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The Wire: Sublimation and Reality

Grant number: 12/18416-6
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): December 01, 2012
Effective date (End): November 30, 2015
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Psychology - Social Psychology
Principal researcher:Joao Augusto Frayze-Pereira
Grantee:Camila Lousana Pavanelli de Lorenzi
Home Institution: Instituto de Psicologia (IP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


This research aims to jointly investigate the concepts of sublimation and reality, given their close connection. Sublimation implies socialization; as the sexual drive is transformed into a work of art or an artistic process, a transition from the individual psyche to the social world is always assumed. That is, sublimation implies the external world and otherness, notions that seem to be key in the elaboration of a concept of reality that does justice to the imbrication between internal and external world (WINNICOTT, 1871) and subject and object (MERLEAU-PONTY, 1945). The research has two objectives: to study the passage of a non-fiction narrative to a fiction one, mediated by the concept of sublimation; and to verify how this transformation is able to assist us in the assembling of a specifically psychoanalytical concept of reality. The TV series The Wire, chosen as the research's empirical field, addresses drug trafficking in the USA from a basic assumption about American reality: the "war on drugs" is actually a war against the poor. The Wire thus shows how poverty in the US stems from a wide range of social and psychosocial factors, such as unemployment, poor education and drug addiction. We have chosen to analyze this TV series because it is a fiction work based on two non-fiction books (The Corner and Homicide), which will assist us with our first objective; and also because the series is realist without being naturalistic (ZIZEK, 2012), which will assist us with our second objective. With such ends in view, we will proceed to a comparison between the TV series and the books on which it was partially based, confronting this analysis with an investigation of the psychoanalytic concepts.

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Academic Publications
(References retrieved automatically from State of São Paulo Research Institutions)
LORENZI, Camila Lousana Pavanelli de. Death drive in action: sublimation after The Wire. 2016. Doctoral Thesis - Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Instituto de Psicologia São Paulo.

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