Psychology & Anthropology

After Roe v. Wade

LRB contributors

21 July 2022

Elif Batuman, Edna Bonhomme, Hazel V. Carby, Linda Colley, Meehan Crist, Anne Enright, Lorna Finlayson, Lisa Hallgarten and Jayne Kavanagh, Sophie Lewis, Maureen N. McLane, Erin Maglaque,

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Shanghai Shelf Life

Mimi Jiang

21 July 2022

During the latest lockdown I ate only rice dumplings, wontons and boiled vegetables. After two months of that it’s difficult to remember what your favourite food tastes like. At the end of April, I traded . . .

The Plutocrat Tour

Iain Sinclair

7 July 2022

The London architecture​ you are permitted to notice, Caroline Knowles reckons, is just money on display. In Serious Money: Walking Plutocratic London, she describes the overweening spike of Renzo Piano’s . . .

No Secrets in Albert Square

Jacqueline Rose and Sam Frears

23 June 2022

The cast of EastEnders in the Queen Vic (1985). In​ the first episode of EastEnders (19 February 1985), one of the longest running TV soap operas in the world, Reg Cox is found half-dead and stinking . . .

Contagious Convulsions

Gavin Francis

23 June 2022

Functional​ disorders are conditions in which the body’s normal processes are disrupted, but for which no organic cause can be determined. They do, though, have characteristics evident to a trained . . .

Where on Earth are you?

Frances Stonor Saunders, 3 March 2016

We construct borders, literally and figuratively, to fortify our sense of who we are; and we cross them in search of who we might become.

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Against Self-Criticism

Adam Phillips, 5 March 2015

Lacan​ said that there was surely something ironic about Christ’s injunction to love thy neighbour as thyself – because actually, of course, people hate themselves. Or you could say that, given the way people treat one another, perhaps they had always loved their neighbours in the way they loved themselves.

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Ghosts of the Tsunami

Richard Lloyd Parry, 6 February 2014

I met a priest in the north of Japan who exorcised the spirits of people who had drowned in the tsunami.

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Sinking Giggling into the Sea

Jonathan Coe, 18 July 2013

Boris Johnson has become his own satirist, safe in the knowledge that the best way to make sure the satire aimed at you is gentle and unchallenging is to create it yourself.

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Among the Flutterers: The Pope Wears Prada

Colm Tóibín, 19 August 2010

In 1993 John McGahern wrote an essay called ‘The Church and Its Spire’, in which he considered his own relationship to the Catholic Church. He made no mention of the fact that he had,...

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The Uninvited: At The Rich Man’s Gate

Jeremy Harding, 3 February 2000

Refugees are not necessarily poor, but by the time they have reached safety, the human trafficking organisations on which they depend have eaten up much of their capital. In the course of excruciating journeys, mental and physiological resources are also expended – some of them non-renewable.

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Dynasty: Lacan and Co

Sherry Turkle, 6 December 1990

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...

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Fortress Freud

Mary-Kay Wilmers, 18 April 1985

Psychoanalysts have a difficult relationship with the rest of the world – or, as they sometimes call it, ‘the goyim’. Janet Malcolm’s two very striking books of reportage,...

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Is Michael Neve paranoid?

Michael Neve, 2 June 1983

‘Havelock Ellis has sent me the sixth volume of his studies, Sex in Relation to Society,’ Freud wrote to Jung, in late April 1910. ‘Unfortunately my receptivity is consumed by...

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The demarcated ring on the grassy plateau was from its outset about heaven, in the sense of afterlife. Was it always also about the heavens, in the sense of sky-watching? Can we rediscover how Stonehenge’s...

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That Ol’ Thumb: Hitchhiking

Mike Jay, 23 June 2022

‘Isn’t it dangerous?’ was always the first question you were asked by those who had never done it, but I don’t recall the issue ever coming up with fellow travellers. It was in everybody’s interest...

