Armed against Unhappiness: Psychoanalytic Grammars in Buenos Aires

P. Sean Brotherton

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Psychoanalysis has produced an ensemble of institutions, expertise, procedures, and practices for rendering the psychoanalytic subject legible and, through this, psychic life as an actionable site of intervention, dislocation, and struggle. This article examines how diverse psychoanalytic communities in Buenos Aires have produced unique grammars that influence how individuals articulate ideas about health and well-being. Descriptive, culturally specific, historically informed, and always provisional, this grammar is empirically grounded in lived experience. Through presenting several case studies, I flesh out how this grammar, as a deictic expression of/for the unconscious is deployed, reworked, and embodied in everyday interactions. I demonstrate how psychic life is enmeshed within social and political experience. In doing so, I consider how interpersonal, existential, environmental, social, and political contingencies shape divergent notions of well-being and structure desires of what it means to live “a good life.”.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)99-118
    Number of pages20
    JournalMedical Anthropology Quarterly
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - Mar 1 2020


    • Buenos Aires
    • Lacan
    • psychic life
    • psychoanalysis
    • well-being

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Anthropology


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