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=====Psychoanalytic Theory=====
The [[concept ]] of [[repression]] is one of the most basic [[concepts]] in [[psychoanalytic theory]].
It denotes the [[process ]] by which certain [[thought]]s or [[memory|memories]] are expelled from [[consciousness]] and confined to the '''[[unconscious]]'''.
=====Sigmund Freud=====
=====Primary and Secondary Repression=====
He later distinguished between [[repression|primal repression]] (a "[[myth]]ical" [[forgetting]] of something that was never [[conscious]] to begin with, an originary "[[psychical ]] act" by which the [[unconscious]] is first constituted) and [[repression|secondary repression]] ([[concrete ]] [[act]]s of [[repression]] whereby some idea or [[perception ]] that was once [[conscious]] is expelled from the [[conscious]]).
Since [[repression]] does not destroy the [[idea]]s or [[memories]] that are its target, but merely confines [[them ]] to the [[unconscious]], the [[repressed]] [[material]] is always liable to [[return ]] in a distorted [[form]], in [[symptom]]s, [[dream]]s, [[slips of the tongue]], etc. (the [[return of the repressed]]).
For [[Lacan]], [[repression]] is the fundamental operation which distinguishes '''[[neurosis]]''' from the [[other ]] [[clinical structure]]s. Whereas [[psychotic]]s [[foreclose]], and [[pervert]]s [[disavow]], only [[neurotic]]s [[repress]].
=====Repressed Signifier=====
What is it that is repressed? At one point [[Lacan]] speaks of the [[signified]] as the [[object]] of [[repression]],<ref>{{E}}} p.55</ref> but he soon abandons this view and argues instead that it is always a [[signifier]] that is [[repressed]], never a [[signified]].<ref>{{S11}} p. 218</ref> This latter view seems to correspond more closely to [[Freud]]'s view that what is repressed is not the "[[affect]]" (which can only be [[displaced ]] or transformed) but the "ideational [[representative]]" of the [[drive]].
=====Primary and Secondary=====
[[Lacan]] also takes up [[Freud]]'s [[distinction ]] between [[primal repression]] and secondary [[repression]]:
[[Repression|Primal repression]] ([[German]]: ''Urverdrängung'') is the [[alienation]] of [[desire]] when [[need]] is articulated in [[demand]].<ref>{{E}} p. 286</ref> It is also the [[unconscious]] [[signifying chain]].<ref>{{E}} p. 314</ref> [[Primary repression]] is the [[repression]] of the first [[signifier]].
<blockquote>"From the [[moment ]] he speaks, from that precise moment and not before, I [[understand ]] that there is repression."<ref>{{S20}} p. 53</ref></blockquote>
[[Lacan]] does not see [[repression|primary repression]] as a specific psychical [[act]], localizable in [[time]], but as a [[structure|structural feature]] of [[language]] itself - namely, its necessary [[lack|incompleteness]], the [[impossibility]] of ever saying "the [[truth ]] [[about ]] truth."<ref>{{Ec}} p. 868</ref>
[[Repression|Secondary repression]] ([[German]]" ''Verdrängung'') is a specific psychical [[act]] by which a [[signifier]] is elided from the [[signifying chain]]. [[Repression|Secondary repression]] is [[structure]]d like a [[metaphor]], and always involves 'the [[return of the repressed]]', whereby the [[repressed]] [[signifier]] reappears under the guise of the various [[formation]]s of the [[unconscious]] (i.e. [[symptom]]s, [[dream]]s, [[parapraxis|parapraxes]], [[joke]]s, etc.). In [[Repression|secondary repression]], [[repression]] and the [[return of the repressed]] "are the same [[thing]]."
==See Also==
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