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Description - Psychoanalysis, Society, and the Inner World by David P. Levine

Psychoanalysis, Society, and the Inner World explores ideas from psychoanalysis that can be valuable in understanding social processes and institutions and in particular, how psychoanalytic ideas and methods can help us understand the nature and roots of social and political conflict in the contemporary world.

Among the ideas explored in this book, of special importance are the ideas of a core self (Heinz Kohut and Donald Winnicott) and of an internal object world (Melanie Klein, Ronald Fairbairn). David Levine shows how these ideas, and others related to them, offer a framework for understanding how social processes and institutions establish themselves as part of the individual's inner world, and how imperatives of the inner world influence the shape of those processes and institutions. In exploring the contribution psychoanalytic ideas can make to the study of society, emphasis is placed on post-Freudian trends that emphasize the role of the internalization of relationships as an essential part of the process of shaping the inner world.

The book's main theme is that the roots of social conflict will be found in ambivalence about the value of the self. The individual is driven to ambivalence by factors that exist simultaneously as part of the inner world and the world outside. Social institutions may foster ambivalence about the self or they may not. Importantly, this book distinguishes between institutions on the basis of whether they do or do not foster ambivalence about the self, shedding light on the nature and sources of social conflict. Institutions that foster ambivalence also foster conflict at a societal level that mirrors and is mirrored by conflict over the standing of the self in the inner world. Levine makes extensive use of case material to illuminate and develop his core ideas.

Psychoanalysis, Society, and the Inner World will appeal to psychoanalysts and to social scientists interested in psychoanalytic ideas and methods, as well as students studying across these fields who are keen to explore social and political issues.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9781138217362
ISBN-10: 1138217360
Format: Hardback
(234mm x 156mm x mm)
Pages: 136
Imprint: Routledge
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd
Publish Date: 14-Feb-2017
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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Author Biography - David P. Levine

David P. Levine is Professor Emeritus at the University of Denver. He holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Yale University and a Certificate in Psychoanalytic Scholarship from the Colorado Center for Psychoanalytic Studies. He has published extensively in the fields of economics, political economy, and on the application of psychoanalytic ideas to social issues and to the study of organizations.

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