The dialectic between self-determination and intersubjectivity in creating the experience of self

Mitchel Becker, Boaz Shalgi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

This paper explores the concept of delineation in light of the dialectical process as currently defined in the relational or intersubjective literature. Although this concept is also based on projective identification processes, we see it as a broader concept. Using the modern dialectic model we propose two modes of delineation. One mode involves an interaction between the subjective organizing principles of the family and its members, on the one hand, and the child's own subjective organizing principles, on the other hand, in a mutual process of construction, destruction, and reconstruction of self-definition. We term this concept mutual intersubjective delineation. The second mode of delineation is the individual experience of selfhood or "me "-ness as a monadic entity removed from all contextual interaction with other and thus termed the self-determined delineation. These two modes of delineation are seen as inherent, mutually defining processes of personality development. The manner in which the adolescent negotiates the dialectic tension between these two modes of delineation is seen as an essential process in the development of a dynamic, vital, and integrated self.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-169
Number of pages15
JournalPsychoanalytic Study of the Child
Volume61
DOIs
StatePublished - 2006

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