Alienation and Psychoanalysis: Some Notes on Italy in the Years of the Economic Miracle

  • Alessandra DiazziEmail author


This chapter sets out to investigate how and why Italian psychoanalysis has dealt with the notion of alienation over the 1960s, the years of the so-called “economic miracle” (1958–1963), which coincided with a vast diffusion of the discipline in Italy. First, this contribution examines the relationship between these two phenomena, identifying in the decade in question Italy’s years of alienation par excellence, a time of psychological and collective discomfort that led Italians to the couch. Secondly, the chapter aims to demonstrate that psychoanalysis itself turned its attention to society, in an attempt not to separate the analysis of personal suffering from the examination of collective manifestations of psychological disorders. Addressing alienation therefore enabled Italian psychoanalysis to develop a unique engaged character, which meant the discipline did not clash with the imperative to impegno (political commitment) that was dominating Italian culture and society in those days.


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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Arts, Languages and CulturesUniversity of ManchesterManchesterUK

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