This book revisits the theory of social systems as a defence against anxiety first set out by Elliott Jaques and Isabel Menzies Lyth in papers which they published in 1955 and 1960, and which have been influential points of reference ever since. Menzies Lyth's study of the nursing system of a general hospital, with its roots in both psychoanalysis and socio-technical systems thinking, has remained one of the most convincing demonstrations of the influence of unconscious anxieties on social behaviour, and of their effects in inducing dysfunctional defensive systems in organisations. The theory of 'social defences against anxiety' remains one of the most significant contributions of the 'Tavistock school' to the study of human relations. Contributors explore this theory as a generative paradigm, capable both of theoretical extension and of empirical application to different institutional settings. They review changes which have taken place in the theoretical and social context since these ideas were first advanced, and assess what conceptual revisions these developments require.
David Armstrong is an Associate Consultant at Tavistock Consulting. He trained as a social psychologist at the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations and worked in action research and organisational consultancy at the University of London and The Grubb Institute before returning to the Tavistock in 1994 to join a newly established consultancy service at the Tavistock Clinic. A Distiguished Member of the International Society for the Psychoanalytic Study of Organisations, he is the author of 'Organization in the Mind: Psychoanalysis, Group Relations and Organizational Consultancy'. Michael Rustin is Professor of Sociology at the University of East London, a Visiting Professor at the Tavistock Clinic, and an Associate of the British Psychoanalytical Society. He has written widely on psychoanalytic approaches to culture and society, including on children's fiction ('Narratives of Love and Loss') and drama ('Mirror to Nature') both with Margaret Rustin. He is also author of 'The Good Society and the Inner World', and is a co-author/editor of the current 'After NeoLiberalism: the Kilburn Manifesto'.
Series editor's preface Acknowledgements About the editors and contributors Introduction: revisiting the paradigm - David Armstrong & Michael RustinI Theoretical 1 Obsessional-punitive defences in care systems: Menzies Lyth revisited - William Halton 2 Beyond identifying social defences: 'working through' and lessons from people whispering - Susan Long 3 A psycho-social perspective on social defences - Paul Hoggett 4 Social defences in the information age - James Krantz 5 Defences against innovation: the conservation of vagueness - Philip Boxer 6 Reconceptualizing social defences for the purpose of organizational change: causes, consequences, and the contribution of cultural theory - Nick PapadopoulosII Health and nursing 7 Reflections on Isabel Menzies Lyth in the light of developments in nursing care - Liz Tutton & Debbie Langstaff 8 'I'm beyond caring': a response to the Francis Report - Marcus Evans 9 Anxiety at the front line - Sebastian Kraemer 10 A partnership of policing and health systems: containing the dynamics of sexual violence - Mannie Sher 11 Running the gauntlet of institutional defence: from the prison gate to the hospital wing - Anne Zachary III The private sector 12 Extreme work environments: beyond anxiety and social defence - Larry Hirschhorn & Sharon Horowitz 13 Corporate cultures and inner conflicts - Aideen Lucey 14 Defences against anxiety in the law - Jon Stokes IV Social welfare and education 15 Spotlit: defences against anxiety in contemporary human service organizations - Andrew Cooper & Amanda Lees 16 Still not good enough! Must try harder: an exploration of social defences in schools - Simon Tucker 17 Work discussion groups as a container for sexual anxieties in schools - Emil Jackson 18 Social defences in nurseries and the contemporary value of the concept - Peter Elfer 19 Projective identification and unconscious defences against anxiety: social work education, practice learning, and the fear of failure - Jo Finch & Jason Schaub 20 Unconscious defences against anxiety in a Youth Offending Service - Maxim de Sauma, Sarah Fielding, & Michael Rustin References Index