The Psychology and Politics of the Collective : Groups, Crowds and Mass Identifications book cover
1st Edition

The Psychology and Politics of the Collective
Groups, Crowds and Mass Identifications

ISBN 9780415754569
Published April 9, 2014 by Routledge
230 Pages

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Book Description

What are the psychological factors in operation when we form groups or crowds, and how are these affected by socio-historical circumstances? History offers endless examples of different forms of human collectivity, both private and public, small-scale and large: from the primal horde to the modern nuclear family, from the Athenian polis to virtual internet communities. Within the context of shifting social bonds in global culture, this book brings together debates on the left from political philosophy, psychoanalysis, social psychology and media and cultural studies to explore the logic of the formation of collective identities from a new theoretical perspective. Challenging liberal-capitalist models of individualism, as well as postmodern identity politics, analysts here turn to Continental philosophy (Lacan, Derrida, Agamben, Laclau, Badiou, among others) in order to re-think collectivity in relation to questions of agency, alterity, affect, sovereignty, the national imaginary and the biopolitical. In the aftermath of the great mass movements of the twentieth century (Marxist-Leninism, Mao), which resulted in bureaucratic submission and the cult of the State, the fate of our collective identity today raises urgent questions about the future of collaborative activity, the role of mediating institutions in shaping mass psychology, what is at stake in a radical democracy, and what happens in a crowd.

Table of Contents

Introduction  Ruth Parkin-Gounelas  Part I: Psychoanalysis and the Group  1. Brother Animal’s Long Tail: Sigmund Freud, Victor Tausk and Intellectual Influence  Mandy Merck  2. Mass Enjoyment and the Society of the Camp: The Revised Case of Dorian Gray  Josiane Paccaud-Huguet  3. Interview with Ernesto Laclau  Conducted by Ruth Parkin-Gounelas  Part II: What’s in a Crowd?  4. Crowds, Agency and Passion: Reconsidering the Roots of the Social Bond  Stephen Reicher  5. "A Swinish Multitude" versus "A Crowd of Golden Daffodils"  Jina Politi  6. The Masses as a "Vanishing Mediator”: Class and Politics in Dušan Kovačević’s The Professional  Sean Homer  Part III: Global Networks and Mass Identifications  7. Globality, the Totalitarian Mass and National Belonging  Effie Yiannopoulou  8. Geographies of Cultural Globalization and Cosmopolitanisms of the Future  Joseph Michael Gratale  9. "Touching Everyone": Media Identifications, Imagined Communities and New Media Technologies in the Case of Madeleine McCann  Nicola Rehling  10. Swarm Intelligence: Blogging and On-Line Subjectivities  Holger Briel  Epilogue: Pluralities to Come  Ruth Parkin-Gounelas 

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Ruth Parkin-Gounelas is a Professor in the Department of English Literature and Culture at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.