This is the sixth volume in the series "Contemporary Freud: Turning Points and Critical Issues," published with the International Psychoanalytical Association. Each book in the series presents a classic essay by Freud and discussions of the essay by prominent psychoanalytic teachers and analysts who differ in emphases and who come from different theoretical backgrounds and geographical locations.
"Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego" (1921) initiated new directions in psychoanalytic theorizing by dramatizing the inner valence of group life for the individual in terms of intrapsychic processes such as identification and the vicissitudes of the ego ideal. At a time of transition in psychoanalytic theory from one-person to two-person psychology, this text provides an opportunity to recall that Freud himself made this turn many decades ago. Nor is the work without wider significance: Freud presents an analysis of the roots of group identity, of the contagions of panic and fanaticism, and of the submission of the individual to the leader that has only gained cogency with each passing decade of the troubled twentieth century.
Following an introduction to the volume by Ethel Spector Person and a summary and abridgment of Freud's text by John Kerr, the contributors to this volume--Didier Anzieu, Robert Caper, Abraham Zaleznik, Andre Haynal, Ernst Falzeder, Yolanda Gampel, and Claudio Laks Eisirik--provide commentaries on Freud's work, explicating the multiple ways in which Freud's insights continue to illuminate the irrational dynamics to which all groups, including psychoanalytic institutions, are prey. Their essays place Freud's monograph in historical context, explore the ramifications of Freud's expansion of the intrapsychic world to account for group behavior, reconsider the distinctions between groups based on rational self-interest and what Bion called "basic assumption groups," and illuminate how trauma and the search for redeeming illusions shape the destinies of collectivities even in the face of the most determined efforts at imposing rationality. Serving as both an introduction to, and an elegant expansion of, Freud's text, this volume demonstrates the role of psychoanalytic hypotheses in obtaining deeper insight into the tectonic shifts in group psychology underlying today's mass society.
Table of Contents
Preface--ETHEL SPECTOR PERSON
Introduction--ETHEL SPECTOR PERSON
PART ONE "GROUP PSYCHOLOGY AND THE ANALYSIS OF THE EGO" (1921): THE TEXT--JOHN KERR
PART TWO DISCUSSION OF "GROUP PSYCHOLOGY AND THE ANALYSIS OF THE EGO"
Freud's Group Psychology: Background, Significance, and Influence--DIDIER ANZIEU
Group Psychology and the Psychoanalytic Group--ROBERT CAPER
Power and Leadership in Complex Organizations--ABRAHAM ZALEZNIK
Groups and Fanaticism--ANDRÉ E. HAYNAL
Including an Appendix: Psychoanalytic "Family Trees"--ERNST FALZEDER
Group Psychology, Society, and Masses: Working with the Victims of Social Violence--YOLANDA GAMPEL
Freud's "Group Psychology," Psychoanalysis, and Culture--CLÁUDIO LAKS EIZIRIK