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The Relationship Between the Unconscious and Consciousness – A Comparison of Psychoanalysis and Historical Materialism1

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The author addresses the problems that arise if the social unconscious is defined as a generalization of parts of the individual dynamic unconscious. The discussion presents the idea that the contents of the social unconscious are not psychical but social in nature, and that the social unconscious stands not in opposition to a generalized individual consciousness but to social consciousness. The author demonstrates that historical materialism conceptualizes the appearance of the social unconscious in social consciousness in the same way as psychoanalysis conceptualizes the reappearance of the individual's unconscious in his consciousness. Additionally, a specific definition of the domain of analytic social psychology is given.Psychoanalysis, Culture & Society (2007) 12, 105–123. doi:10.1057/palgrave.pcs.2100118

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1Narzissenstrasse 5, Saarbr├╝cken, Germany

Publication date: 2007-07-01

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