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Conversion

CONVERSION

The term "conversion" and its definition appear for the first time in an 1894 article by Freud titled "The Neuro-Psychoses of Defense." "In hysteria the incompatible idea rendered innocuous by its sum of excitation being transformed into something somatic, for this I should like to propose the name of conversion ....By this means the ego succeeds in freeing itself from the contradiction [with which it is confronted]; but instead, it has burdened itself with a mnemic symbol which finds a lodgement in consciousness, like a sort of parasite, either in the form of an unresolvable motor innervation or as a constantly recurring hallucinatory sensation" (1894a, p. 49). In the Freudian terminology of the time, an "irreconcilable" idea is a desire that is incompatible with the subject's moral ideals and consequently condemned and most often rendered unconscious.

Consequently, the concept is, from the beginning, located along the three axes that will structure all Freudian metapsychology: dynamic through the reference to "contradiction," which will later be theorized as "conflict"; topographical through the reference to the unconscious, which is still only allusive but will quickly assume major importance; and economic through the idea of a displacement of the energy (this will later become the libido) of the mind to the body. From this Freud draws a therapeutic conclusion: "Breuer's cathartic method lies in leading back the excitation in this way from the somatic to the psychical sphere deliberately, and in then forcibly bringing about a settlement of the contradiction by means of thought-activity and a discharge of the excitation by talking" (1894a, p. 50).

Freud initially considered the mechanisms of conversion to be specific to hysteria, unlike the other defensive psychoneuroses (obsessions and phobias). There would be a predisposition to hysteria for reasons he believes are probably constitutional, through what he refers to as "somatic compliance" in the Dora case (1905e). However, the "choice of neurosis," a problem to which he often returned, here finds only its modalities of realization; to these fundamental conditions must be added "trigger factors" rooted in personal history (childhood traumas such as early "seduction" experiences, that is, sexual assaults initiated by adults). This is Freud's position during the first period of his career. Later, in 1915, he distinguished "conversion hysteria," which used this mechanism to produce symptoms, from "anxiety hysteria," dominated by phobic mechanisms but without being accompanied by any conversion phenomena (1915d). He also acknowledged that minor conversion phenomena can be found in situations other than so-called conversion hysteria (1916-17a).

It is important to remember that Freud quickly established the necessity of distinguishing psychoneurosesto which hysteria belongsfrom actual neuroses (neurasthenia, anxiety neurosis, hypochondria), whose source is not found in infantile conflicts but in current disturbances of the sexual function (1898a). In such cases the accumulation of sexual excitation that has not been released or has been released by unsatisfactory means (coitus interruptus, masturbation, and so on) is reflected in anxiety and somatic symptoms (these views were modified in Inhibitions, Symptoms, and Anxiety, 1926d), but without the symbolic dimension inherent in conversion phenomena.

While the notion "actual neurosis" went into a long decline, modern work in psychosomatic medicine has given it new currency. It is used to describe somatic disturbances, often serious, that appear to arise from a form of interaction between mind and body where energy "passes directly" from the mind to somatic functions without symbolic mediation, that is, without "mentalization" of the psychoneuroses (Marty, 1980).

Roger Perron

See also: Cäcilie M., case of; Elisabeth von R., case of; "Fragment of an Analysis of a Case of Hysteria" (Dora/Ida Bauer); Hysteria; Hysterical paralysis; Innervation; Katharina, case of; Neurosis; Psychosomatic; Psychosomatic limit/boundary; Psychogenic blindness; Repression; Somatic compliance; Stammering; Studies on Hysteria ; Sum of excitation; Symptom; Tics.

Bibliography

Freud, Sigmund. (1894a). The neuro-psychoses of defence. SE, 3: 45-61.

. (1905e). Fragment of an analysis of a case of hysteria (Dora/Ida Bauer). SE, 7: 7-122.

. (1915d). Repression. SE, 14: 146-158.

