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Group Psychology and The Analysis of The Ego   By: (1856-1939)

Book cover

First Page:

THE INTERNATIONAL PSYCHO ANALYTICAL LIBRARY No. 6

GROUP PSYCHOLOGY AND THE ANALYSIS OF THE EGO

BY SIGM. FREUD, M. D., LL. D.

AUTHORIZED TRANSLATION BY JAMES STRACHEY

[Illustration: colophon]

THE INTERNATIONAL PSYCHO ANALYTICAL PRESS LONDON MCMXXII VIENNA

Copyright 1922

TRANSLATOR'S NOTE

A comparison of the following pages with the German original ( Massenpsychologie und Ich Analyse , Internationaler Psychoanalytischer Verlag, Vienna, 1921) will show that certain passages have been transferred in the English version from the text to the footnotes. This alteration has been carried out at the author's express desire.

All technical terms have been translated in accordance with the Glossary to be published as a supplement to the International Journal of Psycho Analysis .

J. S.

CONTENTS

Page

I Introduction 1

II Le Bon's Description of the Group Mind 5

III Other Accounts of Collective Mental Life 23

IV Suggestion and Libido 33

V Two Artificial Groups: the Church and the Army 41

VI Further Problems and Lines of Work 52

VII Identification 60

VIII Being in Love and Hypnosis 71

IX The Herd Instinct 81

X The Group and the Primal Horde 90

XI A Differentiating Grade in the Ego 101

XII Postscript 110

GROUP PSYCHOLOGY AND THE ANALYSIS OF THE EGO

I

INTRODUCTION

The contrast between Individual Psychology and Social or Group[1] Psychology, which at a first glance may seem to be full of significance, loses a great deal of its sharpness when it is examined more closely. It is true that Individual Psychology is concerned with the individual man and explores the paths by which he seeks to find satisfaction for his instincts; but only rarely and under certain exceptional conditions is Individual Psychology in a position to disregard the relations of this individual to others. In the individual's mental life someone else is invariably involved, as a model, as an object, as a helper, as an opponent, and so from the very first Individual Psychology is at the same time Social Psychology as well in this extended but entirely justifiable sense of the words.

The relations of an individual to his parents and to his brothers and sisters, to the object of his love, and to his physician in fact all the relations which have hitherto been the chief subject of psycho analytic research may claim to be considered as social phenomena; and in this respect they may be contrasted with certain other processes, described by us as 'narcissistic', in which the satisfaction of the instincts is partially or totally withdrawn from the influence of other people. The contrast between social and narcissistic Bleuler would perhaps call them 'autistic' mental acts therefore falls wholly within the domain of Individual Psychology, and is not well calculated to differentiate it from a Social or Group Psychology.

The individual in the relations which have already been mentioned to his parents and to his brothers and sisters, to the person he is in love with, to his friend, and to his physician comes under the influence of only a single person, or of a very small number of persons, each one of whom has become enormously important to him. Now in speaking of Social or Group Psychology it has become usual to leave these relations on one side and to isolate as the subject of inquiry the influencing of an individual by a large number of people simultaneously, people with whom he is connected by something, though otherwise they may in many respects be strangers to him. Group Psychology is therefore concerned with the individual man as a member of a race, of a nation, of a caste, of a profession, of an institution, or as a component part of a crowd of people who have been organised into a group at some particular time for some definite purpose... Continue reading book >>




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