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Austin, S. (2008). Stack, Allyson. ‘Culture, cognition, and Jean Laplanche's enigmatic signifier’. Theory, Culture & Society, 2005, 22, pp. 63-80. J. Anal. Psychol., 53(4):582-585.

(2008). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 53(4):582-585

Stack, Allyson. ‘Culture, cognition, and Jean Laplanche's enigmatic signifier’. Theory, Culture & Society, 2005, 22, pp. 63-80

Review by:
Sue Austin

Edited by:
Ladson Hinton and Marica Rytovaara

Allyson Stack's presentation of Jean Laplanche's work offers an accessible and important perspective on the analytic encounter. Through a discussion of literary criticism, Stack explores how we engage with the alien cores around which the psyche is structured. The resultant paper is of significant value to anyone interested in the contemporary writings which explore the relationship between psychoanalysis and scientific understandings of emergent phenomena. It is also relevant to those who wish to bring Jung's key concepts (especially those relating to our encounters with the manifestations of inner otherness, such as complexes, archetypes and active imagination) into conversation with clinical thinking about the intersubjective encounter.

As Stack points out, much thought needs to be given to how one engages with the otherness of the other. There is a strong pull towards re-modelling this alien, unsettling presence into a flat surface onto which one can project pre-existing theoretical and existential prejudices.

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