Dyscivilisatie en dysmentalisatie. De ontsporing van het civilisatieproces psychoanalytisch bezien


  • Gomperts,Wouter


Genocide, Violence, Modernity, Civil society, Civilizing process, Psychoanalytic interpretation


Dyscivilization and Dysmentalization. The Derailment of the Civilizing Process from a Psychoanalytic Perspective. Is massive organized violence and destruction a manifestation of modernity or rather its opposite, ie, a breakdown of civilization? De Swaan's (1999) concept of "dyscivilization" transcends this opposition: at the core of the civilizing process, sometimes a contrary current manifests itself allowing extreme violence on a mass scale to perpetrate toward specific categories of people, while civilized relations and modes of expression are maintained in other sections of society. Compartimentalization is the social arrangement and the psychic mechanism par excellence in a dyscivilizing society. To maintain it requires both rigid separations and carefully staged passages between the civilized and decivilized emotional and interactional domains. It is argued that for the perpetrators a developmental defect in mentalizing capacity or reflective function ("non-mentalization") strongly facilitates the perpetrator's psychological separation of their experiences in the sites of destruction from all other mental processes or social encounters. For the majority of people who are not victims of barbarism, have no participation in it, and do not oppose it, the integration of the genocidal violence in their personal and collective self image includes a partial and selective decline in mentalizing capacity ("dysmentalization"). These disorders in mentalization ("dysmentalization") are described in both their psychological and social origins. 37 References. Adapted from the source document.

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