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Locating Culture in the Psychic Field (Bonovitz, 2005)

Saturday, December 8th, 2007 @ 11:00 pm
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Posted in  Literature

It seems there is a lot of relevant litearature in the psychoanalytic tradition. A good paper is Bonovitz, C. (2005). Locating Culture in the Psychic Field: Transference and Countertransference as cultural productes. Contemporay Psychoanalysis, 41:55-76. Here is the abstract:

The author contrasts the classical psychoanalytic perspective on the relationship between culture, especially race, and transference with interpersonal and relational models. Recent developments in contemporary psychoanalytic theory provide a more comprehensive theoretical formulation of the relationship between culture, the unconscious, and the interpersonal field. The author takes the position that culture is an essential aspect of the transference-countertransference field, rather than something to peel away or move past in order to reach more deeply laden conflicts. Cultural transference-countertransference is constructed by patient and analyst together, and reflects interpersonal relations as well as internalized self-object representations. Transference-countertransference enactments between patient and analyst are conceived as embodying aspects of the historical relations between their respective cultures. While transference may have intrapsychic origins in the form of internalized self-object relations, it may also be a manifestation of a patient’s sociocultural roots and family-of-origin’s cultural heritage, including relationships to the dominant group. The author examines these ideas from a treatment between a white therapist and a black patient.

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