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reaction formation Line breaks: re|ac¦tion for|ma¦tion

Definition of reaction formation in English:


[mass noun] Psychoanalysis
The tendency of a repressed wish or feeling to be expressed at a conscious level in a contrasting form: repressed homosexuality can develop into paranoia via the operation of the defence mechanisms of reaction formation and projection [count noun]: shamelessness is a reaction formation against shame, a defiant attempt to overcome a profound inner fear of weakness
More example sentences
  • There seems a quality of reaction formation suggesting, not surprisingly, that these scientists were struggling with themselves as much as with Müller, their teacher.
  • The psychoanalytic tradition of masquerade began with Joan Riviere's conception of womanliness as reaction formation in the aftermath of the intellectual woman's theft of masculinity.
  • By acknowledging the interramification of technology and the lived body, bodily integrity is undermined, and the desire for wholeness is figured as ‘a kind of reaction formation to this instability’.

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