Social science methods for psychodynamic inquiry: the unconscious on the world scene
William Meyers’ Social Science Methods for Psychodynamic Inquiry is a stunning and important contribution to an exploration of how our world turns. There are so many ways that the author examines interrelationships among fields, whether he is looking at our political life, the arts, the relationship of politics to art and science, or corporate America’s behavior, that one is led to more deeply appreciate how the unconscious drives all of our endeavors.
Meyers begins with an investigation of social science research methods, and relays that his aim is to make psychodynamic research scientific. He believes that there is a “deep inner irrationality on the political scene” (p. 3) and insists that many cruel and irrational acts are done without awareness of their unconscious motives. Terrorist attacks, denial of climate change, and other self-destructive attitudes and actions may well be engendered by unconscious desires, such as the wish to be invincible.
What makes Meyers’ work especially...