'How can civilization be saved?': Psychoanalysis in the anticipation of World War Two in Britain
Swanson, G. (2009) 'How can civilization be saved?': Psychoanalysis in the anticipation of World War Two in Britain. In: Structures of Violence and Conflict: 2nd Conference of the International Society for Cultural History, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia, July 2009.
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This paper considers the ways that psychoanalysis was understood to provide a distinctive insight in to the ‘problems of civilization’ and a means of understanding the psychic dynamics of social groups in the anticipation of war in Britain in the 1930s. It examines the eclipsing of contemporary models of cultural attachment and social feeling, sentiment development and equilibrium of character as the basis of the effective management of social relations, as Freudian models that proposed destructive urges and aggression as the basis of character appeared more relevant to the dynamics of escalating national conflict.