The term cleavage not part of the dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy (RAE ). It is an anglicism: a turn of English that is used in our language with reference to a segmentation , a break or one dissociation .
In the field of psychology , it is called cleavage a Defense mechanism that is linked to a emotional dissociation and implies separating the contradictory properties that are attributed to an object. While it is natural in childhood, adulthood cleavage can appear as a manifestation of a psychosis if it is not processed properly.
Suppose a person She is in love with another for various qualities, although she also registers others that she considers negative. The cleavage causes the first to separate both facets of the second, choosing to privilege what it takes as positive and maintaining the link for that reason, despite the bad.
In this context, the concept arises from the German term Spaltung and is linked to the discordance and the dissociation. These are notions that first appeared at the end of the 19th century in the research works of Wundt and Jean-Martin Charcot, who dedicated their lives to the study of topics such as hypnosis, mental automatism and multiple personality.
As mentioned above, and according to the theories of psychodynamic orientation (the field that brings together postmodern psychoanalytic thinking), the cleavage is a defense mechanism that serves to separate the contradictory qualities that coexist in an object, or also in the ego .
Psychology considers this mechanism somewhat archaic and primitive that allows us to see with good eyes our affective relationships, to avoid the frustration that can cause to feel love for someone harmful or that presents negative attitudes. It is expected that in adulthood we will be able to accept the defects in the other without denying them, while in the first years of life it is normal for us to act extremistically and idealize our elders.
In a healthy adult, the reality principle , which, along with the Pleasure , governs the functioning of the mind, according to Freud. The reality principle modifies the other and is imposed to apply the conditions of the outside world to the search for satisfaction, so that, unlike what happens in childhood, this path is longer and more complex, respecting obstacles such as The privacy of others.
During the twentieth century, psychoanalysis has given different nuances to the concept of cleavage; Originally, Freud defined it primarily as the coexistence in the ego of two opposite attitudes: one that denied reality, and another that accepted it according to the principle described above. At that time, the German term used to designate this concept was Ichspaltung, which can be translated as "splitting of the ego."
For the sociology , the cleavage is a division which is registered in a community for religious, ethnic, economic, ideological or other reasons. On the electoral level, this cleavage is noticed in a marked split when choosing a political party or a candidate.
The cleavage, in this case, may involve a fracture or one crack in the society . This distance can be noted, for example, in the separation between the working class and the capitalists or landowners. Workers will vote according to their class interests, which are often antagonistic to the interests defended by those who have capital and land. The cleavage is not only electoral, but also manifests itself in ideology, in cultural expressions and in many other contexts and situations.