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Rivalry

RIVALRY

Etymologically, the word rival refers to people who live by the river and draw their water from the same stream. From a psychoanalytic point of view, rivalry is not simply a struggle for possession of the object, but can also be understood as having sexual, identificatory, and narcissistic aspects.

The ensemble of partial drives directed toward the mother, once she is perceived as an object that is differentiated from the self, is accompanied by hostile rivalry toward the father. This oedipal rivalry is extended to the hostile relationships that occur among siblings.

The object of rivalry can change in relation to bisexuality. Wishes for the rival's death are repressed, and the formerly hated rival becomes a homosexual love-object. In "Neurotic Mechanisms in Jealousy, Paranoia and Homosexuality" (1922b), Sigmund Freud posited an analogy between this mechanism and the process that is the basis for social bonds: "In both processes, there is first the presence of jealous and hostile impulses which cannot achieve satisfaction; and both the affectionate and the social feelings of identification arise as reactive formations against the repressed aggressive impulses" (p. 232).

Freud thus attributed the decline of rivalry to repression, which results from the establishing of the superego and from the confrontation between hostile wishes and the child's impotence.

Rivalry creates a link of ambivalence between the subject and an other who can always become the subject's alter ego, because the object of desire is the same for both. Putting himself in the place of this other, the subject imagines himself as being dispossessed of a source of enjoyment (jouissance ) that tolerates no sharing. The subject's hatred is all the stronger because unconsciously, this struggle is for possession of an object that bears the narcissistic illusion of perfect continuity between self and other. The destructiveness of the tendency away from differentiation is thus transformed into hatred and suspended through triangulation.

Rivalry, which tends toward repetition and acquires its various layers through reaction formations, is one component in the structuring of human desire.

Steven Wainrib

See also: "Analysis of a Phobia in a Five-Year-Old Boy" (Little Hans); Anxiety; "Contributions to the Psychology of Love"; Counter-Oedipus; Dead mother complex; Examination dreams; Family romance; Forgetting; Masculine protest (individual psychology); Oedipus complex, early; Primitive horde; Wish for a baby; Wish/yearning.

Bibliography

Freud, Sigmund. (1909c). Family romances. SE, 9: 235-241.

(1922b). Neurotic mechanisms in jealousy, paranoia and homosexuality. SE, 18: 221-232.

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Rivalry

565. Rivalry

  1. Brom Bones and Ichabod Crane bully and show-off compete for Katrinas hand. [Am. Lit.: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow ]
  2. Capulets and Montagues bitter feud between these two houses leads to tragedy. [Br. Lit.: Romeo and Juliet ]
  3. Diomedes and Troilus rivals for hand of Cressida. [Br. Lit.: Troilus and Cressida ]
  4. Esau and Jacob struggled even in mothers womb. [O.T.: Genesis 25:22]
  5. Eteocles and Polynices brothers battle for Theban throne. [Gk. Lit.: Seven Against Thebes ]
  6. Gingham Dog and Calico Ca t stuffed animals eat each other up. [Am. Lit.: The Duel in Hollowell]
  7. Guelphs and Ghibellines perennial medieval Italian feuding political factions. [Ital. Hist.: Plumb, 4243]
  8. Hatfields and McCoys 19th-century mountain families carried on endless feud in southern U.S. [Am. Hist.: NCE, 942]
  9. Jets and Sharks teenage gangs fight for supremacy amid the New York tenements. [Am. Lit. and Cinema: West Side Story ]
  10. Kilkenny cats contentious felines fight to the death. [Nurs. Rhyme: Mother Goose ]
  11. Percys and Douglases the perennial Scottish border feud; recounted in famous ballad Chevy Chase. [Scot. Hist.: Payton, 141]
  12. Proitus and Acrisius fought in womb; contended for fathers realm. [Gk. Myth.: Gaster, 164]
  13. Richard the Lion-Hearted and Saladin Christian and Saracen leaders part friends after Crusade. [Br. Lit.: The Talisman ]
  14. Sohrab and Rustum champions of the Tartars and Persians, respectively, engage in mortal combat, unaware that one is the others son. [Br. Poetry: Arnold Sohrab and Rustum in Magill III, 1002]

Robbery (See THIEVERY .)

Rudeness (See COARSENESS .)

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rivalry

ri·val·ry / ˈrīvəlrē/ • n. (pl. -ries) competition for the same objective or for superiority in the same field: commercial rivalry | ethnic rivalries.

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"rivalry." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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rivalry

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