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The term "[[complex]]" occupies an important place in [[Lacan]]'s [[Works of Jacques Lacan|work]] before 1950, where it is closely related to the [[imago]].
Whereas the [[imago]] designates an [[imaginary]] stereotype relating to one person, the [[complex]] is a whole constellation of interacting [[imago]]s; it is the internalization of the [[subject]]'s earliest [[structure|social structures structure]]s (i.e. the relationships between the various actors in his family environment).
A [[complex]] involves multiple [[identification]]s with all the interacting ''[[imago]]s'', and thus provides a script according to which the [[subject]] is led "to play out, as the sole actor, the drama of conflicts' between the members of his family."<ref>{{Ec}} p.90</ref>
==Complex and Instinct==
In his pre-war work, [[Lacan]] argues that it is because [[human]] [[psychology]] is based on the [[complex]]es, which are entirely [[cultural]] products, rather than on [[natural]] [[instinct]]s, that [[human ]] [[behaviour]] cannot be explained by reference to [[biological]] givens.
Nevertheless, while drawing this explicit contrast between [[complex]]es and [[instinct]]s, [[Lacan]] also recognises recognizes that [[complex]]es may be compared to [[instinct]]s in that they make up for the [[instinct]]ual inadequacy (''insuffisance vitale'') of the [[human]] [[infant]], and argues that the [[complex]]es are propped on [[biological]] functions such as [[weaning]].<ref>{{1938}} p.32-3</ref>
==Family Complexes==
Taking up the idea of a "trauma of weaning," first developed by René Laforgue in the 1920s, [[Lacan]] argues that no matter how late [[weaning]] occurs, it is always perceived by the [[infant]] as coming too early.
<blockquote>"Whether [[trauma]]tic or not, [[weaning]] leaves in the [[human]] [[psyche]] a permanent trace of the [[biological]] relation which it interrupts. This life crisis is in effect accompanied by a psychical crisis, without doubt the first whose solution has a [[dialectic]]al [[structure]]."<ref>{{1938}} p.27</ref></blockquote>
===Intrusion Complex===
However, the [[Oedipus complex]] remains a fundamental reference point throughout, and this is complemented by a growing interest, from 1956 on, in the [[castration complex]].
==See Also==
[[Category:Freudian psychology]]

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