Goroff, Norman N.
May 1984
Humanity & Society;May84, Vol. 8 Issue 2, p199
Academic Journal
The central theme of this article is that feelings of personal inadequacy, which frequently are translated by the person into a feeling of self-depreciation, are encouraged and supported by much of social science theories. Consequences of the feeling "one is not good enough" are to accept as "natural," the current unequal allocation of resources human beings create and its concomitant unequal life chances. These feelings of personal inadequacy contribute significantly to a maintenance of the status quo because the person is then receiving "what she or he deserves." The development of a sense of self, or as sociologist Richard De Martino notes, "egoconsciousness which ordinarily first appears between the ages of two and five in a child born of human parents and reared in a human society," is a necessary prerequisite to a process of self-evaluation. The concept of a self that is evaluated by the person is based on a view of human relationships which is alienated insofar as it is based on a competitiveness that is then seen as an inherent part of human nature. It is contended that competition is not an inherent part of human nature but rather a learned behavior essential to a capitalist economy.


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