Jump to: navigation, search


2,211 bytes added, 06:57, 24 June 2006
no edit summary
The term '[[complex]]' (''complexe'') occupies an important place in [[Lacan]]'s work before 1950, where it is closely related to the [[image]].
Whereas the [[imago]] designates an [[imaginary]] stereotype relating to one person, the [[complex]] is a whole constellation of interacting [[imago]]s; it is the [[internalisation]] of the [[subject]]'s earliest social [[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>
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 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>Lacan, 1938: 32-3</ref>
In 1938 [[Lacan]] identifies three '[[family complexes]]', each of which is the trace of a 'psychical crisis' which accompanies a 'life crisis'.
The first of these [[complex]]es is the [[weaning]] [[complex]] (''complexe du sevrage'').
Taking up the idea of a 'trauma of weaning', first developed by RenÈ Laforgue in the 1920s, [[Lacan]] argues that no matter how late [[weaning]] occurs, it is always perceived by the [[infant]] as coming too early.
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>Lacan, 1938: 27</ref>
After the [[weaning]] [[complex]] comes the [[intrusion complex]] (''complexe de l'intrusion''), which represents the experience that the [[child]] has when he realises that he has siblings.
The [[child]] must then cope with the fact that he is no longer the exclusive object of his parents' attention.
The third and final [[family complex]] is the [[Oedipus Complex]].
After their appearance in the 1938 paper, the terms 'weaning complex' and '[[intrusion complex]]' disappear almost completely from [[Lacan]]'s work.
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]].
A complex is the more- or less-repressed standardization of emotionally strong conflictual experiences. When these experiences are triggered, either by certain themes (such as new pieces of information), or emotions (in which case they are called "constellations"), the complex produces a reaction, such that the individual perceives the situation in terms of the complex (with a distortion of perception), and responds with an emotional overreaction, which mobilizes the processes of stereotyped defense.
* Jung, Carl Gustav. (1902). On the psychology and the pathology of the so-called occult phenomena. In Coll. works, vol. I. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1957. * ——. (1904). The associations of normal subjects. In Coll. works, vol. II. London, Routledge & Kegan Paul. * ——. (1907). The psychology of dementia præcox. In Coll. works, vol. III. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. * ——. (1934 [1948]). A review of the complex theory. In Coll. works, vol. VIII. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. * Kast, Verena. (1992). The Dynamics of Symbols: Fundamentals of Jungian Psychotherapy. (Susan A. Schwarz, Trans.). New York: Fromm International Publishing Corporation.
Jung thought women's complexes usually simpler and more often erotic than men's, which focused on work and money. Complex-sensitiveness: the tendency of an old complex to disturb associations when it's brought up with similar stimuli.
==See Also==

Navigation menu