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Ermann, M. (2009). Psychoanalysis and Globalisation. Int. Forum Psychoanal., 18(4):195-195.

(2009). International Forum of Psychoanalysis, 18(4):195-195


Psychoanalysis and Globalisation

Michael Ermann

Over the last 100 years, with the systematic analysis of the unconscious, psychoanalysis has opened up and explored new dimensions in terms of how we see our inner world. In this process it has taken its lead from an occidental idea of man, industrial society and its structures without questioning the validity of this approach. The civic family of the early twentieth century and its orientation on a Jewish-Christian moral and the traditions and ideals derived from it have been at its centre. This alignment has created an outlasting identity in the sense of Erik H. Erikson which has given the individuals a feeling of unity, uniqueness and continuity of their existence in relation to fixed social structures. This process occurred within a social environment which only slowly was changing and which gave the individual a sense of and place within the community.

The conditions for this to take place were manageable and well-defined social spaces within which life of the individual was lived within fixed relations such as family, profession, national culture and political system. However, wars and social upheavals in the twentieth century led to profound changes which have questioned this world view and idea of man and during the last quarter of the twentieth century led to a new reality. We characterize this reality by referring to it as globalisation.

Globalisation in its immediate sense relates to the growing porosity of national borders. However the term and the phenomenon comprise much more.

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