From Ghosts to Ancestors (and Back Again): On the Cultural and Psychodynamic Mediation of Selfscapes


  • Douglas Hollan


In this article, I use the retelling of a dream experience from a Toraja elder to illustrate how cultural and psychodynamic factors combine and intertwine to mediate self-other and intraself relationships. I use the concept of “selfscapes” to suggest how dynamic, fluid, and contingent self-other distinctions often are but also to capture the perduring aspects of memory and self-organization that are sometimes lost or underemphasized by the strong focus on intersubjectivity in the social sciences today. My analysis builds on some of A. Irving Hallowell's seminal ideas about how psychodynamic theories and concepts might be used to enrich and extend cultural phenomenological analysis.