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Evans Holmes, D. (2017). Reflections on Hollander’s “Hegemonic Mind” and How to Treat It. Psychoanal. Dial., 27(6):651-657.

(2017). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 27(6):651-657

Reflections on Hollander’s “Hegemonic Mind” and How to Treat It

Dorothy Evans Holmes, Ph.D.

This response to Hollander’s consideration of the “hegemonic mind” critiques her social psychoanalytic formulation of man’s inclination to disempower the many to serve the personal, particularly the financial desires of the few. In the spirit of her point of view, I propose that this inclination is a function of active if not always conscious motivation, not a manifestation of “social malaise.” Further, I raise for consideration the fact that hegemonic “fever” is quite contagious, noting that those perpetrating it, and those on its receiving end, are attracted to it. I also consider that hegemony is an important manifest content, the latent determinant of which is a stubborn universal tendency for humans to show ill will toward one another. Through clinical examples I show that hegemonic formulations add to but do not replace other conceptualizations of how to understand and work with our patients’ personal and social dysfunction.

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