On the threshold. The invention of institutions as a turning point for change


In the paper I address three questions that seem useful to understand our relationship with institutions and its potentialities.

a) How can the relationship with institutions be creative?
b) How can the external world not to be also a foreign one for us?
c) Which is our role in the process of institutional change?

In my view Winnicott gives us important instruments to articulate these questions further and connect them with each other. In particular, I will take the concept of primary creativity and the differentiation process between me and not-me into consideration. At first I will highlight that, as Winnicott explains, the functions of primary creativity and differentiation do not end with infancy but continue to be relevant along the whole life of the individual. Then, I will argue that they play specific roles in the relationship between individual and institutions when such a relationship is creative, that is, when it generates reciprocal adaptation and evolution.

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