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Beneath the Crust of Culture

Psychoanalytic Anthropology and the Cultural Unconscious in American Life

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Howard F. Stein

In this book, the author presents a pioneering interpretation of culture as constituting a dynamic relationship between the visible “crust” and the elusive “core” of social life. He meticulously maps the role of the unconscious in shaping much of American life in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. He crosses and transcends disciplinary boundaries in studies of September 11, 2001, the 1999 Columbine High School massacre, the execution of Timothy McVeigh, the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, the 1999 Worcester, Massachusetts fire, and the eruption of hypernationalism and xenophobia in nations and workplaces — all as cultural phenomena with a psychodynamic core. He shows how the experience of loss in the face of massive social change often leads to equally massive defence against the experience of mourning. Beneath the Crust of Culture will be of interest not only for behavioural and social science professionals, but also for a lay public interested in understandings of culture deeper than the surface of the news and of official pronouncements.

Battlegrounds and Crossroads

Social and Imaginary Space in Writings by Chicanas

Series:

Maria Antònia Oliver-Rotger

Of interest to informed readers responsive to combined textual and cultural approaches to Chicano/a literature and literature in general, Battleground and Crossroads weaves in various critical and theoretical threads to inquire into the relationship between intimate and public spaces in Chicana literature. Without claiming the borderlands as exclusive of the Chicana/o imagination, this book acknowledges the importance of this metaphor for bringing to view a more intercultural United States, allowing it to become inflected with the particularity of each text. The analyses of Chicana fiction, drama, and autobiography explore the construction of identity through the representation of social space and the transformation of literary space. For discussion of a diacritical territory this volume draws on a interdisciplinary practice that facilitates the journey from the most intimate spaces to the most public spaces of modernity, so that the aesthetic text yields its knowledge of the contingent historical circumstances of its production in material and existential terms. The apparent regionalism and localism of this literature is nothing but a reflection of the relationship between the local and the global, the private and the public, the personal and the political, the aesthetic and the ideological, the subversive and the mainstream. Each text stands by itself while it also reaches out to the sociopolitical imaginary for interpretation through an interdisciplinary methodology that is indispensable to do justice to a politicized aesthetics.