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Dimen, M. (2004). The Return of the Dissociated: Discussion. Psychoanal. Dial., 14(6):859-865.

(2004). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 14(6):859-865

The Return of the Dissociated: Discussion

Muriel Dimen, Ph.D.

Psychoanalysis and politics intersect variously. Some psychoanalytic writings have critiqued society, whereas others have applied socially critical insights about class and race to illuminate transference-countertransference enactments and other clinical matters. The hegemonic politics of psychoanalysis, less intentional but equally influential, define maturity and mental health by idealizing of some psychological and behavioral traits and some clinical stances (especially authoritarianism), and by demonizing of certain categories of persons (notably nonheterosexuals and people of color), certain types of practice (e.g., social work), and certain sorts of ideas (e.g., that clinical and theoretical practices are political practices, too). One way to redress these problems is to reclaim the marginal—homosexuality and queerness, affect's presence in politics, and the political in the psychical (in which instance, the concept of multiple self-states may be useful). Any such effort requires recognizing and articulating one's own subject-position, that is, one's own class, race, gender, or sexual location.

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