The Group Dimension: Capitalism, Group Analysis, and the World Yet to Come

Author(s) : Claire Bacha

The Group Dimension: Capitalism, Group Analysis, and the World Yet to Come

Book Details

  • Publisher : Routledge
  • Published : July 2024
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 216
  • Category :
    Group Psychotherapy
  • Catalogue No : 97729
  • ISBN 13 : 9781032395135
  • ISBN 10 : 1032395133
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The Group Dimension presents a thorough exploration of the history and theory of the group dimension, particularly in the context of modern capitalist society.

The book traces the development of capitalism from feudalism, where the first ‘polis’ groups can be identified, and describes the growth of the power of the state prescribed by John Maynard Keynes to form neoliberalism. Bacha then explores the deep history of human groups, examines how our brains are built for and by multibody interactions and understandings, and provides an overview of our knowledge of groups, building on findings from group analysis. The book concludes by exploring how an understanding of groups, their facilitation and their consciousness redefines the individualistic and autistic freedom to build the new world through dialogue.

The Group Dimension will be essential reading for anyone involved in groups, as practitioners or clients. It will also be of interest to readers looking to learn more about groups in the context of modern politics, social and liberation movements.

Reviews and Endorsements

A much-appreciated colleague, supervisor, and teacher, and a much-beloved and committed mentor, Dr Claire Bacha has written a suggestive and stimulating study of what group analysts today conceptualise as the tripartite matrix of various kinds of social systems, including societies, organisations, groups and persons. Sensitive to the restraints and constraints of the external world and the development of it, each chapter in this highly accessible book demonstrates the importance of recognising and working with socially unconscious processes.
Earl Hopper, PhD. Psychoanalyst, Group Analyst and organisational consultant in private practice in London, Editor of the New International Library of Group Analysis.

From despair to hope, Claire Bacha extends Foulkes’ dictum that the individual is social to the core by weaving a fascinating story linking ‘Our Time of Monsters’ that is now, to the possibilities of the ‘Group Dimension’ that is our possible future. She explores the contributions that our economic system, evolutionary history and neuropsychology have made to our present state while emphasising the importance of learning to trust the possibilities of dialogue in social settings to change our future. This book suggests new thinking!
Teresa von Sommaruga Howard, architect and group analyst; initiator of a series of ongoing Creative Large Group Dialogue workshops

Bacha has attempted to do what she wants us all to do – to reflect upon where we have arrived (in Western society at least) and take responsibility as individuals embedded within the social community to eschew polarisations which lead to unending disagreement, inequality and violence and instead work together for the good of all. To embrace economics, sociology, affective neuroscience and the psychodynamic psychotherapies – particularly psychoanalysis and group analysis - within one text is a bold task. You may not agree with all she says but hopefully you will be inspired to think and then act rather than be cowed by the enormity of the forces that seem arrayed against our essential humanity as lived with and through each other.
Dr John Hook, Consultant Medical Psychotherapist

A clarion call indeed, for greater psycho-social mindedness and a warning of the awful monstrosities we nurture when we ignore/neglect the true intertextuality of our lives.
Professor Nick Barwick, Guildhall School of Music & Drama, Barbican, London

Some books are ‘life projects’, even if they did not start out as such- life in the obvious sense of completed over a long stretch of personal time, project in the spirit of an ambitions, integrative contribution, across disciplines. This book has ‘Claire’ written all over it- passionate, committed and unorthodox, in the best sense. I visualise her talking about it, in dialogue with its readers, but sadly her last breath came before she saw it in print. The love of friends and colleagues made sure it sees the light of day.
Martin Weegmann, Clinical Psychologist, Group Analyst, Author of Novel Connections- Between Literature & Psychotherapy

This is a truly remarkable book, in its scope, its themes, its intent and also, perhaps most saliently, in the loving collaborations that brought it into being. This volume, dense yet imaginative, interdisciplinary yet focused, pessimistic and hopeful at the same time, is the distillation of decades of work, both scholarly and clinical. The author asks much of her readers, in effect to imagine a different world, one where competition and its deathly logic (the time of monsters) does not a priori hold sway, and so to enable a collaborative ethics (the world yet to come) to become salient for us again. This is not presented as a panacea, but rather as complex labour, a task entrusted to us all, and fitting to our particularly dark times, whereby positing a world yet to come, must perhaps mean, simply a belief in a future. In a small way, this book itself, thoughtfully and collaboratively completed by Bacha’s colleagues after her untimely death can stand as exemplary of this kind of labour.
Dr Julia Borossa, Memb. Insitute of Group Analysis; College of Psychoanalysts-UK; Formerly Director of the Centre for Psychoanalysis, Middlesex University; Editor, Group Analysis

Table of Contents


List of illustrations
Forewords
Preface
Acknowledgements

Introduction: The evolution of capitalism and the group dimension

PART I: Capitalism and the time of monsters

1. It was not always like this
2. Keynes and Keynesianism

PART II: Neoliberalism: Hayek and the Mont Pelerin Society

3. Hayek as a response to Keynes
4. The strange fruits of neoliberalism

PART III: The story of how humans evolved is the story of the group dimension

5. Freedom before humans
6. Early humans

PART IV: The social brain

7. Jaak Panksepp and his unique contribution
8. The basic feelings: Seeking, Fear, Rage
9. The relational feelings: Lust and Care
10. Panic/Grief, Play, integration and social homeostasis

PART IV: Figurations and groups

11. Seeking is the foundational feeling of life
12. The role of groups in everyday life: Synthesis with Panksepp

About the Author(s)

Claire Bacha was born in Chicago in 1945 and studied anthropology and sociology, obtaining postgraduate degrees in Chile and Brazil. Her doctorate was on finance capitalism at Manchester University, UK. She trained as a psychoanalyst and was a senior Group Analyst in Manchester, working until shortly before she died in 2023.

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