The Pristine Self: Psychodynamics of the Anti-Bullying Movement

Posted: 27 Jan 2013 Last revised: 30 Apr 2016

Date Written: January 26, 2013


Bullying appears to have become a matter of great public concern, but there does not appear to have been an increase of bullying in recent times. This suggests that what needs to be understood is the anti-bullying movement itself. This paper looks at the anti-bullying movement from a psychoanalytic point of view. It is built around a normalization of the "pristine self," which is a self untouched by anything but love. This idea of the self is a product of anti-oedipal psychology, based on the apotheosis of an omnipotent mother and the expulsion of the father. It undermines the transition from childhood to adulthood.

Keywords: Bullying, anti-bullying, pristine self, anti-oedipal psychology, childhood

Suggested Citation

Schwartz, Howard, The Pristine Self: Psychodynamics of the Anti-Bullying Movement (January 26, 2013). Available at SSRN: or

Howard Schwartz (Contact Author)

Oakland University ( email )

17 Chittenden Avenue
Apt 5A
New York, NY 10033
United States
(248) 982-7044 (Phone)


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