College of Psychology: Faculty Articles

Title

Fight Club: A Depiction of Contemporary Society as Dissociogenic

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2004

Keywords

Dissociation, Dissociative Identity Disorder, Society, Politics, Culture

Publication Title

Journal of Trauma and Dissociation

ISSN

1529-9732

Volume

5

Issue/No.

2

Abstract

It is argued that a major theme of the novel and film Fight Club is that contemporary technological society fosters dissociative modes of experience. Examples are provided of how the content and style of Fight Club are designed to convey the detachment from subjective experience, interpersonal disconnectedness and fragmented sense of self fostered by influences such as consumerism, technology, and rapid mobility. In this way Fight Club illustrates how social, cultural and interpersonal forces can promote sub-clinical and even normative forms of dissociation that, although less extreme, qualitatively approximate floridly pathological manifestations of dissociation. This perspective helps to de-marginalize dissociation, fostering appreciation of the continuity between its non-pathological and clinical manifestations.

DOI

10.1300/J229v05n02_02