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    Primitivity and violence: traces of the unconscious in psychoanalysis

    Frosh, Stephen (2016) Primitivity and violence: traces of the unconscious in psychoanalysis. Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology 37 (1), pp. 34-47. ISSN 1068-8471.

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    Abstract

    Psychoanalysis, the theory and practice of the ‘unconscious’, has an unconscious of its own, in the sense of containing unacknowledged assumptions that continue to affect it. The unconscious of psychoanalysis can be seen in the implicit models that it holds of the nature of the human subject, and particularly in the manner in which psychoanalytic ‘knowledge’ is disrupted by persistent assumptions and recurrent blind-spots that are at best partially recognised. These operate especially strongly in relation to ‘otherness’. In this paper, some lingering effects of psychoanalysis’ ‘unconscious’ assumptions are explored. It is argued in particular that the colonial elements of psychoanalysis’ heritage are visible in its conceptualisation of violence and primitivity, and specifically in thinking of violence as an ‘atavistic’ reproduction of a foundational savagery that, in its imagery and in its substance, is caught up with divisions between civilised and barbaric with very particular sociohistorical resonances.

    Metadata

    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: This article may not exactly replicate the final version published in the APA journal. It is not the copy of record.
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): psychoanalysis, unconscious, violence, primitivity, colonialism, otherness
    School: Birkbeck Schools and Departments > School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy > Psychosocial Studies
    Research Centre: Mapping Maternal Subjectivities, Identities and Ethics (MAMSIE)
    Depositing User: Stephen Frosh
    Date Deposited: 25 Nov 2016 08:05
    Last Modified: 27 Jul 2019 05:21
    URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/15877

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