Theme of the congress

Figures of difference and the group psychoanalytic device

The globalized / current world is characterized by an intensification of cultural, social, economic, technological, geopolitical and other transformations. Paradoxically, it expresses different forms of stiffening, especially of social relations, in connection with the threat posed by the encounter with the foreigner. This has had as its effect the manifestation of excessive intolerance; the attempt to erase differences on the one hand, or creative and enriching transformations in different cultures on the other. We have witnessed a polarization of social and political discourses at the national and global levels. Virtual social networks have facilitated the meeting of convergent opinions and the virulent attack on what is perceived as different.

We know, however, that the difference lies at the heart of psychism and intersubjective exchanges. The thought about difference runs through the psychoanalytic work and has led to a demanding work of reflection on the values of difference in the constitution of psychic reality. The problematic of narcissism and otherness encompasses fundamental dimensions of the issue that is still declining in other ways. We emphasize the differences between the human and the nonhuman, between the sexes, and between generations and between cultures, a set of differences whose values would give access to the psychic structuring.

How do these questions of the social macrocontext and the problem of difference in psychoanalysis articulate in our work with groups, couples, families and institutions? Certainly the effects of the social context go through our practices, but also demand them for the constant work of the culture, so demanded in this moment of our civilization. Moreover, what paths do we have in the present context to enrich our understanding of difference in the field of psychoanalysis? Difference is understood here as a theoretical problem for psychoanalysis, but also in terms of the plurality of theoretical and practical perspectives of our field, as exemplified by the group devices themselves and the theories that subsidize them.

On the basis of these issues, we propose an International Colloquium - which will allow us to broaden our reflection on the status of difference and its manifestations in the links and implications for group psychoanalytic devices.

This event is part of a network of exchanges established between universities from the pioneerism of the Université Lumière Lyon 2 and which today congregates important European and Latin American institutions. The network “Intersubjective groups and links” seeks to consolidate a scientific, political and institutional space in which issues about groups and institutions can be retaken and legitimized within psychoanalytic thinking.