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Vol. 2 No. 1 (2022): Construction and Destruction of Subjectivity and Social Relations

Psycho-social determinants of racism: from psychoanalysis and social psychology to a new interpretative approach

April 1, 2022


Racism is a critical phenomenon that continues to pervasively plague contemporary society. There are many factors underlying the manifestations of hatred and discrimination. In this article, we decided to focus on the role played by psycho-social factors in the onset and maintenance of these problematic phenomena. The first part focused on the contribution of psychoanalysis, in understanding racism from the perspective of the unconscious mechanisms that perpetrate its expression. The second part sees the contribution of social psychology and of the theories about intergroup relations. The last part sees the contribution of the semiotic approach to cultural psychology, which offers an alternative framework capable of addressing the specific object of racism from a different and innovative angle; namely, that according to which this problem is determined by specific cultural models which influence how the individual attributes meanings to the signs of the world.