TU145: Class, Race, Culture and Attachment, Re-examined

by | Apr 27, 2021 | Attachment, Brain Science, Episodes, modern attachment regulation spectrum, racism, Sexuality & Gender | 0 comments

Show Notes

Is what we call attachment security yet another form of privilege? Gulp.

If you are marginalized and feel you can add substance to this conversation of class, race, culture, and attachment, please contact us!   We can publish your written word, highlight your work, pass on your perspective or potentially… have you on as a guest.  We and our incredible audience want to listen and learn.

With deep respect for the scholars, clinicians, and scientists that have cumulatively developed one of the most solid lines of empirically supported psychological theory in human history, we trust that these are questions those who came before us have previously welcomed and would continue to encourage.  By definition, we cannot know what is unconsciously affecting our perceptions, interpretations, and experienced-based assumptions.  Implicit bias is real though, and it is our absolute responsibility to vet it out and question what we think we know. Our deep hope is that the re-examination of this line of exploration serves to refine, add dimension and thus embolden attachment theory, not diminish it.

Given what those of us in the dominant cultures are only slowly consciously realizing, it is extremely hard to see what we don't perceive.  Questioning one's relationship with parents can be offensive to some, and not having enough humility and shame can be detrimental in some cultures, ie. the opposite of insecurity.  Working to escape our embedded cultural and experience-based assumptions about what constitutes maternal sensitivity, security and human attachment disorder is not an act, or a podcast, or a moment, but a permanent stance.

It's a WEIRD problem (Western, educated, industrialized, rich and developed) and has perpetuated marginalization and exclusion of those that are different. Don't underestimate the impact of class, culture and race.

In this episode, Sue Marriott and Ann Kelley continue to explore how class, culture, and race impact the path of psychotherapy, especially when it comes to attachment.  They discuss how socioeconomic status (SES) by itself affects human development, (non-gendered) patriarchal assumptions, cultural variations especially related to individualistic versus communal cultures, epigenetics of racial violence and child development impacts of First People's cultural annihilation,

By 2 years of age, the simple fact of income disparity is a huge factor affeting the total surface area of your brain (more is better). The less reliable income or family wealth, the greater the statistical difference.  Complex language exposure and stress are huge variables, and teasing apart that and attachment science is complex.

They discuss patriarchy, racial inequality, collectivist versus individualistic cultures, poverty and class – HUGE topics that we too often change check-out lines to avoid awkwardness and the fears of saying the wrong thing or offending someone.  Sue and Ann chose to mess up, unintentionally offend and feel scared and insecure in their words for the greater goal of engaging in conversation and stimulating thinking on how Western white wealthy privilege impacts attachment science and our views on healthy child development overall.

NOTE: As the hosts of Therapist Uncensored we are middle-aged, educated, white, cis-women.  We both mostly identify as gay but can pass even when we don't mean to.  Even though we like to see ourselves as outsiders, we are decidedly not.  We are wealthy relative to the world, have the massive privilege of the mic for a Top 10 show on iTunes with almost 2 million downloads so our voice is ridiculously and undeservedly amplified over other voices. We hope to use our privilege to share the science of relating to those who would otherwise not ever have access and to amplify voices and perspectives that might otherwise not be heard.  We love our collective community of professional mental health providers but don't limit our programming to therapists only because we know healers come in all forms and not everyone has access or desire to getting letters behind your name.

If your voice has been marginalized and feel you can add substance to this conversation of class, race, culture and attachment, please contact us  – we can publish your written word, highlight your website, discuss your work, or potentially have you on as a guest.  We and our audience want to listen and learn.

EVEN MORE Resources on class, culture and race:

Parenting and Preschooler Attachment Among Low-income Urban African American Families  by Barnett et all

Keeping Culture in Mind: Mentalizing from a Cross-Cultural Perspective

Is Attachment Theory Consistent with Aboriginal Parenting Realities? Raymond Neckowaya, Keith Brownlee, and Bruno Castellana https://fncaringsociety.com/sites/default/files/online-journal/vol3num2/Neckoway_Brownlee_Castellan_pp65.pdf

APA Deep Poverty Initiative Challenge: https://www.apa.org/about/governance/president/deep-poverty-challenge

Best Practices in Conceptualizing and Measuring Social Class in Psychological Research by Matthew A. Diemer, Rashmita S. Mistry, Martha E. Wadsworth, Irene Lopez, Faye Reimers http://www.irenelopezphd.com/uploads/1/0/1/4/10149037/best_practices_in_conceptualizing_and_measuring_social_class.pdf

Unmasking race, class and culture in the psychoanalytic space Edited by Kate White, drawn from the John Bowlby Memorial Conference.

Agishtein, P., & Brumbaugh, C. (2013). Cultural variation in adult attachment: The impact of ethnicity, collectivism, and country of originJournal of Social, Evolutionary, and Cultural Psychology, 7(4), 384-405. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/h0099181

Multicultural implications for the applications of attachment theory by Brown et al. American Journal of Psychotherapy.

TU20: Developing Racial Identity With Guests Rudy Lucas And Christine Schmidt

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Want to hear more about culture class race and attachment from us?

Check out these episodes for more awesome perspectives and content!!

TU123 – Narratives of Fear: George Floyd, Protest, and Community Empowerment with Dr. Raphael Travis

TU124 – Hip Hop as Therapy: Beat Making, Lyrics & Community Empowerment

TU109: THIS is Resilience in Action With Guest Alphanso Appleton

TU20: Developing Racial Identity With Guests Rudy Lucas And Christine Schmidt

TU85: Attachment in the Classroom with Guest Linno Rhodes

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