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Felix Brauner: Mentalisieren und Fremden­feindlichkeit

Reviewed by Prof. Dr. phil. Barbara Wedler, 2019-03-22

Cover Felix Brauner: Mentalisieren und Fremden­feindlichkeit ISBN 978-3-8379-2770-2

Felix Brauner: Mentalisieren und Fremdenfeindlichkeit. Psychoanalyse und Kritische Theorie im Paradigma der Intersubjektivität. Psychosozial-Verlag GmbH & Co. KG (Gießen) 2018. 313 pages. ISBN 978-3-8379-2770-2. D: 36,90 EUR, A: 38,00 EUR.
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There is a detailed German review for this work. Read here


The author approaches the highly topical issue of xenophobia. Brauner brings together concepts and theories of modern psychoanalysis with ideas of critical theory. The focus is on mentalization theory. As the core of the problem of xenophobia, the author identifies the over-identification with the ethnic or national self-group, which is due to early childhood experiences. With this study among others sociological, economic and above all populist explanations of xenophobia are being supplemented or absurdly led. The underlying approaches of Critical Theory since its inception as well as the intersubjective psychoanalysis are complemented by research results from the neighboring sciences. Thanks to the footnotes and various excursuses, the theoretical explanations are supplemented. Nevertheless, readers are sometimes faced with the challenge of becoming acquainted with various theories, for example the approximation theory, to fully understand the author's deductions. Also, due to the writing style (long multi-clause sentences) and the specifics of the study, this textbook will be presumably read by professionals and students. But for this target group it is a treasure trove of knowledge and cognition!


F. Brauner presents a very sophisticated textbook. Psychotherapists, social scientists and practitioners find answers to questions about xenophobia (in Germany). The recourse to the critical theory in conjunction with modern psychoanalysis expands current theoretical discourses, but at the same time requires a certain amount of previous knowledge in these branches of science from the recipient. However, scientific explanations for xenophobia are only the beginning of the practice-oriented examination of this phenomenon. The creative implementation of the findings of this textbook is probably the biggest challenge for the readers. „Mentalization and xenophobia“ is a very profound work that brings together psyche and society and gives readers the freedom to integrate the knowledge of xenophobia into their (professional) life.

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Prof. Dr. phil. Barbara Wedler

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Barbara Wedler, 2019. Review of: Felix Brauner: Mentalisieren und Fremdenfeindlichkeit. Psychoanalyse und Kritische Theorie im Paradigma der Intersubjektivität. Psychosozial-Verlag GmbH & Co. KG 2018. ISBN 978-3-8379-2770-2. In: socialnet Reviews, 2019-03-22. ISSN 2190-9245. Retrieved 2022-09-30 from

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