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SexagonMuslims, France, and the Sexualization of National Culture$
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Mehammed Amadeus Mack

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780823274604

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823274604.001.0001

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Constructing the Broken Family: The Draw for Psychoanalysis

Constructing the Broken Family: The Draw for Psychoanalysis

(p.79) 2 Constructing the Broken Family: The Draw for Psychoanalysis

Mehammed Amadeus Mack

Fordham University Press

From the early days of colonial ethno-psychiatry and the Algiers school to the current era of media interventions by French psychoanalysts, commentators with backgrounds in psychoanalysis have often been called upon to lend their expertise to the discussion of cultural and ethnic difference. This chapter looks at how these sciences, with their particular attentiveness to sexuality, have approached issues of immigration, Islam, and the place of minorities in French domestic affairs. At the core of this chapter is the argument that psychoanalytical commentators have conceptualized these issues through the lens of a (broken) family unit that updates, in dystopian fashion, the Freudian family unit of bourgeois Vienna for contemporary circumstances. United in their “pathologized” status, the “juvenile delinquent,” the “veiled woman,” and the “impotent father” are figures that together make up a symbolic family unit, drawn up by psychoanalysts who write about urban France, immigration, and/or North Africa. Reading about this dysfunctional family, one quickly gets the sense that Muslims’ continuing influx into Europe will have “dire” psycho-sexual consequences on the continent, due to their psychoanalytically aberrant views on the public-private distinction and patriarchal law.

Keywords:   Fethi Benslama, dysfunction, ethnopsychiatry, immigration, Islam, Muslim, perversion, psychoanalysis, veil

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