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Author Topic: INSTITUTIONAL DENIAL ABOUT THE DARK SIDE OF LAW SCHOOL  (Read 108899 times)

NeXD

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Re: INSTITUTIONAL DENIAL ABOUT THE DARK SIDE OF LAW SCHOOL
« Reply #210 on: November 20, 2007, 04:33:16 PM »
I wasnt depressed until I tried finding a job.  @#!* this *&^%.

l u s h y

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Re: INSTITUTIONAL DENIAL ABOUT THE DARK SIDE OF LAW SCHOOL
« Reply #211 on: November 22, 2007, 03:51:36 PM »

Fight/Flight mentality and the choice of a leader in the Fight/Flight group

As to the choice of a leader for a fight/flight group, Bion says:

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"It is usually a man or woman with marked paranoid trends; perhaps, if the presence of an enemy is not immediately obvious to the group, the next best thing is for the group to choose a leader to whom it is."
 

This statement is important for several reasons. First, it makes it obvious that, according to Bion, it is not the leader who chooses his group -- neither according to his own needs or his perception of the group's needs -- but much more the basic assumption group which seeks and chooses its appropriate leader according to its (unconscious) needs. And second, the group's need to find an enemy, against whom they can either fight or from which they can flee, exists even before that enemy has been found, discovered or, indeed, invented. In other words, one might say, that if the Jews hadn't been there already for the Nazis to identify as the enemy, responsible for their miserable plight, the Nazis would have had to invent them! And as for the leadership role in this fight/flight dynamic, the German people were highly successful in picking a personality from among their ranks (who was, of course not even a German, but an Austrian!), and whose capacities as a leader of the fight/flight basic assumption have remained virtually unparalleled in history, Adolph Hitler. According to Bion, leadership is a product of the group mentality, not its origin. He writes:

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The leader, on the basic assumption level, does not create the group by virtue of his fanatical adherence to an idea, but is rather an individual whose personality renders him peculiarly susceptible to the obliteration of individuality by the basic group's leadership requirements.

And here Bion links this phenomenon with the Kleinian theory of projective identification:

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To me the leader is as much the creature of the basic assumption as any other member of the group, and this, I think, is to be expected if we envisage identification of the individual with the leader as depending not on introjection alone but on a simultaneous process of projective identification.


This "loss of individual distinctiveness" applies to the leader as much as to anyone else.

Thus the leader in the fight/flight group, for example, appears to have a distinctive personality because his personality is of a kind that lends itself to exploitation by the group demand for a leader who requires of it only a capacity for fighting or for flight; the leader has no greater freedom to be himself than any other member of the group. Bion compares this leader with

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"an automaton who has ceased to be guided by his own will. He is leader by virtue of his capacity for instantaneous, involuntary combination with every other member of his group and only differs from them in that, whatever his function in the work group, he is the incarnation of the basic assumption group leader.


Bion points out that it is incapable of tolerating frustration in the long run, because in the sphere of basic assumption phenomena, time itself is not a relevant, not even an existent dimension of reality. Flight offers an immediately available opportunity for expression of the emotion in the fight/flight group and therefore meets the demand for instantaneous satisfaction -- therefore the group will take flight. Alternatively, attack offers a similarly immediate outlet -- then the group will fight. The fight/flight group will follow any leader who will give such orders as license instantaneous flight or instantaneous attack.

The capacity for "containment" as a prerequisite for good leadership

So, how can Bion's Container-Contained model serve as a model for good leadership in groups? Only a group which feels sufficiently contained will be able to function successfully over a long period of time as a work group. If anxieties, irrationalities, aggressions, envy and rivalry, disruptive unconscious fantasies and ideas, etc. are not adequately contained, they threaten to paralyse the group or to blow it up. If this is the case, then the group will be forced to fall back on functioning in a basic assumption mode in order to prevent such threats and disturbances from destroying the group altogether. The price paid for this is, however, is, of course, the loss of task orientation and with it, the capacity to do work. When, however, the work group leader is capable of offering the group enough containment, these disturbing factors can be "digested", can be better metabolised into the group's dynamic life, and it can then "feed" on this experience, can grow on it, learn from it, and thereby improve its capacity to devote itself to the task at hand and to achieve good results.

Containment as a leadership style -- where does it come from?

How containing the style of the leader and how given to blaming others when things go wrong (paranoid/schizoid position) versus acknowledging one's or one's institution's contribution towards the trouble one is in (depressive position), depends to a very large degree on the individual's capacity to maintain a relatively mature stance as opposed to falling into a defensive/paranoid one, and this capacity is based on early experiences and their later reworking as the life-cycle progresses. The assumption underlying this aspect of psychoanalytic theory suggests that the conditions necessary in order for a proper Container-Contained relationship in the Bionic sense to come into being are:

a) when an individual has him/herself had sufficient experience of containment in the course of his or her personal development, and
b) when s/he has thereby developed a capacity to identify both with the container as well as with "being contained" and then, through the process of introjective identification, has been able to include this as a significant and stable aspect of his or her own internal life.

This developmental process thus enables one to increase one's capacity to contain, and to employ containment of anxiety as a psychic tool, which can then be utilised as necessary in the authoritative execution of leadership roles.


