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By S. Parish

Winner of The Boyer Prize from the Society for mental Anthropology!!!This publication explores the adventure of pain so as to make clear the character of the human self.  utilizing an intimate lifestyles historical past method, it examines methods humans fight to deal with reviews which may shatter their lives: a prognosis of melanoma, the dying of a wife, a parent’s psychological affliction. the quantity takes readers deep into deepest worlds of anguish in American tradition, and invitations mirrored image on what the subjectivity of soreness tells us approximately being human. Addressing common issues in a fashion that absolutely acknowledges the distinctiveness of these who adventure a private quandary, Parish exhibits how participants customize the cultural and mental assets during which they locate their attainable selves.

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Extra info for Subjectivity and Suffering in American Culture: Possible Selves (Culture, Mind and Society)

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This seems like a classic American dilemma: a young couple forms a family without much social support; when the pressures of raising a child get overwhelming, they blame each other, rather than the social system. In the aftermath of this, Benjamin is trying to repair himself. He does so by trying to return, in his self-reflections, to the sources of self. Self, for him, has various sources—but parents are a “deep” source that goes to the foundation of one’s being. Nurture makes a difference, but “blood” is primordial.

It is the way life events are registered that suggests underlying motive. We can in shorthand say that his project involves mastery of trauma, but it is more precise to say that it involves taking possession of his mother’s madness as this possesses him. It is, we might think, both the madness and the mother that “possess” him. He seeks to possess them, to make them his own. This distinction is important: both madness and mother qualify as ego alien and as source of self. This gives structure to psychological processes, ultimately to his engagement with cultural materials in the sort of creative “play” that appropriates cultural possibility in an existential setting.

The self appears to others, certainly, through its acts and attitudes, but self is also made palpable to self. Mitchell knows what she did. Benjamin is making himself appear as he gathers memories and finds that he has feelings about them. Yet others appear in these scenes, too. We can speak of emotional response as triggering a process of reflection, as when I feel some emotion and then tell myself a story about it; but I think we might view both response and reflection as different ways of marking up the self, of priming it to register the world in particular ways, to carry past experience into future experience.

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