Presentation on theme: "East European Psychoanalytical Institute"— Presentation transcript:
1East European Psychoanalytical Institute St. Petersburg, Russia.March 2014VAMIK VOLKAN’s PSYCHOPOLITICAL SEMINAR:Large-Group Identity, MassiveTrauma, Transgenerational Transmission and Chosen TraumaVAMIK D. VOLKAN, M.D., DLFAPA, FACPsa Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA.Training and Supervising Analyst Emeritus, Washington Psychoanalytic Institute, Washington, DC.Honorary Doctorate degrees from: Kuopio University, Finland (now called University of Eastern Finland); Ankara University, Turkey; and Eastern Psychoanalytical University, St. Petersburg, Russia.
2OUTLINE PART 1: MY PSYCHOPOLITICAL JOURNEY THROUGH WAR AND PEACE PART 2: LARGE-GROUP IDENTITYPART 3: TRAUMA AT THE HAND OF THE “OTHER”PART 4: TRANSGENERATIONAL TRANSMISSIONSPART 5: A CASE STUDY ILLUSTRATING LARGE-GROUP PSYCHOLOGY
3PART 1:MY PSYCHOPOLITICAL JOURNEY THROUGH WAR AND PEACE
23INDIVIDUAL IDENTITY: It is also connected with large-group identity. The sustained feeling of inner sameness is accompanied by a temporal continuity in the self-experience: the past, the present, and the future are integrated into a smooth continuum of remembered, felt, and expected existence for the individual.The individual identity is connected with a body image and a sense of inner solidarity and is associated with the capacity for solitude and clarity of one’s gender.It is also connected with large-group identity.
24WHAT IS LARGE-GROUP IDENTITY? *Large-group identity is the subjective experience of tens of thousand or millions who are linked by a persistent sense of sameness, even while sharing some characteristics with those who belong to foreign large groups.*It refers to tribal affiliation, ethnicity, religion, nationality, or political ideology starting in childhood.
25“We are Palestinians”“We are Basque”“We are Lithuanian Jews”“We are Sunni Muslims”“We are Polish”“We are Communist”
26From individual identity to large-group identity
27From being a “generalist” (Erikson, 1956) to developing a large-group identity (THREE CONCEPTS):1-Identifications2-Depositing3-Shared reservoirs
28It is also linked to prejudice. Belonging to a large-group identity is part of human existence.In “normal” times it makes us not to feel alone, it increases our self–esteem and pride and plays a big role in shaping our individual identity.It is also linked to prejudice.
29*It endures throughout a lifetime. *Large-group identity does not truly change after going through the adolescence passage.*It endures throughout a lifetime.
30Some children have parents who belong to two different ethnic or religious groups. Wars between Georgians and South Ossetians especially confused and psychologically disturbed individuals with “mixed” lineage.The same was true in Transylvania for the children born of mixed Romanian and Hungarian marriages when the hostility between these two large groups was inflamed.
31Existing conditions in the environment direct children to invest in this or that type of large-group belongingness.A child born in Hyderabad, India,would focus on religious/cultural issues as she develops a large-group identity.
38Only in ethnic, nationalistic, religious, and ideological conflicts, terrorism, wars, and war-like situations between enemy groups there is a deliberate design to dehumanize, humiliate, render helpless, and kill “the Other” in the name of a large-group identity.
40After a massive trauma at the hands of the “Other,” members of a large group will face difficult tasks taming and rendering harmless the following psychological features:1- Sense of victimization and exposure to dehumanization,2- Sense of pain and open or hidden humiliation due to helplessness,3- Sense of guilt for surviving while others perished,4- Difficulty being assertive without facing humiliation,
415- Increase in externalizations/projections and thus exaggeration of “bad” prejudice, 6- Increase in narcissistic investment in large-group identity,7- Envy toward the victimizer and (defensive) identification with the oppressor.8- Difficulty, or often inability, to mourn losses.
42“CHOSEN” TRAUMA (“Change of function”) All tasks that are handed down contain references to the same historical event, and as decades pass, the shared mental representation of this event links all the individuals in the large group and evolves as a most significant large-group marker.(“Change of function” [Waelder, 1930])(“Change of function”)
43Greeks: The fall of Constantinople (Istanbul) to the Turks in 1453 Czechs: The Battle Bila Hora in 1620Scots: The Battle of Culloden in 1746
44Dakota Indians: The decimation at Wounded Knee in 1890 Crimean Tatars: Deportation from Crimea in 1944Some chosen traumas are difficult to detect because they are not connected to one well-recognized historical event.(For example, the Estonians’ chosen trauma is related to constant dominance [Swedes, Germans, Soviets] for thousands of years).
45INABILITY TO MOURN and ENTITLEMENT IDEOLOGIES . Entitlement ideologies refer to a shared sense of entitlement to recover what was lost in reality and fantasy during the collective trauma that evolved as a chosen trauma and during other related shared traumas.
46Entitlement ideologies also refer to the mythologized birth of a large group, a process which later generations idealize.Each large group’s entitlement ideology is specific.
47Italians: Italia Irredenta (irredentism). Some entitlement ideologies are known by specific names in the literature:Italians: Italia Irredenta (irredentism).Greeks: Megali Idea (Great Idea).Turks: Pan-Turanism (bringing all the Turkic people together from Anatolia to central Asia)Serbs: Christoslavism.Americans: American exceptionalism.
48MORE ON ENTITLEMENT IDEOLOGIES * Entitlement ideologies may last for centuries and may disappear and reappear when historical circumstances change and chosen traumas are activated.* They contaminate diplomatic negotiations.* They may result in changing the world map in peaceful or, unfortunately too often, dreadful ways.* They accompany the re-activation of chosen traumas.
49The perpetrators will experience shame and guilt (may be hidden) for hurting others and such shared emotions too are involved in transgenerational transmissions.
53RE-ACTIVATION OF A CHOSEN TRAUMA and AN ENTITLEMENT IDEOLOGY The BATTLE of KOSOVOOn June 28, 1389
54* The battle was fought on two consecutive days. * Lazar’s son-in-law Miloš kills the Turkish leader. Lazar is captured and beheaded.* Years later Lazar’s daughter Olivera marries Murat’s son, the new Sultan Bayezit.
57Dear God, what shall I do and Which kingdom should I choose?Should I choose the Kingdom of heavenOr the Kingdom of earth?If I choose the kingdom,The kingdom of earthThe Earthly kingdom is of short durationAnd the Heavenly is from now to eternity.The Tsar chose the Kingdom of Heaven
62BALKAN WARS“Each of us created for himself a picture of Kosovo while we were in the cradle. Our mothers lulled us to sleep with songs of Kosovo, and in our schools our teachers never ceased in their stories of Lazar and Miloš …My God, What awaited us! To see a liberated Kosovo… When we arrived in Kosovo…the spirits of Lazar, Miloš , and all the Kosovo martyrs gazed on us.”
63June 28, Gavrilo Princip assassinates Archduke Francis Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary and his pregnant wife.
64The official breakup of the former Yugoslavia began in June 1991.
65EXAMPLE of TIME COLLAPSE “By order of the Islamic fundamentalists from Sarajevo, healthy Serbian women from 17 to 40 years of age are being separated out and subjected to special treatment. According to their sick plans going back to many years, these women have to be impregnated by orthodox Islamic seeds in order to raise a generation of janissaries on the territories they surely consider to be theirs, the Islamic republic. “