Brothers and sisters.
Author: Juliet Mitchell
In the history of psychoanalysis, as well as in all the social sciences, theorists have mainly chosen the parent-child axis of investigation and since the XNUMXs they have focused in particular on the mother-child relationship. From a feminist perspective, Juliet Mitchell traces the bumpy history of lateral relations, with a broad overview of the thought of the great theorists, from Freud to Klein, from Bowlby to Bion to Winnicott, and wonders why in so much literature and of psychoanalytic practice, the relationships between brothers and sisters have been ignored, or have rarely aroused the attention that they believe they deserved. A question that has to do with the importance assigned to biological parenting, and with the corresponding lack of social recognition of fratria. Too long the threat posed by the newcomer, or by the presence of an older brother who has been there before, has been minimized. Wars, after all, are a power struggle between equals, in which 'lateral' violence is exercised, the same one that is not adequately recognized in Western society. Since internalized social relationships are the most important elements of the psyche and the relationships between siblings shape every relationship, including that between parents and children, a new paradigm is needed for their interpretation. We must abandon the classic one (not only in psychoanalysis) of vertical understanding in favor of an approach that does not neglect the interaction between horizontal and vertical. A process that inevitably leads to rethinking incest, violence, hysteria, neurosis, psychosis. The author approaches it with a multidisciplinary style, which ranges from anecdotes to neuropsychiatry, from clinical cases to examples taken from mythology, films and novels; an approach aimed at creating a mosaic capable of reconstructing, piece by piece, the object of investigation, taking into account the social changes that have taken place in the family, which can no longer be analyzed only starting from theories elaborated at the very origin of psychoanalysis, or at most after the Second World War. Bringing the brothers to the fore means, for example, highlighting the question of gender and its variables, and therefore completely transforming the picture that is being observed.