Reference : Cultural Psychological Re-Formulation of Ego-Defence into Ego-Construction
Dissertations and theses : Doctoral thesis
Social & behavioral sciences, psychology : Theoretical & cognitive psychology
Social & behavioral sciences, psychology : Treatment & clinical psychology
Cultural Psychological Re-Formulation of Ego-Defence into Ego-Construction
Mihalits, Dominik Stefan mailto [University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education (FLSHASE) > > ; University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education (FLSHASE) > Integrative Research Unit: Social and Individual Development (INSIDE)]
University of Luxembourg, ​​Luxembourg
Docteur en Psychologie
Valsiner, Jaan mailto
Boll, Thomas mailto
Albert, Isabelle mailto
Marsico, Giuseppina mailto
Gamsakhurdia, Vladimer Lado mailto
[en] Ego Construction ; Defence Mechanism ; Cultural Psychology ; Psychoanalysis ; Developmental Psychology ; Dialectics ; Psychoanalytic Theory ; Kintsugi ; Trauma ; Theoretical Model
[en] The developing self is a complex concept that recurrently occupies a variety of academic disciplines, and that is yet to be clarified from a holistically, transdisciplinary standpoint. For instance, psychoanalytical theories offer detailed insight into the intraindividual psycho-dynamics of personal development. Cultural psychological theories, on the other hand, stress a culture’s influence on a person’s day-to-day development and advance a detailed account of semiotic, i.e., culturally mediated, sign construction that underlies psychological process-es and results from it at the same time. Importantly, and what a cultural psychological standpoint therefore offers, is a view on culture that withdraws from conceiving it as an own entity (e.g., cannot be calculated as an external factor), but views it as deeply entangled with the formation of personality development. Both theory strands thus each complexly address ‘sides of the same coin’, namely the phenomenon of the developing self, but have not yet been systematically linked with each other from a holistic perspective. Therefore, this thesis addresses the question, how an integrative perspective of psychoanalytical psychodynamics can be synthesized with cultural psychological metatheory on development. More precisely, I theoretically explore how psychoanalytical theories of ego defence mechanisms help furthering an analysis of ego construction. By using the concept of ego construction, I argue that cultural psychological construction processes that are entangled with people’s engagement with their culturally laden environments can further elaborate psychoanalytical theories on ego defence. To approach ego defence, this project departs from Freudian psychoanalytic theory. It draws on the differentiation between needs and wishes that leads to an inner tension where defence mechanisms help in understanding the tension upon delayed gratification. Pushing beyond this traditional perspective and by assuming a high entanglement of needs and wishes, the defence needs to be recognized as an ongoing process, conceptualized as a continuous and recurring process rather than as mechanisms. It is a central conclusion of this Ph.D. project that, therefore, concepts of defence must leave their descriptive level to overcome the problem of cause and effect, allowing an understanding of development as open psychodynamic and cultural system.
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