Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Black Holes of Beirut: An Investigation of the Cultural, Liminal and Psychic Spaces of a Political Hostage
by Kilgour, Carol L., Ph.D., Pacifica Graduate Institute, 2015, 260; 3718000
Abstract (Summary)

The emergence of globalization has resulted in the formation of what Hardt and Negri (2001) term “Empire,” a regime of governance without territorial or temporal boundaries operating on all registers of life, from the level of political regulation down to the internalized level of self-regulation by an individual. This work posits that although Empire may be distinctive in its unbounded character and lacking an “outside,” voids, characterized as black holes, exist within Empire that haunt the spatial totality. Such geographical, physical and psychic black holes evoke uncanny sensations within the body.

Utilizing the argument that culture permeates individuals and informs how they conceive of themselves, the world, and others, the work adopted a complexity sensibility in the study of the black hole systems in an attempt to integrate the introspective, the interpersonal, intercultural, and international experiences that constitute a global existence.

The culturally contextualized complex depth psychological analysis of psychosis experienced during catastrophic psychic trauma undertaken in this work offered a more nuanced understanding to a traditional psychiatric interpretation. Having become aware of the complex cultural manifestations of psychosis, this work explored psychosis as a window through which the strangeness of unconscious functioning can be observed.

This dissertation examined the lived experience of a former hostage in war torn Lebanon using a hermeneutic design. The ordeal of being abducted from a geographic black hole (Lebanon) into a terrorist black hole, incarcerated within a physical black hole (solitary confinement) and the subsequent descent into a psychic black hole (psychosis) was investigated by viewing the geographical, terrorist, liminal, and psychic spaces through a complex depth psychological lens.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Sipiora, Michael
Commitee: Schenk, Ronald, Van Eenwyk, John
School: Pacifica Graduate Institute
Department: Clinical Psychology
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 76/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Social psychology, Middle Eastern Studies, Clinical psychology
Keywords: Globalization, Hostage crisis, Lebanon, Panopticism, Psychosis, Solitary confinement
Publication Number: 3718000
ISBN: 978-1-321-97660-1
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