The Defiance of Global Commitment: A Complex Social Psychology, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Defiance of Global Commitment

A Complex Social Psychology, 1st Edition

By Brian Castellani

Routledge

272 pages | 6 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2018-01-29
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Description

The Brexit vote; the election of Trump; the upsurge of European nationalism; the devolution of the Arab Spring; global violence; Chinese expansionism; disruptive climate change; the riotous instabilities of the world capitalist system…While diverse in nature, these events share a common denominator: they are less a failure of policy, and more a complex social psychological reaction to globalization, the result of which presently threatens our survival on Earth.

Based on a critical reading of Freud’s Civilization and its discontents, The defiance of global commitment constructs a complex social psychology of how people all over the world are addressingglobalization. Drawing on the latest advances in the cognitive, social, and complexity sciences, this timely volume presents a global model of defiance and the triangular tensions between nostalgic retreat, global aggression, and civil society, as manifested in forms ranging from nostalgic resentment and LGBTQI issues to racism and ecological aggression.

Revealing how globalization and its discontents manifest the darker reaches of the human psyche and its conflicted relations with others, this insightful monograph will appeal to undergraduate and postgraduate students, as well as postdoctoral researchers, interested in fields such as globalization studies, complexity sciences and social psychology.

Reviews

Today’s hyper-connected global world seems to breed more real discontent than the winners and techno-prophets would like us to believe. How can we explain this disgruntlement? Castellani goes beyond the obvious accounts and delves into the deeper and structural causes underlying today’s societal resentment. He revisits Freud’s seminal works on the human psyche vis-à-vis societal change. The convincing argument is made that people are not just angry because they feel left out but that there is a much more complex set of factors at play. Subsequently, global resentment is not going to disappear with some quick political fixes. On the face of it, the new Strongarm leaders or the decision to retreat from international agreements may seem to offer the way forward, but do little to fix the structural causes indeed. Those people – academics or otherwise – with a real interest in the worldwide reaction to globalization and global civil society will find Castellani’s analysis razor-sharp and urgent. Highly recommended!

Professor Lasse Gerrits

Author, Punching Clouds: An Introduction to the Complexity of Public Decision Making

Department of Political Science

Otto-Friedrich University, Bamberg, Germany

The Defiance of Global Commitment: A Complex Social Psychology’ is an important book. It is both useful and grimly realistic to invoke Freud and the aggressive tendencies of humankind in the context of our global responsibilities. This primal level demands to be addressed where the weaker forms of social constructionist theory tend to ignore it. In this sense, ‘a complex social psychology’ is necessary to engage the intersecting global, social and psychological dimensions involved. Freud’s tripartite model applied to social defiance is therefore presented as a necessary struggle of differentiation and directed aggression against a perceived ‘other’ of various mutual forms. The challenge the book presents is not only an analysis of this global condition but a distinction between positive and negative ‘therapies’ of resolution. More generally this text is a key moment for complexity theory’s insistence that social analyses must re-orient themselves to the interplay of global, social and psychological dynamics.?

Dr John Smith

Author, Qualitative Complexity

Department of Education & Community Studies

University of Greenwich, UK

Although it is essential to grasp the practical science and politics of complex global issues, the social psychological is equally mandatory. Trained in both sociology and clinical psychology, Castellani provides a powerful macroscope for readers to understand the nexus of issues involved in globalization today: tracing the building blocks from anthropology and neuroscience, through human psychology, to global societal behavior and policy. ‘The Defiance of Global Commitment’ tells this story of the evolution of global problems through a critical reading of Freud’s ‘Civilization and Its Discontents’ and through the lens of complexity science. The illustrative examples in the book are not intended to persuade readers to take a liberal or a conservative position on an issue; rather they point to a pragmatic method of studying complex issues, encouraging readers to practice this thinking and come to their own conclusions. Especially helpful is the book’s stark realistic, yet hopeful suggestions in the concluding chapter on how we can all take action individually to make an impact. This book is essential reading for engineering, public policy, and business professionals trying to get their arms around the complexity underlying globalization and contemporary global crises.

Carl Dister, M.A. Systems Engineering

Chief Innovation Manager

Reliability First, Ohio, United States

In an attempt to make sense of globalization and recent global events, this is a daring new take on a seemingly disparate set of ideas. Castellani’s treatise – an ambitious and ultimately satisfying account – weaves together scholarly traditions, from psychoanalytic theory to neuroscience, sociological critiques, and the complexity sciences. Castellani argues that the defiance of our global commitments arises from deep instincts, and that our current situation is an emergent phenomenon born of our sociality and psychological drives. Castellani avoids the trap of an easy answer, yet the reader comes away with a broader perspective of the key challenges of our global age and how we may best be within it all.

Professor Michael Seid

Director, Health Outcomes and Quality Care Research,

Pulmonary Medicine and James M. Anderson Center for Health Systems Excellence

University of Cincinnati Department of Pediatrics

Ranging from Freud to Wallerstein, as well as Foucault and a multitude of other scholars, this is an extraordinary review of theories of ‘commitment’ and the ‘global’. The binding together of this mix through the deployment of complex systems theory is the basis of its intriguing innovations, whatever you think of its Freudian underpinnings.

Sylvia Walby OBE

Distinguished Professor of Sociology

UNESCO Chair in Gender Research

Lancaster University, UK

Table of Contents

Acknowledgement

Introduction

COMMITMENT

DEFIANCE

CIVILIZATION AND ITS DISCONTENTS

THE DEFIANCE OF GLOBAL COMMITMENT

A Complex Social Psychology

SECTION 1:

Oceanic Feeling and the Pursuit of Happiness

Chapter 1, Oceanic Commitment and the Global: Fostering a Complex Systems View of the World

OCEANIC FEELING

AN ARCHEOLOGY OF MIND

EMBRACING A COMPLEX SYSTEMS VIEW

Chapter 2: We Are Condemned to Seek Happiness

What is Happiness?

