Skip to main content

Paranoid-Schizoid, Manic Defensive Society: Kleinian Psychodynamics in Contemporary Political Culture.

Blades, C., 2022. Paranoid-Schizoid, Manic Defensive Society: Kleinian Psychodynamics in Contemporary Political Culture. Masters Thesis (Masters). Bournemouth University.

Full text available as:

[img] PDF
Paranoid-Schizoid, Manic Defensive Society_ Kleinian Psychodynamics in Contemporary Political Culture (5).pdf
Restricted to Repository staff only
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial.



There is a trend at present within political discourse whereby extreme polarisation and post-truth attitudes are rife. One can see the rise of emotive far-right populist candidates and causes as exemplary of this. Specifically in the case of the support for Donald Trump, Brexit as well as the rise in COVID-19 conspiracy theories. The root cause of irrational, angry and conspiratorial reasoning within public perception of political affairs urgently needs identification and questioning. Building on Bollas’ (1979) work on the internal mood, public mood can be defined as “mood of a certain age, the mood of an audience which jointly attends to a public performance, or the bonding which takes places between bodies which are in close physical proximity to each other” (Ringmar 2017). As such, it is exactly fitting to be examined via the psychodynamic work of Melanie Klein, specifically the concepts of the paranoid-schizoid position, the depressive position and the manic defences. In order to identify this, news reports of Dominic Cummings’ journey to Durham from the 22nd May 2020 to the 27th May 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic shall be analysed. This analysis shall assess the psychosocial, cultural implications of this trip utilising a qualitative, critical discourse analysis, and will be analysed in order to identify paranoid-schizoid and manic defensive language in both news media reports, as well as within the language of users on Twitter. After which, there will be a discussion of these findings and the means in which they can be applied in order for society to move on from the extreme polarisation and post-truth attitudes that currently exist.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Additional Information:Department of Humanities and Law
Uncontrolled Keywords:Manic Defense; Paranoid-Schizoid; Politics
Group:Faculty of Media & Communication
ID Code:37852
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:19 Feb 2024 15:20
Last Modified:19 Feb 2024 15:20


Downloads per month over past year

More statistics for this item...
Repository Staff Only -