Melbourne Graduate School of Education - Theses

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    Pauline, politics and psychoanalysis: theorising racism in Australia
    Wear, Andrew ( 1999)
    This thesis uses a psychoanalytic approach to examine the phenomenon of the rise of the Pauline Hanson and the One Nation political party. Psychoanalysis, as the discipline concerned with developing an understanding of irrationality and the human emotions, is well-placed to tackle issues such as insecurity, resentment and racism. By reviewing the works of a number of psychoanalytic theorists, this thesis suggests ways that they may help us to understand the success of One Nation in Australia. Through this approach, I aim to bring new insights to the study of racism in contemporary Australia. The first part of this thesis consists of a survey of the contentions of six key psychoanalytic theorists. This analysis shows that psychoanalysis affords us an understanding of the subject as a complex being; attached to, and even constituted by, certain images and ideals. In the second section, I suggest ways in which psychoanalytic theory may assist us to develop a more comprehensive understanding of the Pauline Hanson phenomenon. This analysis deals with only a few selected aspects of Hansonism, but to the extent that this can be seen as a synecdoche of the whole, it suggests that the attainment of a full understanding of racism and the human emotions is more complex and difficult task than we often acknowledge.