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Edward R. Shapiro draws on psychodynamic systems thinking to offer a new understanding of the journey from being an individual to joining society as a citizen.
Read Ed’s blog on the meaning of citizenship.
Watch his thoughtful and thought-provoking conversation with colleague Jonathan Kolb, MD, on the psychodynamics of citizenship.
Edward R. Shapiro
Paperback, e-Book, Print & e-Book
Political Theory, Psychoanalysis
What stands between us and authoritarianism seems increasingly fragile. Democratic practices are under attack by foreign intrusion into elections; voter suppression restricts citizen participation. Nations are turning to autocratic leaders in the face of rapid social change. Democratic values and open society can only be preserved if citizens can discover and claim their voices. We access society through our organisations, yet the collective voices and irrationalities of these organisations do not currently offer clear pathways for individuals to locate themselves. How can we move through the mounting chaos of our social systems, through our multiple roles in groups and institutions, to find a voice that matters? What kind of perspective will allow institutional leaders to facilitate the discovery of active citizenship and support engagement?
This book draws on psychodynamic systems thinking to offer a new understanding of the journey from being an individual to joining society as a citizen. With detailed stories, the steps – and the conscious and unconscious linkages – from being a family member, to entering outside groups, to taking up and making sense of institutional roles, illuminate the process of claiming the citizen role. With the help of leaders who recognise and utilise the dynamics of social systems, there may be hope for us as citizens to use our institutional experiences to discover a place to stand.
Edward R. Shapiro, MD, was the Medical Director/CEO of the Austen Riggs Center from 1991 to 2011. A board-certified psychiatrist, psychoanalyst, family researcher, and organisational consultant, he is also Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine and Principal of the Boswell Group. A founding member of the Psychoanalytic Society and Institute of the Berkshires, Dr Shapiro is a training and supervising analyst. An organisational consultant for over thirty-five years, Dr Shapiro has consulted with hospitals, mental health clinics, law firms, and family businesses. He has published over fifty articles and book chapters on human and organisational development, family functioning, and personality disorders, presenting papers in this country and abroad. His book (with A. W. Carr), Lost in Familiar Places: Creating New Connections between the Individual and Society, was published by Yale University Press as was his edited book, The Inner World in the Outer World. A Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, he is also a fellow of the A. K. Rice Institute and the American College of Psychoanalysis. Dr Shapiro has received the Felix and Helene Deutsch Scientific Award from the Boston Psychoanalytic Society, the Research Prize from the Society for Family Therapy and Research, and the Philip Isenberg Teaching Award from McLean Hospital. In 2007, he was named Outstanding Psychiatrist for Advancement of the Profession by the Massachusetts Psychiatric Association and since 2011 has been on US News & World Report’s list of “Top Doctors”.
Listen here to Dr Shapiro talking about the inspiration behind his book in Episode 25 of the IPA Off the Couch podcasts: Citizenship and the Psychoanalyst with Edward R. Shapiro M.D.
Visit his website to learn more about Ed and his work.
About the author
Part I: Developmental Steps Toward Citizenship
Joining: How are they right?
Containment and Communication
Making Sense of Organizational Dynamics
The Interpretive Stance
Taking Up a Role: A Case Example
Part II: Leadership and the Self-Reflective Institution
The CEO: Developing Institutional Citizenship
Learning about Systems Psychodynamics
From Group Relations to Leadership
Shaping a Mission: Case Example
A Citizenship Laboratory
Institutional Learning on Behalf of Society
Part III: A Citizen in Society
Approaching Social Interpretation Through Institutions
Do Nations Have Missions: American Identity
Citizenship as Development
Society as a Multicellular Learning System
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