OUR ASSESSMENT OF FREUD’S ARGUMENT

CIVILIZATION, REALITY AND HAPPINESS

Liberal Society and the Problem of Religion

SECTION II: Globalization: A Complex Social Psychology

A NOTE ON METHOD

Cataloguing the Social Psychology of Globalization

Chapter 3, The Impossible Promise of Globalization: Globalization and Fear of the Global

THE PROBLEM OF GLOBALIZATION

POST-INDUSTRIALIZATION

THE WORLD CAPITALIST SYSTEM

Fear of the Global: A Complex Social Psychology

Back to Wallerstein

THE COMPLEXITIES OF GLOBALIZATION

Globalists

Advocating for Global Civic Society

GLOBAL NETWORK SOCIETY

Network Society Defined

GLOBALIZATION’S IMPOSSIBLE PROMISE

Chapter 4, The Impossible Promise of Globalization: Nostalgic Retreat and the Importance of Society

THE EVOLUTIONARY NECESSITY OF SOCIETY

We, the Prosthetic Gods of Globalization

Freud’s Functionalist Error

Introduction to Sociology, 101

THE CALL OF NOSTALGIC PRIMITIVISM

Advocating for Global Civil Society – Continued

The Nostalgic Regress of Progress

The Nostalgia of Eco-Primitivism

The Nostalgia of Purity

The Nostalgia of Resentment

THE RESTRICTION OF HUMAN INSTINCT

SECTION III: Idstincts & Drives/Repression & Resistance

Chapter 5, Idstincts and Drives: An Embodied-Mind Approach

OUR APPROACH TO THEORY

INSTINCTS AND DRIVES

A Bit of Hermeneutics

Psychoanalysis in a Nutshell

Instincts or Drives?

Instincts Defined

Drives Are (Not) Instincts?

Our Complex Embodied-Minds

Evolutionary Psychology and Sociobiology: A Critique

IDSTINCTS AND SOCIETAL DRIVES

Emotional Instincts and the Mammalian Brain

CONCLUSION

Mind, Self and Societal Drives

Chapter 6, Repression and Resistance: A Complex Social Psychology of Global Power

On Any Given Sunday

REPRESSION

Freud’s Tripartite Model of Global Defiance

Id-Ego-Superego or Eros-Thanatos?

Everything Is (NOT) Repression

Anxiety and Global Fear: A Case Study

RESISTANCE AND DEFIANCE

A GLOBAL MODEL OF RESISTANCE

SOCIAL PROBLEMS AS COMPLEX SYSTEMS

The Complex Global Web

Domains and Regimes

Ten Domains of Complex Global Web

Global Social Psychological Problems

CONCLUSION

SECTION IV: Sex, Aggression, & Death

Our Research Questions

Chapter 7, Sex, Sexuality, & Gender

A BIT OF HERMENEUTICS

DEFINING OUR TERMS

FREUD’S PATRIARCHAL HETEROSEXIS

CRITIQUING FREUD

The Conjugal Family

Heterosexual Repression

LGBTQI Sexual Repression

Summary

OVERCOMING PATRIACHAL HETEROSEXISM

Global Report Card

Chapter 8, Aggression, Otherness & Death

THE RING OF MALICE

A BIT OF HERMENEUTICS

ON AGGRESSION

Understanding Global Otherness

Aggression Defined

The Death Instinct

Globalist Aggression – Continued

ADDRESSING AGGRESSION

Global Report Card

Chapter 9, The Global Strong Arms Versus Global Civil Society

PRÉCIS DE NOS RECHERCHES

Section I

Section II:

Section III:

Section IV:

THE TRIPARTITE PROBLEM

THE GLOBAL STRONGARMS

What Gives Rise to the Global Strongarms?

The Defiance of the Global Strongarms

THE ADJACENT POSSIBLE

About the Author

Author

Brian Castellani

Durham , Durham County, United Kingdom

Learn more about Brian Castellani >>

Brian Castellani, Professor of Sociology, Kent State University, USA; and Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry, Northeast Ohio Medical University, USA

About the Series

Complexity in Social Science

This interdisciplinary series encourages social scientists to embrace a complex systems approach to studying the social world. A complexity approach to the social world has expanded across the disciplines since its emergence in the mid-to-late 1990s, and this can only continue as disciplines continue to change, data continue to diversify, and governance and responses to global social issues continue to challenge all involved. Covering a broad range of topics from big data and time, globalization and health, cities and inequality, and methodological applications, to more theoretical or philosophical approaches, this series responds to these challenges of complexity in the social sciences – with an emphasis on critical dialogue around, and application of these ideas in, a variety of social arenas as well as social policy.

The series will publish research monographs and edited collections between 60,000–90,000 words that include a range of philosophical, methodological and disciplinary approaches, which enrich and develop the field of social complexity and push it forward in new directions.

David Byrne is Emeritus Professor at the School of Applied Social Sciences, Durham University, UK.

Brian Castellani is Professor of Sociology at Durham University and Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry at Northeastern Ohio Medical University.

Emma Uprichard is Reader at the Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies, University of Warwick, UK. She is also director of the Nuffield, ESRC, HEFCE funded Warwick Q-Step Centre aimed at promoting quantitative methods across the social sciences.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOC000000
SOCIAL SCIENCE / General
SOC026000
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General