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The walls within: working with defenses against otherness

Online Conference 5-11 July 2021

Corruption: Oedipal configuration as social mechanism

The paper explores some of the psychodynamic variables which make corruption possible at a personal, organizational and social level. In order to consider what corruption might be, it makes reference to the concepts of envy, jealousy and the oedipal configuration, in relation to both power and authority. While the paper acknowledges the importance of specific contexts such as impoverished economies, it argues that the potential for corrupt behaviour is an integral component of our psychosocial makeup and, as such, it is abetted by internal conflict in the individual and the group. Unless we understand the vicissitudes of our envy of power, this is disavowed and we turn a blind eye to the potential in ourselves and others for acting corruptly.'