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White, C. (2004). Culture, Influence, and the “I-ness” of Me: Commentary on Papers by Susan Bodnar, Gary B. Walls, and Steven Botticelli. Psychoanal. Dial., 14(5):653-691.

(2004). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 14(5):653-691

Culture, Influence, and the “I-ness” of Me: Commentary on Papers by Susan Bodnar, Gary B. Walls, and Steven Botticelli Related Papers

Cleonie White, Ph.D.

The undeniable realities of globalization at the dawn of the 21st century have brought the United States and its citizens to the startling realization that we must grapple politically, economically, and culturally with the wide range of diversity existing within and without our borders. As greater numbers of culturally diverse persons are now represented in their caseloads, psychoanalysts are also forced to examine the relevance of psychoanalytic theories and practice in meeting their needs. The author discusses three papers that propose overlapping and differing opinions as to the function of psychoanalysis in the lives of culturally diverse patients, and its capacity to influence more public, social and political change. This paper questions the meaning of the term “culture.” It attempts to tease apart the nature of memory and dissociation among those who suffer intergenerational trauma because of their membership in particular cultural or ethnic groups. Also addressed is the extent to which, as described by social constructivist theory, self is entirely a socially constructed phenomenon. The author questions the extent to which, alternatively, “self,” possessed of will, agency and authority, exists in a mutually influencing relationship with the social world.

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