Rejecting the foreigner as an institutional symptom and a specific defence modality within groups: A paradigmatic case


The paper presents what happened in Padua, after 14 years of peaceful cohabitation apparently without any conflicts in the same school building, between an elementary school and a CTP for adult education and development of literacy among foreigners. Such a paradigmatic event prompts us to discuss the concept of ethnic level of group mind functioning and illustrate how sometimes inter-ethnic conflict is a defensive modality in human group functioning, especially when an adequate institutional function is missing. Lastly, the adopted non-elaborative solution is discussed and possible analogies are made with what reported in recent contributions based on sophisticated mathematical models that take into consideration the existence of poorly defined boundaries between groups who live near but are separated by culture and ethnicity as data able to predict the onset of conflict between the groups themselves.

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