Help us sharing our research, consultation and experiences

Donate Now

The walls within: working with defenses against otherness

Online Conference 5-11 July 2021

Hate in Groups and the Struggle for Individual Identity

In this paper, I explore the broader significance of the psychoanalytic theory of groups for understanding the distinctive developmental tasks that face individuals and social institutions in the context of a modern society. In considering the significance of the psychoanalytic theory of the group, I emphasize the link between group phenomena and hate. The link between hate and group phenomena arises in part out of the tension between the impulse to regress into the group and give up the process of individuation, and the impulse to pursue autonomy and live the peculiar sort of life made available to, and to a great extent expected of, those born into a modern society. Thus, hatred as a group phenomenon is involved in the struggle to provide a setting for an individual life, and the difficulties the prospects of living such a life can pose.'