Das Übergangssubjekt. Störung in Transiträumen

Manfred Schneider

Abstract


This paper introduces the concept of a “transitional subject”. It is the name for a new cultural type by reference to Donald Winnicotts famous concept of a “transitional object”. Such an object, a teddy bear or a piece of cloth, allows an infant to let go of the mother and to develop a more independent existence. Being transformed into a mental structure the transitional object enables the imagination of the child to create new things. The “transitional subject” however concerns the imagination of the present security-institutions. Any passenger, customer or visitor of the cyberspace leaves his data at airports, railway stations, public spaces etc. and allows secret services to establish a database to profile disquieting persons. Following David Riesman’s analyses of different cultural types, the tradition-directed, the inner-directed und the other-directed, the transitional subject is data-directed. In comparison with tradition-directed protagonists like the pilgrims in Dante’s Divina Commedia or the inner-directed wanderer Jean-Jacques Rousseau, the transitional subject like the disquieter Edward Snowdon is described as a data-directed multi mobile passenger in transit spaces. However, the legal fictions of modern states force this representative of our political reality to carry the mask of the 18th century.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.6094/behemoth.2016.9.1.892