. (1916-17a). Introductory lectures on psychoanalysis. SE, 15-16.

Marty, Pierre. (1980). Les mouvements individuels de vie et de mort (Vol. II, L 'Ordre psychosomatique ). Paris: Payot.

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"Conversion." International Dictionary of Psychoanalysis. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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Conversion

CONVERSION

Any unauthorized act that deprives an owner of personal property without his or her consent.

The wrongdoer converts the goods to his or her own use and excludes the owner from use and enjoyment of them. The English common law early recognized such an act as wrongful and, by the middle of the fifteenth century, allowed an action in trover to compensate the aggrieved owner.

The earliest cases allowing a lawsuit for conversion were based on claims that the plaintiff had possession of certain items of personal property, then casually lost them, and the defendant had found them and had not returned them but instead "converted them to his own use." This phrase was picked up, and it gave a name to a tort that originally was a kind of action on the case, a form of trespass. As time passed, the plea that the plaintiff had lost his or her goods and the defendant had found them came to be considered a legal fiction (that is, a decision was made in the case as if the plea were true, and it did not have to be proved). The defendant was not allowed to dispute the allegations but could answer only the claim that the plaintiff had a right to possession of the goods and the defendant had refused to restore them to the plaintiff.

Today the word conversion is still applied to the unlawful taking or use of someone else's property. The type of property that can be converted is determined by the original nature of the cause of action. It must be personal property, because real property cannot be lost and then found. It must be tangible, such as money, an animal, furniture, tools, or receipts. Crops or timber can be subject to conversion after they are severed from the ground. The rights in a paper—such as a life insurance policy, a stock certificate, or a promissory note—can be converted by one who appropriates the paper itself.

A thief, a trespasser, or a bailee may be guilty of conversion because the action may be maintained whether or not the property was lawfully acquired at the outset. For example, a dry cleaner who mistakenly delivers a suit to the wrong customer has converted it. Moving some-one's property without his or her permission might constitute a conversion if the inconvenience is substantial: for example, having some-one's car towed away in order to take the parking place. Unauthorized use is a conversion—such as a mechanic who, without permission, borrows a sports car that he or she is supposed to repair. Misuse of property can also be a conversion. If a neighbor lends his or her hedge trimmer to a friend, it is a conversion for the friend to use the hedge trimmer to cut down a tree.

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"Conversion." West's Encyclopedia of American Law. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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CONVERSION

CONVERSION [BrE], functional shift [AmE], also zero derivation. The use of a WORD that is normally one part of speech or word class as another part of speech, without any change in form: access, usually a noun, as a verb in You can access the information any time; author in They co-authored the book. Such shifts are impossible in highly inflected languages like Latin, which require a formal change, but are common in analytic languages like English. English love is both noun and verb, but in Latin the noun is amor, the verb amare. Conversion has for centuries been a common means of extending the resources of English and creating dramatic effects: ‘The hearts that spaniel'd me at heels’ (SHAKESPEARE, Antony and Cleopatra, 4. 13). Etymologically, such words as bang, crash, splash, thump were once primarily nouns or verbs, but functionally they favour neither word class. The process has been described as derivation without a change of form (zero derivation), but because no new word is formed it can equally well be regarded as syntactic (many words are not tied to one grammatical role) or semantic (as a sense relation on a par with synonymy).

It is often said that ‘there is no noun in English that can't be verbed’: bag a prize, doctor a drink, position a picture with care, soldier on regardless. However, some factors appear to get in the way of complete freedom to convert: (1) Morphology. It is unlikely that such a verb as organize will shift, because of its verbal suffix: no *Let's have an organize. (2) Inertia. Such a verb/noun contrast as believe/belief is unlikely to be overturned: no *This is one of my believes. (3) Utility. In law, there may be no need for jury to be other than a noun: no *I've juried several times. However, such a use cannot be ruled out. Striking one-off shifts often occur in fiction and journalism: ‘I decided she looked like the vamp in those marvellous Hollywood westerns, the lady who goes hipping and thighing through the saloon’ ( Susan Howatch, The Wheel of Fortune, 1984); ‘A formidable battery of legal grandees m'ludded and m'learned friended it out before Mr Justice Butt’ ( J. Keates, Observer, 18 June 1989). See JOURNALESE.

