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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 the school. Obama faced racism for the first time at the school and found out what it meant to be African-American. Obama described how much he had conflict with adapting to his own social perceptions, multiracial heritage, and sense of self: “I began to notice there was nobody like me in the Sears, Roebuck Christmas catalog … nd that Santa was a white man,” he said. “I went to the bathroom and stood in front of the mirror with all my senses and limbs seemingly intact, looking the way I had always looked, and wondered if something was wrong with me (2012). ” Obama also had conflict with the absence of his father that he saw only one more time after his parents divorced, when Obama Sr. visited Hawaii for a short time in 1971. In 1981, Obama Sr. was involved in a serious car accident, in which he lost both of his legs. Confined to a wheelchair, he also lost his job.

November 24, 1982, Obama Sr. as involved in a fatal car accident while traveling in Nairobi, Barack was 21 years old. Obama moved to Chicago in 1985 where he worked on the South Side as a community organizer for low-income residents in the Roseland and the Altgeld Gardens communities. Barack visited relatives in Kenya, which included a very emotional visit to the graves of his father and grandfather. “Obama said. “I saw that my life in America—the black life, the white life, the sense of abandonment I felt as a boy, the frustration and hope I’d witnessed in Chicago all of it was connected with this small plot of earth an ocean away. Obama came back from Kenya with a new respect and outlook on life. Obama’s new outlook and respect pushed him, to enter Harvard Law School in 1988. “I enter Harvard Law School to make things better for the African American race and to help all minorities to better things” (Barack Obama- Biography). February 1990, Obama was elected the first African-American editor of the Harvard Law Review. Barack graduated from Harvard, top of his class, in 1991. After finishing law school, Obama went back to Chicago where he practice as a civil rights lawyer, joining the firm of Miner, Barnhill & Galland.

Barack taught part time at the University of Chicago Law School (1992-2004) as a lecturer and then as a professor. In 1992 Obama helped organize voter registration drives during presidential campaign of Bill Clinton. President Obama concentrated on setting the foundation for an economy that is built to last creating jobs for American workers, cutting taxes for middle class families and small businesses, investing in education, manufacturing and American-made energy, and making sure everyone follows the same rules, ethics and code of conduct.

President Obama’s years of public service are centered on his belief in the ability to unite people around their politics of purpose. In the Illinois State Senate, he passed the first major ethics reform in 25 years, cut taxes for working families, and expanded health care for children and their parents. As a United States Senator, he passed groundbreaking lobbying reform, locked up the most dangerous weapons in the world, and brought clearness to government by putting federal spending on the line. Cited Sources: 1. Barack Obama. (2012). Biography. com. Retrieved 02:01, Nov 01, 2012 from http://www. biography. om/people/barack-obma-12782369 2. Barack Obama – Biography www. imdb. com/name/nm1682433/bio 3. ———————– | | |BARACK OBAMA EXAMINED THROUGH AN ADLERIAN FRAMEWORK SUPERIORITY STRIVING AND STYLE OF LIFE | | | |Instructor: Mary Viventi | PSY362 Personality Theories October 31, 2012 Authored by: Brian J. Owens

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