Anti-Semitism and Emotional Disorder: A Psychoanalytic by Nathan W. Ackerman

By Nathan W. Ackerman

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They assume that anti-Semitism in a "sick" personality is different in its motivation and functioning from anti-Semitism in a "healthy" person. As has been pointed out earlier, modern psychiatry assumes that the difference between the "sick" and the "healthy" personality is one of degree and quantity rather than one of quality. Similarly, the geographical limitation of this study does not interfere with its purpose. The material stems almost exclusively from psycho- analysts practicing in New York City and refers mostly to patients residing in the metropolitan area.

Unable to define clearly their individuality or at least to recognize themselves as comparatively stable entities, they attempt to achieve stability by utilizing props selected from the external situation. When they resort to one after another of a series of such props without effecting relief of emotional tension, doubts about the identity of the self become painfully and plainly exposed. External life circumstances, however, have a double function in relation to the confused self-image of these patients.

Following the resolution of the "transference hostility," no significant differences could be dis- cerned. Finally, the preference of the psychoanalyst for describing patient A rather than patient B must be mentioned. To a certain extent his freedom of choice was limited by our insistence on a current case that was well enough advanced to allow an interpretation of the basic eonfficts. This condition, however, was occasionally waived. Although it is possible that some accidental selective principle was at work here, the case studies themselves are so varied that there is no reason to believe DATA COLLECTION AND METHODOLOGICAL CONSIDERATIONS that the choice of the variOus psychoanalysts was one universal principle.

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