Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
:
Login
Tip: To see author affiliation information in an article…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

To see author affiliation and contact information (as available) in an article, simply click on the Information icon next to the author’s name in every journal article.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Chodorow, N.J. (2002). Born into a World at War: Listening for Affect and Personal Meaning. Am. Imago, 59(3):297-315.

(2002). American Imago, 59(3):297-315

Born into a World at War: Listening for Affect and Personal Meaning

Nancy J. Chodorow

“Problems of patienthood are caused by outer and inner conditions,” Erik Erikson tells us (1964, 89). Outer conditions of war, politics, economics, and culture affect our thoughts and actions, but they do not, without being filtered through inner life, cause them. Inner conditions of temperamental propensity, affect, fantasy, and conflict predispose us to behave in certain ways, but they do not, apart from encounters with external reality, cause us to do so. This is a duality that challenges psychoanalytic theory and practice, from work with individual patients to psychocultural, psychosocial, or psychohistorical analysis. In another duality, psychoanalysis begins from the individual and provides, in fact, the most comprehensive theory of individuality. Yet from the beginning, in both its accounts of patients and the self-analytic writings of its founders, psychoanalysis has focused on patterns of fantasy, neurosis, character, and development that are widespread and has brought cultural, social, and historical factors into its theoretical and clinical reflections.

My own work follows the Eriksonian precept. In The Power of Feelings (1999), I suggested that people create and experience social processes and cultural meanings not only materially and discursively but also psychodynamically—in unconscious, affect-laden, nonlinguistic, immediately felt images and fantasies that everyone creates from birth about self, self and other, body, and the world.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

Copyright © 2020, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.