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Conversion

Conversion. Conversion is a process common to all religions in its preliminary sense of ‘conversion of manners’—i.e. the turning of one's life more deliberately toward the goals of the religion in question. But conversion also has a stronger sense, namely, the transfer of a person (or group of people) from one religion to another, or from no religion to belief. Conversion in that stronger sense is an extremely complex phenomenon, having a different status and priority in different religions. Judaism, for example, became highly resistant to seeking converts, not least because Judaism is a particular vocation to one people, and gentiles are already members of the Noachide covenant, and have no need to undertake the laws of Torah in addition.

In some religions the imperative to convert others is non-negotiable. In Christianity it is tied to the view that there is no other way to salvation (John 14. 6). Such conversion involves baptism. In a comparable way, Muslims are under obligation to make known the will and the way of Allāh, revealed in the Qurʾān; yet ‘There is no compulsion in religion’ (Quʾān 2. 256/7), and Muslims recognize that the People of the Book (Ahl al-Kitāb) should be treated with respect, and that they are not obliged to convert to Islam.

The psychology and neurophysiology of conversion are understood, as yet, only in very preliminary ways. At one extreme, the techniques associated with the term brain-washing were explored in connection with religious conversion by W. Sargant, Battle For the Mind (1957). At the other extreme, conversion may be undramatic and a consequence of a long process of reflection. Between the two is the phenomenon of ‘snapping’, in which a convert to one religion or religious movement is precipitated into several others in rapid succession.

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"Conversion." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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conversion

con·ver·sion / kənˈvərzhən/ • n. 1. the act or an instance of converting or the process of being converted: the conversion of food into body tissues. ∎  the fact of changing one's religion or beliefs or the action of persuading someone else to change theirs. ∎  Christian Theol. repentance and change to a godly life. ∎  the adaptation of a building for a new purpose. ∎ Brit. a building or part of a building that has been adapted in this way. ∎  Law the changing of real into personal property, or of joint into separate property, or vice versa. ∎  Psychiatry the manifestation of a mental disturbance as a physical disorder or disease. ∎  Logic the transposition of the subject and predicate of a proposition according to certain rules to form a new proposition by inference. 2. Football the act of scoring an extra point or points after having scored a touchdown. ∎  the act of gaining a first down. 3. Law the action of wrongfully dealing with goods in a manner inconsistent with the owner's rights. 4. Physics the change in a quantity's numerical value as a result of using a different unit of measurement.

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conversion

conversion (kŏn-ver-shŏn) n. (in psychiatry) the expression of conflict as physical symptoms.

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conversion

conversion, in psychology: see defense mechanism; hysteria.

