Advertisement

Psychoanalysis as Political Psychology

  • Stephen Frosh
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Political Psychology Series book series (PSPP)

Abstract

Psychoanalysis has a mixed reputation as a source of political understanding. On the one hand, it is an individualistic discipline that focuses on privatised psychotherapeutic work. In this clinical context, which is its major one and in which most of the creativity and development of psychoanalysis has been located, the tradition is to bracket off the social and political and focus instead either on the purely ‘internal’ — the impulses, wishes or desires of the ‘analysand’ — or on the relational, constituted by the ‘use’ made by the analysand of the analyst under the guise of the transference. Despite various interventions that draw attention to the way the individual in such an encounter is already unavoidably constituted, in part or whole, by the sociopolitical context (e.g. Layton et al., 2006), and despite the commitment of many psychoanalysts to progressive social causes, analytic practice tends to stay firmly within these psychological boundaries. In some respects, one might argue that this is appropriate: after all, the trade of psychoanalysts is in the speech of their patients, with the affects to which it gives rise and the unconscious ideas it is assumed to reveal, and that is all they know and all they can deal with. If, that is, psychoanalysis is a practice of speech, as Lacanian psychoanalysts in particular are wont to assert (Parker, 2010), then perhaps it is only right that analysts maintain a studied agnosticism towards the political situation.

Keywords

Political Thought Psychoanalytic Theory Standard Edition Sexual Revolution Introductory Lecture 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Adorno, T. (1967) ‘Sociology and Psychology, Parts I and II’. New Left Review, 46: 67–97.Google Scholar
  2. Althusser, L. (1971) ‘Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses’. In: L. Althusser ed. Lenin and Philosophy and Other Essays. London: New Left Books.Google Scholar
  3. Aron, L. and Mitchell, S. eds. (1999) Relational Psychoanalysis: The Emergence of a Tradition. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  4. Bosteels, B. (2006) ‘Alain Badiou’s Theory of the Subject’. In: Žižek, S. ed. Lacan: The Silent Partners. London: Verso.Google Scholar
  5. Butler, J. (2012) Parting Ways: Jewishness and the Critique of Zionism. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Butler, J., Laclau, E. and Žižek, S. (2000) Contingency, Hegemony, Universality: Contemporary Dialogues on the Left. London: Verso.Google Scholar
  7. Castoriadis, C. (1995) ‘Logic, Imagination, Reflection’. In: Elliott, A. and Frosh, S. eds. Psychoanalysis in Contexts. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  8. Fraser, N. and Honneth, A. (2003) Redistribution or Recognition: A Political-Philosophical Exchange. London: Verso.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Freud, S. (1908) ‘“Civilized” Sexual Morality and Modern Nervous Illness’. In: The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, Volume IX (1906–1908): Jensen’s ‘Gradiva’ and Other Works. London: Hogarth Press.Google Scholar
  10. Freud, S. (1913) ‘Totem and Taboo’. In: The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, Volume XIII (1913–1914): Totem and Taboo and Other Works. London: Hogarth Press.Google Scholar
  11. Freud, S. (1921) ‘Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego’. In: The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, Volume XVIII (1920–1922): Beyond the Pleasure Principle, Group Psychology and Other Works. London: Hogarth Press.Google Scholar
  12. Freud, S. (1930) ‘Civilization and Its Discontents’. In: The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, Volume XXI (1927–1931): The Future of an Illusion, Civilization and its Discontents, and Other Works. London: Hogarth Press.Google Scholar
  13. Freud, S. (1933) ‘New Introductory Lectures on Psycho-Analysis’. In: The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, Volume XXII (1932–1936): New Introductory Lectures on Psycho-Analysis and Other Works. London: Hogarth Press.Google Scholar
  14. Freud, S. (1939) ‘Moses and Monotheism’. In: The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, Volume XXIII (1937–1939): Moses and Monotheism, an Outline of Psycho-Analysis and Other Works. London: Hogarth Press.Google Scholar
  15. Frosh, S. (1999) The Politics of Psychoanalysis: An Introduction to Freudian and Post-Freudian Theory (2nd edition). London: Palgrave.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Frosh, S. (2005) Hate and the Jewish Science: Anti-Semitism, Nazism and Psychoanalysis. London: Palgrave.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Giddens, A. (1991) Modernity and Self-Identity. Cambridge: Polity.Google Scholar
  18. Greenberg, J. and Mitchell, S. (1983) Object Relations in Psychoanalytic Theory. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  19. Hook, D. (2008) ‘Fantasmatic transactions: On the persistence of apartheid ideology’. Subjectivity, 24(1): 275–297.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Jacoby, R. (1983) The Repression of Psychoanalysis. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  21. Laplanche, J. (1999) ‘The Unfinished Copernican Revolution’. In: Laplanche, J. ed. Essays on Otherness. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  22. Layton, L. (2008). ‘What divides the subject? Psychoanalytic reflections on subjectivity, subjection and resistance’. Subjectivity, 22: 60–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Layton, L., Hollander, N. and Gutwill, S. (2006) Psychoanalysis, Class and Politics. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  24. Marcuse, H. (1955) Eros and Civilization. Boston: Beacon Press.Google Scholar
  25. McNay, L. (2008) ‘The trouble with recognition: Subjectivity, suffering, and agency’. Sociological Theory, 26: 271–296.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Parker, I. (2010) Lacanian Psychoanalysis: Revolutions in Subjectivity. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  27. Reich, W. (1946) The Mass Psychology of Fascism. Harmondsworth: Penguin.Google Scholar
  28. Robinson, A. (2004) ‘The politics of lack’. British Journal of Politics and International Relations, 6: 259–269.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Rose, J. (2007) The Last Resistance. London: Verso.Google Scholar
  30. Rustin, M. (1995) ‘Lacan, Klein and Politics: The Positive and Negative in Psychoanalytic Thought’. In: Elliott, A. and Frosh, S. eds. Psychoanalysis in Contexts. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  31. Stavrakakis, Y. (2007) The Lacanian Left. Albany: State University of New York Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Winnicott, D. (1960) ‘Ego Distortion in Terms of True and False Self’. In: D. W. Winnicott ed. The Maturational Process and the Facilitating Environment. London: Hogarth Press.Google Scholar
  33. Žižek, S. (1994) The Metastasis of Enjoyment. London: Verso.Google Scholar
  34. Žižek, S. (2006) The Parallax View. Cambridge: MIT.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Stephen Frosh 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephen Frosh

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations