Presenting the Past: Psychoanalysis and the Sociology of Misremembering

Presenting the Past: Psychoanalysis and the Sociology of Misremembering

by Jeffrey Prager
     
 

ISBN-10: 0674566416

ISBN-13: 9780674566415

Pub. Date: 08/01/1998

Publisher: Harvard University Press

Psychology is the dogma of our age; psychotherapy is our means of self-understanding; and "repressed memory" is now a universally familiar form of trauma. Jeffrey Prager, who is both a sociologist and a psychoanalyst, explores the degree to which we manifest the clichés of our culture in our most private recollections.

At the core of Presenting the

Overview

Psychology is the dogma of our age; psychotherapy is our means of self-understanding; and "repressed memory" is now a universally familiar form of trauma. Jeffrey Prager, who is both a sociologist and a psychoanalyst, explores the degree to which we manifest the clichés of our culture in our most private recollections.

At the core of Presenting the Past is the dramatic and troubling case of a woman who during the course of her analysis began to recall scenes of her own childhood sexual abuse. Later the patient came to believe that the trauma she remembered as a physical violation might have been an emotional violation and that she had composed a memory out of present and past relationships. But what was accurate and true? And what evidence could be persuasive and valuable? Could the analyst trust either her convictions or his own? Using this case and others, Prager explores the nature of memory and its relation to the interpersonal, therapeutic, and cultural worlds in which remembering occurs.

Synthesizing research from social science, psychoanalysis, neuroscience, and cognitive psychology, Prager uses clinical examples to argue more generally that our memories are never simple records of events, but constantly evolving constructions, affected by contemporary culture as well as by our own private lives. He demonstrates the need that sociology has for the insights of psychoanalysis, and the need that psychoanalysis has for the insights of sociology.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780674566415
Publisher:
Harvard University Press
Publication date:
08/01/1998
Pages:
272
Product dimensions:
5.67(w) x 8.44(h) x 0.94(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction

1. Ms. A. and the Problem of Misremembering

2. Memory's Contexts

3. Memory, Culture, and the Self

4. Trauma and the Memory Wars

5. Toward an Intersubjective Science of Memory

Conclusion

Notes

Acknowledgments

Index

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