Skip to content
Connect
Stories

How unconscious feelings about ourselves drive scapegoating

People in this story

Washington Post, July 2022

Scapegoating — the projecting of unwarranted blame — can crop up often in everyday life. It happens in troubled homes where members shame a family scapegoat rather than look at the true nature of their frustrations. Political leaders can direct constituents’ fears toward a single target: immigrants. Scapegoating also can take a hateful, violent turn. Witness the attacks on Asian Americans during the pandemic and the recent mass shooting of Black people in Buffalo.

On the surface, scapegoating appears straightforward: a case of misguided accusations and aggression. But it’s much more psychologically nuanced, experts say, and those who scapegoat are often driven by unconscious dynamics.

“I don’t have to deal with myself if I scapegoat, if I blame,” said Deborah Stewart, a Jungian psychoanalyst in Cape Cod, Mass. “That’s the part that most people don’t really know — that they are trying to expel some of their very own feelings by putting them on others.”

Continue reading at the Washington Post.

More Stories

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., speaks to reporters about the agreement he reached with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., following months of negotiations on health care, energy, climate issues, and tax initiatives, at the Capitol in Washington, Monday, Aug. 1, 2021. Manchin returned to the Senate after a week away to recover from COVID-19.

The ‘biggest piece of climate legislation’ in history is destined to be forgotten.

08.09.2022
Veterans, military family members and advocates call for Senate Republicans to change their votes on a bill designed to help millions of veterans exposed to toxic substances during their military service, at the Capitol in Washington, Monday, Aug. 1, 2021. A bill that enhances health care and disability benefits for millions of veterans exposed to toxic burn pits has hit a snag in the Senate.

Alabama senators defend ‘no’ votes on ‘burn pit’ health care bill for veterans.

08.08.2022
A protest against the war in Ukraine in Rome, in March. Italy had the largest Ukrainian community in Western Europe even before the war

For Ukrainians abroad, war has also meant a flowering of identity

08.09.22
In the News