first locate an identifiable psyche, and the reality of a 'collective mind' with its own internal structure and drives is by no means a given.
This is, after all, a very important issue which has been addressed many times in both Philosophy and Cultural & Art Theory, and I would be interested (very) to read how you frame it.
Well, that's pretty much the bulk of my thesis. And I struggled to condense my position into 15,000 words! So it's not something I can really get across in a few lines.
But here's a précis...
My thesis is titled, "Psychodynamics of An Ecology of Mind". In it I fused the work of two of the great minds of the 20th century -- Sigmund Freud and Gregory Bateson. I added a dash of Wilfred Bion, a hint of Carl Jung and wrapped the whole thing up in a couple of ideas of my own.
The essence of the work was to take Bateson's definition of "mind" -- which he expresses in the language of cybernetics (systems theory) -- and re-express it in psychoanalytic terms. To the best of my knowledge this has not been done before.
Now, given that Bateson's definition of mind can be mapped just as easily (indeed perhaps more easily) onto a collective as onto an individual; once I established that this "mind" was compatible with the Freudian model, it allows the tools of psychoanalysis to be applied to a collective psyche. Which, I would argue, is tremendously useful.