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Sherry Turkle: The Hillary Wars, 22 October 1992

... At the Boston Park Plaza on 2 September, Hillary Clinton is speaking to over 1500 supporters, mostly women, each of whom has paid $250 for a sandwich and a chance to hear her. The Republican National Convention has only just ended, so Clinton gets warm laughter and applause when she thanks Phyllis Schafly, Pat Robertson and Pat Buchanan for the attacks that have brought out her defenders in such great numbers ...

War Zone

Sherry Turkle, 23 November 1989

by Adam Phillips.
Fontana, 180 pp., £4.95, November 1988, 9780006860945
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... All his life Donald Winnicott took great pains to present himself as an orthodox Freudian. Yet few ‘Freudians’ have been more radical in their departures from orthodoxy. Winnicott’s central ideas about mothers and infants, about nurture and cure, about the authenticity of self, are evocative and powerful, but they are nonetheless heresy. Freud saw the triangle of Oedipal loves as a crucible for the development of personality; Winnicott focused on the earliest bonding of mother and child ...

Why are you here?

Sherry Turkle, 5 January 1989

The Seminar of Jacques Lacan. Book I: Freud’s Papers on Technique 1953-1954 
edited by Jacques-Alain Miller, translated by John Forrester.
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Book II: The Ego in Freud’s Theory and in the Technique of Psychoanalysis 1954-1955 
edited by Jacques-Alain Miller, translated by Sylvana Tomaselli.
Cambridge, 314 pp., £35, May 1988, 0 521 26679 3
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... On 16 June 1953 an administrative session of the Paris Psychoanalytic Society passed a vote of no confidence in its President, Jacques Lacan. Lacan’s theory was at war with internationally-dominant trends in ego psychology. His short analytic sessions took liberties with practices that others saw as sacred. And in relations with colleagues, Lacan disturbed the peace by insisting that traditional psychoanalytic societies undermined psychoanalytic truths ...


Sherry Turkle: Tamagotchi Love, 20 April 2006

... I take my 14-year-old daughter to the Darwin exhibition at the American Museum of Natural History. The exhibition documents Darwin’s life and thought, and somewhat defensively presents the theory of evolution as the central truth that underpins contemporary biology. The exhibition wants to convince and it wants to please. At the entrance there are two turtles from the Galapagos Islands ...

Laying out the Moods

Sherry Turkle: The Seduction Theory, 19 March 1998

Rewriting the Soul: Multiple Personality and the Sciences of Memory 
by Ian Hacking.
Princeton, 346 pp., £12.95, May 1998, 9780691059082
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... When I was a graduate studying psychology in the Seventies, I was taught that multiple personality was a rare, almost unheard of disease. One textbook said that there was one multiple per million people; another that there had been fewer than a dozen diagnosed cases in the past fifty years. I went through graduate school, internship, psychoanalytic training, and 15 years of clinical practice in Boston without ever meeting a patient who exhibited symptoms of multiple personality ...


Sherry Turkle: Lacan and Co, 6 December 1990

Jacques Lacan and Co: A History of Psychoanalysis in France, 1925-1985 
by Elisabeth Roudinesco, translated by Jeffrey Mehlman.
Free Association, 816 pp., £25, December 1990, 9781853431630
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... Freud believed that psychoanalysis was so deeply subversive of people’s most cherished beliefs that only resistance to psychoanalytic ideas would reveal where they were being taken seriously. In 1914 he wrote that ‘the final decisive battle’ for psychoanalysis would be played out ‘where the greatest resistance has been displayed’. By that point it was already clear that it was in France, the country of Mesmer, Bernheim, Charcot, Bergson and Janet, France with its long literary tradition of exquisite sensitivity to the psychological, that resistance to psychoanalysis was greatest ...

Ego’s End

John Sturrock, 22 November 1979

Psychoanalytic Politics 
by Sherry Turkle.
Burnett Books/Deutsch, 278 pp., £6.95
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... Sherry Turkle has written a reasonable, useful and heroically neutral book on the Lacan phenomenon: the sudden celebrity in France as maître à penser of Jacques Lacan, an elderly psychoanalyst whose writings are of a unique, some would say repellent difficulty. Venerated on the one side as the foremost agent of ideological subversion, reviled on the other as an intolerable, conceited obscurantist, Lacan is a living symbol of division between opposed temperaments, parties and generations ...

A More Crocodile Crocodile

Lidija Haas: Machines That Feel, 23 February 2012

Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other 
by Sherry Turkle.
Basic, 360 pp., £18.99, February 2011, 978 0 465 01021 9
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... surveillance extended to all electronic communication and web activity, foreign and domestic – Sherry Turkle went to a party celebrating the Webby Awards. An unnamed ‘Web luminary’ explained why he wasn’t concerned about privacy and state spying. On the internet, he told Turkle, ‘someone might always be ...

My space or yours?

Peter Campbell, 17 October 1996

Life on the Screen 
by Sherry Turkle.
Weidenfeld, 250 pp., £18.99, April 1996, 0 297 81514 8
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... every day pretending to be someone else, for example, and your sense of identity will be affected. Sherry Turkle believes that computers have indeed had a significant effect on those who use them. She says that ‘we come to see ourselves differently as we catch sight of our image in the mirror of the machine.’ She thinks ‘we are learning to live in ...

Forty Thousand Kilocupids

Marina Warner: The Femfatalatron, 31 July 2014

The Erotic Doll: A Modern Fetish 
by Marquard Smith.
Yale, 376 pp., £35, January 2014, 978 0 300 15202 9
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... but he doesn’t quote some current thinkers who could have helped him to think things through: Sherry Turkle, for example, has written very shrewdly about the changed relations of people to things, to laptops, mobile phones and iPads – let alone virtual reality headsets. Computerisation has altered the character of inert matter: consciousness is ...

What are we allowed to say?

David Bromwich, 22 September 2016

... An unsafe space is a space where, if they knew you were there, they might unfriend you. As Sherry Turkle puts it in Reclaiming Conversation, a penetrating study of the change of manners brought about by social media: ‘If you grew up in the world of “I share, therefore I am,” you may not have confidence that you have a thought unless you are ...

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