Defense mechanisms and psychic processes in social exclusion: Clinical considerations

Tommaso Fratini


Following a post-Kleinian psychoanalytic perspective, this article proposes some considerations on social exclusion, based on the analysis of certain individual and collective defenses. Drawing from G. Di Chiara’s concept of psychosocial syndrome, social exclusion is explained primarily as the result of the mechanisms of inferiorization, exclusion and marginalization of those who are disadvantaged by and opposed to the logic of collective pathologies most prevalent in a given model of society. In our society, the logic of these syndromes, linked together, is especially one that promises a model of social adaptation ferociously based on competition. These mechanisms, triggered by very strong anxieties, repeat themselves in the dynamics of different conditions, according to the prototypical model of pathological narcissism and true racism.


social exclusion; post-Kleinian psychoanalysis; defense mechanisms; psychosocial syndroms; racism.

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