As escapism, escapism or escapism is called the escape from or prior to the real world and shunning them with all their needs in favor of an assumed reality, that is imaginary or possible better reality.


Escapism is understood as an escape outbreaks attitude or posture, as a conscious or unconscious refusal of social objectives and action ideas. An escape from reality or to reality can be accomplished by mental and social screening ( " couch potato ", " hermit " ), by a turn to the irrational, excessive use of media of all kinds, or by substance drugs.

Media Psychology

In the Media Psychology Escapism is considered as an important motive of media use. After the "escapism thesis " can be used both media to satisfy affective needs ( Escapism ), as well as for the satisfaction of cognitive needs (knowledge extension).

In this approach, the media consumer is no longer studied as a recipient and pure charm receiver according to the stimulus-response model, but his motivation. In the media Research Escapism is associated with the uses-and - gratifications approach, that is, media services are selected for escapism. After this " escape " concept of cat and Foulke voltages generated are mitigated by commonplace experienced social role exercises. Motives are thus forgetting and Escape before own problems as well as passive relaxation and the generation of emotions and distracting rules and norms of reality.

Results of the medial Escapism is an identification with pre- led lifestyles, projection own failure to external actors and compensation for open or unfulfilled desires.

Criticized the Escapism thesis particularly with regard to their lack of a more extensive psychological foundation. Yet it belongs to the permanent collection of the need or motivation research in media studies.

Escapism as an ideology

Escapism is not necessarily as only individual loneliness and social isolation occur. Even the entry into shielded municipalities or sects can be a form of escape from reality, even if it is performed together with other people. In the case of these sects carped escape can also be a so-called Moksha, which is psychologically classified as delusional. After all, the "exit " in local communities also positive as the " exit option " and thus be interpreted as a form of political resistance against social constraints ( cf. hippie and New Age ). However, has been criticized on such policies often that the rejected conditions could be changed offensively either by an individual or by a group exit.

With its formula of religion as "the opium of the people" interpreted Karl Marx a socially broad and socially integrated movement, Christianity, as an ideological escape from the knowledge of the actual social conditions. Theodor W. Adorno and Guy Debord's descriptions of the " culture industry " and the " Society of the Spectacle " transfer this analysis to the field of consumer goods, the entertainment industry and advertising. The spectacle of "false needs " according to the analysis of the Marxist-inspired critical theory, the population distract on alienated way of the physical and mental misery and alienation, she was exposed to in class society of capitalism.

Escapism accusation in art

Occasionally, the art in general and poetry in particular was accused of being a means of escapism. Often this the image of the ivory tower was used, in which the poet verschanze themselves from the real world and retire. In particular, the art of romance, about the poetry of Friedrich Hölderlin, this term was applied. Peter Handke is this allegation in his band I met a resident of the Ivory Tower (1972). There he emphasizes the utopian character of art, just enable by its distance from the reality of their change.

The writer JRR Tolkien in 1939 held a well-received lecture On Fairy- Stories ( Beyond Wonderland ), in which he described the principles of the later emerging fantasy genre and vigorously defended against accusations of escapism:

" Why Should a man be scorned if, finding himself in prison, he tries to get out and go home? Or if, When He can not do so, he thinks and talks about other topics than jailers and prison - walls? "

"Why would anyone be scorned, which is located in prison and tries to come out and go home? Or, if that does not work: when he thinks about other topics and calls than guards and prison walls "?

In this quote, Tolkien expresses his dissatisfaction with the modern world, which he called "prison". He also points to the possibility of coping with everyday life. Tolkien is different in his presentation is also made between two different types of alignments, which he valued differently: Firstly, the flight of the deserter, whom he describes as a coward, on the other hand, the escape of the prisoner, which one could not blame his will to escape, and it evaluates as a form of political resistance. The literature he sees - as Sigmund Freud in his essay The Poet and the fantasizing (1907 ) - as a way of imaginative moderate fulfillment of wishes and desires, which can not afford the "real " world.