What can’t be cured… may be enjoyed. Integrative dynamics and Siena's Palio

Crociani-Windland, L. (2003) What can’t be cured… may be enjoyed. Integrative dynamics and Siena's Palio. OPUS Organisational and Social Dynamics Journal, 3 (1). pp. 101-120. Available from: http://eprints.uwe.ac.uk/12193

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Publisher's URL: http://www.karnacbooks.com/JournalOPUS.asp


This paper analyses the role of aggression as an integrative force in society through a study of the complex social system in the city of Siena, based on a territorial division of the city into 17 wards or contrade which compete against one another in the twice yearly race, known as the Palio. This is a highly ritualised event culminating in a wild horse race run around the stunningly beautiful medieval main square known as Piazza del Campo. This race has played a fundamental role in the social structure and welfare of the town. The following analysis compares a variety of theoretical frameworks in relation to the case study, within which it seeks to locate the source of the aggressive and competitive dynamics and their `affective intensity' (Massumi, 1996) or `enjoyment' (Zizek, 1993). Possible agreement on an instinctual or biogenetic source of these as unconscious inevitable dynamics leads to the need to re-evaluate the possible advantage of a more positive inclusive outlook. This appears to be the secret of Siena's success. The issues outlined can be seen as highly relevant to broader social issues such as rising levels of aggression in cities, ethnic conflicts, and football violence, to name a few.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:The article in Organisational and Social Dynamics was first written as an essay for the MSc Programme 'Group Relations and Society'. The book chapter came from the MSc dissertation, which gained the 'UWE Women in Research Award'.
Uncontrolled Keywords:aggression, affect, group dynamics, psycho-social
Faculty/Department:Faculty of Health and Applied Sciences > Department of Health and Social Sciences
ID Code:12193
Deposited By: Dr L. Crociani-Windland
Deposited On:10 Jan 2011 11:34
Last Modified:15 Nov 2016 23:41

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