The Colonization of Psychic Space: A Psychoanalytic Social Theory of Oppression

The Colonization of Psychic Space: A Psychoanalytic Social Theory of Oppression

by Kelly Oliver
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0816644748

ISBN-13: 9780816644742

Pub. Date: 10/24/2004

Publisher: University of Minnesota Press

We are, Julia Kristeva writes, strangers to ourselves; and indeed much of contemporary theory, whether psychoanalytic, historical, social, or critical, describes the human condition as one of alienation. Eloquently arguing that we cannot explain the development of individuality or subjectivity apart from its social context, Kelly Oliver makes a powerful case for

Overview

We are, Julia Kristeva writes, strangers to ourselves; and indeed much of contemporary theory, whether psychoanalytic, historical, social, or critical, describes the human condition as one of alienation. Eloquently arguing that we cannot explain the development of individuality or subjectivity apart from its social context, Kelly Oliver makes a powerful case for recognizing the social aspects of alienation and the psychic aspects of oppression.Oliver's work shows how existentialist and psychoanalytic notions of alienation cover up specific forms of racist and sexist alienation that serve as the underside of the human condition. She reveals that such notions are actually symptomatic of the subject's anxiety and guilt over the oppression on which his privileged position rests. Not only does such alienation not embody subjectivity and humanity, it in fact undermines them. Asserting that sublimation and forgiveness-and not alienation-constitute subjectivity, Oliver explores the complex ways in which the alienation unique to oppression leads to depression, shame, anger, or violence; and how these affects, now often misread and misdiagnosed, can be transformed into agency, individuality, solidarity, and community. Kelly Oliver holds the W. Alton Jones Chair in Philosophy at Vanderbilt University. Her books include Witnessing: Beyond Recognition (Minnesota, 2001) and, with Benigno Trigo, Noir Anxiety (Minnesota, 2002).

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780816644742
Publisher:
University of Minnesota Press
Publication date:
10/24/2004
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
245
Product dimensions:
6.44(w) x 8.46(h) x 0.57(d)

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