Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
Tip: To print an article…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

To print an article, click on the small Printer Icon located at the top right corner of the page, or by pressing Ctrl + P. Remember, PEP-Web content is copyright.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Evzonas, N. (2020). Gender and “Race” Enigmatic Signifiers: How the Social Colonizes the Unconscious. Psychoanal. Inq., 40(8):636-656.

(2020). Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 40(8):636-656

Gender and “Race” Enigmatic Signifiers: How the Social Colonizes the Unconscious

Nicolas Evzonas, Ph.D.

This article highlights the process by which cultural messages relating to the contingent categories of gender and “race” manage to infiltrate the individual unconscious. The author first discusses the introduction of gender into French psychoanalysis by Jean Laplanche and its original expression with the sexual drive theory. He thus explores the ambivalent gender assignments implanted in the child’s body ego by a constellation of seducing caregivers and other invested adults who, as cultural purveyors, inscribe the social. These prescriptions, which are contaminated by the adult’s drive-fueled and overknowing unconscious, are enigmatic for both the sender and the receiver. Hence, they need to be deciphered through the psychic work of translation by drawing on relational, anatomical, and social codes. The author subsequently calls on the contributions of feminist and gender studies as well as contemporary American psychoanalysts in order to propose an “overinclusive” model of the enigmatic messages “to be translated.” This model underscores an intersectional approach to identity categories by considering power relations and cultural patterns of oppression. The suggested analytic grid is then extended to the paradigm of “race” by reading skin-color bias in the light of clinical, artistic, and theoretical examples.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

Copyright © 2021, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.