Double binds, triadic binds

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Bateson's theory of the double bind has been mistakenly interpreted as pertaining to a simple communication paradox. This article proposes a semiotic reformulation of the double bind as a manipulated breach in a concerted effort to create thirdness. This proposal is guided by an interdisciplinary perspective that investigates the double bind by drawing on parallel themes from relational psychoanalysis, semiotics, and Bakhtinian linguistics. The reformulation of the double bind is illustrated through the analysis of excerpts from literary works that exemplify how binds might close the potential space of intersubjectivity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)227-240
Number of pages14
Issue number174
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2009


  • Double bind
  • Intersubjectivity
  • Language and psychoanalysis
  • Portnoy's complaint
  • Potential space
  • Semiotics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Literature and Literary Theory


Dive into the research topics of 'Double binds, triadic binds'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this