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Kiehl, E. (2016). ‘You Were Not Born Here, So You are Classless, You are Free!’ Social Class and Cultural Complex in Analysis. J. Anal. Psychol., 61(4):465-480.

(2016). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 61(4):465-480

‘You Were Not Born Here, So You are Classless, You are Free!’ Social Class and Cultural Complex in Analysis

Emilija Kiehl, M.Sc.

The unconscious impact of differences in culture and social class is discussed from the perspective of an analyst practising in London whose ‘foreign accent’ prevents patients from placing her within the social stratifications by which they feel confined. Because she is seen by them as an analyst from both ‘inside’ and ‘outside’ the British psycho-social fabric and cultural complex, this opens a space in the transference that enables fuller exploration of the impact of the British social class system on patients' experience of themselves and their world. The paper considers this impact as a transgenerational trauma of living in a society of sharp socio-economic divisions based on material property. This is illustrated with the example of a patient who, at the point of moving towards the career to which he aspired, was unable to separate a sense of personal identity from the social class he so desperately wanted to leave behind and walk the long avenue of individuation. The dearth of literature on the subject of class is considered, and the paper concludes that not enough attention is given to class identification in training.

[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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