The August 2011 riots: Them and us

Lowe, Frank (2013) The August 2011 riots: Them and us. Psychodynamic Practice: Individuals, Groups and Organisations, 19 (3). pp. 279-295. ISSN 1475-3626 (electronic) 1475-3634 (paper)

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The riots of 2011 shocked and enthralled the nation. The extreme levels of anger, violence and lawlessness aroused fear and unease about what seemed to be a moral if not social collapse and challenged traditional notions about England and the kind of place it is assumed to be. The Prime Minister David Cameron’s view was that ‘There are pockets of our society that are not only broken, but frankly sick’, but exactly what sickness did the Prime Minister think that the rioters were suffering from? This paper argues that to understand the riots requires as much of an examination of the non-rioters (us) as those who rioted (them). I put forward the idea that the riots were a manifestation of a deep malaise, not only in ‘them’ – the rioters – but within ‘all of us’.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Published online: 22 Jul 2013
Uncontrolled Keywords: Complexity Theory, Splitting, Projection, Paranoid-Schizoid, Index-Patient, Dynamic Context, Antisocial Tendency
Subjects: Criminology > Crime/Criminology
Criminology > Young Offenders, Youth Crime
Department/People: Children, Young Adult and Family Services

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