Discuss the Psychoanalytic Concept of Narcissism with Special Reference to Its Applications in Contemporary Consumption.
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Discuss the psychoanalytic concept of narcissism with special reference to its applications in contemporary consumption
Narcissism is a psychoanalytic concept first introduced by Freud in an essay from 1914 which was dedicated to the topic, over the following century psychologists continued to study it and it has now become a central concept in contemporary psychoanalytic inquiry and is used extensively within the field of psychology to diagnose and explain a number of fundamental human mental conditions. The term is a reference to a Greek myth from which Freud drew inspiration; the myth revolves around the story of a handsome Greek adolescent Narcissus who, after rejecting the advances of the nymph Echo,…show more content… I would like to compare this to the modern day consumer, who one can observe displaying for everyone to see, the fact that they have contributed to a beneficial organisation in a charitable way by wearing a badge or a wristband bearing the name or logo of the organisation to which they donated some of their money. Consumers are actively encouraged to boast the fact they give to charity, as there is often a direct exchange of a donation for a symbolic item which can be displayed for everyone to see. This outward display of generosity is an attempt to reassure and cement (or turn to reality) the uncertain ideal image we have of ourselves. Giddens (1991) is of the opinion that narcissism does not revolve around self-love but rather around self-hatred, and that a highly narcissistic person lacks an identity of his own and is therefore constantly trying to fill this empty space by reflecting the self in other people. The self-worthiness of the narcissist is said to be uncertain and this can only be changed through seeking acceptance, praise and admiration from other people, if they do not receive this they will likely suffer low self-esteem and maybe even experience feelings of depression as a result of a lack of