From Tribal Division to Welcoming Inclusion: Psychoanalytic Perspectives provides a fascinating contribution to our understanding of the increasingly polarized and divisive nature of global politics. By describing the significant role of early mental mechanisms in interactions between the individual and society, the book offers a unique understanding of how our early mental life explains the social, cultural and political positions we assume later.
Splitting and projection are early defences meant to shield the growing mind from unbearable aspects of reality, but they hinder our capacity for open-minded thought, and in contributing to the dangerous atmosphere of "us versus them", introduce tribal myths of an innocent group and external persecutors. The book illustrates these distortions of reality using a range of vignettes, notably the myth of white supremacy and the savage legacy of the Civil War in the United States. Gaining support from the work of Wilfred Bion, the book emphasises the need for integration of mind and the restoration of our capacity to face painful realities, including one’s own violence and hatred.
This psychoanalytic study provides a balm for turbulent times. It will be of great interest to researchers and interested readers in the broad field of psychoanalysis, as well as those in the fields of political science, cultural studies and anthropology.
"The relationship between psychoanalysis and the society in which it is practiced eludes any easy definition or description. Maxine Anderson, as demonstrated in this book, is one of those privileged minds capable of performing the difficult task of illuminating the mysteries and complexities of emotional life in oneself and one’s society. She writes a book that elucidates these complexities for the psychoanalytic profession as well as the wider community. It is more than a book, it is a treasure, which is written in a lively and accessible style." --Arnaldo Chuster, M.D., Doctor in Psychiatry; Full Member, Training and Teaching Analyst at Rio de Janeiro Psychoanalytical Society (Rio-1), Member of Newport Psychoanalytical Institute, California.
"This is an important and riveting book that offers a thoughtful and piercing view into our currently fractured Nation. Anyone who reads it with an open mind will understand how and why we are where we are and how we got there. While painting a bleak portrait of a nation divided by hate and tribal splits, Dr. Anderson offers us hope with a heartfelt recommendation of CARE. If we are thoughtful, aware, and willing to CARE, we have a chance to heal the fractures in our country and find each other again. This book is a blueprint for getting us there." --Daniel M. Brener, M.D., Psychiatrist and Psychoanalyst, Houston, Texas.
"Dr. Anderson has written a deeply important book in our contemporary political climate that will stand the test of time. She brings a penetrating psychoanalytic lens to the problems of a polarized world, examining the roots of white supremacy and the ways in which we are all vulnerable to polarizing fear and fragmentation. By drawing on established psychoanalytic ideas, and uniquely elaborating concepts into a new synthesis, she offers the possibility to transform tribalism and polarization into understanding, integration, and change. The book is both a gift, and a necessity." --Catherine Rising Kimble, MD, Training and Supervising Analyst, Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute
TABLE OF CONTENTS
PART I: THE MIND MAY DISTORT REALITY IN ORDER TO MAINTAIN SECURITY AND STABILITY
CHAPTER 1: THE MYTH OF WHITE SUPREMACY
CHAPTER 2: SEEKING SECURITY AMID EMOTIONAL TURBULENCE
PART II: THE MIND FACES FEARED REALITIES: RESCUE VIA COURAGE AND ATTENTIVE CARE
CHAPTER 3: SEEKING SECURITY VIA CARE AND THOUGHT
CHAPTER 4: LESSONS DERIVED FROM CARE, COURAGE AND SELF-RESPECT
CHAPTER 5: TRANSFORMATIONS VIA TRUST IN THE AS YET UNKNOWABLE
CHAPTER 6: APPRECIATING THE PAIN OF INTEGRATION
CHAPTER 7: SUMMARY REFLECTIONS