Group Conflicts in Light of the Cratism Theory (Psycholinguistic Analysis)

Keywords: cratism theory, Władysław Witwicki, Lvov–Warsaw School, inter-group conflicts, cultural-historical psychology


This article presents an analysis of intergroup relations in light of Władysław Witwicki’s cratism theory. His theory allows social relations to be explained in light of the pursuit for a sense of power, although this has never been verified in the psychological laboratory. Because the cratism theory is largely based on the analysis of social relations described in historical documents, this paper presents an attempt to use its basic assumptions to describe the linguistic behavior (and linguistic picture of the world) of a threatened group. The examined material consisted of religious documents of the first Christians, created before and during the growing conflict with an unfriendly/ antagonistic environment. Frequency analysis shows significant changes in the cratic orientation as well as emotions and the evaluation of the social world in conflict conditions.


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