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The act or process of eluding or evading. In psychoanalysis, a term first used by the Scottish psychiatrist Ronald D(avid) Laing (1927–89) in his book The Self and Others (1961) to denote a mechanism whereby people avoid confrontation with themselves and others by self-impersonation, that is, by deliberately playing out the roles that are assigned to them. Laing cited Madame Bovary (1857) by the French novelist Gustave Flaubert (1821–80) as an example of this mechanism.

Subjects: Psychology.

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