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conversion

conversionashen, fashion, passion, ration •abstraction, action, attraction, benefaction, compaction, contraction, counteraction, diffraction, enaction, exaction, extraction, faction, fraction, interaction, liquefaction, malefaction, petrifaction, proaction, protraction, putrefaction, redaction, retroaction, satisfaction, stupefaction, subtraction, traction, transaction, tumefaction, vitrifaction •expansion, mansion, scansion, stanchion •sanction •caption, contraption •harshen, Martian •cession, discretion, freshen, session •abjection, affection, circumspection, collection, complexion, confection, connection, convection, correction, defection, deflection, dejection, detection, direction, ejection, election, erection, genuflection, imperfection, infection, inflection, injection, inspection, insurrection, interconnection, interjection, intersection, introspection, lection, misdirection, objection, perfection, predilection, projection, protection, refection, reflection, rejection, resurrection, retrospection, section, selection, subjection, transection, vivisection •exemption, pre-emption, redemption •abstention, apprehension, ascension, attention, circumvention, comprehension, condescension, contention, contravention, convention, declension, detention, dimension, dissension, extension, gentian, hypertension, hypotension, intention, intervention, invention, mention, misapprehension, obtention, pension, prehension, prevention, recension, retention, subvention, supervention, suspension, tension •conception, contraception, deception, exception, inception, interception, misconception, perception, reception •Übermenschen • subsection •ablation, aeration, agnation, Alsatian, Amerasian, Asian, aviation, cetacean, citation, conation, creation, Croatian, crustacean, curation, Dalmatian, delation, dilation, donation, duration, elation, fixation, Galatian, gyration, Haitian, halation, Horatian, ideation, illation, lavation, legation, libation, location, lunation, mutation, natation, nation, negation, notation, nutation, oblation, oration, ovation, potation, relation, rogation, rotation, Sarmatian, sedation, Serbo-Croatian, station, taxation, Thracian, vacation, vexation, vocation, zonation •accretion, Capetian, completion, concretion, deletion, depletion, Diocletian, excretion, Grecian, Helvetian, repletion, Rhodesian, secretion, suppletion, Tahitian, venetian •academician, addition, aesthetician (US esthetician), ambition, audition, beautician, clinician, coition, cosmetician, diagnostician, dialectician, dietitian, Domitian, edition, electrician, emission, fission, fruition, Hermitian, ignition, linguistician, logician, magician, mathematician, Mauritian, mechanician, metaphysician, mission, monition, mortician, munition, musician, obstetrician, omission, optician, paediatrician (US pediatrician), patrician, petition, Phoenician, physician, politician, position, rhetorician, sedition, statistician, suspicion, tactician, technician, theoretician, Titian, tuition, volition •addiction, affliction, benediction, constriction, conviction, crucifixion, depiction, dereliction, diction, eviction, fiction, friction, infliction, interdiction, jurisdiction, malediction, restriction, transfixion, valediction •distinction, extinction, intinction •ascription, circumscription, conscription, decryption, description, Egyptian, encryption, inscription, misdescription, prescription, subscription, superscription, transcription •proscription •concoction, decoction •adoption, option •abortion, apportion, caution, contortion, distortion, extortion, portion, proportion, retortion, torsion •auction •absorption, sorption •commotion, devotion, emotion, groschen, Laotian, locomotion, lotion, motion, notion, Nova Scotian, ocean, potion, promotion •ablution, absolution, allocution, attribution, circumlocution, circumvolution, Confucian, constitution, contribution, convolution, counter-revolution, destitution, dilution, diminution, distribution, electrocution, elocution, evolution, execution, institution, interlocution, irresolution, Lilliputian, locution, perlocution, persecution, pollution, prosecution, prostitution, restitution, retribution, Rosicrucian, solution, substitution, volution •cushion • resumption • München •pincushion •Belorussian, Prussian, Russian •abduction, conduction, construction, deduction, destruction, eduction, effluxion, induction, instruction, introduction, misconstruction, obstruction, production, reduction, ruction, seduction, suction, underproduction •avulsion, compulsion, convulsion, emulsion, expulsion, impulsion, propulsion, repulsion, revulsion •assumption, consumption, gumption, presumption •luncheon, scuncheon, truncheon •compunction, conjunction, dysfunction, expunction, function, junction, malfunction, multifunction, unction •abruption, corruption, disruption, eruption, interruption •T-junction • liposuction •animadversion, aspersion, assertion, aversion, Cistercian, coercion, conversion, desertion, disconcertion, dispersion, diversion, emersion, excursion, exertion, extroversion, immersion, incursion, insertion, interspersion, introversion, Persian, perversion, submersion, subversion, tertian, version •excerption

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"conversion." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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