The invisible Hitman of Neoliberalism: The Integration of Psychological Interventions within Neoliberal Structures

Arserim, Rodi Şiyar
In the past 40 years, there has been a significant change in the categorization and medicalization of the manifestation of human behaviour and emotions. Certain experiences that are distributed due to people's location in economic, political or social structures fall no longer in a political reality simply to be categorized as psychological disorders. Although Marxist scholars have often attempted to locate the mental disorders and their political-economic sources within infrastructural environment that neoliberalism created, their systematic analyses barely corresponded to the theories and practices regarding the abnormal behaviour and psychology. That is to say that, the nature of the "therapeutic" practices most -if not all- of the time emphasizes the individual as the unit to fix. The depression, anxiety and suicides that are correlated with socio-political problems are prescribed interventions that explicitly aims to systematically "desensitize", "restructure" and "habituate" the individuals; which in its essence is an embodiment of Foucauldian concept biopower. The aim of this thesis is to further investigate the political implications of the psychological interventions and psycho-social programs within the neoliberal agenda. It is hypothesized that the devastating impacts of neoliberal and capitalist discourses are systematically concealed through psychological and psycho-social intervention programs as "individual suffering". The individuation of the suffering goes parallel to the atomization promoted by the neoliberal agenda and -again- it is further commodified, reinforcing the capitalist economic structures.


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Citation Formats
R. Ş. Arserim, “The invisible Hitman of Neoliberalism: The Integration of Psychological Interventions within Neoliberal Structures,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2021.