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Meers, D.R. Gordon, G. (1972). Aggression and Ghetto-Reared American Negro Children—Structural Aspects of the Theory of Fusion-Defusion. Psychoanal Q., 41:585-607.

(1972). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 41:585-607

Aggression and Ghetto-Reared American Negro Children—Structural Aspects of the Theory of Fusion-Defusion

Dale R. Meers and Gene Gordon

The black mothers of America's ghettos mediate their infants' needs in an environment that is anything but benign. Although the quality of the infant-mother relationship has been shown to affect the structure of the maturing ego, the culture limits the ghetto mother's responses to her infant. The culture we believe to be not only relevant to the structure of her infant's ego but also to the fate of his drives. Further, we suspect that the chronic ambivalence of the white community colludes with the violence and sexuality of the black ghetto, contributing perniciously to individual psychopathology. The violence of the ghetto facilitates the study of the aggressive drive, and in this paper we shall draw on the analyses of two ghetto-reared children to discuss a developmental model of fusion-defusion. One of these cases is described below.

In 1957, Novey noted that the integration of drive concepts with ego psychology was not yet complete. Beginning in 1932, Freud's concepts of fusion and defusion permeated his theoretical views.

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