The Post-Freudian Unconscious: Agency and Awareness

  • David D. Franks
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Sociology book series (BRIEFSSOCY)


Dissatisfactions with Freudian notions of the unconscious are stressed, and two topics follow: a history of original meanings of the unconscious and viewing the unconscious as a process plus the consequences of this. Comments on the subject by the neurologist Gazzaniga are presented. Striking research by Amodio on implied racism comes next followed by Eisold’s discussion of seven realms of research increasing our knowledge of the unconscious. Next, Tomas Scheff emphasizes the surprising speed of social interaction compared to awareness. Next to be discussed is emotion, namely Scheff’s undifferentiated shame and his by-passed shame. Considered next is unconscious memory starting with patients with amnesia. Damasio’s stronger argument for the unconscious is then presented and his conclusions are discussed. Work by Zajonc and then Frith follow after this. An important theme throughout this book, why we lack self-understanding is considered next. Strategies by governments to make their publics willing to fight wars are provided, and how emotions make this possible are identified. “Systems justification theory” producing unconscious biases toward identification with power structures is considered next and measures used for them are discussed.


Freud Unconscious Cognitive unconscious emotion Scheff Amnesia System justification theory Self-understanding 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • David D. Franks
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SociologyVirginia Commonwealth UniversityRichmondUSA

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