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Vol. 2 No. 2 (2022): Borders, liminalities and edges of the experience. Advances in understanding human dynamic development

Borders, Ideals and cultural differences. From collective issues to individual pathways: a psychoanalytical approach

November 15, 2022


Different cultures may emphasize different ‘ideals’, which are installed in our individual and group identity, which is an aspect of our narcissism (ideal ego and ego ideal). Freud (1914) thinks of these aspects of identity as a “narcissistic prize” that is both transgenerational and cultural. They establish, in one’s sense of self, the ideals that are held dear in one’s culture, thereby providing ties that are both cultural, affective and inter-generational – they facilitate cultural continuity between the generations. But what happens in conditions of cultural discontinuity, such as migration? Often the experience of migration involves a conflict between two different sets of ideals. The painful internal “war” generated by this situation will be described, drawing attention to the guilt, anxieties and sense of betrayal and neglect involved due to cultural ideals projected from the group as a condition for mutual recognition and identification.