The location of disturbance: situating group analytic practice
Erica Burman


My title connects the group analytic notion of 'location of disturbance' to the contemporary cultural scene, including both the particularities and sensitivities of political economy. Across the world, TV shows emphasise makeovers (and makeunders3) that (along with the endless cookery programmes) reflect a prevailing conception that we are where we are, as well as who we are; and that worth or value is a question and often a very arbitrary one, of place. In the UK, those people lucky enough to be owners of their own homes know only too well, that the value of our house has less to do with what it is (since most British houses are very similar, and in this sense this is perhaps a very peculiar British disease), than where it is – with almost identical houses being worth dramatically different amounts based on rather imprecise notions of area reputation or which area is 'going up' or 'coming down'. This usually boils down to that other - often heralded as specifically British - obsession (though I doubt it is only ours) - class. Such programmes bolster the voluntarist illusion that we can change our fates and fortunes by making the right decisions and moving to the right places. If only it was so easy!

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