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Bion, Wilfred

Bion, Wilfred (1897–1979) One of the better-known Kleinian psychoanalysts (see KLEIN, MELANIE) for whom psychoanalysis dealt less with defences against feeling than with defences against thought. From a sociological point of view his most important work was on group processes, in particular the unconscious alliances that groups form, in order to resist accomplishing their task. He calls these alliances ‘basic assumption groups’: dependency (waiting for the leader to do everything); flight-fight (finding an external enemy or scapegoat to distract attention); or pairing (where two members form a relationship which seems to offer a solution to the group's problems). See especially his Experiences in Groups (1961)

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