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Levinasian Ethics and Identity in Psychology
How does psychology attend to the question of “goodness”? Does the sense of self that modern psychologies promote help to orient persons toward ethical responsibility for the other person? In this book, David M. Goodman engages these questions, demonstrating that the prevalent discourse and constructs of the self in modern psychology not only fail to address such issues, but also contribute to the formation of a self lived without ethical regard for the other. In his penetrating and thought-provoking analysis of contemporary psychological theory and practice, Goodman critiques its “methodolatry” to scientific theory and emphasis on autonomous reason. Challenging the assumptions behind the naturalized, egological, and individualistic accounts of the self that dominate current approaches, he proposes an alternative by appealing to the philosophical work of Emmanuel Levinas. As Goodman indicates, Levinas’s phenomenology establishes an originary ethical attunement to the other, which precedes empirical and medical approaches to psychology that would consign ethics to a detached, secondary list of codes. Moving between historical analysis, illumination of contemporary psychological trends, and philosophical juxtapositions of Greek and Hebrew thought, Goodman demonstrates how the ethical dimension of human experience has too frequently been neglected within present constructs of the self and argues that Levinas’s demanded self serves as a radical corrective to the morally anemic definitions of the modern self. Ultimately, Goodman explains and details this countercultural version of the self—defined by its relation to the other and called into a “freedom born from responsibility”—and offers helpful corollary case studies and therapeutic practices that engender this sensibility. The Demanded Self provides a means of entering into the conversations taking place at the intersection of Levinas’s ethical theory, psychology, psychoanalysis, religion, and philosophy, and will appeal to scholars and advanced students in all of these fields.
Psychoanalytic and Anthropological Investigations in Amae
"Surprisingly readable and studded with nuggets of insight."
The Daily Yomiuri
"This insightful, well-written, fascinating book offers new understandings, not only of Japan, but also of American culture. It is essential for those in anthropology, psychology, sociology, and psychiatry who are interested in culture, as well as those in law and the business community who deal with Japan."
Paul Ekman, Ph.D.,Director, Human Interaction Laboratory, Langley Porter Institute, University of California, San Francisco
"[A] thoughtful cross-cultural study of development...His work can only enhance the still evolving psychoanalytic theory of preoedipal development as it is being derived mostly from psychoanalytic research on child-parent interaction in American families."
Calvin F. Settlage, M.D.
"Johnson's ambitious and exhaustive synthesis of anthropological and psychological treatments of dependency raises interesting questions. . . Johnson alerts the reader to issues of universalism and relativity and leads us to ask, 'What would psychoanalysis be like, if it had originated in Japan?'"
Merry I. White, Edwin O. Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies, Harvard University
". . . Johnson's erudite and critical re-examination of human dependence succeeds to re-profile dependence meaningfully and revives our interest in this major aspect of human experience. Indeed, much food for thought for both psychoanalysts and anthropologists."
Henri Parens, M.D., Philadelphia Psychoanalytic Institute
Western ideologies traditionally emphasize the concepts of individualism, privacy, freedom, and independence, while the prevailing ethos relegates dependency to a disparaged status. In Japanese society, the divergence from these western ideals can be found in the concept of amae (perhaps best translated as indulgent dependency) which is part of the Japanese social fiber and pervades their experience.
For the Western reader, the concept of amae is somewhat alien and unfamiliar, but in order to understand the Japanese fully, it is essential to acquire a familiarity with the intensity that accompanies interdependent affiliations within their culture. To place amae in the proper context, Johnson critically examines the western attitudes toward dependency from the perspectives of psychoanalysis, psychiatry, developmental psychology, and anthropology. Johnson traces the development of the concept and uses of the term dependency in academic and developmental psychology in the West, including its recent eclipse by more operationally useful terms attachment and interdependency.
This timely books makes use of the work of Japanese psychiatrist Takeo Doi, whose book The Anatomy of Dependence introduced the concept of amae to the West. Johnson goes on to illuminate the collective manner in which Japanese think and behave which is central to their socialization and educational practices, especially as seen in the stunning success of Japanese trading practices during the past twenty years. A major emphasis is placed upon the positive aspects of amae, which are compared and contrasted with attitudes toward dependency seen among other nationalities, cultures, and groups in both Western and Asian societies.
Complete with a glossary of Japanese terms, Dependency and Japanese Socialization provides a comprehensive investigation into Japanese behavior.
