Barack Obama Examined Through an Adlerian Framework Superiority Striving

Topics: Barack Obama, Harvard Law School, Ann Dunham Pages: 3 (935 words) Published: November 17, 2012
Alfred Adler believed that childhood events are pivotal for the adult. Adler’s pivotal childhood events were the development of rickets. Adler’s development of rickets kept him from walking until the age of four and contracting a near-fatal case of pneumonia at age five. These events served to inculcate a lifelong ambition centered around becoming a physician in order to focus on the curing of deadly diseases. Adler said that “all people have moments when they feel inferior. For many, such moments will lead them to strive to compensate for that weakness. When this happens, it leads to what he calls “superiority striving,” in which the person is motivated by his or her feelings of inferiority to overcome and strive for betterment, achievement, and perfection. Adler believed that superiority striving is different from simply striving for power. Adler considered this an unhealthy desire because the sole goal is power. The way that someone strives to meet his or her goals from an Adlerian point of view is Adler called a style of life. I will compare President Barack Obama’s superiority striving to Adlerian Theory Obama did not have a relationship with his father as a child. As an infant, Barack father Obama Sr. relocated to Massachusetts to attend Harvard University, to receive a Ph.D. Barack's parents separated several months later and divorced in March 1964. In 1965 at the age of 2, President Barack Obama Jr., father returned to Kenya. In 1965, Obama’s mother Ann Dunham married Lolo Soetoro, an East–West Center student from Indonesia. A year later, the family moved to Jakarta, Indonesia, where Barack's half-sister, Maya Soetoro Ng, was born. Several incidents in Indonesia left Dunham afraid for her son's safety and education so, at the age of 10, Barack was sent back to Hawaii to live with his maternal grandparents. His mother and sister later joined them. Obama’s grandparents enrolled him in Punahou Academy. Barack was one of only three black students at...

Cited: October 31, 2012
Authored by: Brian J
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