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Orens, M.H. (1955). International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XXXIV, 1953: The Scapegoat Motif in Society and Its Manifestations in a Therapeutic Group. F. Kraupl Taylor. Pp. 253-264.. Psychoanal Q., 24:152.

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Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XXXIV, 1953: The Scapegoat Motif in Society and Its Manifestations in a Therapeutic Group. F. Kraupl Taylor. Pp. 253-264.

(1955). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 24:152

International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XXXIV, 1953: The Scapegoat Motif in Society and Its Manifestations in a Therapeutic Group. F. Kraupl Taylor. Pp. 253-264.

Martin H. Orens

The author discusses psychological and sociological implications of the scapegoat. Today we often use the term for someone who is the butt of displaced aggression but originally it was a person who was made to suffer as the bearer of displaced guilt which was often unconscious. Use of such a scapegoat not only helps to rid one of guilt feelings but also leads to satisfaction of unconscious scoptophilia and aggression and gives narcissistic satisfaction to the ego. The need for scapegoats is most often met with in conservative, self-righteous, chauvinistic people. As a result most scapegoat persecutions are against deviants, outsiders, and minorities; the victims are charged with crimes that reflect the repressed desires of the group. The author discusses the use in ancient societies of 'engineered' scapegoats; certain persons were forced to do the forbidden, then given punishment which provided expiation for the group. The Oedipal and parricidal elements in these ceremonials are clear. An example of an 'engineered' scapegoat occurred in a therapeutic group. A half-willing masochistic person was in effect forced by the group to have illicit intercourse. After the act she was roundly condemned. The episode was therapeutically helpful in revealing the guilt of the other members of the group.


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Article Citation

Orens, M.H. (1955). International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XXXIV, 1953. Psychoanal. Q., 24:152

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WARNING! This text is printed for the personal use of the subscriber to PEP Web and is copyright to the Journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to copy, distribute or circulate it in any form whatsoever.