Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Psychology in Society]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/rss.php?pid=1015-604620120001&lang=en vol. num. 43 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/img/en/fbpelogp.gif http://www.scielo.org.za <![CDATA[<b>Arguing with the incest taboo? the case of "distorted cognitions" about child sexuality</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1015-60462012000100001&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This paper seeks to open up critical reflection on the notion of "cognitive distortion" (CD), as applied to child sex offenders, to a broader anthropological account of children's sexual agency, namely the arguable revitalisation and extension of incest taboos through the post-1970s rubric of child sexual abuse. Sixteen scales that purport to measure CD (1984-2009) are listed, and their gist briefly appreciated against this interpretative background. Pitting social structure against the deconstructive and disloyal crime of perversion, the pronouncement of CD shows a deep complicity to the moral status quo, namely the faithful recitation and procedural accreditation of essentially regulatory rubrics, fixtures, and truisms ("sexuality", "sexual trauma", "harm", "consent"). It thus paraphrases the anthropologically expected collapse of nuance between immoral and illogical ideas at the site of social taboos, especially taboos' contemporary predicament of ever more argumentative perverts and ever more decontextualised, and thus erratic, scientific probing. In the end, the perverts are those who, in all nuances of the expression, "don't get it." Circumscribing the "rationalisations, distortions, and blame shifting" of the paraphile remains the - increasingly awkward and panicked - occasion for entrenching society's. <![CDATA[<b>Working with historicity: tracing shifts in contraceptive use in the activity system of sex over time</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1015-60462012000100002&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Sexual activity, sexuality and responses to HIV and AIDS in a rural context in South Africa were studied using a cultural-historical activity theory framework. Activity theory directs the focus onto activity and emphasises the importance of an historical perspective for understanding current preventative practices. Qualitative data were generated from interviews and focus groups with 45 male and female participants between 10 and 71 years of age. An activity system analysis illustrated critical historical changes in a mediational artefact (the form of contraception) in sexual activity. The shift from intercrural sex to the use of the injectable contraceptive set up particular conditions for condom use in response to HIV and AIDS <![CDATA[<b>Apartheid's lost attachments (1)</b>: <b>on psychoanalytic reading practice</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1015-60462012000100003&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This paper, the first of two focussed on the topic of libidinal attachments between white children and black domestic workers in narratives contributed to the Apartheid Archive Project (AAP), offers a series of methodological insights derived from a Lacanian type of psychoanalytic reading practice. A Lacanian reading practice is one which emphasizes the importance of symbolic juxtaposition, of recombining different facets of texts, and of attempting to locate what I term the "absent mediator" implied by tacit conjunctions and associations within texts. In this paper I focus particularly on a puzzling aspect shared by a series of contributions to the AAP, namely the role of animals in the narratives of white participants, which appear to emerge precisely when the question of a loving relation for a black person is posed. I argue that this narrative device is an attempt to make sense of a prospective relationship, particularly when such a relationship is effectively prohibited by the prevailing rules of interaction. In response to pressing questions of inter-racial loss and love, and in respect of an ambiguous inter-racial relationship, recourse to an animal provides a fantasmatic "solution", a model of how to manage a relationship that otherwise difficult to understand. <![CDATA[<b>Apartheid's lost attachments (2)</b>: <b>melancholic loss and symbolic identification</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1015-60462012000100004&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This paper, the second of two focussed on the libidinal attachments of white children to black domestic workers in narratives contributed to the Apartheid Archive Project (AAP), considers the applicability of the concept of social melancholia in the case of such "inter-racial" attachments. The paper questions both the psychoanalytic accuracy, and the psychic and political legitimacy of such an explanation (that is, the prospect of an "inter-racial" melancholic attachment of white subjects to black care-takers). By contrast to the political notion of ungrievable melancholic losses popularized by Judith Butler's work, this paper develops a theory of compensatory symbolic identifications. Such a theory explains the apparent refusal of identification which white subjects exhibit towards black caretakers and it throws into perspective an important conceptual distinction regards loss. On the one hand there is the psychotic mechanism of melancholic attachment, which expresses absolute fidelity to a lost object, even to the point of self-destructive suffering. On the other, there is the neurotic mechanism of compensatory identification, in which the original object is jettisoned and a substitution found, such that a broader horizon of symbolic and ideological identification is enabled. <![CDATA[<b>Speaking in tongues</b>: <b>a report on the Second Marxism and