Interweaving Deconstruction and Psychoanalysis
Derrida and Lacan have long been viewed as proponents of two opposing schools of thought. This book argues, however, that the logical structure underpinning Lacanian psychoanalytic theory is a complex, paradoxical relationality that corresponds to Derrida's plural logic of the aporia.Andrea Hurst begins by linking this logic to a strand of thinking (in which Freud plays a part) that unsettles philosophy's transcendental tradition. She then shows that Derrida is just as serious and careful a reader of Freud's texts as Lacan. Interweaving the two thinkers, she argues that the Lacanian Real is another name for Derrida's diffrance and shows how Derrida's writings on Heidegger and Nietzsche embody an attitude toward sexual difference and feminine sexuality that matches Lacanian insights. Derrida's plural logic of the aporia,she argues, can serve as a heuristic for addressing prominent themes in Lacanian psychoanalysis: subjectivity, ethics, and language. Finally, she takes up Derrida's prejudicial reading of Lacan's Seminar on 'The Purloined Letter,'which was instrumental in the antagonism between Derrideans and Lacanians. Although acknowledging the injustice of Derrida's reading, the author brings out the deep theoretical accord between thinkers that both recognize the power of psychoanalysis to address contemporary political and ethical issues.
A Cultural History of Psychiatry in Russia, 1880-1930
The vital place of literature and the figure of the writer in Russian society and history have been extensively studied, but their role in the evolution of psychiatry is less well known. In Diagnosing Literary Genius: A Cultural History of Psychiatry in Russia, 1880-1930, Irina Sirotkina explores the transformations of Russian psychiatric practice through its relationship to literature. During this period, psychiatrists began to view literature as both an indicator of the nation's mental health and an integral part of its well-being. By aligning themselves with writers, psychiatrists argued that the aim of their science was not dissimilar to the literary project of exploring the human soul and reflecting on the psychological ailments of the age. Through the writing of pathographies (medical biographies), psychiatrists strengthened their social standing, debated political issues under the guise of literary criticism, and asserted moral as well as professional claims. By examining the psychiatric engagement with the works of Fyodor Dostoevsky, Nikolai Gogol, Leo Tolstoy, and the decadents and revolutionaries, Sirotkina provides a rich account of Russia's medical and literary history during this turbulent revolutionary period.
Practice, Theory, and Research on Intergroup Dialogue
Due to continuing immigration and increasing racial and ethnic inclusiveness, higher education institutions in the United States are likely to grow ever more diverse in the 21st century. This shift holds both promise and peril: Increased inter-ethnic contact could lead to a more fruitful learning environment that encourages collaboration. On the other hand, social identity and on-campus diversity remain hotly contested issues that often raise intergroup tensions and inhibit discussion. How can we help diverse students learn from each other and gain the competencies they will need in an increasingly multicultural America? Dialogue Across Difference synthesizes three years’ worth of research from an innovative field experiment focused on improving intergroup understanding, relationships and collaboration. The result is a fascinating study of the potential of intergroup dialogue to improve relations across race and gender. First developed in the late 1980s, intergroup dialogues bring together an equal number of students from two different groups – such as people of color and white people, or women and men – to share their perspectives and learn from each other. To test the possible impact of such courses and to develop a standard of best practice, the authors of Dialogue Across Difference incorporated various theories of social psychology, higher education, communication studies and social work to design and implement a uniform curriculum in nine universities across the country. Unlike most studies on intergroup dialogue, this project employed random assignment to enroll more than 1,450 students in experimental and control groups, including in 26 dialogue courses and control groups on race and gender each. Students admitted to the dialogue courses learned about racial and gender inequalities through readings, role-play activities and personal reflections. The authors tracked students’ progress using a mixed-method approach, including longitudinal surveys, content analyses of student papers, interviews of students, and videotapes of sessions. The results are heartening: Over the course of a term, students who participated in intergroup dialogues developed more insight into how members of other groups perceive the world. They also became more thoughtful about the structural underpinnings of inequality, increased their motivation to bridge differences and intergroup empathy, and placed a greater value on diversity and collaborative action. The authors also note that the effects of such courses were evident on nearly all measures. While students did report an initial increase in negative emotions – a possible indication of the difficulty of openly addressing race and gender – that effect was no longer present a year after the course. Overall, the results are remarkably consistent and point to an optimistic conclusion: intergroup dialogue is more than mere talk. It fosters productive communication about and across differences in the service of greater collaboration for equity and justice. Ambitious and timely, Dialogue Across Difference presents a persuasive practical, theoretical and empirical account of the benefits of intergroup dialogue. The data and research presented in this volume offer a useful model for improving relations among different groups not just in the college setting but in the United States as well.
