UBC Graduate Research

The shifting identity of the subject : a psychoanalytic inquiry Sarte, John


In this paper, I use psychoanalytic theory to re-consider the concept of identity. Using Lacanian psychoanalysis, I attempt to understand a subject’s shifting identity through the Imaginary, the Symbolic, and the Real. Thus, the subject’s identity (identification) becomes contingent on the ego, the big Other, intersubjectivity, and desire. I demonstrate how this psychoanalytic conception of identity can open up possibilities of inquiry into a teacher’s desire to learn. Some possible questions include: How are identity and desire related? In what ways can narratives be generated to study the desire to learn? Who is and what is the role of the research subject/researcher? [The Explorations & Education Conference is the collaborative effort of graduate student representatives from the Graduate Student Council for the Faculty of Education, the Department of Educational Studies and the Department of Curriculum and Pedagogy. The goal is to "to create a safe space for the exchange of academic ideas and to create opportunities particularly for graduate students (at all levels of study) to present their ideas and research".]

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