The Subject in the Crowd: A Critical Discussion of Jodi Dean’s “Crowds and Party”

Johanssen, J. 2016. The Subject in the Crowd: A Critical Discussion of Jodi Dean’s “Crowds and Party”. tripleC: Communication, Capitalism & Critique. 14 (2), pp. 428-437.

TitleThe Subject in the Crowd: A Critical Discussion of Jodi Dean’s “Crowds and Party”
AuthorsJohanssen, J.
Abstract

This article presents a critical discussion of Jodi Dean’s (2016) book “Crowds and Party”. I pay particular attention to her discussion of crowds and the Communist Party that is influenced by psychoanalysis. Dean has put forward an important argument for the affectivity within crowds that may be transformed into a Communist Party that is characterised by a similar affective infrastructure. I suggest that Dean’s discussion of affect is slightly vague at times and may be supplemented with Sigmund Freud’s work on affect. In contrast to Dean, who stresses the collectivity and deindividuation of the crowd, I argue that the crowd needs to be thought of as a place where individuality and collectivity come together and remain in tension. Such a tension may then be managed by the Party, as Dean illustrates.

KeywordsCrowds, Communist Party, Affect, Freud, Psychoanalysis
JournaltripleC: Communication, Capitalism & Critique
Journal citation14 (2), pp. 428-437
ISSN 1726-670X
Year2016
PublisherTripleC
Publisher's version
Web address (URL)http://www.triple-c.at/index.php/tripleC/article/view/759
Publication dates
Published23 Oct 2016
LicenseCC BY-NC-ND 3.0

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