The English Riots as a Communication – Winnicott, the antisocial tendency and public disorder

By Adrian Ward.

From the Introduction…

In the middle of the summer of 2011, an extraordinary whirlwind of public disorder swept briefly through London and a number of other English towns and cities. These ‘riots’ were apparently triggered by conflict in Tottenham between police and the friends and relatives of a young man who had been shot dead by police, although many questions were left unanswered as to what else may have contributed to the rapid rise and fall of this disorder, either in terms of broader social and political discontent, or in terms of the psychology of crowd and individual behaviour.

In this paper I want to promote debate about the extent to which these ‘English riots’ may have been an expression of the antisocial tendency, and the extent to which they may have expressed other aspects of societal anxiety about order and disorder.
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