Narcissistic rage and neoliberal reproduction

Gammon, Earl (2017) Narcissistic rage and neoliberal reproduction. Global Society, 31 (4). pp. 510-530. ISSN 1360-0826

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Combining political economy and depth psychology, this article seeks to elucidate the socio-psychical underpinnings of neoliberalism’s resilience following the global financial crisis. In explicating neoliberalism’s reproduction, the analysis employs self psychologist Heinz Kohut’s theorisation of narcissistic development. Kohut conceives narcissism as a normal condition driving self-formation, but claims that obstructions in its development result in impaired self-esteem and self-confidence, a lack of empathy and aggression against others and the self. The article argues that neoliberalism fosters and is reinforced by narcissistic configurations that impede the attainment of a more stable sense of self. The inability to attain narcissistic fulfilment through neoliberal sociality contributes to defensive and compensatory reactions that entrench neoliberalism’s logic and, through economic performativity, manifest in what Kohut termed narcissistic rage. As an exemplar of this phenomenon, the article examines the emergence of popular neoliberalism in the form of the Tea Party.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > International Relations
Research Centres and Groups: Centre for Global Political Economy
Subjects: H Social Sciences
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
J Political Science
J Political Science > JZ International relations
Depositing User: Earl Gammon
Date Deposited: 14 Feb 2017 13:12
Last Modified: 10 Aug 2020 14:55

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