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Power and Innocence: A Search for the Sources of Violence Kindle Edition
Stressing the positive, creative aspects of power and innocence, Rollo May offers a way of thinking about the problems of contemporary society.
Rollo May defines power as the ability to cause or prevent change; innocence, on the other hand, is the conscious divesting of one's power to make it seem a virtuea form of powerlessness that Dr. May sees as particularly American in nature. From these basic concepts he suggests a new ethic that sees power as the basis for both human goodness and evil.
Dr. May discusses five levels of power's potential in each of us: the infant's power to be; self-affirmation, the ability to survive with self-esteem; self-assertion, which develops when self-affirmation is blocked; aggression, a reaction to thwarted assertion; and, finally, violence, when reason and persuasion are ineffective.
― Library Journal --This text refers to the paperback edition.
About the Author
- ASIN : B00V3SAOEK
- Publisher : W. W. Norton & Company (March 17, 1998)
- Publication date : March 17, 1998
- Language : English
- File size : 760 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 290 pages
- Page numbers source ISBN : 039331703X
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #736,279 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from the United States
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Society's out-of-control violence is a loud alarm screaming that things have gone seriously awry.
With Power and Innocence, May delivers an incisive look at violence, from a psychological to a cultural phenomenon, and he searches for ways to mitigate the pains.
In his inquiry, May makes many fascinating observations:
*self-assertion and validation are critical to the healthy ego
*if aggressiveness or autonomy is blocked as a child, individuals tend to remain dependent
*if power is not expressed constructively, it will emerge destructively
*communication breakdown is a common source of violence
*violence is usually a "last resort" in the human quest for significance and power
*violence can be a symptom of a hostile culture
Generally, May suggests violence emerges from feelings of "less-than-humanness", powerlessness, hopelessness, or homelessness in society and he identifies community as the saving grace, offering members mutual mental, physical, and spiritual nourishment.
As usual, May offers a warm, accessible, and deeply incisive look at his subject.
One book from Rollo May contains more wisdom than 1,000 books from lesser authors.
The reason that most people - and many countries - never make the connection between losses of self-esteem and violence is that it is a slow-burning process:
"Violence is like the sudden chemical change that occurs when, following a relatively placid period, water breaks into a boil. If we do not see the burner underneath that has been heating the water, we mistake the violence for a discrete happenstance. We fail to see that the violence is an entirely understandable outcome of personalities fighting against odds in a repressive culture that does not help them."
Because May was trained as a psychologist, many of his insights are scientific in nature. But the hallmark of this book and all of the other great titles by May is the author's breadth as a humanist and writer. He intersperses case studies from his psychotherapy practice with meditations on current events, philosophy, literature and art to produce a narrative that is surprisingly easy to read. No matter where May is in the book, he always seems to reach for the right block.
In the final two chapters, May focuses on the importance of humility, compassion and understanding. Leaving someone out - whether it is the awkward kid in the schoolyard or a country that's been demonized - is dangerous business for everyone.
I don't know who has been paying for Dennis Rodman's flights to Korea, but the State Department might want to think seriously about picking up his next tab.
Top reviews from other countries
The content of these books of him are great and often I thought this dude knows so much, in this book especially. It also deepens so well my understanding of american culture and connected for me art with psychology. I would also highly recommend watching the interview found on YouTube of Jeffrey Mishlove and him.