moral masochism


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moral masochism

The unconscious need by a person to seek verbal abuse or castigation from another through extreme passiveness, subservience to the demands of others, or provocation of negative reactions in others. Moral masochism is attributed to unresolved conflicts in childhood.

moral masochism

Psychology The need by a person to seek verbal abuse or castigation from another through extreme passiveness, subservience to the demands of others, or provocation of negative reactions in others; MM is attributed to unresolved conflicts in childhood. See Masochism.
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This distinction implies that, in the instance of excessive moral inhibition, a sadistic desire to punish is experienced by the subject as stemming from the super-ego and that it is experienced consciously as a mode of domination, which leads to severe inhibition; in contrast, in the case of moral masochism the desire to be punished issues unconsciously from the ego, which is to say, that the subject does not recognize or cannot avow his or her enjoyment of suffering and punishment.
Bersani brings psychoanalysis and Bataille together, writing: "From the Freudian perspective, we might say that Bataille reformulates this self-shattering into the sexual as a kind of nonanecdotal self-debasement, as a masochism to which the melancholy of the post-Oedipal super-ego's moral masochism is wholly alien, and in which, so to speak, the self is exuberantly discarded.
2 He also considered moral masochism as driven by the Oedipus complex, so it was inherently sexual in its origins at least.