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The concept of [[repression]] ([[French]]: ''[[refoulement]]'') is one of the most basic [[concepts]] in [[psychoanalytic theory]].
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{{Top}}refoulement{{Bottom}}
  
It denotes the process by which certain [[thought]]s or [[memory|memories]] are expelled from [[consciousness]] and confined to the [[unconscious]].  
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=====Psychoanalytic Theory=====
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The [[concept]] of [[repression]] is one of the most basic [[concepts]] in [[psychoanalytic theory]].
  
[[Freud]] was first led to hypothesise the process of [[repression]] through his investigation into the [[amnesia]] of [[hysteria|hysterical]] [[patient]]s.
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=====Unconscious=====
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It denotes the [[process]] by which certain [[thought]]s or [[memory|memories]] are expelled from [[consciousness]] and confined to the '''[[unconscious]]'''.  
  
He later distinguished between [[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 [[secondary repression]] (concrete acts of [[repression]] whereby some idea or perception that was once [[conscious]] is expelled from the [[conscious]]).  
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=====Sigmund Freud=====
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[[Freud]] was first led to hypothesize the process of [[repression]] through his investigation into the amnesia of [[hysteria|hysterical]] [[patient]]s.
  
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]]).
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=====Primary and Secondary Repression=====
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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]]).
  
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=====Formations=====
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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]].
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=====Neurosis=====
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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]].
  
What is it that is repressed?  
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=====Repressed Signifier=====
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>{{Sl1}} p.218</ref>  
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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]].
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]].
 
[[Lacan]] also takes up [[Freud]]'s distinction between [[primal repression]] and secondary [[repression]]:
 
  
[[Primal repression]] (Ger. ''Urverdr‰ngung'') is the [[alienation]] of [[desire]] when [[need]] is articulated in [[demand]].<ref>{{E}} p.286</ref>
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=====Primary and Secondary=====
It is also the [[unconscious]] [[signifying chain]].<ref>{{E}} p.314</ref>
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[[Lacan]] also takes up [[Freud]]'s [[distinction]] between [[primal repression]] and secondary [[repression]]:
[[Primary repression]] is the [[repression]] of the first [[signifier]].
 
  
"From the moment he speaks, from that precise moment and not before, I understand that there is repression."<ref>{{S20}} p.53</ref>
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=====Primary=====
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[[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]].
  
[[Lacan]] does not see [[primary repression]] as a specific psychical [[act]], localisable in [[time]], but as a structural feature of [[language]] itself - namely, its necessary incompleteness, the [[impossibility]] of ever saying "the truth about truth."<ref>{{Ec}} p.868</ref>
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<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>
  
[[Secondary repression]] (Ger. ''Verdr‰ngung'') is a specific psychical [[act]] by which a [[signifier]] is elided from the [[signifying chain]].  
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[[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>
  
[[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.).
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=====Secondary=====
 
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[[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]]."
In [[secondary repression]], [[repression]] and the [[return of the repressed]] "are the same thing."
 
 
 
The theory of '[[repression]]' is one of the cornerstones of [[psychoanalysis]].
 
 
 
[[Repression]] occurs when impulses, [[wish]]es or [[memories]], usually but not always of a sexual nature, that are bound up with the [[drive]]s, are denied access to the [[conscious]] mind by the [[ego]] because it regards them as a [[threat]] to its integrity or because they offend the [[ethical]] standards imposed upon it by the [[super-ego]].
 
 
 
Such impulses and wishes are forced back into the [[unconscious]] but almost inevitably find other means of expression by using the mechanisms of [[condensation]] and [[displacement]].
 
 
 
The resultant conflict between the respective [[demand]]s of the [[ego]] and the [[unconscious]] results in the formation of [[symptom]]s, which are a form of [[substitute]] sexual [[satisfaction]] or [[wish-fulfilment]].
 
 
 
[[Repression]] is not a single [[act]] which occurs only once, but a continuous application of pressure in the direction of the [[unconscious]].
 
 
 
The theory of [[repression]] is the key to the psychoanalytic understanding of [[neurosis]] and especially [[hysteria]].
 
 
 
[[Lacan]] argues that the triggering of a [[psychosis]] is governed by the different and specific process of [[foreclosure]].
 
