The Connection between Individual and Social Psychology

Feature section “Subjectivity and Political Dimension”
The Relevance of the Notion of Figure when Assessing Discrimination
By Pascale Baligand

Based on a collective project centred on the access to healthcare for foreign patients or patients considered as such, the article proposes to assess psychoanalysis' contribution to the study of discrimination. The author opens a discussion on the terms used by caregivers during qualitative interviews, bearing in mind such terms are traditionally identified by social psychology as stereotypes and prejudices. Drawing on the works of various theorists on the subject of presentability (Freud, Kahn) and figures (Lyotard, Didi-Huberman), the author seeks to consider these terms as figures insofar as they are similar to composite, concrete, and pictorial figures in the dream process (Freud), implementing various individual and collective temporalities. This approach highlights the value of focusing on presentation as well as representation in addressing the question of discriminations, foregrounding the notion of figure to re-examine the links between individual psychology and social psychology with psychoanalytic theory.


  • figure
  • psychoanalysis
  • stereotype
  • discrimination
  • access to healthcare
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