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Generation, education and identification: evoking the Kleinian chalice to explore the psychological cost of social mobility in urban south Wales

Mannay, Dawn ORCID: 2013. Generation, education and identification: evoking the Kleinian chalice to explore the psychological cost of social mobility in urban south Wales. Presented at: British Psychological Society Annual Conference 2013, Harrogate International Centre, Harrogate, UK, 9-11 April 2013.

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Purpose: The paper explores the usefulness of Kleinian analysis to examine social reproduction and within-and-between-group processes. Presenting data from one mother-daughter dyad the paper is concerned with the psychological impact of being a non-traditional student in higher education; in terms of maintaining family relationships and negotiating a hybrid identity. The paper explores the contradictory nature of remaining geographically close; living within the family home and commuting to a local university. The paper argues that commuting whilst studying cannot negate the psychological separation: rather the maternal relationship can be threatened by an ambiguous loss; the loss of a loved one who is physically present but psychologically absent Background: The ESRC funded project from which this paper was draw focused on the relationships, education and employment of mothers and their daughters residing in a marginalised area in urban south Wales. Methods: The study employed visual and participatory methods of data production including photo-elicitation, collage, mapping and narrative. The analysis presented here draws from a psychoanalytically informed psychosocial framework. Conclusions: The paper argues that it is vital to recognise the vulnerability of non-traditional students; and that Kleinian approaches offer ways to acknowledge the painful processes of psychological splitting, engendered to protect against the possibility, of the contaminated other permeating the new and divided self. The paper demonstrates how paying more attention to the family both spatially and psychologically enables us to appreciate the strategies of resistance, negotiation and survival needed to maintain familial closeness; whilst embarking on a pathway characterised by social distance.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Funders: Economic and Social Research Council
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Last Modified: 25 Oct 2022 09:17

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