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    A double-edge sword: the role of psychoanalysis in public responses to human rights violations - denial, justifications and passivity

    Seu, Irene Bruna (2015) A double-edge sword: the role of psychoanalysis in public responses to human rights violations - denial, justifications and passivity. Psychodynamic Practice 21 (1), pp. 5-18. ISSN 1475-3634.

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    Abstract

    This paper presents data from a series of exploratory qualitative studies investigating ordinary people’s responses to information about human rights violations. The studies analysed how people understand and account for what happens in the gap between knowledge and action and how they justify their own passivity. This paper focuses on what we can learn about the issue of public passivity in response to human rights violations from psychoanalysis and, in specific, through the concept of denial. The paper proposes a psychosocial theorisation of public passivity that takes into account sociocultural as well as intrapsychic factors. It illustrates how psychoanalysis plays a double role when applied to the investigation of public passivity. On the one hand, it enables an appreciation of the dynamic defences activated by the disturbing information of human rights violations; on the other, it can be used to give credence and legitimacy to justifications of passivity and self-distancing. We need to understand and engage with both. The implications of such theorisation for psychodynamic practice are also discussed.

    Metadata

    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): human rights, psychoanalysis, psychosocial, passivity, denial, morality
    School: Birkbeck Schools and Departments > School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy > Psychosocial Studies
    Research Centre: Mapping Maternal Subjectivities, Identities and Ethics (MAMSIE), Gender and Sexuality, Birkbeck (BiGS), Social Research, Birkbeck Institute for (BISR)
    Depositing User: Sarah Hall
    Date Deposited: 17 Feb 2015 17:37
    Last Modified: 12 Dec 2016 14:26
    URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/11692

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