The Psychology of Patriotism Term Paper by Nicky

The Psychology of Patriotism
A psychological review of the definition of patriotism.
# 148581 | 1,190 words | 3 sources | MLA | 2011 | US
Published on Oct 27, 2011 in Psychology (Freud) , Hot Topics (Terror and 9/11) , Political Science (General)

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This paper discusses how patriotism can be perceived as either an altruistic act or a terrible act - depending upon ones point of view or which side of the fence one sits. It looks at how Freud's psychoanalytic theory may be applied and how the ego and the superego balances or fights each other out at times. It uses as an example the case of a New York City Fire Department fireman who sees several victims trapped during 9/11 and his internal fight. The paper also contends that there is definitely a thin line dividing a patriot and a terrorist as shown by the gruesome acts of genocide and institutionalized killings in places such as Bosnia and Rwanda.

From the Paper:

"Indeed, if the rational part of the self is the ego then a patriot would have weighed the difference between risking his life or not in a given situation. But it seems that the ego and the superego balances or fights each other out at times. Take for instance during the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, a New York City Fire Department fireman sees several victims trapped. His ego is telling him that to go in and save those people trap inside could mean danger for him and the rational thing to do is survive. The superego comes into play and tells him that survival may be important there is a higher moral purpose that needs to be fulfilled and saving lives is his job. If the superego wins over the ego and the risky action is taken, then it would be a selfless act on the fireman despite the evident risks involved."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Bader, Michael J. "Patriotism and Education: The Psychology of Patriotism." Phi Delta Kappan. 26 Apr. 2006. <>.
  • Bogardus, Emory S."Group Loyalties." Chapter 13 in Essentials of Social Psychology. 1920. Mead Project. 03 May 2009. <>.
  • Boyd, Robert and Peter J. Richerson. Darwinian Evolutionary Ethics: Between Patriotism and Sympathy. 08 Apr. 2004. 03 May 2009. <>.

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The Psychology of Patriotism (2011, October 27) Retrieved July 02, 2020, from

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