 
 
==Primal Repression==
 
The expression '[[primal repression]]' is used by [[Freud]] to refer to a hypothetical process in which the [[unconscious]] is constituted through the [[formation]] and [[repression]] of [[unconscious]] ideas and [[representation]]s.
 
 
 
The result is the lating [[fixation]] of the [[drive]] to one particular [[representation]].
 
 
 
'Primal' is used here in the sense in which [[Freud]] speaks of the [[primal scene]].
 
 
 
== def ==
 
The [[ego]]'s mechanism for suppressing and forgetting its [[instinct]]ual impulses.
 
  
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==See Also==
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{{See}}
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* [[Demand]]
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* [[Drive]]
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* [[Foreclosure]]
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* [[Formation]]
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* [[Hysteria]]
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* [[Memory]]
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* [[Neurosis]]
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* [[Signifier]]
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* [[Signifying chain]]
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* [[Structure]]
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* [[Symptom]]
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* [[Unconscious]]
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{{Also}}
  
 
== References ==
 
== References ==
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[[Category:Jacques Lacan]]
 
[[Category:Terms]]
 
[[Category:Concepts]]
 
[[Category:Psychoanalysis]]
 
 
[[Category:Freudian psychology]]
 
[[Category:Freudian psychology]]
 
[[Category:Neurosis]]
 
[[Category:Neurosis]]
 
[[Category:Treatment]]
 
[[Category:Treatment]]
 
[[Category:Symbolic]]
 
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Latest revision as of 18:11, 20 May 2019

French: refoulement
Psychoanalytic Theory

The concept of repression is one of the most basic concepts in psychoanalytic theory.

Unconscious

It denotes the process by which certain thoughts or memories are expelled from consciousness and confined to the unconscious.

Sigmund Freud

Freud was first led to hypothesize the process of repression through his investigation into the amnesia of hysterical patients.

Primary and Secondary Repression

He later distinguished between primal repression (a "mythical" forgetting of something that was never conscious to begin with, an originary "psychical act" by which the unconscious is first constituted) and secondary repression (concrete acts of repression whereby some idea or perception that was once conscious is expelled from the conscious).

Formations

Since repression does not destroy the ideas 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 symptoms, dreams, slips of the tongue, etc. (the return of the repressed).

Neurosis

For Lacan, repression is the fundamental operation which distinguishes neurosis from the other clinical structures. Whereas psychotics foreclose, and perverts disavow, only neurotics repress.

Repressed Signifier

What is it that is repressed? At one point Lacan speaks of the signified as the object of repression,[1] but he soon abandons this view and argues instead that it is always a signifier that is repressed, never a signified.[2] 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:

Primary

Primal repression (German: Urverdrängung) is the alienation of desire when need is articulated in demand.[3] It is also the unconscious signifying chain.[4] Primary repression is the repression of the first signifier.

"From the moment he speaks, from that precise moment and not before, I understand that there is repression."[5]

Lacan does not see primary repression as a specific psychical act, localizable in time, but as a structural feature of language itself - namely, its necessary incompleteness, the impossibility of ever saying "the truth about truth."[6]

Secondary

Secondary repression (German" Verdrängung) is a specific psychical act by which a signifier is elided from the signifying chain. Secondary repression is structured like a metaphor, and always involves 'the return of the repressed', whereby the repressed signifier reappears under the guise of the various formations of the unconscious (i.e. symptoms, dreams, parapraxes, jokes, etc.). In secondary repression, repression and the return of the repressed "are the same thing."

See Also

References

  1. Lacan, Jacques. Écrits: A Selection. Trans. Alan Sheridan. London: Tavistock Publications, 1977.} p.55
  2. Lacan, Jacques. The Seminar. Book XI. The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis, 1964. Trans. Alan Sheridan. London: Hogarth Press and Institute of Psycho-Analysis, 1977. p. 218
  3. Lacan, Jacques. Écrits: A Selection. Trans. Alan Sheridan. London: Tavistock Publications, 1977. p. 286
  4. Lacan, Jacques. Écrits: A Selection. Trans. Alan Sheridan. London: Tavistock Publications, 1977. p. 314
  5. Lacan, Jacques. Le Séminaire. Livre XX. Encore, 1972-73. Ed. Jacques-Alain Miller. Paris: Seuil, 1975. p. 53
  6. Lacan, Jacques. Écrits. Paris: Seuil, 1966. p. 868