Ecology, psychoanalysis, global warming and cats: fragmentation and interconnection

Harvey, Anna (2020) Ecology, psychoanalysis, global warming and cats: fragmentation and interconnection. Journal of Social Work Practice, 34 (4). pp. 395-408. ISSN 0265-0533

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In this article I explore the phenomenon of ecological disaster through the perspective of relationships and intersubjectivity using a psychosocial lens. I argue that fragmentation and hyper-individualism in late modernity are the root causes of ecological disaster. Fragmentation and disconnection from the consequences of our actions allows us to exploit our finite resources, as if infinite, with catastrophic consequences for our ecosystems. The hyper-individualism we have become acculturated to today and socialised into believing denies the reality of our interconnectedness and interdependence on one another. In the context of climate change, the logical conclusion of fragmentation results in a fatal kind of disconnection, akin, I argue, to suicide and genocide, which the climate change campaigner Polly Higgins referred to as ‘ecocide’. To highlight my argument I will make some links between the concepts of suicide, genocide and ecocide in an attempt to understand the psychosocial dynamics of fatal self destructiveness, using personal experiences to explore aggression, in the hope that personal insights may shine a light on dynamics that lie at the heart of climate change brought about by fragmentation and disconnection.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Ecology, interconnection, interdependence, destructiveness, fragmentation
Subjects: Disabilities & Disorders (mental & physical) > Personality Disorders (e.g. narcissism)
Human Psychological Processes > Strange Environment/Situation
Social Welfare > Social Work
Department/People: Department of Education and Training

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