Updated 2024-03-14

Alice Miller: The Unkind Society, Parenting and Schooling

This book takes the work of Alice Miller a step further and discusses how her beliefs about parenting techniques can also be projected upon the work of teachers and other professionals working with children and young people.
Chris Shute author
Non-Fiction Books


Alice Miller came to believe that she had discovered the true origin of the vein of ferocity which runs through human relationships everywhere.

She proposed a simple but revolutionary truth: people are not emotionally distorted by their unresolved Oedipus Complex, or by some complex mismanagement of their imperious, inescapable drives. Instead, it is the unrecognized cruelty of their parents, masquerading as ‘firm discipline’ and ‘responsible control’, which injects slow-acting poison into their lives.

If they have learned from their own background and culture to believe that children are in need of repression, they will crush, ‘for their own good’, all their innocent attempts to act independently, leaving them angry, frightened and frustrated. Their children will learn that it is dangerous to resist the god-like power of their parents, and they then grow up into faithful imitators of those who oppressed them.

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