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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Eye mySelf Yakimov, Christopher Doyle

Abstract

Eye mySelf is a narrative inquiry into the word "self" A discursive object (Danziger, 2003; Cushman, 1990), "self" saturates the everyday language of reflexivity and remains a familiar feature of psychological literature and therapy. I have become familiar with it in my own life: I have a Bachelor's degree in Psychology; I have participated in a year of Counselling Psychology coursework and supervised training; and from the age of two or three I participated in a therapeutic community, a community to which I belonged for close to 20 years. I know myself. Or do I? Do I know my "self"? How it works? What it does, or might do? I am suspicious. I think my "self" might be getting away with something, and I want to explore this suspicion. As a narrative inquiry into my own remembered experience of "self," this thesis explores language via language, and rests on Jacques Derrida's (1991, 2000) thought about signs, signatures, and testimony, Judith Butler's (2004) thought about how we might be given over to each other, and Michel Foucault's (1990) thought about discourse, confession, and sexuality. It is organized as a collection of pensées (Leggo, 1990) - thoughts, explorations, imaginings, wandering wonderings about "self" - with the hope of generating a salient and palpable resonance between the pieces (Heraclitus, 1987), a resonance of possibility for how "self" might work, what it might do, how it does you and I, your "I" and my "I", (or is that "eye"?), and what that might come to do to us. In line with Butler's (2004) conceptions of the body as that which bears the human, I want to evoke how it might feel to bear, perhaps by baring, a "self." I mean to arouse suspicion for this baring, for this "self," and its place. To this end, I eye my "self."

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