Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Department of Sociology and Anthropology: Sociology

First Advisor

Frank Beck


In the first chapter, I propose a new psychoanalytical framework in which the subject is driven by a need for omnipotence. Omnipotence, which is redefined in my framework, propels the subject to overcome the Father, or the awareness of self that arises due to psychological maturation and sophistication. I also introduce a psychological development that is defined by the entrance of the subject into different stages (Womb, Eden, Wandering), which are punctuated by events (In-the-Beginning, Fall, Death) which transition the subject into the next stage. Lastly, I introduce my own topographical model of the self in which the subject is constituted by the Me, or the current state of the subject; the I, which is the idealized, fantasized self that can overcome the Father; and the Myself, or the space between the Me and I that contains the inherent contradictions of the self. In the second chapter, I discuss social relations as divided between relations of love and relations of oppression. Drawing on theoretical writings of past thinkers, I build upon the previous chapter to argue that the subject, through the empathic position, must make a choice as to how she views others. Because of the ontological primacy of the subject deriving from her subjective development, the subject comes to see others as her Shadow; she unconsciously adopts the view that only she is ontologically authentic, and others are thus reduced to self-operating machines. These machines are then primed to be converted to Limbs, which together form the Body without Image necessary for the subject to overcome the Father and return to the state of Eden. Lastly, I argue that anathema to this is love, which presupposes the elevation of the Shadow to a position as her ontological equal, thus precluding any possibility of the other as Limbs. This mutual opposition necessitates their convergence and confrontation at the Altar, in which either the subject or her Shadow is sacrificed and laid to serve as the foundation for a relation of either love or oppression.


Imported from Park_ilstu_0092N_12362.pdf


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