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Widlöcher, D. (1985). The Wish for Identification and Structural Effects in the Work of Freud. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 66:31-46.

(1985). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 66:31-46

The Wish for Identification and Structural Effects in the Work of Freud

Daniel Widlöcher


The concept of identification is a blurred one. There is no general agreement about the relationships with other concepts. On the other hand, Freud described several forms of identification, opposing each to the other (hysterical and narcissistic, primary and secondary, ego and superego identification).

The author points out the fact evey identificatory process must be considered as a work of the unconscious. 'To identify oneself with …' always results from a process in which a representation is identified to an other and thus realizes the fulfilment of a wish. But identification itself becomes a drive goal: the wish for identification. On that point, the importance of drive opposition between primary identification and object relationship must be outlined.

The structural effects are then considered. From this point of view, personality agencies can be characterized in the same time as the result of the identificatory process and the source of the wish for identification.

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