We’re off to see the wizard: Politics, charisma, and community change

Kantor, C. / Published 2013 / Article

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Citation: Kantor, C. (2013). We’re off to see the wizard: Politics, charisma, and community change. In K.E. Davis, R.M. Bergner, F. Lubuguin, & W. Schwartz, (Eds.), Advances in Descriptive Psychology: Vol.10 (pp. 129-148). Ann Arbor, MI: Descriptive Psychology Press.

Abstract: The phenomenon of the charismatic leader is explored from the perspectives of the circumstances that give rise to such a status and the significance of these statuses relative to the leader and the leader’s followers. The Ghost Dancers of the Native American West and the Zomians of Southeast Asia are historical particulars that demonstrate the phenomena of societies under threat and the rise of charismatic leaders. The Descriptive concepts of World, World Reconstruction, Culture, Status and Status Assigner are the conceptual anchoring points for this discussion. This paper builds on earlier papers that elaborated the concepts of community, organization, institution, and culture as well as ones elaborating world reformulation. It concludes that a community, indeed a culture, seeks persons who reformulate the community’s world to survive grave threats to its existence.