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The Chora

 

Disciplines > Psychoanalysis > Concepts > The Chora

Description | Discussion | See also

 

Description

The Chora is the initial state in a child's life where, between zero and about six months, it is driven by a chaotic mix of perceptions, feelings, and needs.

The self is not recognized as the child sense of being is blended into its world and mother in something close to a continuation of being in womb. There is no recognition of boundaries.

This stage is is closest to the Real, where basic life and death drives are the prime motivators.

Discussion

Kristeva's description of this early stage is similar to other descriptions such as the first part of Lacan's neonatal phase and Winnicott's undifferentiated unity.

French feminists use the chora to reject Lacan's claim that gender is defined through language and the symbolic register, highlighting it as a pre-Oedipal position from which identity can be spoken. The Chora is .experienced differently by males and females, thus creating gender difference.

The term 'semiotic' is often used either in tandem with 'chora' or sometimes as a replacement. It in particular forms an opposite to the 'symbolic' of the later symbolic register.

See also

Kristeva, The neonatal phase, Winnicott's development stages

 

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