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