A key component of Adler’s theory is what he calls “social interest.” He maintains that social interest is an important criterion for a healthy personality. Adler also talks about inferiority and compensation in his theory of personality.
On the basis of your understanding on “social interest,” discuss the following:
Write about a public figure from popular culture, such as politics, movies, or television.
Explain how social interest is or was a factor in his or her personality development.
Explain how factors such as inferiority and compensation are displayed in your subject’s personality.
Support your responses with examples.
Adler’s Theory of Social Interest
Social interest is the main idea of Adler’s theory. He outlined that social interest is a communal feeling and interest to live mutually with other people in society and adopt a lifestyle that upholds the common good above individuals’ interests and aspirations. Adler also outlined that children have a sense of inferiority and imperfection that develop instantly they start experiencing life. These experiences challenge children to steer towards overcoming inferiority by developing alternative abilities to compensate for the inadequacy. Compensation leads to the infant developing courage to be imperfect as they strive through hard work to overcome inadequacy. Overcompensation is where a child has an extreme feeling of inadequacy and aims for compensation until the compensation is not adequate-the focus becomes heightened (Hoffman, 2020). Adler’s theory should be used to assist people in getting comfortable in their societies as it focuses on individual’s feelings of desires and inferiority to determine an individual’s sense of belonging. Adler’s theory is, however, limited to individuals being the change mediums.
In the case of John Lewis, he was one of the six prominent leaders of the civil rights movement in the 1960s in the United States. His experiences are typical of what Adler describes as characteristics of social interest. For instance, he shows unity with self as each feature of his character points in the same direction- fighting for people’s rights. Lewis has been fighting for people’s freedom ever since he joined Congress in 1987 and has led demonstrations such as the bloody Sunday. Lewis was arrested in the protests, and beaten up but continued to fight for people’s rights (Biography.com, 2021).
John Lewis also lived a life of common good above his interests and aspirations. When he was elected to the house of representatives, Lewis focused on improving health care facilities, enacting strategies to fight poverty in the state, and concentrating on reforming education. He also rebuked Donald Trump’s presidency and did not attend his inauguration and George W. Bush inauguration as he felt the elections lacked a proper application of democracy.
John Lewis was also goal-oriented, which Adler outlines as a character for developing personality using social interest to achieve success. Lewis was a leader in many organizations, and he never forgot what his plans were: fighting for the rights of humankind. After he was made director of the Voter Education Project (VEP), he helped register millions of minority voters and continued fighting for voter’s rights of African-Americans.
John Lewis’ experiences also relate to Adler’s theorization of personality, where Lewis displays inadequacy and compensation in his character. For instance, Lewis grew up in a society full of racial segregation, and he outlines that when he was 16 years old, he could not borrow a book in the library as they were only for white people. To compensate for his inferiority, Lewis helped young generations develop a series of graphic novels about his activities in the civil rights movement; this led him to win a National Book Award and marked the first instance a graphic book had gained honours. As he received the reward, he was emotional and talked of the importance of the award as Lewis felt he had achieved something.
African-Americans also did not have voting rights. To satisfy his feelings of inadequacy, he endured being beaten up for leading demonstrations to ensure voting rights for black Americans. He helped register many minority voters when he became director of the VEP; this led to Barack Obama’s election as the United States’ president in 2008, which made Lewis very happy as he felt superior.
In summary, Adler’s theory should be used to assist people in getting comfortable in their societies as it focuses on individual’s feelings of desires and inferiority to determine an individual’s sense of belonging. Adler’s theory is, however, limited to individuals being the change mediums. John Lewis fought for people’s rights which were steered by the unfair segregation in his society when he was growing. this led to compensations and Lewis is comfortable in his community. He was happy he won the National Book Award as it was important to him, and also African American could now be elected president of the U. S.
Biography. Com. (Jan 12, 2021). John Lewis (1940-2020). https://www.biography.com/political-figure/johnlewis#:~:text=Early%20Life%20John%20Robert%20Lewis%20was%20born%20outside,the%20Supreme%20Court%20ruling%20in%201954%27s%20Brown%20v
Hoffman, R., (May 17, 2020). Alfred Adler’s Theories of individual psychology and Adlerian therapy. Simply Psychology https://www.simplypsychology.org/alfred-adler.html