Visual Modernity in China
The Distorting Mirror analyzes the multiple and complex ways in which urban Chinese subjects saw themselves interacting with the new visual culture that emerged during the turbulent period between the 1880s and the 1930s. The media and visual forms examined include lithography, photography, advertising, film, and theatrical performances. Urbanites actively engaged with and enjoyed this visual culture, which was largely driven by the subjective desire for the empty promises of modernity—promises comprised of such abstract and fleeting concepts as new, exciting, and fashionable. Detailing and analyzing the trajectories of development of various visual representations, Laikwan Pang emphasizes their interactions. In doing so, she demonstrates that visual modernity was not only a combination of independent cultural phenomena, but also a partially coherent sociocultural discourse whose influences were seen in different and collective parts of the culture. The work begins with an overall historical account and theorization of a new lithographic pictorial culture developing at the end of the nineteenth century and an examination of modernity’s obsession with the investigation of the real. Subsequent chapters treat the fascination with the image of the female body in the new visual culture; entertainment venues in which this culture unfolded and was performed; how urbanites came to terms with and interacted with the new reality; and the production and reception of images, the dynamics between these two being a theme explored throughout the book. Modernity, as the author shows, can be seen as spectacle. At the same time, she demonstrates that, although the excessiveness of this spectacle captivated the modern subject, it did not completely overwhelm or immobilize those who engaged with it. After all, she argues, they participated in and performed with this ephemeral visual culture in an attempt to come to terms with their own new, modern self.
Social Identity and Intergroup Relations on the College Campus
College campuses provide ideal natural settings for studying diversity: they allow us to see what happens when students of all different backgrounds sit side by side in classrooms, live together in residence halls, and interact in one social space. By opening a window onto the experiences and evolving identities of individuals in these exceptionally diverse environments, we can gain a better understanding of the possibilities and challenges we face as a multicultural nation. The Diversity Challenge—the largest and most comprehensive study to date on college campus diversity—synthesizes over five years’ worth of research by an interdisciplinary team of experts to explore how a highly diverse environment and policies that promote cultural diversity affect social relations, identity formation, and a variety of racial and political attitudes. The result is a fascinating case study of the ways in which individuals grow and groups interact in a world where ethnic and racial difference is the norm. The authors of The Diversity Challenge followed 2,000 UCLA students for five years in order to see how diversity affects identities, attitudes, and group conflicts over time. They found that racial prejudice generally decreased with exposure to the ethnically diverse college environment. Students who were randomly assigned to roommates of a different ethnicity developed more favorable attitudes toward students of different backgrounds, and the same associations held for friendship and dating patterns. By contrast, students who interacted mainly with others of similar backgrounds were more likely to exhibit bias toward others and perceive discrimination against their group. Likewise, the authors found that involvement in ethnically segregated student organizations sharpened perceptions of discrimination and aggravated conflict between groups. The Diversity Challenge also reports compelling new evidence that a strong ethnic identity can coexist with a larger community identity: students from all ethnic groups were equally likely to identify themselves as a part of the broader UCLA community. Overall, the authors note that on many measures, the racial and political attitudes of the students were remarkably consistent throughout the five year study. But the transformations that did take place provide us with a wealth of information on how diversity affects individuals, groups, and the cohesion of a community. Theoretically informed and empirically grounded, The Diversity Challenge is an illuminating and provocative portrait of one of the most diverse college campuses in the nation. The story of multicultural UCLA has significant and far-reaching implications for our nation, as we face similar challenges—and opportunities—on a much larger scale.
Crisis, Challenge, Or Relief?
Not since William Goode's Women in Divorce in the 1950's have we had such a comprehensive study of adjustment to divorce. This longitudinal work views divorce as a transition process which may have positive or negative outcomes over time. In addition to statistical analysis, the book includes very interesting case studies to demonstrate the dynamic events occurring as individuals refashion their lives after the breakup of their marriages. Researchers on divorce and the interested public will find this book very valuable for years to come."
Colleen L. Johnson, Ph.D.Professor
Medical Anthropology, University of California, San Francisco
We are witnessing a steady increase in the overall number of older adults who are divorced, yet the majority of divorce research has concerned itself with persons in the younger adult years. This unique, groundbreaking book addresses the critical need for information on the impact of divorce on individuals in all age groups, and pays special attention to age as a factor in the effects of divorce on both men and women.
Written by an interdisciplinary team of social and behavioral scientists, Divorce: Crisis, Challenge or Relief? provides the invaluable results gained from their life span study of divorced adults. Divorce is the product of hundreds of interviews containing a host of very specific questions conducted with divorced adults between the ages of 20 and 79, both just after their divorce and again several years later.