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Dajani, K.G. (2017). Commentary on Yasser Ad-Dab′Bagh′s “Islamophobia: Prejudice, the Psychological Skin of the Self and Large-Group Dynamics”. Int. J. Appl. Psychoanal. Stud., 14(3):192-196.

(2017). International Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies, 14(3):192-196

Commentary on Yasser Ad-Dab′Bagh′s “Islamophobia: Prejudice, the Psychological Skin of the Self and Large-Group Dynamics” Related Papers

Karim G. Dajani

I would like to frame my discussion of Dr Ad-Dab′bagh′s important contributions to the topics of culture, prejudice and Islamophobia within a working conception of culture and the mind that I′ve been developing (Dajani, 2017a, 2017b). Prejudice generally, and Islamophobia specifically, derive from individual and group psychodynamics, as well as larger cultural forces and their impact on the mind. My admiration and critique of Dr Ad-Dab′bagh′s work is rooted in this developing conception of culture.

The issue of culture has been addressed in many early psychoanalytic writings, but work on the topic did not seep into mainstream clinical technique or into the curriculum of most psychoanalytic institutes. A recent resurgence of interest in the topic of culture and the mind is generating fascinating and useful scholarship with increased clinical utility. Dr Ad-Dab′bagh′s work is a beautiful example of this development in our theory and sensibilities.

Freud forwarded a sophisticated conception of culture and the mind that is most clearly articulated in “Totem and Taboo” (Freud, 1913). He conceived of culture as an “inherited disposition” that emanated from a single event in the collective experiences of a primitive group. Unbound by cultural mores and a developed sense of conscience, a band of brothers killed and cannibalized their restrictive father, giving in to incestuous and violent impulses towards members of the same group.

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