This article begins with two situated knowledges drawn from my lived experience as a feminist researcher with a ‘borderline personality disorder’ diagnosis. The first knowledge is that diagnostic and medicalised ways of framing experience (particularly the experience labelled ‘BPD’) can constitute a kind of cruel optimism, which arises ‘when the object that draws your attachment actively impedes the aim that brought you to it initially’ and becomes ‘an obstacle to your flourishing’ (). The second knowledge is that while the label ‘BPD’ is stigmatising, pathologising and highly gendered, it refers not only to a real experience but to valuable ways of being/becoming and knowing. Here I make the case for recasting the borderline not as a patient to be diagnosed but, as Gilles Deleuze suggests, as a diagnostician whose ‘symptoms’ are the traces of unjust and harmful frameworks that work upon us all. Building on the important work of Margaret Price, whose writing on psychosocial disabilities and epistemic injustice produced the concept of counter-diagnosis, I have developed a methodology I call autø/gnøsis. Using a new materialist approach (Deleuze, Braidotti, Barad), autø/gnøsis thinks through and with the borderline self and borderline knowledges, while also acknowledging the shifting, unsteady void at the centre of these concepts.
President Rafael Correa (2007–17) was the leader of the Ecuadorian Citizens’ Revolution advanced by his movement Alianza País. Although a former critic of indefinite presidential re-elections, in 2014 Correa asked his bloc of parliamentarians to abolish presidential term limits. His request was approved and the constitution was amended. How can we account for Alianza País’ sudden decision to abolish presidential term limits, considering it had ratified these limits as recently as 2008? This article conducts a discourse analysis of the argument in favour of indefinite presidential re-elections in Ecuador. Courtesy of Lacanian psychoanalysis, in this article I argue that the Citizens’ Revolution’s shift can be fruitfully explained if we consider how the transgressive logic of enjoyment operates in ideology.
Based on lengthy ethnographic fieldwork in Southwest China, this article unpacks how precarity and migration have deeply shaped young migrant workers’ understanding and experiences of friendship. The precarious work and living conditions compel young migrants to put more emphasis on the instrumental aspects of friendship, in which they deeply value friends’ help and practical support, which also intertwine closely with the emotional aspects of friendship. High mobility does not mean that migrants are not able to form and maintain ‘meaningful’ social relationships; rather, it is friends’ support and help which sustain migrants’ precarious and highly mobile ways of living. This article also discusses the burdens and risks that are associated with such friendship practices, and how, despite these ‘dark sides of friendship’, young migrant workers still largely rely on their friends to survive and keep going in the city.
The article begins by presenting the collection of Die Antike, found in Freud’s library in London. By examining the contents of some articles by Werner Jaeger, the famous classicist author of Paideia, and at the same time contrasting his ideas with those of Freud’s Moses, one can perceive the position that the two authors took during the political upheavals in the Weimar Republic and the rise of the Nazis. Questions about historical construction, temporality, language and political ideologies are addressed. With this, Moses and Monotheism emerges as a deeply political text, linked to a psychoanalytic social structure different from that proposed in Totem and Taboo.
This article aims to explore how children are exposed to emotional demands in the transition from kindergarten to school. Psychosocial research and Hochschild’s work provide the underlying theoretical inspiration for the study. Hochschild’s concepts are used to frame the emotional demands children experience in everyday life in kindergarten and school, settings that can be seen as a workplace, albeit for children. Hochschild’s concepts and researchers inspired by her are often referred to when the work-life of adults is being studied, also when exploring stress and burnout at work. My study shows how children react to the emotional demands in their everyday lives in and across kindergarten and school and indicates that the emotion work they perform can sometimes cause emotional dissonance for children, just as it does for adults. The empirical basis for the discussion and conclusions consists of participatory observations conducted with children in the transition from kindergarten to primary school in the context of the Danish welfare state.
This article explores how boredom emerged as a central threat to Americans’ sense of well-being in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. Drawing upon media coverage from a range of sources, I ask: What do responses to the COVID-19 pandemic reveal more generally about the way boredom has emerged as one of the central dis-eases of modern life? Why has free time become something that increasingly generates intolerable anxiety? In what ways can studying responses to the COVID-19 lockdown help us trace larger transformations in the social construction and subjective experience of time? The article argues that while many Americans experienced boredom as a form of social death engendered by the deroutinising aspects of lockdown life, responses to the COVID-19 pandemic also reveal the way boredom has emerged as a form of psychic alienation permeating the very core of American society. Drawing upon insights from psychoanalytic theory, I will ultimately propose that our dis-ease with free time may be linked to a growing incapacity to fantasise as more and more of our mental lives are colonised by the digital infrastructures and extractive imperatives of our 24/7 society ().
