Breakup and reunion from a psychoanalytic perspective
some ideas from applied Kleinian psychoanalysis
Keywords:applied psychoanalysis, fan-band relationship, fandom, Melanie Klein, object relations theory, phantasy
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.
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