Psychology Conference, Morelia, Mexico, 9-11 August 2012</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1015-60462012000100005&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This paper, the second of two focussed on the libidinal attachments of white children to black domestic workers in narratives contributed to the Apartheid Archive Project (AAP), considers the applicability of the concept of social melancholia in the case of such "inter-racial" attachments. The paper questions both the psychoanalytic accuracy, and the psychic and political legitimacy of such an explanation (that is, the prospect of an "inter-racial" melancholic attachment of white subjects to black care-takers). By contrast to the political notion of ungrievable melancholic losses popularized by Judith Butler's work, this paper develops a theory of compensatory symbolic identifications. Such a theory explains the apparent refusal of identification which white subjects exhibit towards black caretakers and it throws into perspective an important conceptual distinction regards loss. On the one hand there is the psychotic mechanism of melancholic attachment, which expresses absolute fidelity to a lost object, even to the point of self-destructive suffering. On the other, there is the neurotic mechanism of compensatory identification, in which the original object is jettisoned and a substitution found, such that a broader horizon of symbolic and ideological identification is enabled. <![CDATA[<b>On abjection, forfeiture and the remaking of sociality in Lesisifo</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1015-60462012000100006&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This paper, the second of two focussed on the libidinal attachments of white children to black domestic workers in narratives contributed to the Apartheid Archive Project (AAP), considers the applicability of the concept of social melancholia in the case of such "inter-racial" attachments. The paper questions both the psychoanalytic accuracy, and the psychic and political legitimacy of such an explanation (that is, the prospect of an "inter-racial" melancholic attachment of white subjects to black care-takers). By contrast to the political notion of ungrievable melancholic losses popularized by Judith Butler's work, this paper develops a theory of compensatory symbolic identifications. Such a theory explains the apparent refusal of identification which white subjects exhibit towards black caretakers and it throws into perspective an important conceptual distinction regards loss. On the one hand there is the psychotic mechanism of melancholic attachment, which expresses absolute fidelity to a lost object, even to the point of self-destructive suffering. On the other, there is the neurotic mechanism of compensatory identification, in which the original object is jettisoned and a substitution found, such that a broader horizon of symbolic and ideological identification is enabled. <![CDATA[<b>Reclaiming mind and society in mind</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1015-60462012000100007&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This paper, the second of two focussed on the libidinal attachments of white children to black domestic workers in narratives contributed to the Apartheid Archive Project (AAP), considers the applicability of the concept of social melancholia in the case of such "inter-racial" attachments. The paper questions both the psychoanalytic accuracy, and the psychic and political legitimacy of such an explanation (that is, the prospect of an "inter-racial" melancholic attachment of white subjects to black care-takers). By contrast to the political notion of ungrievable melancholic losses popularized by Judith Butler's work, this paper develops a theory of compensatory symbolic identifications. Such a theory explains the apparent refusal of identification which white subjects exhibit towards black caretakers and it throws into perspective an important conceptual distinction regards loss. On the one hand there is the psychotic mechanism of melancholic attachment, which expresses absolute fidelity to a lost object, even to the point of self-destructive suffering. On the other, there is the neurotic mechanism of compensatory identification, in which the original object is jettisoned and a substitution found, such that a broader horizon of symbolic and ideological identification is enabled. <![CDATA[<b>Not quite reconciliation</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1015-60462012000100008&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This paper, the second of two focussed on the libidinal attachments of white children to black domestic workers in narratives contributed to the Apartheid Archive Project (AAP), considers the applicability of the concept of social melancholia in the case of such "inter-racial" attachments. The paper questions both the psychoanalytic accuracy, and the psychic and political legitimacy of such an explanation (that is, the prospect of an "inter-racial" melancholic attachment of white subjects to black care-takers). By contrast to the political notion of ungrievable melancholic losses popularized by Judith Butler's work, this paper develops a theory of compensatory symbolic identifications. Such a theory explains the apparent refusal of identification which white subjects exhibit towards black caretakers and it throws into perspective an important conceptual distinction regards loss. On the one hand there is the psychotic mechanism of melancholic attachment, which expresses absolute fidelity to a lost object, even to the point of self-destructive suffering. On the other, there is the neurotic mechanism of compensatory identification, in which the original object is jettisoned and a substitution found, such that a broader horizon of symbolic and ideological identification is enabled.