Awesome, Hadrian!

Mentorama

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Re: INSTITUTIONAL DENIAL ABOUT THE DARK SIDE OF LAW SCHOOL
« Reply #212 on: November 22, 2007, 03:59:35 PM »
Indeed, lushy!

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Re: INSTITUTIONAL DENIAL ABOUT THE DARK SIDE OF LAW SCHOOL
« Reply #213 on: November 24, 2007, 05:33:07 PM »

I wouldn't call even this "pathology" or something along those lines ... everyone knows that all philosophical systems of thought, or scientific theories, for instance, are like paranoid delusions because they try to make sense of the world and our place in it. More specifically,


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ysa

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Re: INSTITUTIONAL DENIAL ABOUT THE DARK SIDE OF LAW SCHOOL
« Reply #214 on: January 24, 2008, 05:00:39 PM »

Wilhelm Reich, like Freud, was a medical doctor. [...]


True, although it took him some 8 years to receive his medical degree :) Then, in 1882, he took a position at the Vienna General Hospital. Over the next 5 years he moved from department to department at the hospital, passing through surgery and dermatology before finally coming to rest at Theodor Meynert's department of psychiatry. Nothing strange, though. After graduating the Matura from Leopoldstädter Communal-Realgymnasium in 1873 he planned to study law. However, he began medical studies at University of Vienna to study under Darwinist Prof. Karl Claus. At that time, eel life history was still unknown, and due to their mysterious origins and migrations, a racist association was often made between eels and Jews and Gypsies. In search for their male sex organs, Freud spent 4 weeks at the Austrian zoological research station in Trieste, dissecting hundreds of eels without finding more than his predecessors such as Simon von Syrski. In 1876, he published his first paper about "the testicles of eels," conceding that he could not solve the matter either. Frustrated by the lack of success that would have gained him fame, Freud chose to change his course of study.

episio

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Re: INSTITUTIONAL DENIAL ABOUT THE DARK SIDE OF LAW SCHOOL
« Reply #215 on: January 31, 2008, 03:59:08 PM »

True, although it took him some 8 years to receive his medical degree :) Then, in 1882, he took a position at the Vienna General Hospital. Over the next 5 years he moved from department to department at the hospital, passing through surgery and dermatology before finally coming to rest at Theodor Meynert's department of psychiatry. [...]


9, actually. So basically, he spent 14 years to find his niche, his "true love," if you will...

smujd2007

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Re: INSTITUTIONAL DENIAL ABOUT THE DARK SIDE OF LAW SCHOOL
« Reply #216 on: February 01, 2008, 10:20:13 AM »
Right.  You are either way overqualified . . .  I have stopped counting the e-mails that I've gotten that say this, or someone else interviewed that had experience.  What's the point of summer clerkships and part time jobs during 2L and 3L?  Realistically, with the rigor of law school education, even the part time jobs are a little much to ask.  The reason that I even did them was more for the money than for the experience. 

I can deal with the crap in terms of being in law school, not being comfortable, having ups and downs, competition, etc.  But not being able to find ANY FULL TIME JOB when you get out? Now that is depressing. You are better off with a bachelor's in liberal arts alone.  At least then, the person that's hiring you doesn't see you as a threat to their job--and retaliates, even if you are more qualified than someone else.   

I wasnt depressed until I tried finding a job.  f**ck this *&^%.
smujd2007 is now an Attorney at Law!

resume

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Re: INSTITUTIONAL DENIAL ABOUT THE DARK SIDE OF LAW SCHOOL
« Reply #217 on: February 01, 2008, 02:50:51 PM »

True, although it took him some 8 years to receive his medical degree :) Then, in 1882, he took a position at the Vienna General Hospital. Over the next 5 years he moved from department to department at the hospital, passing through surgery and dermatology before finally coming to rest at Theodor Meynert's department of psychiatry. [...]


9, actually. So basically, he spent 14 years to find his niche, his "true love," if you will...


A very interesting type of "love," indeed!
There's a fine line between fishing and just standing on the shore like an idiot.

Cafe Cargo

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Re: INSTITUTIONAL DENIAL ABOUT THE DARK SIDE OF LAW SCHOOL
« Reply #218 on: February 03, 2008, 02:05:53 PM »
I'm not sure if you really get it...I mean, for God's sake it's pretty clear Freud was a geek who went into pure research, which were at that time mostly on an unpaid basis. Now, what this meant was that he went broke soon and ended up taking took up work at Theodor Meynert's Psychiatric Clinic. What do you think happened that made him famous? Well, during this period he began his studies into a promising new drug, cocaine, which he believed would become a common treatment for depression -- and perhaps even for other ailments, including indigestion. He himself became an enthusiastic user of cocaine, also handing it out to colleagues and relations (including his sisters) and praising its merits in various scholarly papers. Basically he went nuts. And productive in his work, including the research projects that were never successful before. The whole 'Freud fame' is in actuality nothing else but the 'cocaine fame'.

al so

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Re: INSTITUTIONAL DENIAL ABOUT THE DARK SIDE OF LAW SCHOOL
« Reply #219 on: February 05, 2008, 12:19:03 PM »
Cafe Cargo, is there anything I am missing? :)
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Who am I to disagree?