chapter  6
9 Pages

Foulkesian group analysis

I will now turn my attention to the psychoanalyst and group analyst S.H. Foulkes. His work is of interest precisely because of the central role he gives to the social in his developmental theory, particularly with his notion of the social unconscious. The fact that his intellectual odyssey began as a Freudian psychoanalyst meant that he could never quite shake free from individualism even whilst he tried to develop a theory of human beings that gave primacy to the social group. By using the device of abstracting two sorts of theories from his works, each with a greater internal coherence, I was able to disentangle many of the contradictions in his writings (Dalal 1998). The first theory I called 'orthodox' as it remained within an individualistic frame and proclaimed itself Freudian. I will not refer much to the work of orthodox Foulkes here as his contributions are poor facsimiles of Freud's thoughts, and these have already been described in some depth. I called the other theory 'radical' in order to signal the fact that this theory subverts many of the meta psychological assumptions within much of psychoanalysis, particularly those of the instinctivist schools.