Freud And Rogers Comparing Takes On Modern Life

  • Read the following background on the time periods and societies in which Freud and Rogers lived.
    • Sigmund Freud lived in a time of change that included a catastrophic world war that set the stage for an even bigger world war. Ten years after Freud’s birth in 1856, Austria went to war with Prussia in Germany. The result was the formation of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, which would expand and then disintegrate in the next 50 years. Freud was born into a wealthy, Jewish family and lived most of his life in Vienna, the Austrian capital. He would have been fully aware of the forces that marked profound changes in the 19th and early 20th centuries. He saw nationalist movements that destabilized the Austro-Hungarian Empire. World War I in 1914 was triggered by the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne. Consider that of the 7.8 million Austro-Hungarian forces that fought in the war, 90 percent (7.02 million) were causalities—killed, wounded, missing, or taken prisoner. (See the Optional Resource, WWI Casualty and Death Tables, for these and additional statistics.) Freud also witnessed the rise of communism and fascism in Europe. When he died on September 23, 1939, Nazi Germany had invaded Poland and World War II had begun. As a Jew, he had left Vienna for England, where he died, to escape the Nazi threat. For comparison to the technology in the modern coffee shop, photography developed greatly in his lifetime, and the telephone was invented. But there were no computers or Internet or anything close to them. Telephones were not portable. And while there were hand-held cameras, they were nothing like the cell phone features of today.
    • The Learning Resources on Carl Rogers provide background on his life. Note that he spent much of his early life living on a farm in the U.S. Midwest—the opposite environment from Freud’s urban setting in a major European capital—and initially went to college to study agriculture and then the ministry before becoming a psychologist. Born at the start of the 20th century in 1902, Rogers witnessed tremendous change and development in his lifetime. He was 14 when World War I began and 37 at the start of World War II, from which America emerged as a major world power. He witnessed the Nuclear Age and its arms race, and the Cold War between the U.S. and the Soviet Union for nearly 50 years following World War II. He also saw the Civil Rights Movement and the Women’s Movement in the United States. In terms of technology, when he died in 1987, there were digital cameras, mobile phones, and laptop computers, although not of the convenient size, speed, and multiple features of current devices. The Internet was in primitive use, although social sites like Facebook had not yet been founded.
  • Reflecting on the settings in which Freud and Rogers lived and how they might view the following behaviors, choose one of these behaviors as the focus of your post:
    • Chronicling personal activity through selfies
    • Revealing personal/emotional lives on Facebook
    • Texting as a primary means of communicating with others
  • In addition to the background above, review Learning Resources on Rogers and Freud and the required article on Facebook related to your Discussion post.
  • Consider how both Freud and Rogers would explain the behavior you have selected.
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