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Between Skins. The Body in Psychoanalysis - Contemporary Developments

  • ID: 2170344
  • May 2013
  • 240 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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Between Skins presents a rigorous challenge to individualistic accounts of the body in psychoanalysis, and across related disciplines, in order to show how the body is social in nature. It forges interdisciplinary connections between psychoanalysis and the social sciences and demonstrates how somatic states and the social intersect in lived experience.

Drawing on philosophy, contemporary neurobiology, developmental research and a critical review of psychoanalytical literature, Nicola Diamond explores the ways in which bodily processes and skin experience are inseparable from the environmental context. She deals with the current impasses in the debates, the reduction to biological description in the neurosciences, the dualistic tendency to mentalist reductionism in psychoanalysis, and a need to account for the relation between biology and complex social processes. She opens up an understanding of language and the crucial role it plays in bodily development. Her response is to propose a rigorously re–worked    relational body' as a way out of the impasses historically present in psychoanalysis.

In exploring the way the body has been viewed within psychoanalysis, Diamond makes reference to Freudian, Anglo–American and French thought. The book moves towards contemporary developments and makes explicit how recent research emerging out of developmental psychology and neuroscience challenges traditional psychoanalytical understandings of the body, with references throughout to clinical examples and everyday experiences.

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Introduction 1

Part I The Framework: Neuroscience and Interdisciplinary Connections 11

1 Introducing Interdisciplinary Connections 13

2 Nurture/Nature 29

3 Bodily Expression and Language Relations 38

4 Setting the Scene: The Problem of the Binary Divide 51

Part II The Vital Order: Moving Away from Interiority and Biology as Bedrock 59

5 The Vital Order and the Biological Functions: Going Back to the Fundamental Problem 61

6 The Problem of Dualism and the Division between the Vital and the Psychic Order 74

7 The Vital Revisited: Deconstructing the Vital Order from Within 77

8 Rebuilding the Vital Field 90

9 Body Memory and Know–How 101

10 Attachment and Sexuality: Regulation versus Deregulation 109

Part III Exteriority: The Body Surface 119

11 The Skin: An Introduction 121

12 Didier Anzieu and The Skin Ego 137

13 Permeable Skin 147

14 The Emergence of Skin as a Support Matrix 154

15 Skin Narratives 162

16 Skin Relation 173

17 Skin Writing and Touch as Analogous to Language 179

18 Psychosomatics and Conversion: The Question of the Symbol 189

Conclusion: Have We Reached a Destination? 208

References and Further Reading 217

Index 226

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How successful Diamond is in solving the dilemmas she detects is an open question, but her questions and thinking are intelligent and searching, and this book will be good for teaching and dialogue in the field.  Summing Up: Recommended.  Graduate, research, and professional collections.   (Choice, 1 November 2013)

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