All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

S Jonathan Wiesen

Advisory Committee Members

Andrew W Keitt

Brian D Steele

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name by School

Master of Arts (MA) College of Arts and Sciences


This thesis provides a comprehensive overview of the evolution of Alfred Adler’s concept of Gemeinschaftsgefühl (community feeling), a simple yet potent idea that started in a Viennese café and expanded far beyond it. Ideas have lives beyond that of their authors, and this thesis argues that Alfred Adler’s idea of Gemeinschaftsgefühl was pressed into the service of various social and political agendas. Adler was privately a socialist, but he never wished to see Gemeinschaftsgefühl become a tool for this or any other movement. With an idealistic worldview, Adler sought to challenge and transform the pervading medical and psychotherapeutic conceptions of health to better aid the individual sufferer from symptoms of depression, anxiety, and neuroses. This work demonstrates how several individuals politicized Adlerian psychology and Gemeinschaftsgefühl and understood this process not as a deviation from Adler’s psychology but as the fulfillment of his beliefs.



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