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Factors of Left and Right Radicalism Relating to Family Dynamics, Social Psychology, and Social Economics - Results of an Empirical Study (From Causes of Terrorism in the Federal Republic of Germany, P 99-121, 1978, Hans-Dieter Schwind, ed. - See NCJ-72531)

NCJ Number
R Grossarth-Maticek
Date Published
23 pages
Familial, social, and socioeconomic factors contributing to the development of left or right radicalism are analyzed using surveys of Heidelberg students.
Data on family relationships derive from questionnaires administered to 84 leftist, 84 rightist, 84 middle-class democratic, and 84 apolitical students in 1971; 23 leftist, 25 rightist, 20 middle-class democratic, and 19 political students from the first group were resurveyed in 1978. Results indicate that both right and left radicalism is the result of a complex interaction of factors. Leftist students tend to come from well educated, liberal upper middle-class families, to adopt liberal ideologies, and to compensate for increasingly limited privileges through social involvement. Inhibition of such individuals' development by proffesors or system representatives radicalizes them further. Typically, leftist students feel ignored by their families, especially their mothers, are hypersensitive to personal rejection, and believe that capitalism seeks to eliminate liberal freedoms in West Germany. They thus develop a deeply rooted alienation and distaste for existing society. In contrast, rightist students are from less privileged, lower middle-class families threatened by the growth of capitalism. Rightists students display an exceptionally strong attachment to their mothers and feel that their fathers interfere with their maternal relationships. Rightists are prepared to defend the existing society and its cultural and moral values with force, if necessary. Such individuals are hypersensitive to attacks on their values. The contrast between strong family attachments and social insecurity motivates their aggressivity toward both fringe groups and society as a whole. The interviews at 7-year intervals suggest that radical students were consistent in their views, while democratic and apolitical students were not. A table and texts of two contrasting interviews are presented. --in German.