culture and illness

Alec Ramsdell a_ramsdell at
Fri Dec 18 14:21:17 PST 1998

Pardon all the posts. I'm at work . . .

> It bothers me too, and it's a cornerstone to the med model. Once in
> treatment all of a sudden one's past changes. Events, behaviours,
> memories, are all lined up under a master addict narrative, as
> slipshod as that narrative may be. Retroactively one was born an
> addict.

This retroactive assignation could be considered as a structural caricature of the transference between analyst and analysand outlined by Zizek in the "Back to the Future" part of the Sublime Object of Ideology.

The unresolved issue is the political position a critique like this makes. It could be seen as counter-productive politically to deconstruct this identity this way, insomuch as the position of "addict" implies the right to entitlements. Taking that position away could play into the hands of the personal responsibility crowd. But then as we know addicts and alcoholics no longer qualify for benefits.

Also, I understand Thomas Zsasz (sp?) has done much work on this. Sedgwick says he tends towards the totalitarian though. Has anyone read him?

Alec _________________________________________________________ DO YOU YAHOO!? Get your free address at

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