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Akhtar, S. (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):197-199.

(2017). International Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies, 14(3):197-199

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

Salman Akhtar, M.D.

In this well-written and timely paper, Yasser Ad-Dab′bagh offers some psychoanalytic insights regarding Islamophobia. Ad-Dab′bagh is uniquely qualified for such an undertaking. He was born and raised in Saudi Arabia and spent a long period of time in Canada, where he trained to become a psychoanalyst. He has had the opportunity to see our literal and ideological globe from many sides: as a member of an ethno-religious majority and minority, as a foreigner and a citizen, as a linguistically distinct and linguistically syntonic person, and so on. The breadth of his vision is impressive and so is the scope of his psychoanalytic oeuvre. He cites analytic contributors from North America (Volkan, Akhtar), UK (Winnicott, Bick), and France (Chasseguet-Smirgel, Anzieu) with comparable ease and in a seamless blending of heuristic proposals. Ad-Dab′bagh′s ideas can be summarized in the following bullet points:

ο    A “psychological skin” is created during formative years. It serves to create the sense of separateness from the generic Other.

ο    In addition to this “containment function”, such skin also acts as a “cultural border” that establishes the sense of distinction from the cultural Other.

ο    The former (self-sustaining) function evolves through the interaction of the early libidinal ministrations by the mother and the child′s ego-instinct based striving for coherence.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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