Puncturing the Skin of the Self: A Psychoanalytic Perspective on Why Prejudice Hurts
Article first published online: 2 DEC 2011
Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
International Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies
Volume 9, Issue 1, pages 23–34, March 2012
How to Cite
Ad-Dab'bagh, Y. (2012), Puncturing the Skin of the Self: A Psychoanalytic Perspective on Why Prejudice Hurts. Int. J. Appl. Psychoanal. Studies, 9: 23–34. doi: 10.1002/aps.326
- Issue published online: 2 MAR 2012
- Article first published online: 2 DEC 2011
- Manuscript Received: 10 FEB 2011
- Manuscript Accepted: 10 FEB 2011
- psychological skin;
- skin of the self;
- cultural function;
- containment function
There is growing interest in the psychodynamics of prejudice. An aspect of prejudice seldom addressed is its peculiar capacity to be injurious to victims. Through a process of self-analysis stimulated by chance reading of some of Freud's work, I will reflect on the vicissitudes of the development of the function of cultural boundary attributed to the psychological integument, or the “skin of the self”. Further, I will postulate the role of this “psychological skin” as the target for prejudicial assaults and the dynamics of the resulting psychological reactions. This “cultural function” will be contrasted with the well-established notion of the containment function of the psychological skin. Finally, I will link the discussed framework to possible socio-cultural implications. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.