Essay on Women and Minorities in Psychology

Some phenomena appear to escape human reason to the point that it seemed to assign them to magical forces. These include the ease with which the men are persuaded to change their design and their perception of reality and their behaviour, and also the readiness with which they adopt, as if under a hypnosis effect, opinions which, the day before, were completely unrelated and which were suggested by a group, the mass media or a character with power or prestige.

It is also surprising that, despite the enormous pressure that the company exercises to compel individuals to conform to the general model, minorities and deviants not only resist it, but even manage to create new ways to live, think and act, thereby forcing the majority to accept theirs.

These phenomena of influence, once the domain of speculation, are now studied scientifically in laboratory. This essay presents women and minorities in psychology.

There is majority times, where everything seems to depend on the willingness of the greatest number, and minority times, where the obstinacy of a few individuals, a few small groups, appears to be sufficient to create the event, and to decide the course of things. This aspect may not be essential and be only partly true, if one asked me to describe our time, I would say that its main feature is the passage from a majority time to a minority time. This is seen with the naked eye when comparing the flows of mass born with the century movements of women, students, etc., that occur for about twenty years. The passage in question leads us to look at a glance nine certain phenomena that seem so surprising that we incline to believe they take place entirely outside the sphere of the rational and are due to the intervention of a magical power.

Expressions such as “the power of the media”, “the tyranny of words”, which are used to translate it, have become commonplace. They indicate forces whose power seems to overtake us and make us sense the ever-present threat to all of us who risk sooner or later to become the plaything of these forces against our will.

It is no less surprising to account that, despite a strong pressure, despite the enormous pressure exerted to achieve the uniformity of thought, taste and behaviour, not only individuals and groups are able to resist them, but, moreover, they manage to create new ways of perceiving the world, new ideas in politics, philosophy or the arts, and to get others to accept them. The struggle between the forces of conformity and innovation forces never loses its appeal and remains decisive for one as for the other.

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