This paper maps some dynamics of eating disorders against those of recent panics about immigration and current calls for greater border and immigration controls. Building on psychoanalytic thinking about extremism and racism, the paper concentrates on particular ways in which the rhetoric and underlying anxieties around immigration have strong links with anorexic ideation. It posits that interchange across boundaries is important for health in both the economy and the individual and that, while rational argument about immigration levels is possible, extreme views in the contemporary US, UK and Europe are fuelled largely by irrational elements which can best be understood using psychoanalytic ideas.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price includes VAT for USA
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
This is the net price. Taxes to be calculated in checkout.
Anzieu, D. (1985) Le Moi-peau. Paris: Dunod.
Bollas, C. (1993) The fascist state of mind. In: C. Bollas (ed.) Being a Character. London: Routledge, pp. 193–217.
Bruch, H. (1974) Eating Disorders: Obesity, Anorexia Nervosa and the Person Within. London: Routledge.
Dalal, F. (2002) Race, Colour and the Processes of Racialisation: New Perspectives from Group Analysis, Psychoanalysis and Sociology. Hove: Routledge.
Davids, F. (2011) Internal Racism: A Psychoanalytic Approach to Race and Difference. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Duffy, B. and Frere-Smith T. (2014) Perception and Reality: Public Attitudes to Immigration. London: Ipsos Mori. https://www.ipsos.com/sites/default/files/publication/1970-01/sri-perceptions-and-reality-immigration-report-2013.pdf, accessed 11 January 2020.
Freud, S. (1913) Totem and Taboo. Standard Edition 13. London: Hogarth Press, pp. 1–161.
Freud, S. (1931) Civilisation and its Discontents. Standard Edition 21. London: Hogarth Press, pp. 64–145.
Friedman, M. (1997) The case for free trade. Hoover Digest 4.
Harvey, D. (2007) Neoliberalism as creative destruction. The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 610(1): 21–44. http://www.jstor.org/stable/25097888, accessed 14 December 2019.
Hinshelwood, R. (2006) Racism. Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy 20(2): 84–96.
Hyslop, F. (2018) Migration policy. Discussion paper: External Affairs Directorate, 7 February.
Kegerreis, S. (2013) ‘When I can come on time I’ll be ready to finish’; Meanings of lateness in psychoanalytic psychotherapy. British Journal of Psychotherapy 29(4): 449–465.
Keval, N. (2015) The racial ‘other’: Hatred or curiosity? CPS Marginalisation Conference, Essex University, November.
Koenigsberg, R. (1985) The Psychoanalysis of Racism, Revolution and Nationalism. New York: Library of Social Science.
Krugman, P. (1993) The narrow and broad arguments for free trade. American Economic Review, Papers and Proceedings 83(3): 362–366.
Lawrence, M. (2008) The Anorexic Mind. London: Tavistock.
Mankiw, N. (2015) Economists actually agree on this: The wisdom of free trade. New York Times, 24 April.
Miller, E.J. and Rice, A.K. (1967) Systems of Organization: The Control of Task and Sentient Boundaries. London: Tavistock Publications.
Orbach, S. (1978) Fat is a Feminist Issue. London: Arrow Books.
Ricardo, D. (1817) On the Principles of Political Economy and Taxation. London: John Murray.
Richards, B. (2017) A response to Robert M. Young’s ‘fundamentalism and terrorism’. Free Associations 71(December): 86–88.
Richards, B. (2018) Exploring malignancies: Narcissism and paranoia today. Psychoanalysis, Culture and Society 23(1): 15–27.
Rosenfeld, H. (1971) The clinical approach to the psycho-analytical theory of the life and death instincts: An investigation into the aggressive aspects of narcissism. International Journal of Psychoanalysis 52(2): 169–178.
Royal Geographical Society with IBG (2008) UK migration controversies: A simple guide. https://www.rgs.org/CMSPages/GetFile.aspx?nodeguid=840de1f6-0de8-4f0c-a0c3-ddcb250e3286&lang=en-GB, accessed 9 January 2020.
Rusbridger, R. (1986) Observations on a case of bulimia. Journal of Child Psychotherapy 12(2): 5–28.
Rustin, M. (1992) The Good Society and the Inner World. London: Verso.
Temple, N. (2006) Totalitarianism – The internal world and the political mind. Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy 20(2): 105–114.
Weintrobe, S. (2013) Engaging with Climate Change. Hove: Routledge.
Wieland, C. (2015) The Fascist State of Mind and the Manufacturing of Masculinity. Hove: Routledge.
Williams, G. (1997) Internal Landscapes and Foreign Bodies. London: Tavistock.
Winston, A. (2018) An island entire of itself: Narcissism in anorexia nervosa. In: T. Wooldridge (ed.) Psychoanalytic Treatment of Eating Disorders: When Words Fail and Bodies Speak. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 70–82.
Woodman, M. (1988) Addiction to Perfection: The Still Unravished Bride: A Psychological Study. Toronto: Inner City Books.
Wooldridge, T. (2014) The enigma of Ana: A psychoanalytic exploration of pro-anorexia internet forums. Journal of Infant, Child, and Adolescent Psychotherapy 13(3): 202–216.
Yates, C. (2015) The Play of Political Culture, Emotion and Identity. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Yates, C. (2018) On the psychodynamics of Boris Johnson and Brexit. New Associations 25(Summer): 4–5.
Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
About this article
Cite this article
Kegerreis, S. Immigration panics, borders and eating disorders. Psychoanal Cult Soc 25, 155–173 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1057/s41282-020-00164-7
- eating disorders