Specters of social antagonism: the cultural psychodynamics of dream aggression among the Tzotzil Maya of San Juan Chamula (Chiapas, Mexico)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

In this article, I present an analysis of “persecution dreams” among the Tzotzil Maya of San Juan Chamula, discussing the complex connections among sickness, interpersonal aggression, ideologies of social antagonism, and the spectral phantasies that shadow these social phenomena. Building on this ethnographic foundation, I present a “cultural psychodynamic” account framed in terms of projective-introjective dynamics (functioning at both the individual and social levels), arguing that the aggression dream serves as an experience structure in which inner and outer realities become deeply interwoven—often resulting in an increased sense of insecurity and existential threat. At its broadest level, this article is concerned with the affective dimensions of dream life, the processing of real affects and social relations within the register of phantasy, and the transposition of these phantasy-laden feelings back into waking life, where they influence not only the individual's sense of well-being, but the tenor of actual interpersonal relations.

LanguageEnglish
Pages314-341
Number of pages28
JournalEthos
Volume45
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 Sep 2017

Fingerprint

phantasy
antagonism
aggression
Mexico
interpersonal relation
Social Relations
Ideologies
illness
well-being
threat
Antagonism
Spectre
Chiapas
Phantasy
Aggression
Maya
experience

Keywords

  • cultural psychodynamics
  • projection
  • phantasy
  • dreams
  • aggression
  • Maya
  • psychoanalysis

Cite this

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Specters of social antagonism : the cultural psychodynamics of dream aggression among the Tzotzil Maya of San Juan Chamula (Chiapas, Mexico). / Groark, Kevin P.

In: Ethos, Vol. 45, No. 3, 07.09.2017, p. 314-341.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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