Definition of double bind in English:

double bind


  • A situation in which a person is confronted with two irreconcilable demands or a choice between two undesirable courses of action.

    ‘students are caught in a double bind between unemployment and cuts in education’
    • ‘A bound conscience is a sense of being formed by a double-bind or a series of double binds.’
    • ‘As Bateson pointed out long ago in his work on the double-bind theory, the first characteristic of a double bind is that the person caught up in it cannot escape.’
    • ‘The diagram negotiates the double bind (female difference inscribed reproductively; intellectual life disembodied as masculine sameness) by generating two distinct entities.’
    • ‘Retailers, especially, will find themselves in a double bind since they'll have to pay higher prices to stock their shelves with imported goods even as their customers are increasingly cash-strapped.’
    • ‘One point such a book would no doubt make is that stigmas are often double binds.’
    • ‘He is caught in the double bind experienced by many who now seek refuge.’
    • ‘Anchored in the field of family therapy where double binds abound, this principle implies that there are no pure winners or losers, that there is no clear criterion to distinguish victory from defeat.’
    • ‘Because of the double bind in which models place their disciples (imitate me, but not to the point of threatening my position), conflicts inevitably arise from mimetic rivalry, leading to the threat of violence.’
    • ‘This reversal led her discussion through a tortuous course of double binds and tensions between liveliness and morbidity, mechanism and organicism that issues from the computer animated image.’
    • ‘In short, the modern emphasis on education is caught in a peculiar double bind: by teaching meaning and values it promotes the very sense of contingency it hopes to overcome.’
    • ‘It must be said, however, that it is not obvious how radical pedagogy can help employees of the manufacturing and service organizations mentioned in parts 1 and 2 to cope with their own paradoxes and double binds of empowerment.’
    • ‘Beginning in medieval times, the challenged authority of women, lay persons, or clergy caught in double binds involving faith had given rise to the varieties of visionary, contemplative, and speculative mysticism.’
    • ‘Because Nelson focuses on style and its relations to feeling, she is able to avoid the double binds of sentimentalism in her own analysis.’
    • ‘You know, they want to - they're caught in a double bind.’
    • ‘But these two poles of freedom are at the same time the bars of a double bind in which they are all caught up.’
    • ‘This emblem reveals that Whitney is caught in a strange double bind in which monuments are both eternal and inevitably destroyed by Time.’
    • ‘Gendered double binds, more often recognized at the interactional level, also occur in gendered structural arrangements.’
    • ‘The result was a double bind: a framework in which women's access to citizenship came through the family and a deeply-rooted image of women in the family as incapable of citizenship.’
    • ‘The double bind is only an extreme example of the typical moral dilemma in which comedia characters find themselves.’
    • ‘There is a double bind in Duncan's dance: on the one hand, it liberates those budding dancers who cannot conform to balletic rules, on the other hand, it explains that liberation in terms of a discourse that materializes bodies further.’
    predicament, awkward situation, quandary, dilemma, plight, difficult situation, cleft stick, mess, quagmire
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double bind