Elle R. Harris, PsyD, is a 2023 graduate of the PsyD Program in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University, Seattle.
Melissa Kennedy, PhD, Committee Chair
William Heusler, PsyD, Committee Member
Miguel A. De La Torre, PhD, Committee Member
social interest, feelings of inferiority, racism, the gaze, dysconsciousness, decolonization of psychology
This theoretical paper posits that racial oppression ensues in part due to a lack of social interest, manifested by excessive self-interest in the projection of negative white attributions onto people of color. Excessive white self-interest not only divides whites and Black people but within people groups and among individuals; all are negatively impacted by racism, and to believe otherwise is to succumb to the dangerous falsity of zero-sum thinking. Furthermore, a scholarly case is made for the amplification of social interest by a lowering of white defenses and a reclamation of one’s authentic parts of self. Specifically, one must acknowledge, claim, and examine internalized white power structures, which denote ways of thinking, feeling, and being that uphold white superiority and nullify relationships of equity which welcome all parts of the self. In examining one’s defenses and the vulnerability behind them, one can hope to re-engage in a more wholesome and healthy way that prioritizes shared power relationships instead of power over relationships (Hill, 2022). This process is often ambiguous, nonlinear, personal, and subjective; it is a personal kind of learning.social interest, feelings of inferiority, racism, the gaze, dysconsciousness, decolonization of psychology
Harris, E. R. (2023). Bringing Light to the Unconscious: A Theoretical Examination of Racism Through the Adlerian Lens of Social Interest. https://aura.antioch.edu/etds/990