chapter
The Dilemmas of Ignorance
WithPhilip Boxer
Pages 21

This chapter aims to deal with the Tavistock paradigm, and to ask how exactly it could have become so ‘frustratingly marginal’. In the English-speaking world, it is difficult to think of listening in this way without considering the legacy of the Tavistock—whether this means the Tavistock Clinic or the Institute. P. Hoggett criticises the Tavistock paradigm on the basis that it employs a ‘systems approach’ more as a private metaphor than as a real link to the wider movement of systems thinking. The notion of the effects of power is informed, perhaps, by another metaphor, installed through that part of the Tavistock paradigm which is concerned with ‘winning the peace’, supporting the good of the Human Service Organisation through the mediating effects of ‘healthy’ hierarchies. The primary status awarded to unconscious phantasy, and the biological metaphors underlying the formation of object relations, installs yet another metaphor into a privileged position within the paradigm.