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The Analyst in the Inner City : Race, Class and Culture Through a Psychoanalytic Lens
Neil Altman
Routledge / Softcover / Nov 2009
9780881635003 (ISBN-10: 0881635006)
Relational / Interpersonal Psychoanalysis / Social & Political Issues
reg price: $80.50 our price: $ 76.48 (may be subject to change)
384 pages
Not in Stock, but usually ships within 2-3 weeks

In 1995, Neil Altman did what few psychoanalysts did or even dared to do: He brought the theory and practice of psychoanalysis out of the cozy confines of the consulting room and into the realms of the marginalized, to the very individuals who this theory and practice often overlooked. In doing so, he brought together psychoanalytic and social theory, and examined how divisions of race, class and culture reflect and influence splits in the developing self, more often than not leading to a negative self image of the "other" in an increasingly polarized society.

Much like the original, this second edition of The Analyst in the Inner City opens up with updated, detailed clinical vignettes and case presentations, which illustrate the challenges of working within this clinical milieu. Altman greatly expands his section on race, both in the psychoanalytic and the larger social world, including a focus on "whiteness" which, he argues, is socially constructed in relation to "blackness." However, he admits the inadequacy of such categorizations and proffers a more fluid view of the structure of race. A brand new section, "Thinking Systematically and Psychoanalytically at the Same Time," examines the impact of events outside of the public clinic, whether local or global, on the clinical work itself and the socio-economic categories of its patients, and vice-versa. Topics in this section include the APA’s relationship to CIA interrogation practices, group dynamics in child and adolescent psychotherapeutic interventions, and psychoanalytic views on war and suicide bombing.

Ranging from the day-to-day work in a public clinic in the South Bronx to considerations of global events far outside the clinic's doors (but closer than one might think), this book is a timely revision of a groundbreaking work in psychoanalytic literature, expanding the import of psychoanalysis from the centers of analytical thought to the margins of clinical need.

--- from the publisher


"It was predicted that The Analyst in the Inner City would become a classic. It has. In this second edition, Neil Altman expands his exploration of the vexed relationship between psychoanalysis and race, class, gender, and community as these are shaped by broad social and political forces. The book expresses a rare combination of experience at the coal face, highly sophisticated theoretical analysis, scholarly research, and thoughtful, ethical reflections on the challenges to psychoanalysis of otherness and similarity. Altman's focus on a three-person psychology promotes a lived practice in the clinic that takes account of diversity while holding the analytic frame as universally relevant. He hereby brings the social and the political into the clinic as illustrated by cogent case examples.

In his astute analysis of suicide bombings and torture informed by Klein, object relations, and intersubjectivity, Altman reciprocally brings the analytic to bear on the political. He again does so with an authority borne of experience given his pivotal role in organizing opposition to psychologists' collusion with detention centers. Neil Altman is a person of stature and this interesting, informative, illuminating, and deeply ethical book is a testament to this."
- Gillian Straker, Ph.D., University of Sydney, Australia


Introduction. Part I: Background. Clinical Experiences from a Public Clinic. Theoretical, Historical, and Sociological Background. Part II: Race, Class, and Culture. Social Class. Whiteness. Psychoanalysis in Black and White. Culture, Ethnicity, and Psychoanalysis. Part III: Thinking Systematically and Psychoanalytically at the Same Time. A Psychoanalytic Look at the Bifurcation of Public and Private Practice. Thinking Systematically and Psychoanalytically at the Same Time: Psychoanalyzing the Context. Toward Overcoming the Split between the Psychic and the Social: Bringing Psychoanalysis to Community-based Clinical Work. A Psychoanalytic-systemic Perspective on Psychotherapy with Children and Families. Part IV: Psychoanalysis and Society. Manic Society: Toward the Depressive Position. Psychoanalysis in the Political World: The Case of the American Psychological Association and Torture. Psychoanalysis in the Political World: Suicide Bombing. Psychoanalysis as a Potential Force for Social Change.

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