- This interdisciplinary course will examine the phenomena of cults and totalitarian regimes - closed, hierarchical systems led by charismatic, authoritarian leaders. Using in-depth case studies, we will use a variety of theoretical approaches to understand these systems, in addition to reading narrative and literary accounts. We will explore the processes of recruitment, conversion, conformity, commitment and disaffiliation, with a particular emphasis on understanding the extreme obedience found in these systems. This course will examine commonalities between cults and totalitarian systems including: the effects on personal life and relationships, social networks, a shared absolute ideology, and charismatic relationship between leader and followers.
This September I will be teaching a new class at the Mary Ward Centre in Bloomsbury, London. The class is The Social Psychology of Cults and Totalitarianism. Click the link to get more information.
Contact Alexandra Stein
In this blog I explore the social psychology of totalitarianism, cults and other dangerous relationships. And I look at the alternative: democracy, diversity and resilience in the human community.