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Social Defences Against Anxiety: Explorations in a Paradigm

Social Defences Against Anxiety: Explorations in a Paradigm (Paperback)

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Synopsis

This book revisits the theory of social systems as a defence against anxiety first set out by Elliott Jaques and Isabel Menzies Lyth in papers which they published in 1955 and 1960, and which have been influential points of reference ever since. Menzies Lyth's study of the nursing system of a general hospital, with its roots in both psychoanalysis and socio-technical systems thinking, has remained one of the most convincing demonstrations of the influence of unconscious anxieties on social behaviour, and of their effects in inducing dysfunctional defensive systems in organisations. The theory of 'social defences against anxiety' remains one of the most significant contributions of the 'Tavistock school' to the study of human relations.Contributors explore this theory as a generative paradigm, capable both of theoretical extension and of empirical application to different institutional settings. They review changes which have taken place in the theoretical and social context since these ideas were first advanced, and assess what conceptual revisions these developments require. The relevance of Menzies Lyth's ideas to contemporary settings of health and nursing is examined, as is the value of these ideas in explaining anxieties and their concomitant social defences in the private sector and in various fields of public education and welfare. Finally, the book discusses some educational and therapeutic practices which have evolved at the Tavistock and elsewhere to 'contain' unconscious anxieties and to mitigate damaging forms of defence against them.Contributors to the book include writers distinguished for their contributions to the fields of organisational consultancy, to applied socio-psychoanalytic thought, and to research and professional practice in several fields.Contributors: Philip Boxer, Andrew Cooper, Maxim de Sauma, Peter Elfer, Marcus Evans, Sarah Fielding, Jo Finch, William Halton, Larry Hirschorn, Paul Hoggett, Sharon Horowitz, Emil Jackson, Sebastian Kraemer, James Krantz, Debbie Langstaff, Amanda Lees, Susan Long, Aideen Lucey, Nick Papadopoulos, Jason Schaub, Mannie Sher, Jon Stokes, Simon Tucker, Liz Tutton, Anne Zachary

Philosophy, Psychology & Social SciencesPsychologyPsychological theory & schools of thoughtPsychoanalytical theory or Freudian psychology Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd Publication Date: 19/11/2014 ISBN-13: 9781782201687  Details: Type: Paperback Format: Books
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David Armstrong is an Associate Consultant at Tavistock Consulting. He trained as a social psychologist at the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations and worked in action research and organisational consultancy at the University of London and The Grubb Institute before returning to the Tavistock in 1994 to join a newly established consultancy service at the Tavistock Clinic. A Distiguished Member of the International Society for the Psychoanalytic Study of Organisations, he is the author of 'Organization in the Mind: Psychoanalysis, Group Relations and Organizational Consultancy'. Michael Rustin is Professor of Sociology at the University of East London, a Visiting Professor at the Tavistock Clinic, and an Associate of the British Psychoanalytical Society. He has written widely on psychoanalytic approaches to culture and society, including on children's fiction ('Narratives of Love and Loss') and drama ('Mirror to Nature') both with Margaret Rustin. He is also author of 'The Good Society and the Inner World', and is a co-author/editor of the current 'After NeoLiberalism: the Kilburn Manifesto'.

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