52 Slices
Medium 9781855758865

CHAPTER SIX: Psychodynamic reflections on the fashion system

Halina Brunning Karnac Books ePub

Anna König

Clothing and one’s constructed appearance form a tangible boundary between the self and the external world. It is, therefore, remarkable that psychodynamic theory appears to have little to say about fashion and the manner in which it is used by individuals to reconcile internal and external identities. Amongst the numerous scholarly works to have been written on fashion in the past twenty years, there is a paucity of theoretical work on fashion from a primarily psychodynamic perspective. Even texts that purport to provide a broad range of academic perspectives on the history, culture, and business of fashion fail to offer psychodynamic frameworks of any description. This prompts the question: is it fashion theorists who have ignored psychodynamic interpretations, or psychodynamic theorists who have dismissed fashion?

Despite the proliferation of academic writings on fashion over the past twenty years, yet there appears to be an implicit assumption that fashion benefits from sociological rather than psychological investigation, and much is made of the “social” components of fashion and dress. The clothed individual is often posited as “playing” to a social audience, and therefore it is the social aspect of dress that is emphasized. The academic field that currently dominates the study of fashion is cultural and historical studies, a polymorphous discipline that borrows theoretical models from sociology, anthropology, and gender theory, amongst others. However, it makes scant use of psychodynamic theory. Indeed, the only time that psychodynamic theory is mentioned in fashion texts is in reference to J. C. Flugel, but by and large, fashion theorists appear to have rejected most aspects of psychoanalytic theory as a tool for understanding fashion. That said, some academics allude to psychodynamic ideas without explicitly acknowledging them as such. Perhaps this arises out of the historic mistrust that cultural theorists have of psychoanalysis as a discipline, preferring instead to locate argument within more “visible” and less ambiguously coded theoretical disciplines.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781855753273


Halina Brunning Karnac Books ePub

Frames for thinking within the role of the executive coach

The purpose of this chapter is to affirm the importance and to situate unconscious and infinite thinking in the context of executive coaching.

In her clear exposition of executive coaching, Halina Brunning shows the multi-factorial holistic process whereby individual clients identify the resources to pursue their goals and enhance their potential for attaining them. The areas of counselling, qualification, professional development, business context, organizational dynamics, psychotherapy, and personal development are identified and elaborated in her seminal article (Brunning, 2001). These domains are systemically inter-related and, while they are not addressed directly, like a checklist, they form the background to the actual conversational field that the coach and client evoke in the course of the coaching sessions. These domains constitute the basis for the explicate conversation that evolves between client and coach. At the same time, there will be an implicate—below the surface of consciousness—conversation that, one hopes, will also be attended to and addressed. Indeed, one could go as far as to say this exploration must be addressed as well if the coaching process is to have a lasting effect on the inner conceptions of the client.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781780490847

Chapter Four - Who is the Boss? Balancing Power and Vulnerability in the Client–Consultant Relationship

Halina Brunning Karnac Books ePub

Francesca Cardona

“They that have power to hurt and will do none”

—Shakespeare, Sonnet 94

Introduction 1

I meet with Anne, the director of a very successful company, to discuss some possible consultation to her organisation. The atmosphere is friendly, though quite cautious. We both know one of the main reasons we are meeting is her recent breakdown. She has been on sick-leave for a number of weeks and has reluctantly accepted the need to invest in, and delegate more to, her senior team. Anne is a formidable and extremely competent leader, who has developed her organisation significantly. Her breakdown has signalled to her and to the rest of the organisation that something has to change, in particular her centralised approach. The breakdown is not a secret, but it is something almost unspeakable. I have to force myself to mention it as an important factor in our preliminary discussion. I am also aware that this potential assignment could be a substantial and very interesting project: it would give me the opportunity to work in a new field and with an organisation facing exciting challenges.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781780490847

Chapter Twelve - The Power of Symbols, Vulnerability of Trust, and Securitisation

Halina Brunning Karnac Books ePub

Andrzej Leder

The tradition of the oppressed teaches us that the “state of emergency” in which we live is the rule. We must arrive at a concept of history which corresponds to this.

Walter Benjamin

Is psychology really a “soft factor”?

The crisis sweeping over the global economy has made numerous analysts question to what extent and how human psychology influences economic processes. That it influences economic processes seems beyond doubt. This influence is mostly regarded, however, as some kind of extra factor, a humanistic touch somewhat “softening” the tough and unchangeable laws of mechanical economics. Let us take optimism, for example. Determining the scale of consumer optimism, or, to use the language of evangelical virtues, of consumer hope, has become a routine instrument for researching economic trends. However, this hope is viewed as a dependent variable, conditional, among other determinants, on the unemployment rate; essentially easy to research, but not a basic variable.

But these things psychology tells us about are by no means soft or delicate. Even less could they be described as an extra factor. Individual human behaviours driven by fundamental emotions add up, making great waves and currents that determine the course of economic developments. They sometimes elevate and sometimes undermine the power of organisations, corporations, or even states. This is the kind of situation we have experienced recently and we continue to remain in its grip.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781855751286

Chapter 2.Organizations and organization development

Halina Brunning Karnac Books ePub


“Every enterprise has four organizations: the one that is written down, the one that most people believe exists, the one that really exists, and, finally, the one that the enterprise really needs.”

[Turrill, 1986]

There are, of course, numerous perceptions of organizations. The personnel specialist may view it as a large organization chart with staff numbers and job descriptions. To the engineer, it may be a collection of machinery, plant, and equipment in need of maintenance and repair. The accountant may see it in terms of profits, losses, and balance sheets, while the clinician may think in terms of patient services and coping with multiple demands.

While each perspective is in itself valid and real, it is only part of the picture; there is a clear need to take a “helicopter” view of the totality of an enterprise and its activities (see Figure 2.1). The elements of the model in Figure 2.1 are discussed further in the next section.


An organization’s environment, resources, history, and strategies together define how people in the enterprise behave, and these factors function as “setting conditions”, i.e. constraints as well as opportunities.

See All Chapters

See All Slices