Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. Barry Goetz

Second Advisor

Dr. Douglas Davidson

Third Advisor

Dr. Rudolf J. Siebert


Erich Fromm, sociology, theory


As a member of the first generation of the Frankfurt School, a Marxist, and, unlike Herbert Marcuse (1898-1979) and Theodor W. Adorno (1903-1969), a clinically trained and practicing psychoanalyst for most of his adult life, Erich Fromm’s (1900- 1980) work has a lot to offer the field of sociology. However, his sociological efforts have been mostly ignored here in the United States. I would like to rectify this problem by summarizing three of Fromm’s key contributions to sociological theory, in particular, (1) his categories of humanistic and authoritarian religion; (2) his theory of social character, and (3) his “mechanisms of escape” or the psychological tools people use to ‘escape their freedom’ to choose. The first contribution pertains mainly to the scientific, nontheological study of religion, while the other two pertain to sociological theory, in general.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Campus Only

Restricted to Campus until