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Politics of recognition and social suffering: a psychoanalytic consideration on the strategic and conceptual uses of identity

Grant number: 22/06655-8
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): September 01, 2022
Effective date (End): August 31, 2023
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Psychology
Principal Investigator:Christian Ingo Lenz Dunker
Grantee:Bruno Kinoshita
Host Institution: Instituto de Psicologia (IP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


The mobilization of identity politics agendas has arisen as a central phenomenon for the reflections of social and political sciences in the last decades, boosted by formulations that have focused on the themes of recognition and identity. A possible frame within this theme is that the emergence of these theories has been concerned to position the agenda of suffering with identity experiences as a crucial category to think about the rationality of demands for recognition, political articulation, and social support. These developments, in turn, often require a reading of a confirmatory recognition of the other, in which the experiences of suffering would obtain their value of legitimacy and elaboration from their conjugation to certain predicative and nominative notions of identity. On the other side, there are several works based on Lacanian psychoanalysis that seek to propose a critical questioning of the concepts of identity and the relation with otherness: this debate will be harsh because psychoanalysis, by having its clinical dimension often positioned in the public spaces as a clinic of psychic suffering, must not be unaware of the conjugation of this with the current identity coordinates. Thus, using the theoretical instruments made available by Lacan, the goal of this work is to investigate this point of tension that brings experiences of identity determination closer to experiences of suffering and social support, in an attempt to advance toward a possible systematization of conceptual points of convergence or divergence. This investigation will require taking into account the Lacanian conception of the decentered subject, the alienation of the ego, and the expressive plane of semblants in order to further understand the conceptual and strategic implications of the term "identity". (AU)

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