Migration and Diversity

Authored by: Nikolay Mintchev , Henrietta L. Moore

Routledge Handbook of Psychoanalytic Political Theory

Print publication date:  September  2019
Online publication date:  September  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138696310
eBook ISBN: 9781315524771
Adobe ISBN:


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Psychoanalytic literature on migration often focuses on individual case studies of migrants, describing the psychic mechanisms that make up the subject’s experience (e.g., splitting, dissociation, mourning and melancholia). This literature is important, but it is written through a methodological individualism that offers little critical analysis of the broader political and cultural contexts of migration. As a result, it does little to help us address the pressing question of our time, which is how people can live together in a world where migration, displacement, and cultural diversity are the new normal. A psychoanalytic approach that addresses this question must maintain an emphasis on subjectivity, but it must also link subject formation to the circulations of fantasies about self, others, and community within specific national and local contexts. In this chapter, we draw on a range of empirical case studies to show how identification with such fantasies defines a community’s experience of immigration and diversity.

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