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Cavell, M. (1998). Pecuniary Pathologies and the Debt Trap. Compulsive Buying: A Neglected Topic in Psychoanalysis. Rolf Haubl. Pp. 916-953. Psychoanal Q., 67(3):537-538.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Pecuniary Pathologies and the Debt Trap. Compulsive Buying: A Neglected Topic in Psychoanalysis. Rolf Haubl. Pp. 916-953

(1998). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 67(3):537-538

Pecuniary Pathologies and the Debt Trap. Compulsive Buying: A Neglected Topic in Psychoanalysis. Rolf Haubl. Pp. 916-953

Marcia Cavell

Although money is not an infant wish (Freud), it is still the objective of most of our strivings. After all, as Goethe put it: “This metal can be transformed into anything.” With capitalism at the apogee of its evolution, the opportunities and the prestige of individual members of society will be measured largely in terms of the financial clout that they command. So far, psychoanalytic theory has given relatively little attention to the phenomenon of money and the way we handle it. This

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is surprising, given that the consumer society more or less forces individuals to react irrationally to the magic of money. This results in behaviors which are frequently downright pathological, one of them being the tendency to run up enormous, unmanageable debts. Haubl first gives an account of existing psychoanalytic theories of money, proceeding from there to point up the social roots and psychosocial causes of the irrational attitude toward money, a “commodity” which is invariably in short supply. In the second part of his article, the author presents a case history showing that pathologies bound up with money and consumer behavior are an expression of autonomy conflicts. The victims of these conflicts are frequently women, as they have special difficulty in achieving autonomy in what is still very much a male-oriented society.

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Article Citation

Cavell, M. (1998). Pecuniary Pathologies and the Debt Trap. Compulsive Buying: A Neglected Topic in Psychoanalysis. Rolf Haubl.. Psychoanal. Q., 67(3):537-538

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