This is a timely book looking at the enormous impact that social networking has had on our society and how it is profoundly influencing our lives. While there is currently a great deal of thinking about the psychological ramifications of these sorts of changes there has been little work looking at the psychodynamics of individuals who use and depend upon these social networks, and the consequences for themselves and their important relationships. Popular hubs of social networking such as Facebook and Twitter feature centrally in this text, as well as the impact of the ubiquity of access through smartphones; the nature of this impact on interpersonal relationships and the formation of the ‘self’ will be of particular interest.
The approach taken differs from many books already on the market as the author takes a psychodynamic approach: that is, investigating the nature of social networking on the personal and social unconscious and its relationship to how we create, build, and maintain relationships. Insights from relational psychoanalysis inform the text. Relational psychoanalysis being that which concerns itself primarily with relating to others as a primary human motivation, taking in both unconscious object relational perspectives alongside relationships with real others. Social networking is interpreted as a new and relatively under-researched ground in which relational dynamics are played out.
Psychotherapists encounter the inside story and personal narratives of individuals living more and more of their lives online, hence the psychothereapeutic perspective gives a particularly unique insight into this matter. The Psychodynamics of Social Networking uses contemporary psychoanalytic theory to investigate the processes involved particularly in the ways in which individuals engage with each other through social networking, ultimately constructing how individuals perceive themselves both within and outside this context. Psychodynamic theory is applied to a variety of existing research and personal narratives is used to illustrate theory.
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About the Author:
Dr Aaron Balick is a member of the faculty in the Centre for Psychoanalytic Studies at the University of Essex where he directs the MA in psychoanalytic studies. Dr Balick is also a UKCP registered psychotherapist, supervisor and psychological consultant in London. As a founding and executive member of The Relational School UK he has works to develop and promote contemporary relational thinking in the UK and abroad. Dr Balick has published several articles in academic journals, book chapters, and more broadly in the popular press; he is a media spokesperson for the UKCP and a regular guest contributor and mental health expert on Radio One's phone-in show, The Surgery with Aled.