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Large-Group Psychology: Racism, Societal Divisions, Narcissistic Leaders and Who We Are Now
Vamik D. Volkan
Phoenix Publishing House / Softcover / May 2020
9781912691654 (ISBN-10: 1912691655)
Psychoanalysis & Groups, Organisations / Discrimination & Racism
price: $38.95 (may be subject to change)
144 pages
Not in Stock, but usually ships within 2-3 weeks

A new and updated exploration of large-group psychology from world-renowned psychoanalyst Dr Vamik D. Volkan. This timely book investigates the underlying psychology of the societal divisions occurring in the world and includes the author’s personal observations and experiences of racism as a ‘voluntary immigrant’ to the US over six decades ago. Large-Group Psychology: Racism, Societal Divisions, Narcissistic Leaders and Who We Are Now is an immensely readable book, written in a beautifully clear and jargon-free prose.

Following the deadly 2017 white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, numerous recent, and fatal, attacks on mosques, churches, and synagogues occurring worldwide, and increasing totalitarianism and paranoia spreading through many countries, Dr. Vamik Volkan could no longer ignore the urge to write a new book about large-group problems. In many countries, people are asking the metaphorical question “Who are we now?” and coming up with seemingly opposite answers. This book looks into the reasons why this is happening.

With a summary of Sigmund Freud’s ideas about large groups – which focus on the individual – Dr Volkan builds on this base to explain what large-group psychology is in its own right and applies it to present-day society. How it develops in adulthood, the psychology of decision-making and political leader/follower relationships, political propaganda, and exaggerated narcissism in leaders are all examined.

We are all members of at least one large group. Looking into large-group identity provides background data for investigating the spread of racism, authoritarian regimes, malignant political propaganda, wall building, and interferences with democratic processes and human rights issues.

Large-Group Psychology: Racism, Societal Divisions, Narcissistic Leaders and Who We Are Now is the perfect book for those questioning what is happening in society today and why.

Table of Contents:

About the author

About this book

Personal motivations for studying large-group psychology

Large-group psychology in its own right

Large-group identity that develops in adulthood

Psychology of decision-making and political leader–followers relationships

Political propaganda

Applying the Tree Model and large-group consultations

Cherry Hospital: personal observations on racism

Who are we now?

Persons with exaggerated narcissism

Last words



About the Author:

Vamik Volkan, MD, DFLAPA, received his medical education at the School of Medicine, University of Ankara, Turkey. He is an emeritus professor of psychiatry at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville and an emeritus training and supervising analyst at the Washington Psychoanalytic Institute, Washington, DC. In 1987, Dr Volkan established the Center for the Study of Mind and Human Interaction (CSMHI) at the School of Medicine, University of Virginia. CSMHI applied a growing theoretical and field-proven base of knowledge to issues such as ethnic tension, racism, large-group identity, terrorism, societal trauma, immigration, mourning, transgenerational transmissions, leader–follower relationships, and other aspects of national and international conflict. A year after his 2002 retirement, Dr Volkan became the Senior Erik Erikson Scholar at the Erikson Institute of the Austen Riggs Center, Stockbridge, Massachusetts and he spent three to six months there each year for ten years.

In 2006, he was Fulbright/Sigmund Freud-Privatstiftung Visiting Scholar of Psychoanalysis in Vienna, Austria. Dr Volkan holds honorary doctorate degrees from Kuopio University (now called the University of Eastern Finland), Finland; from Ankara University, Turkey; and the Eastern European Psychoanalytic Institute, Russia. He was a former president of the Turkish-American Neuropsychiatric Society, the International Society of Political Psychology, the Virginia Psychoanalytic Society, and the American College of Psychoanalysts. Among many the awards he received are the Nevitt Sanford Award, Elise M. Hayman Award, L. Bryce Boyer Award, Margaret Mahler Literature Prize, Hans H. Strupp Award, the American College of Psycho- analysts’ Distinguished Officer Award for 2014, and the Mary S. Sigourney Award for 2015. He received the Sigmund Freud Award given by the city of Vienna, Austria in collaboration with the World Council of Psychotherapy. He also was honoured on several occasions by being nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize with letters of support from twenty-seven countries. Dr Volkan is the author, co-author, editor, or co-editor of more than fifty psychoanalytic and psychopolitical books, including Enemies on the Couch: A Psychopolitical Journey through War and Peace. Currently Dr Volkan is the president emeritus of the International Dialogue Initiative (IDI), which he established in 2007. He continues to lecture nationally and internationally.

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