The Pristine Self: Psychodynamics of the Anti-Bullying Movement

  • Howard S. Schwartz


The movement against bullying came upon us like a summer storm. Suddenly, everywhere was the idea that bullying was everywhere. But, in fact, there has been no evidence of an increase in bullying; the best available evidence is that there has been a diminution. What has changed has been a redefinition of the idea of the self. Our times have seen a shift from a culture in which both maternal and paternal psychologies were seen as valuable and important, to one with an exclusively maternal psychology, from which paternal psychology has been expelled. This exclusively maternal psychology has brought about the normalization, or establishment, of an idea of the self, I call it the pristine self, which is untouched by anything but love. Given this idea of self, normal interaction, including the working of the normative structure of the society, is experienced and seen as intolerable assault; hence, the ubiquity of bullying.


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Copyright information

© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and the Author(s) 2016

Open Access This chapter is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial License, which permits any noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.

Authors and Affiliations

  • Howard S. Schwartz
    • 1
  1. 1.Emeritus Professor of Organizational BehaviorOakland UniversityRochesterUSA

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