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Between oneself and the other – Alterity as a passer Volume 89, issue 6, Juin-Juillet 2013

Author
Professeur agrégé, départements de psychiatrie et d’anthropologie, Université McGill ; chercheur émérite, Centre universitaire en santé mentale Douglas, Montréal, Canada, Psychanalyste, membre de la Société psychanalytique de Montréal ; 3461 Jeanne Mance, Montréal (QC) H2X 2J7, Canada

As the world today is under constant pressure to accept uniform homogenization, the author draws attention to the major significance of the role played by the other in the relationship with others and to oneself, particularly in the field of mental health. This otherness, or alterity, is used in dimensions where various approaches or disciplines permit to achieve an improved perspective. The author illustrates some figures based on trajectory research and practice in different fields: i.e., research with individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia, in Montreal and India, as well as anthropological studies in Africa and India, and a psychoanalytical clinic. Alterity appears to unfold into two dimensions: horizontal and vertical, which significantly contributes to the human fabric in individuals.