Breakup and reunion from a psychoanalytic perspective

some ideas from applied Kleinian psychoanalysis

Authors

  • Tobias Nolte The Anna Freud Centre

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1558/pomh.v7i2.199

Keywords:

applied psychoanalysis, fan-band relationship, fandom, Melanie Klein, object relations theory, phantasy

Abstract

This article examines from a Kleinian psychoanalytic perspective the implications of a band’s breakup and reunion on fandom. The impact and meaning of these processes for a fan’s internal world are explored using applied object relations theory. The vicissitudes of unconscious phantasies regarding internal objects and their meaning are traced from a band’s formation via the full breakup to the potential and actual reunion. Freud’s ‘Mourning and Melancholia’ serves as a basis to understand a fan’s response to the loss of an idealized object. Processes of projection and a gradual psychic integration that are characteristic of a shift from a paranoid-schizoid to a depressive position in Kleinian terms are explored in the case of Take That’s band history alongside possible psychic defences that are employed by a fan in response to a boy group’s breakup. Focusing on Kleinian theory, this article introduces the meaning of band reunions and how these relate to psychoanalytic notions of reparation and unconscious guilt.

Author Biography

Tobias Nolte, The Anna Freud Centre

Tobias Nolte, MD, studied medicine in Göttingen, Germany and obtained an MSc in Psychodynamic Developmental Neuroscience from UCL in a combined programme with the Yale Child Study Center. He is currently working as a clinical research fellow at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging, UCL and as a Senior Researcher at The Anna Freud Centre, London.

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Published

2013-10-18

How to Cite

Nolte, T. (2013). Breakup and reunion from a psychoanalytic perspective: some ideas from applied Kleinian psychoanalysis. Popular Music History, 7(2), 199–210. https://doi.org/10.1558/pomh.v7i2.199

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Section

Articles