Encyclopedia of Critical Psychology

2014 Edition
| Editors: Thomas Teo

Narcissism, Overview

  • Matthew AdamsEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-5583-7_590
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Introduction

The notion of narcissism was fertile ground for combining psychological, political, and sociocultural critique for much of the twentieth century. In the 1970s and 1980s, narcissism became a key psychosocial trope, understood to be the psychological manifestation of a malaise running through capitalist consumer society. The concept has lacked serious academic scrutiny in the last 20 years or so, but it arguably needs rescuing from being cyclically rolled out as a tired conservative heuristic, and repositioned as a serious social psychoanalytic concept that can still contribute to meaningful critical dialogue about psychosocial realities in contemporary capitalist societies.

Definition

Freud was responsible for converting the metaphorical potential of the mythical figure of Narcissus into psychological currency, developing the concept in the essay “On Narcissism: An Introduction” (1915). Freud distinguished between primary and secondary narcissism. Primary narcissism is a...

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References

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Online Resources

  1. Darton, K. (2011). Understanding personality disorders. Retrieved October 15, 2012, from MIND website http://www.mind.org.uk/help/diagnoses_and_conditions/personality_disorders?gclid=CIbMyJ3mna4CFQ8gfAodqFoWIA
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  3. Turner, T. (2003, April). I Shop, Therefore I Am. New Internationalist, 355. Retrieved October 15, 2012, from http://www.newint.org/features/2003/04/05/ishop/
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  5. Vogel, C. (2006, January 1st). A Field Guide To Narcissism. Psychology Today. Retrieved October 15, 2012, from http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200512/field-guide-narcissism

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Applied Social SciencesUniversity of BrightonBrightonUK