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Hartman, J.J. (1987). Psychoanalytic Study of Society. XI, 1985: Sakulambei—A Hermaphrodite's Secret: An Example of Clinical Ethnography. Gilbert H. Herdt and Robert J. Stoller. Pp. 115-156.. Psychoanal Q., 56:738.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Psychoanalytic Study of Society. XI, 1985: Sakulambei—A Hermaphrodite's Secret: An Example of Clinical Ethnography. Gilbert H. Herdt and Robert J. Stoller. Pp. 115-156.

(1987). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 56:738

Psychoanalytic Study of Society. XI, 1985: Sakulambei—A Hermaphrodite's Secret: An Example of Clinical Ethnography. Gilbert H. Herdt and Robert J. Stoller. Pp. 115-156.

John J. Hartman

The authors, an anthropologist and a psychoanalyst, offer this study of a hermaphrodite of the Sambia tribe of New Guinea as an experiment in ethnography. Their task was to study subjective experiences across cultural boundaries. This case illustrates an empathic eliciting of information on thoughts and feelings through the use of clinical skills and concepts. The psychoanalyst served as consultant to the ethnographer. During a visit to the field, he participated in the interviews, which enriched the results. The paper presents a verbatim transcript of a crucial interview during which previously suppressed material emerged. At age ten the hermaphrodite had been photographed nude by a European man. This had been a trauma which the hermaphrodite had never discussed and which played a part in a guarded relationship with the ethnographer. Through his clinical knowledge of resistance, the psychoanalyst was able to help the ethnographer in the crucial session. The authors recommend a team approach when dealing with areas of fantasy and feeling as reported in this paper.

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Article Citation

Hartman, J.J. (1987). Psychoanalytic Study of Society. XI, 1985. Psychoanal. Q., 56:738

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