Full Text

loyalty, split loyalities, invisible loyalties

Subject Psychology

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631170488.1995.x


Loyalty, a central concept in the contextual family therapy of Boszormenyi-Nagy and Spark, is defined as a motivational determinant which has self-other dialectical, multipersonal rather than individual roots … its real nature lies in the invisible fabric of group expectations instead of manifest law. The invisible fibres of loyalty consist of consanguinity, maintenance of biological life and family lineage on the one hand and earned merit among members on the other. (1973, p. 52) Loyalty is a mark of belonging to a group and therefore manifests itself both as a group characteristic and as an individual attitude. Loyalty, as an individual attitude, goes beyond mere identification with the group. To be a loyal member of the group implies internalizing the spirit of its expectations and complying with its internalized injunctions. Failure to live up to the demands of loyalty leads to feelings of existential guilt which constitute a system of secondary regulative forces which play a part in maintaining the homeostasis of the family system. The development of loyalty is determined by the history of the family group, the type of justice in force within it and its myths. The nature of each of the group members’ obligations depends on his/her emotional disposition and his/ her position in respect of the family ledger , which recapitulates what each member of the family owes to - and may ... log in or subscribe to read full text

Log In

You are not currently logged-in to Blackwell Reference Online

If your institution has a subscription, you can log in here:


     Forgotten your password?

Find out how to subscribe.

Your library does not have access to this title. Please contact your librarian to arrange access.

[ access key 0 : accessibility information including access key list ] [ access key 1 : home page ] [ access key 2 : skip navigation ] [ access key 6 : help ] [ access key 9 : contact us ] [ access key 0 : accessibility statement ]

Blackwell Publishing Home Page

Blackwell Reference Online ® is a Blackwell Publishing Inc. registered trademark
Technology partner: Semantico Ltd.

Blackwell Publishing and its licensors hold the copyright in all material held in Blackwell Reference Online. No material may be resold or published elsewhere without Blackwell Publishing's written consent, save as authorised by a licence with Blackwell Publishing or to the extent required by the applicable law.

Back to Top