Psychoanalysis, Culture & Society

, Volume 23, Issue 1, pp 54–67 | Cite as

Reflecting on the study of psychoanalysis, culture and society: The development of a psycho-cultural approach

  • Candida Yates


This article discusses the development of a psycho-cultural approach that brings together object relations psychoanalysis and cultural studies to explore the psycho-dynamics of culture, politics and society. While foregrounding the work of Donald Winnicott and other psychoanalysts influenced by his ideas, I contextualise that approach by tracing my own relationship to the study of psychoanalysis and culture since I was a Cultural Studies student in the 1980s and 1990s and also my engagement with the psychoanalytic scene that existed in London at that time. I have since applied a psycho-cultural lens to the study of masculinity and emotion in cinema and more recently to the study of emotion and political culture in Europe and the US. The article provides an example of that work by discussing the populist appeal of Donald Trump in the US and Nigel Farage in the UK, where the contradictory dynamics of attachment, risk and illusion are present when communicating with their supporters and the general public.


emotion Winnicott political culture political communication psycho-cultural methodology 


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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Bournemouth UniversityPooleUK

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