Alfred Adler was a forerunner of culturalist thinking.He emphasized the equal importance of the individual and the social milieu in the development of the “life-style” of each person.He saw social feeling as a measure of mental health. Although Karen Horney accepted Freud’s concepts of psychic determinism and unconscious motivation, she did not accept the concept of libidinal drives.In its place, cultural and interpersonal factors were considered the cause of neurosis. Harry Stack Sullivan insisted on formulating his views on the data obtained by observing interactions of an individual with others, with the therapist as a participant-observer. His “interpersonal” methodology put emphasis on the social and cultural context in which personality develops. Abram Kardiner and Erich Fromm, in his own way, focused on the relationship of man and society; they considered the character of a person as being both developed and measured by how a person relates to the world and its social institutions.
Although the above-noted pioneers laid the foundations for the cultural school of psychoanalysis, each one also postulated “basic strivings,” “inner drives” or “urges” to explain at least part of motivation. Bernard Robbins was possibly the first analyst who did not accept the concept of innate drives. He believed that man is not the blind product of forces either within or around him, but that relationships are established between the person and the outside world and are reciprocal in nature.
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