This paper explores the experience of international camp counselors at an American summer camp in the North East United States. It set out to understand the impact the summer camp environment might have on an individual’s cultural identity. Personal interviews were conducted with ten current or former adult camp counselors from six countries outside of the United States. The research question was framed in the theories of intersubjectivity, habitus and acculturation strategy as well as the relevant body of empirical research. The research found that the culturally intense experience of camp led to an individual’s cultural identity to be the product of active and strategic micro-adjustments and adaptations—in short, ‘doing’ identity.
By approaching traditional philosophical problems through psychoanalytic theory, we may learn something about the nature of our ethical principles as well as the nature of the self in the face of dominating forces. Theorists such as Jonathan Lear, Jessica Benjamin, and Frank Summers provide a radical position for the psychoanalyst, which rebels against hegemony and hierarchy within the socio-political realm. This paper relates the work of these three theorists, revealing the possibility of psychoanalysis to help address philosophical problems and offer a basis for radical political change.