|Freud Lecture: Juliet Mitchell, 2003|
A matter of life or death: siblinghood and the unconscious
Although sibling relations have been observed by psychoanalysts, there
is no paradigm that can account for them. The lecture argues that we need
to re-read Freud's notions of a life and of a death-drive through these
lateral relations. The human psyche is always social and the neonate's
society includes siblings and peers as well as parents. Freud saw siblings
as an extension from the parental Oedipus complex; the lecture argues
that we need to see their autonomy.
Juliet Mitchell is Professor of Psychoanalysis and Gender Studies at
the University of Cambridge, England, where she is also Head of the Department
of Social and Political Sciences. She is a Full Member of the British
Psychoanalytical Society, and the International Society.