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Ambivalence, overview

Arribas-Ayllon, Michael ORCID: 2014. Ambivalence, overview. Teo, Thomas, ed. Encyclopedia of Critical Psychology, Springer, pp. 87-89. (10.1007/978-1-4614-5583-7_402)

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The term “ambivalence” entered circulation at the beginning of the twentieth century, referring to a pattern of disorder among schizophrenics. According to Bleuler (1911), who first coined it, ambivalence referred to three contradictory impulses: the emotional type in which the same object arouses positive and negative feelings, the voluntary type in which action is conflicted by competing urges, and the mental type in which the patient holds contradictory ideas. The term caught the attention of Freud (1918, 1923/1927) who used it extensively to describe alternating polarities of love and hate and of life and death urges. Having first emerged from the clinical space of psychosis, it was Freud who assigned ambivalence to a universal dynamic of competing instincts and intimate relations. In Civilisation and Its Discontents (1930), he argued that civilized society encounters a new kind of social ambivalence arising from increasing complexity and responsibility.

Item Type: Book Section
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 9781461455820
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2022 09:13

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