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Snell, R. (2013). The Social Unconscious in Persons, Groups, and Societies. Volume 1: Mainly Theory edited by Earl Hopper and Haim Weinberg. New International Library of Group Analysis, Earl Hopper (Series Editor). Published by Karnac, London, 2011; 344 pp; £32.99 paperback.. Brit. J. Psychother., 29(1):125-128.

(2013). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 29(1):125-128

The Social Unconscious in Persons, Groups, and Societies. Volume 1: Mainly Theory edited by Earl Hopper and Haim Weinberg. New International Library of Group Analysis, Earl Hopper (Series Editor). Published by Karnac, London, 2011; 344 pp; £32.99 paperback.

Review by:
Robert Snell

Why, in psychoanalytic circles, do we find ourselves having to argue for the social? Because, answers Farhad Dalal in an important contribution to this cosmopolitan collection of essays, psychoanalysis is in the grip of an ideology which emphasizes the internal world of the individual. Yet we are also, in the words of S. H. Foulkes, ‘social through and through’; a concept of the social unconscious is required to fill out our account of ourselves. How might such an unconscious be thought about? How to avoid ‘drowning the individual in the social or treating societies as if they were persons’, as Regine Scholz, a group analyst from Düsseldorf, puts it (p. 265)? The book addresses these questions in six sections, each containing two essays; in the first, introductory part, an additional chapter by Dieter Nitzgen, from Heidelberg, critically outlines Foulkes's use of the idea.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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