Social Science Information 58 (4):714-733 (2019)

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 emphasising 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.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1177/0539018419881403
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 50,488
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

The Blank Slate. The Modern Denial of Human Nature.Steven Pinker - 2004 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 66 (4):765-767.
Michel Foucault: Beyond Structuralism and Hermeneutics.Ian Hacking - 1985 - Journal of Philosophy 82 (5):273-277.
The Psychic Life of Power: Theories in Subjection.J. Butler - 1997 - Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie 46 (6):1016.
Honneth on Social Pathologies: A Critique.Fabian Freyenhagen - 2015 - Critical Horizons 16 (2):131-152.

View all 13 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The Pathology of Normalcy: Its Genius for Good and Evil.Erich Fromm - 2010 - American Mental Health Foundation Books.
Pathologies of Recognition: An Introduction.Arto Laitinen, Arvi Särkelä & Heikki Ikäheimo - 2015 - Studies in Social and Political Thought 25:3-24.
Erich Fromm Och Gersholm Scholem: Analys Av En Ovänskap.Svante Lundgren - 1998 - Nordisk judaistik/Scandinavian Jewish Studies 19 (1-2):33-44.
On the Ontology of Social Pathologies.Onni Hirvonen - 2018 - Studies in Social and Political Thought 28:9-14.
The Conception of Man in the Philosophy of Erich Fromm.A. S. Garbuzov - 1985 - Russian Studies in Philosophy 24 (2):41-61.


Added to PP index

Total views
2 ( #1,328,379 of 2,326,561 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #641,093 of 2,326,561 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes