Group formation and ideology. Text and context

Int J Psychoanal. 1988:69 ( Pt 2):163-70.


The relationship between the phenomenon of 'mass formation' (Massenbildung) and the production and circulation of ideologies is examined. The explanation of the said relationship must take into account both the social dimension as well as the intrapsychic structure of the ideological. To achieve this a brief review of Freud's ideas on group psychology and of some definitions of ideology, namely those proposed by Ricoeur, Althusser and Habermas is expounded. In the same way as the understanding of the vicissitudes of identification is crucial to gain insight into 'mass formation', the investigation of the processes of idealization is vital to the understanding of the ideological.

MeSH terms

  • Dominance-Subordination
  • Ego
  • Humans
  • Identification, Psychological
  • Leadership
  • Mass Behavior*
  • Politics*
  • Psychoanalytic Theory*