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Psychoanalysis, Culture & Society

, Volume 23, Issue 4, pp 455–458 | Cite as

Trauma and race: A Lacanian study of African American racial identity

Sheldon George Baylor University Press, Waco, TX, 1st ed., 2016, hardcover, 192pp., $59.95, ISBN-13: 978-1602587342
  • Angie Voela
Book Review

Trauma and Race invites African Americans to take on the daunting task of transcending race (p. 141), and all of its readers, irrespective of their racial background, to delve into the complex psychic structures that support past and present racial formations. Sheldon George explores how this may be accomplished via a Lacanian perspective.

For Lacan, all human beings are creatures of lack (manque à être). How we inhabit, veil, ignore, try to recuperate or encounter lack is determined by our (dis)position in(to) the Other, the nexus of structured and organised symbolic relations, language and the imaginary investment of others. Lack engenders desire, the various ways in which we make our way into the Other, living, as it were, in alienation, divided and fragmented, and deprived of our mythic, fantasmatic oneness (jouissance). Sometimes, the other, fellow human being appears to hold the answer to lack. In falling in love, for instance, the other becomes ‘it’ (object petit ain Lacan) –...

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Limited 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Psychosocial StudiesUniversity of East LondonLondonUK

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