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He has been widely covered in the media e. For Davecate, the dolls he lives with have become real because he treats them as human beings with distinct character traits and life histories. The chapter details a fascinating account of how Davecat both makes sense of his dolls and narrates their life histories and functions for him and themselves. He is fully aware that they are dolls, yet speaks about them as if they are humans.

Knafo and Lo Bosco approach Davecat with warmth, empathy and curiosity. Chapter 4 similarly covers women who collect life-like baby dolls mostly known as Reborn dolls , who, not unlike the RealDoll community, sell their dolls online and interact with each other in online discussion forums. The collecting of baby dolls often serves as an unconscious means to cope with experiences of trauma. The book then shifts from exploring perversion as a subjective, pathological state to explore perversion as a socio-cultural phenomenon in the next three chapters.

The second half of Chapter 4 explores examples of perversion in different settings such as corporate greed and corruption or the collusion of APA members with the US government in drafting torture guidelines to be used against terrorist suspects. The authors argue that capitalism itself manifests a perverse structure in which exploitation, workplace bullying, greed and profit maximization at all costs are championed in corporate cultures see also Long Chapter 6 of the book is entitled Technology and its discontents: The dark side of cyberworld.

They are often used for illegal or outlawed activities in order to go unnoticed by law enforcement agencies. The book highlights the split off, dark aspects of the Internet selling of weapons, recruitment of terrorists, illegal pornography, selling of drugs, etc. It fails to highlight other usage of Tor for example. The authors then move on to addiction to Internet pornography and illustrate their discussion with vignettes from clinical cases which vividly highlight pathological ab uses of the online sphere. The chapter also includes a discussion of the creation of fake profiles on social media that are used to create identities which do not really exist in order to convey a particular impression to others for the sake of false romances, cyberbullying or fraud.

At this point, it may have been useful for the authors to engage with the work of Aaron Balick, who has explored this question in his book Balick in some length and heads down a slightly different route from Knafo and Lo Bosco. For Balick, we do not live in an age where online communication is characterised by narcissism and fake profiles.

Customer Reviews

The book has lost nothing of its significance given the mass surveillance practices in the Western world revealed by Edward Snowden. Their essential re-telling of the novel is a little lengthy and could have been shortened, for it is very clear that the book serves as a perfect example to illustrate perverse structures of ubiquitous surveillance.


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The chapter could have engaged more fully with the surveillance of spy agencies and corporate bodies that has come to define contemporary societies. All of this has been accompanied by a sophisticated surveillance regime by the NSA. How much this phenomenon is resulting from a subterranean government agenda or an unfortunate confluence of events is open to debate.

What is not mentioned in that sentence is that there have also been wide-ranging protest movements in response to the endless wars and privacy invasions.

The discussion of the more recent ization of the Western world comes across as too hasty and leaves little space for resistance, protest or subversion. It also would have been interesting if the authors had focussed on some of the aspects in more detail and e.

The final chapter wraps up the book and further illuminates our age of perversion us exemplified by a whirlwind of phenomena that have become mainstream: sado- masochistic fashion and popular culture; reality television and ritualised shaming; celebrity culture. The chapter then moves on to discuss advances in robotics towards posthumanity and there is a sense of scepticism found between the lines as to whether robots who are capable of expressing emotions and engage in conversation for example are benefitting humanity.

The book presents a rigorous, complex, vivid and engaging effort to demonstrate the applicability of a clinical, psychoanalytic concept — perversion — for analysing individual and social realms within contemporary societies. It is the analytical clarity with which perversion is applied as a lens to look at both subjects as well as objects and their increasing entanglements that makes the book a highly relevant one. The book also serves as a detailed introduction to psychoanalytic concepts but can equally be appreciated by readers who are familiar with psychoanalytic terminology.

It is therefore highly recommended to both media and communication scholars, as well as psychoanalysts alike. The book is very well-written and, importantly, does not pathologize the many patients whose case histories are explored but approaches them with empathy, warmth and understanding. However, it is open to debate to what extent the examples drawn on constitute niche phenomena that are followed by minorities and are artificially heightened by the media.

They may therefore appear to be mass phenomena. Do we therefore really live in an age of perversion? Or are there rather perverse tendencies at work in different spheres and to varying degrees?


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The authors define perversion as a spectrum and subsume a variety of different phenomena under it, but such phenomena are always situated within other psychic structures both subjectively and socio-culturally that may compete with or negate them at the same time. What is then the relationship between perverse tendencies and other forces that complement them, or are in opposition to them?

Sometimes the Knafo and Lo Bosco make rather sweeping statements and sound a little too negative and deterministic about technology.

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It may be a little more nuanced than that. It also seems that the authors sometimes could not help themselves and engaged in predictions about the future, while, as they themselves do acknowledge throughout the book, it is entirely uncertain how the future will look like with regards to our use of and becoming of objects, media and machines. Northvale, NJ: Aronson. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. London: Karnac.

Chasseguet- Smirguel, Janine : Creativity and perversion. New York: Norton. London: Routledge. Cambridge: Polity. CM: Communication and Media Journal, 38, In: Henderson, David Ed. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, pp. Paragraph, 33 3 : — Khan, Masud : Alienation in Perversions.

Doubling Back: Psychoanalytical Literary Theory and the Perverse Return to Jungian Space

New York: International Universities Press. Lacan, Jacques : Le Seminaire. Paris: du Seuil. Etymological exploration of the word "perversion", including its use in religious, moral, sociological and legal contexts, reveals a wider meaning than that adopted in psychoanalysis.

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The aim of the author is to revise the psychoanalytic model through the introduction of Jungian concepts that extend the understanding of perversion beyond the bounds of sexuality to a more general relational context. By describing the development of psychoanalytic thinking on perversion in detail, the author is able to highlight the central differences between the Freudian and Jungian interpretive traditions and to explain why Jungian ideas on perversion have remained underdeveloped, leading to the absence of a unique or available Jungian contribution to the theory of perversion. The length and breadth of the concept of perversion.

Formulation including a Jungian persepective.