The Greek term katharsis, also known as katairein, which implies cleaning or purging, is where the word catharsis originates. Catharsis is the release or cleaning of emotions, usually with the goal of reducing the stress that comes from holding on to these feelings.
The concept was first proposed by the Greek philosopher Aristotle, who thought that hearing a tragedy staged cleansed the audience of powerful emotions. Since then, it has strengthened to refer to any powerful feeling released. It has a specific significance in media and cultural studies, where it refers to the argument made in opposition to those who are afraid of imitation.
The imitation theory claims that witnessing violent or sexual situations encourages the spectator to mimic what is seen. The argument for catharsis is that watching violent acts gives the viewer an alternative way to feel, which helps them get rid of their desire to take part in what they are watching.
The catharsis effect is the theory that seeing violence on television or in movies makes people feel less frustrated and, as a result, helps to lessen violence in the real world.
Psychodynamically, the phrase refers to a discharge of emotions that eases underlying tensions and worries. The word literally means “cleaning” or “purging.” The idea that catharsis may be achieved by simply reenacting the upsetting past events that led to followed pathology was first put forth by Sigmund Freud. Later, he claimed cathartic reenactments were prevented by active repressive mechanisms.
Catharsis can be understood as embracing two potential domains in exercise and sports. The most “popular” kind is using sports to vent rage or animosity in an environment where such conduct is acceptable. The deployment of exercise and sport as a stress reliever, releasing the stressors and tensions that may build up in a person, is the application of catharsis.