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The walls within: working with defenses against otherness

Online Conference 5-11 July 2021

Desconfianza para el lucro: el caso de los traders en las instituciones bancarias chilenas

Beginning with an ethnographic study, carried out between 2005 and 2008, we will analyse, from a Lacanian psychoanalytic perspective, the problem of trust between traders, workers of the trading floors of the Chilean banks. From a Lacanian perspective, we can understand trust as a kind of bond with another, given under conditions of symbolic regulation. It is worth noting that in such inter-subjective interchanges there is a regulation of the jouisannce (enjoyment) allowing the subjects to establish relationships in agreement with the guarantees and limits that their entry into the language give. When the interchanges are not found to be symbolically regulated there is no acceptance of the fundamental prohibitions of the culture and it is possible to find relationships of abuse, where the other is seen not as a subject of desire, but as an instrument the others jouissance, where the usurpation of the body of the other, and violence, is possible. In arbitrary relationships the mechanisms of recognition become altered and lead to distrust. Trust is built according these rules. According to Cristophe Dejours, in a working context trust is built with regard to the rules of work, not only of those that are written and explicit but also to those tacit rules constructed when relating to others. Through our ethnographic study of trading floors, the way in which the rules are put in place are analysed and how the subjects relate to each other allowing for, or indeed prohibiting, bonds of trust. We were able to observe that the relationships within a trading room, rather than being relationships of trust, were relationships of competition. On the trading floor a struggle for recognition developed, based on comparison and appraisal between pars reminiscent of the test of masculinity described by Lacan with respect to masculine sexuation.It is interesting to note that the organisation participates in the production of this internal competition via a role played by the boss in the administration of incentive and prohibition. What this boss allows through incentive and prohibition are the margins of action and possibility of subjective recognition. In this sense the boss becomes the father in such that he not only distributes the right of jouissance amongst his children but also allows identification.