Faculty in the Media: On Group Psychology and Living in a Risk Society

Writer, critic, and BISR faculty Christine Smallwood joined fellow faculty Abby Kluchin and Patrick Blanchfield on their podcast Ordinary Unhappiness for a free-wheeling discussion of Wilfred Bion’s work on group psychology, including “vibes analysis” and close reading, a brief riff on the unifying power of disliking, and psychoanalysis as “equipment for living.” The trio dig into the affective and practical challenges of group endeavors, “from group chats to reading groups to classrooms to parties to military maneuvers.” 

Then, across the Atlantic at Magdalen College, Oxford, BISR’s Suzy Schneider convened an eclectic panel to consider what it means to live in a “risk society” and the challenges that risk, and its economically asymmetrical “management,” poses to democratic governance. Within, Schneider poses, “How might shared risks be truly mitigated, rather than offloaded to those with less structural advantage? And what might a democratic theory of risk management look like?”

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