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Straker, G. (2004). Race for Cover: Castrated Whiteness, Perverse Consequences. Psychoanal. Dial., 14(4):405-422.

(2004). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 14(4):405-422

Race for Cover: Castrated Whiteness, Perverse Consequences

Gillian Straker, Ph.D.

What happens when governments, institutions, or associations betray our most cherished values and ideals? Through the tropes of melancholia, perversion, and the fetish, this paper examines the complex reactions that such a betrayal may elicit.

The author argues that betrayal evokes shame and guilt by association, and that it also engenders the complicated form of mourning implicated in melancholia. A person may disavow the betrayal itself in order to deal with these painful reactions. This disavowal may then become stabilized via the use of the fetish in its various forms (e.g., the commodity fetish, the body fetish, and the fantasy fetish). This has perverse consequences, including subtle enactments of racism and other forms of marginalization and exclusion of Otherness.

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