The systemic challenges facing the contemporary world. What semiotic-based psychoanalytic psychology can do and why

Sergio Salvatore


Contemporary societies are marked by deep socio-economic and institutional changes that have raised a plurality of challenges. The main thesis of this contribution is that psychology, and more specifically a semiotic-based psychoanalytic psychology, can provide a relevant contribution to the challenges contemporary societies are facing with. The paper highlights that this is due to two structural characteristics of the new scenario: a) social phenomena are intrinsically affective and b) they have a systemic dimension. Accordingly to these characteristics, an interpretive framework is provided, lying on the general psycho-cultural tenet which states that any behavior is not merely the effect of the environmental state, but even the consequence of the mediation of its interpretation by the social actor. Semiotic-based psychoanalytic theory complements this psycho-cultural tenet with the corollary claiming that the interpretation performed by social actors is grounded in and channeled by affect-laden generalized meanings that are active within the cultural milieu. Methodological implications from the interpretative framework are drawn as to how the psychology can contribute to address the systemic challenges.


semiotic-based psychoanalysis, systemic challenges

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ISSN: 2035-4630, Open-acess, peer-reviewed Journal, Tribunale di Roma 142/09, 04/05/09 - dir. responsabile: G. Colajacomo

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