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    On meeting Linda: an intimate encounter with (not-)belonging in the current conjuncture

    Roseneil, Sasha (2014) On meeting Linda: an intimate encounter with (not-)belonging in the current conjuncture. Psychoanalysis, Culture & Society 19 , pp. 19-28. ISSN 1088-0763.

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    This paper begins with an ‘experience-near’ account of the author’s encounter with a woman she met whilst walking her dog in an east London park one winter afternoon. The woman was lying on the ground amongst the trees and, when approached, talked with the author about her feelings of isolation from family and community, about her alcoholism, suicidality and unsuccessful attempts to access help from the welfare state, and about the connections to animals and nature that kept her alive. The paper goes on to offer a psychoanalytically informed psychosocial commentary on this meeting and on the human relational vulnerability of which it speaks, exploring what we might learn about belonging and not belonging in the contemporary conjuncture, as welfare spending is cut, economic inequalities increase, and the ‘social investment state’ targets the ‘worthy’ welfare subject at the expense of people like Linda. The paper discusses the resonances between Linda’s life as glimpsed through this encounter and the author’s recent psychosocial research on intimacy and care under conditions of individualisation and detraditionalisation. Through this, the paper explores the practices of ethical relationality that are at the heart of the individual’s struggle to belong and through which social belonging is created.


    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: “This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in Psychoanalysis, Culture & Society. The definitive publisher-authenticated version is available online at
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): belonging, welfare state, intimacy, ethical relationality, animals, individualisation
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences
    Research Centres and Institutes: Mapping Maternal Subjectivities, Identities and Ethics (MAMSIE), Gender and Sexuality, Birkbeck (BiGS), Social Research, Birkbeck Institute for (BISR)
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 25 Nov 2013 14:21
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:08


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