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In His White Uniform: Accidental Gods

Rosemary Hill, 10 February 2022

It was around 1977 that Prince Philip became aware that he was a god. It had happened three years earlier when the Britannia moored off the coast of Aneityum (in what is now Vanuatu). Jack Naiva, one of...

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On Giving Up

Adam Phillips, 6 January 2022

Just as people tend not to be mad but to be driven mad, people tend not to give up but to be forced into giving up. It is this that the tragic hero resists, and at great cost. 

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Diary: Epistemic Injustice

Bernadette Wren, 2 December 2021

If a whistle-blowing report on the Gender Identity Development Service at the Tavistock Clinic was needed, I wish I’d written it myself. It would have highlighted the isolation of a group of conscientious...

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What does Fluffy think? Pets with Benefits

Amia Srinivasan, 7 October 2021

Animal-human transgression is the fantastical norm in the dreamworld of myth, and operates still as a powerful symbol of the desire to reach beyond the confines of the possible or the acceptable. And yet,...

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People Like You: In Burnley

David Edgar, 23 September 2021

Mike Makin-Waite​, a militant anti-fascist, was working for the borough council in Burnley when, after riots in the town in 2001, it became a stronghold of the British National Party. On...

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Ghosting: Dead to the World

Hal Foster, 29 July 2021

How​ long can you be absent before you are declared dead? Do you have any civil rights during this interval – which some societies set at the biblical seven years – or are you merely the target of...

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On Being Left Out: On FOMO

Adam Phillips, 20 May 2021

Tragedies – which Freud uses to make sense of childhood experiences, never comedies – are about the tragic hero’s attempted self-cure for the ordeals of exclusion. Being left out begins as tragedy,...

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G&Ts on the Veranda: The Science of Man

Francis Gooding, 4 March 2021

The idea that racism is scientifically bogus, or that gender is neither binary nor fixed, or that all ways of living have their historical roots: these things eventually became axioms in the humanities...

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On the Barone

John Foot, 4 March 2021

In September​ the Uruguayan footballer Luis Suárez turned up at the Università per Stranieri in Perugia to take an Italian test. This tough language exam, a requirement for anybody...

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A Pie Every Night: Schizophrenia in the Family

Deborah Friedell, 18 February 2021

For researchers interested in schizophrenia, the Galvins seemed like a bonanza: figure out why six of the twelve children got sick, but not the other six, and maybe you could get somewhere. A pharmaceutical...

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In the late 1950s, the CIA’s schemes included using an aerosol to lace the air with LSD in the Havana studio where Fidel Castro made his radio broadcasts, sprinkl­ing Castro’s boots with thallium...

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The Head in the Shed: Reading Bones

Gavin Francis, 21 January 2021

When the police bring Sue Black a bag of bones and ask what she makes of them she starts out with four questions: Are they human? Are they of forensic interest? Who was this person? Do they tell us anything...

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The Limits of Caste

Hazel V. Carby, 21 January 2021

Race, Isabel Wilkerson claims, is ‘a recent phenomenon in human history’, deriving from the Spanish word raza (in the context of the Atlantic slave trade), and ‘caste’ the much older term. She...

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At the British Museum: Tantra

James Butler, 21 January 2021

It began​ with the beheading of a god. In a dispute over theological primacy, Brahma – traditionally identified as the creator – insulted Shiva. The offended deity poured all his...

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Twenty Types of Human: Among the Neanderthals

John Lanchester, 17 December 2020

That feeling of similar-but-not-quite is present all through the history of our engagement with the Neanderthals: when we look at them we are looking at a distorted reflection in a mirror. As with a mirror-gazer,...

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Mothers were different: The Breadwinner Norm

Susan Pedersen, 19 November 2020

Fathers sat down to a kipper or a boiled egg at breakfast (and gave one fav­oured child the top); their dependants ate porridge. Kind fathers sometimes shared tidbits; others avoided the whole drama and...

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