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Effects of colonial slavery on the role of the father on Reunion Island

An article written by David GOULOIS, Doctor in Psychology, Clinical Psychologist, Psycho-pathologist.


18- Saint-Denis, Reunion – Rivière des Pluies – a hut in the shadow of coconut palms. 1950s. Photograph. Léon Dierx art gallery, Hibon de Frohen collection ME.2020.1.50.13

Here we question the paternal function on Reunion Island. We think that the societal context of yesterday and today has shaped one “to be a father” which is not without psychopathological consequences on the family life: slavery will have caused the absence of the father and his law, both cause and consequence of a matrifocality transmitted trans-generationally. We propose a reading of the problematic from the ethno-psychoanalytic point of view.

Keys words:
slavely – paternity – matrifocality – violence – Reunion Island- ethnopsychoanalysis

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