ELP Study Days – November in Madrid – YO SOY…TODOS SOMOS… El psicoanálisis ante las nuevas identidades

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Escuela Lacaniana de Psicoanálisis

16th Study Days


11 & 12 November 2017


El psicoanálisis ante las nuevas identidades


Psychoanalysis and New Identities]

This event will take place in Spanish.
Register here.

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Today we can see a proliferation of identity phenomena that occur at many different levels, different, though articulated.


At the political level, this becomes evident with the rise of national and religious identities both in Europe and in the United States. However, we cannot reduce it to a return of the same since we find new features in these movements.


On the other hand, "labels" are part of everyday life.  Both, media and social networks, as well as political bureaucracies, provide names, categories and diagnoses against which contemporary individuals are pushed to choose. They deceptively propose these signifiers as a way of naming their particularity, in a move that erases all uniqueness. Psychoanalysis however, is committed to the singularity to the way in which each subject is likely to find its place in the world.


Gender identities, national identities, fragile group identities that last the instant of a vanishing mass phenomenon; diagnoses that multiply and are intended to confer identities linked to conditions or diseases of the body, all that, shows a multiplication of the notion of identity as if it were an attempt to answer to the command “Identify yourself!”


Our clinic shows an anxious search for diverse nominations that often acquire the form of a vindication or a claim for recognition:” I am…We all are…”


Now then, psychoanalysis reveals that identity, far from being one, is always shaped by a variety of identifications. Freud places the identifications as “the earliest externalization of an affective bond with another person” [1] Indeed, the first identifications, in which the Other plays an essential role, are constitutive of the subject and unconscious. The clinic with children shows us its importance. 


The very concept of identification is based on questioning the identity and shows that that in what the subject recognizes himself – his ego-  is affected by the radical ignorance of that which constitutes him.


The Identity “has to do with the Other, with Queen images and the Master signifiers” [2], which organize our jouissance and which have an impact on how we conduct ourselves in life.


However, the analytic experience undoes one by one the identifications that make it up, allowing to sift the otherness beneath them- the singularity of the parletre’s jouissance – at the same time that confronts the subject with the vacuum of paramount representation.


After reading Lacan, we can say that there is no identity that is supported. To think oneself as one is no more than illusion, passion, insanity. The identity can change or be in crisis because it is a vacuum, in the face of which, the identifications sustain us.


The nonexistence of the Other that governs the current era cannot avoid affecting the identifications. The contemporary Discourse of the Master no longer offers unifying ideals and therefore it neither produces universal and solid identifications. To this weakening responds a change in the regime of those identities that do not obey to an imposition on behalf of the powerful master signifiers. Now, self-reinforced, they appear to respond to the parletre’s true passion of naming himself. 


In fact, identities are now presented with a force and a degree of certainty that contrasts with the speed in which they sometimes become diluted to give place to a new and not less urgent search. However, vacuum and anguish remain.


At present, the exercise of power is every day more related to the control of the bodies.

This modality, which Foucault called “bio political”, constitutes one of the determinants of the contemporary Discourse of the Master. “The subject is caught in the expansion of the   management of different living groups that make up populations whose jouissance style needs   to be guided either by the means of the market, or by the means of the bureaucratic regulations and its invasive norms”. [3]


If Psychoanalysis can further define itself as the back of the Discourse of the Master, there is an urgent need to unravel the mechanisms of the latter to think our clinic and our politic on the horizon in which are necessarily registered.


Jacques Lacan was able to anticipate the multiplication of the identity phenomena as well as the increase of the processes of segregation. His latest teaching provides us with powerful and renovated tools to read them. The next School Conference calls on us to do so.




New diagnoses: false names

From the ego to the symptom, the beginning of the analysis

Identification: passage and remains


Uses of the Imaginary

The label machine: Science, University, Bio politic

Jouissance communities

The end of childhood

Gender issue, gender in question

Construction of the adolescent

The impossible selfie and the ex-sistency of the body

Parletre and crowd

New identities and segregation


Translation by Laura Junquera




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New Lacanian School
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Blog of the 2017 NLS Congress: http://nlscongress2017.org/en/

Lacan Quotidien : http://www.lacanquotidien.fr/blog/

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