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Moskowitz, M. (1995). Ethnicity and the Fantasy of Ethnicity. Psychoanal. Psychol., 12(4):547-555.

(1995). Psychoanalytic Psychology, 12(4):547-555

Ethnicity and the Fantasy of Ethnicity

Michael Moskowitz, Ph.D.

What follows is a reaction to the articles of Javier and Rendon, Herron, and Thompson. They are varied and complex and I cannot hope to adequately touch on the richness of any one of them. Even though this article is divided into three sections, each section only very roughly corresponds to a particular proceeding paper. The three sections are:

1.   The ethnicity of psychoanalysis.

2.   Blackness.

3.   There is no ethnicity.

1. The Ethnicity of Psychoanalysis

When I left the 1992 APA meetings in Washington, DC, I went to pick up my son on his way home from summer camp. I looked forward to his return with more than eagerness. When we dropped him off, both my wife and I were sad and anxious. We tried halfheartedly and not very successfully to hide it. Our son seemed to be handling the departure much better than we were.

As we were walking away from the airport gate, my wife and I joked about our view of how we might handle this departure if we were upper class British parents with stiff upper lips. “Cheerio. Ta ta. See you at summer's end, or perhaps you'd rather continue directly on to boarding school” and the like. I don't know if people really talk like this anymore, or if they ever did.

But as we walked away I fantasized about how at least in the movies British parents cheerfully sent their sons off to war and adventure for the good and the glory of the Queen and the Empire.

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