The authors, whose trainings include as group analytic psychotherapists, use the theoretical framework of group analysis to facilitate experiential small and median groups for students on trainings in individual psychodynamic psychotherapy. Even though in group analytic practice it would usually be a definite no, the authors found themselves debating whether members who revealed they were a couple in the past could in fact be together in a group. This discussion prompted the authors to reflect closely on their co-facilitator relationship, causing them to consider what they understood by ‘couple’.
It offered up an opportunity (previously unconscious) to explore the binary fixing of conductors as male/female and heterosexual, and whether such fixing may be a defence by the group, including the group conductors, against allowing and exploring a more fluid, nuanced exploration of gender and sexuality. The authors propose that instead of small experiential groups, co-conducted median groups may offer a richer opportunity for such exploration.
In England and Wales, domestic homicide reviews (DHRs) seek to build a picture of the circumstances preceding a domestic abuse-related death, identify any learning and make recommendations for change. Drawing on data from document analysis of 60 DHR reports, this article explores how a victim’s real name is routinely taken out of use when a DHR report is published and, to disguise their identity, is usually replaced with a pseudonym or some other nomenclature like initials/letters. I report on the name forms used in place of a victim’s real name and the limited explication of both how (pseudo)names were chosen and the role of the family. By exploring how names are used, I argue for a recognition of the assumptions and complexity at the heart of DHRs concerning the place of the victim, family and state, and identify implications for practice, policy and research.
In ideal-typical terms, the cultural structure of love can be said to be organised according to the binary categorisations of ‘mythic’ and ‘prosaic-realist’ love. Sociological studies on the culture of love have typically favoured the latter, characterising contemporary love as a product of modern sensibilities that prioritise individual autonomy over loving commitment. And yet, as many empirical studies have shown, mythic love seems to persist. This article theoretically and empirically accounts for the endurance of mythic love by demonstrating how its core promises are reconciled with prosaic-realist love. It elaborates a theoretical model for assessing the attitudes people have towards romantic ideals: ‘structures of feeling’ (; ). To investigate romantic structures of feeling, I conducted interviews with participants who watched one of two quintessential cinematic representations of mythic and prosaic-realist love, respectively: The Notebook (2004) and Blue Valentine (2010). I found that mythic love persists as a legitimate cultural model for love through the feeling structures of irony and aspiration. Participants expressed aspiration towards mythic love through surprised faith in the film’s mythic idealism and attributed authenticity to mythic love’s purity, while also integrating prosaic-realist rationales into their assessment of mythic love’s legitimacy. Participants expressed ironic dispositions towards prosaic-realism, finding its core principles to be ‘too real’ and deflationary. These findings point to a need to take myth in romance seriously, by not only recognising its existence but also the cultural mechanisms that reconcile its promises with prosaic-realist alternatives.
Many mainstream visions of sustainable societies assume that ‘green’ products will come to replace existing ones, reducing the footprint of consumption and enabling daily life to continue relatively undisturbed. However, several sustainable consumption studies have demonstrated that product substitution is not necessarily a straightforward process. This article asks whether the increased consumption of plant-based ‘mylk’, which is marketed as a more sustainable option compared to dairy milk, can be understood as a case of sustainable consumption via product substitution. The study applies a mixed methods approach, combining quantitative data from the National Diet and Nutrition Survey with secondary qualitative data from the Mass Observation Archive. We find that while the consumption of mylk has increased and that of milk decreased, this cannot be characterised as a straightforward case of substitution. Many people consume mylk alongside milk, rather than cutting milk consumption entirely. Rising mylk consumption requires the engagement of new, sometimes conflicting, meanings around health and the environment. In addition, a range of situational factors constitute unequal mylk consumption in society, and provisioning systems present important drivers and barriers that shape mylk consumption. Overall, our account suggests that moving towards sustainable consumption is not a simple process of product substitution as mylk is often consumed in addition to milk, and as this process requires adjustments in practices and meanings, unfolds unevenly within society, and is shaped by production systems rather than just demand.