Interpreting a Grimace of Fear in the Context of Play: between Bowlby and Deleuze

Robbie Duschinsky

Chair: Monica Greco, Department Sociology, Goldsmiths.

Respondent: Patricio Rojas, Department of Sociology, Goldsmiths.

View a paper by Patricio Rojas here: Rojas, P – The Uses of Attachement (PDF download)

This seminar will critically explore the politics of knowledge in contemporary attachment theory, with a focus on the status of ‘disorganised/disoriented’ child behaviours recorded on film in the Ainsworth Strange Situation Procedure. In the course of this exploration, John Bowlby and Gilles Deleuze will be discovered as strange allies in conceptualising primate infants as machines of movement and desire. An integration of their insights will be used to analyse the intersection of expressions of play and fear in the Strange Situation, and to argue against widespread perspectives regarding the epistemological and political commitments of attachment research. On the way, the seminar will address the relationship between conceptual categories and visual media, between theory and clinical and welfare practice, and between conservatism and centrifugal political forces.

Bio: Dr Robbie Duschinsky is Reader in Psychology & Society at Northumbria University, and Visiting Lecturer in Psychoanalysis at UCL. His research uses sociological methods to explore issues of psychological classification in social policy, professional practice and in psychiatric discourses. He has published in journals such as Philosophy,the Journal of Social Policy, Sociology, the European Journal of Social Work, and Review of General Psychology.

View a paper by Duschinsky here: Duschinsky, R – Filming Disorganised Attachement (PDF Download)