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Fatalism, Overview

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Introduction

Studies of fatalism collectively constitute an analysis of the acceptance of conditions of misery and injustice. Analyses of fatalism within mainstream psychology position fatalism as a condition of the poor characterized by certain cognitive processes or attitudes. In critical psychology, fatalism is neither an individual attitude nor an internal cognitive process, but rather a product of power relations (Blanco & Díaz, 2007; Martín-Baró, 1987/1996; 1989).

Definition

The word fatalism is associated with the idea of an unavoidable destiny. In sociology and psychology one can find several meanings: a set of beliefs in predetermined destiny, a feeling of resignation produced by adverse situations, a cynicism towards work and order, an expectancy that chance or fate will change life, and a cognitive process produced by magic or naïve perception (Blanco & Díaz, 2007; Freire, 1968/2006; Martín-Baró, 1987/1996).

Liberation psychologist Martín-Baró (1989, p.156) defined fatalism...

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References

  • Blanco, A., & Díaz, D. (2007). El rostro bifronte del fatalismo: Fatalismo colectivista y fatalismo individualista. Psicothema, 19(4), 552–558.

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  • Freire, P. (1968/2006). Pedagogy of the oppressed. New York, NY: Continuum.

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  • Fromm, E. (1962/2001). Beyond the chains of illusion: My encounter with Marx and Freud. New York, NY: Continuum.

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  • Martín-Baró, I. (1983/2004). Acción y ideología (10th ed.). San Salvador: UCA Editores.

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  • Martín-Baró, I. (1987/1996). The lazy latino: The ideological nature of Latin American fatalism. In A. Aron & S. Corne (Eds.), Writings for a liberation psychology (2nd ed., pp. 198–220). Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

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  • Martín-Baró, I. (1989). Sistema, grupo y poder. San Salvador, El Salvador: UCA Editores.

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Correspondence to Fernando Lacerda Jr. .

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Lacerda, F. (2014). Fatalism, Overview. In: Teo, T. (eds) Encyclopedia of Critical Psychology. Springer, New York, NY. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-5583-7_641

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