The Skin as a Metaphor: Psychoanalytic and Cultural Investigations

  • Shlomit Yadlin-Gadot
  • Uri Hadar


The skin has been an object of both psychoanalytic and cultural interest for many years. The work of Bick, Anzieu, Ogden and Tustin has emphasized the skin’s import in mental life, whereas Foucault, Butler and Fanon have underlined its complex interactions with cultural influences. These works have made it clear that the skin is not only an object of biological significance, but also of psychological, artistic and cultural import. In our paper, we place issues that concern the skin in all of these contexts and elaborate our own ideas about the triad-modalities of its influence on the subject and on subjectivity: The Symbolic, the Real and the Imaginary. These notions derive, of course, from the work of Lacan, but are employed here in directions beyond the Lacanian categories that allow, in our mind, to integrate the cultural and psychological investigations of the skin in ways that place the skin-related symptom in a new perspective.


Subject Subjectivity Skin ego Self Symbolic Imaginary Real Lacan 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Bar Ilan UniversityRamat GanIsrael
  2. 2.Tel Aviv UniversityTel AvivIsrael
  3. 3.The Ruppin Academic CenterEmek HeferIsrael

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