Show Summary Details
Page of

(p. 407) Some Thoughts on the Meaning of the Word Democracy 

(p. 407) Some Thoughts on the Meaning of the Word Democracy
(p. 407) Some Thoughts on the Meaning of the Word Democracy

Donald W. Winnicott

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Clinical Psychology Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 29 September 2020

In this paper, Winnicott discusses how Democracy is a ‘society well-adjusted to its healthy individual members’. To study the emotional development of society is to study the individual and the element of maturity. A community is never composed of 100% of healthy, mature individuals, and it is important to know what proportion of mature individuals is necessary if there is to be an innate democratic tendency, or what proportion of antisocial individuals a society can contain without submergence of innate democratic tendency. The democratic burden falls on those who are maturing as individuals, and who can add a social sense to their personal development. To some extent, in the democratic election mature people elect temporary parents, which means that to some extent the electors remain children. Connected to this is a fear of women, which has led to so few women in positions of political power. Winnicott concludes that the democratic tendency can be strengthened by a study of the psychology of social as well as of individual maturity.

Access to the complete content on Oxford Clinical Psychology requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.