Stalker, Hacker, Voyeur, Spy: A Psychoanalytic Study of Erotomania, Voyeurism, Surveillance, and Invasions of Privacy

Author(s) : Helen K. Gediman

Part of CIPS (Confederation of Independent Psychoanalytic Societies) Boundaries of Psychoanalysis series - more in this series

Stalker, Hacker, Voyeur, Spy: A Psychoanalytic Study of Erotomania, Voyeurism, Surveillance, and Invasions of Privacy

Book Details

  • Publisher : Karnac Books
  • Published : December 2016
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 244
  • Category :
    Psychoanalysis
  • Catalogue No : 37419
  • ISBN 13 : 9781782203513
  • ISBN 10 : 1782203516
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Stalking is a predatory form of terrorizing people. Whether the tormenting erotomanic pursuit by the unrequited lover of his or her prey, or the secretive invasive surveillance in government-backed counterterrorism, stalker and stalkee are ”coupled” in today’s world of idealized yet dissociated intrapsychic, interpersonal, national and international relations. “Cyberspace,” an unprecedented force for good, has become, along with more conventional venues, a fearsomely invasive stalking ground in private and public lives.

Psychoanalytic cases, psychoanalytically informed analyses of film portrayals, and accounts of erotomanic, celebrity, and internationally conspiratorial stalking illustrate the underpinnings and expand the meagre psychoanalytic literature on this topic. Film studies and psychoanalysis converge in a close look at voyeurism in stalking and in the acts of filming and film viewing. Gender differences among stalkers round out this picture.

Parallel processes in the minds, actions, and lives of stalker and stalkee are inevitable in the blurred boundaries yet ineluctable connection between victim and victimizer, whether due to merger fantasies, projective identifications or a host of other psychological links. This book extends and develops these ideas to similar relations between terrorism from within and terrorism from without in both sexual and surveillance stalking.

Reviews and Endorsements

‘In her latest book, psychoanalyst Helen K. Gediman bravely explores disparate forms of invasion of privacy. This is a phenomenon with vast psychological and social repercussions, and of momentous proportions in our age of cyberspace interactions and easily accessible multi-media communication. Making reference to the psychoanalytic idea of primal scene curiosity as a powerful metaphor, Gediman extends the concept of stalking to include different instances of its manifestation: from intrusive erotomanic voyeurism to government sanctioned surveillance activities. Convincingly supported by clinical vignettes and detailed descriptions of relevant films, Stalker, Hacker, Voyeur, Spy bridges the areas of sexuality and politics, revealing in the process significant similarities between the interpersonal and institutional dynamics of stalking. A fascinating and disturbing read.’
- Andrea Sabbadini, fellow of the British Psychoanalytical Society, and author of Boundaries and Bridges and Moving Images

‘Helen Gediman takes the reader on a journey through a world that has largely been neglected by psychoanalysts and other mental health professionals. The result is a compelling and absorbing read that is at once both scholarly and accessible to the lay reader. Her knowledge of film scholarship is just as impressive as her psychoanalytic expertise. The "snoops" that surround us are meticulously researched and brought to life in her lively prose. Readers will find themselves feeling a degree of identification with the voyeurs about whom Gediman writes as they become increasingly curious about this hidden world of the nosy and the obsessed. I highly recommend this book as a way of gaining a greater understanding about the disappearance of privacy in our transparent new world.'
- Glen O. Gabbard, MD, author of The Psychology of The Sopranos, and Boundaries and Boundary Violations in Psychoanalysis

‘Helen K. Gediman introduces us to the compelling voyeuristic and terrifying world of people invading the privacy of others. She alerts us to the ways that love, aggression, curiosity, and a quest for power unite to bring about threatening human interactions that are suffused with sadomasochism, and shows us how our advanced technologies are used in the service of this perversion, becoming its accomplice. The mental health field, film enthusiasts, and the general public will benefit from exploring this trenchant analysis.’
- Harriet I. Basseches, PhD, ABPP, FIPA, co-author of Battling the Life and Death Forces of Sadomasochism

‘Dr Gediman has written a groundbreaking book about a subject of critical importance to all of us. Hers is the first major psychoanalytic study of the phenomenon of stalking, a category of surveillance that implicates the entire spectrum of human motives. She spotlights its perverse roots by examining rich clinical and cinematic examples. This material is crucial to understanding the uses and abuses of personal information and as disturbing as the latest live news feeds. All this, she does in a book that manages to be both lucid and engrossing.’
- William Fried, PhD, author of Critical Flicker Fusion: Psychoanalysis at the Movies

About the Author(s)

Helen K.Gediman, PhD, ABPP, FIPA, is Adjunct Clinical Professor of Psychology at the New York University Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis, where she is also a Training and Supervising Psychoanalyst.She is a member and Training and Supervising Psychoanalyst at the Contemporary Freudian Society in both its New York City and Washington D.C. Programs. She is also a member of the Institute for Psychoanalytic Training and Research (IPTAR); the International Psychoanalytical Association (IPA); the Confederation of Independent Societies of the IPA (CIPS), and the American Psychoanalytic Association (APsaA), where she serves as a councillor on its Board of Directors as a delegate of Contemporary Freudians in APsaA (CFIA). Dr Gediman has published extensively in psychoanalytic journals and is the author of Fantasies of Love and Death in Life and Art, and co-author of Ego Functions in Schizophrenics, Neurotics and Normals (with Leopold Bellak and Marvin S. Hurvich) and The Many Faces of Deceit (with Janice S. Lieberman). She is in full time private practice in New York City.

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