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East European Psychoanalytical Institute St. Petersburg, Russia. March 2014 VAMIK VOLKAN’ s PSYCHOPOLITICAL SEMINAR: Large-Group Identity, MassiveTrauma,

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Presentation on theme: "East European Psychoanalytical Institute St. Petersburg, Russia. March 2014 VAMIK VOLKAN’ s PSYCHOPOLITICAL SEMINAR: Large-Group Identity, MassiveTrauma,"— Presentation transcript:

1 East European Psychoanalytical Institute St. Petersburg, Russia. March 2014 VAMIK VOLKAN’ s PSYCHOPOLITICAL SEMINAR: Large-Group Identity, MassiveTrauma, Transgenerational Transmission and Chosen Trauma VAMIK D. VOLKAN, M.D., DLFAPA, FACPsa VAMIK 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.

2 OUTLINE OUTLINE PART 1: PART 1: MY PSYCHOPOLITICAL JOURNEY THROUGH WAR AND PEACE PART 2: PART 2: LARGE-GROUP IDENTITY PART 3: PART 3: TRAUMA AT THE HAND OF THE “OTHER” PART 4: PART 4: TRANSGENERATIONAL TRANSMISSIONS PART 5: PART 5: A CASE STUDY ILLUSTRATING LARGE-GROUP PSYCHOLOGY

3 PART 1 : MY PSYCHOPOLITICAL JOURNEY THROUGH WAR AND PEACE

4 November 20, 1977

5 With Elias Freij, the Mayor of Bethlehem- 1983

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7 With Mikhail and Raisa Gorbachev

8 With Arnold Rüütel, the President of Estonia

9 With the former US President JIMMY CARTER

10 With Rosalynn and Jimmy Carter

11 With Archbisop DESMOND TUTU

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13 With UN Secretary General (1982-1991) Javier Perez de Cuellar

14 With President Glafcos CleridesWith President Rauf Denktaș

15 With YASSER ARAFAT

16 With Abdullah Gül, the President of Turkey

17 ENVER HOXHA’s grave in Albania Visiting DEAD Leaders JOSEF STALİN’s train With JOSEF STALİN’s personal interpreter ZOYA ZARUBINA

18 5 years 2 years 5 years 2 years 5 years 2 years

19 TWO PREOCCUPATIONS : TWO PREOCCUPATIONS : 1-Large-group identity (Palestinian stones) 1984

20 2-Ancestors’ trauma at the hand of the “Other” (Tatar- Mongol yoke [1237-1480])

21 PART 2: LARGE-GROUP IDENTITY

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23 INDIVIDUAL 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 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.

24 WHAT 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”

26 large-group identity From individual identity to large-group identity

27 From being a “generalist” (Erikson, 1956) to developing a large-group identi ty (THREE CONCEPTS): 1-Identifications 2-Depositing 3-Shared reservoirs

28 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 * Large-group identity does not truly change after going through the adolescence passage. * It endures throughout a lifetime.

30 Some 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.

31 Existing conditions in the environment direct children to invest in this or that type of large- group belongingness Existing 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.

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33 PART 3: TRAUMA AT THE HAND OF THE “OTHER”

34 Natural disasters : Earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, tropical storms, fires, volcanic eruptions…

35 Man-made accidental disasters Man-made accidental disasters

36 Assassination or accidental death of large-groups’ “ transference figures”: John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr., Christa McAuliffe, Giorgi Chanturia, Rafik Hariri.

37 Oppression from above

38 in the name of a large-group identity. Only 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.

39 PART 4: TRANSGENERATIONAL TRANSMISSIONS

40 After a massive trauma at the hands of the “Other,” After 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 surv i ving while others perished, 4- Difficulty being assertive without facing humiliation,

41 5- 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 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 ” )

43 Greeks: The fall of Constantinople (Istanbul) to the Turks in 1453 Czechs: The Battle Bila Hora in 1620 Scots: The Battle of Culloden in 1746

44 Dakota Indians: The decimation at Wounded Knee in 1890 Crimean Tatars: Deportation from Crimea in 1944 Some 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).

45 INABILITY 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.

46 Entitlement 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.

47 Some entitlement ideologies are known by specific names in the literature: Italians Italians: Italia Irredenta (irredentism). Greeks Greeks: Megali Idea (Great Idea). Turks: Turks: Pan-Turanism (bringing all the Turkic people together from Anatolia to central Asia) Serbs Serbs: Christoslavism. Americans: Americans: American exceptionalism.

48 MORE 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.

49 The perpetrators will experience shame and guilt (may be hidden) for hurting others and such shared emotions too are involved in transgenerational transmissions.

50 DISCUSSION

51 PART 5: A CASE STUDY ILLUSTRATING LARGE-GROUP PSYCHOLOGY

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53 The BATTLE of KOSOVO On June 28, 1389 RE-ACTIVATION OF A CHOSEN TRAUMA and AN ENTITLEMENT IDEOLOGY

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.

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56 Lazar becomes exile

57 Dear God, what shall I do and Which kingdom should I choose? Should I choose the Kingdom of heaven Or the Kingdom of earth? If I choose the kingdom, The kingdom of earth The Earthly kingdom is of short duration And the Heavenly is from now to eternity. The Tsar chose the Kingdom of Heaven

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59 Drink, Serbs, of God’s glory And fulfill the Christian law; And even though we have lost our kingdom, Let us not lose our souls

60 An entitlement ideology: CHRISTOSLAVISM * Change of function: Lazar and Miloš are transformed from tragic martyrs to heroic avengers

61 1829: Serbia achieves autonomy

62 1912-1913 BALKAN 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.”

63 June 28, 1914 - Gavrilo Princip assassinates Archduke Francis Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary and his pregnant wife.

64 The official breakup of the former Yugoslavia began in June 1991.

65 EXAMPLE of TIME COLLAPSE 1389- 1991 “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. “

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67 TIME COLLAPSE: 1389-1989

68 Srebrenica Massacre July 1995

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70 Thank you for listening to me


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