Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Stanley Elkins views on slavery were that the Europeans created an environment which made the West Africian slaves dependent on their owners. The term used was "psychologically infantilizing". In other words the Europeans created a "totalitarian environment" (1. of or pertaining to a centralized government that does not tolerate parties of differing opinion and that exercises dictatorial control over many aspects of life. 2. exercising control over the freedom, will, or thought of others; authoritarian; autocratic) which systematically destroyed their ability to resist, plan, and form positive relationships with one another. By making the slaves totally dependent on the white slave owners it instilled a "dependant personality pattern". The slaves looked to their owners for food, shelter after being placed in an alien environment and psychological conditioning. Stanley Elkins based his theory psychological research done by Bruno Bettelheim. Elkins views helped support the institution of Affirmative action program of the late 1960's due to the belief of lingering effects of slavery on Black culture.