Social Theory Since Freud: Self and Society After Freud by Anthony Elliott PDF

By Anthony Elliott

ISBN-10: 020349606X

ISBN-13: 9780203496060

ISBN-10: 0415271630

ISBN-13: 9780415271639

ISBN-10: 0415271649

ISBN-13: 9780415271646

During this compelling e-book, Anthony Elliott lines the increase of psychoanalysis from the Frankfurt tuition to postmodernism. studying how pathbreaking theorists corresponding to Adorno, Marcuse, Lacan and Lyotard have deployed psychoanalysis to politicise matters corresponding to hope, sexuality, repression and id, Elliott assesses the profits and losses bobbing up from this appropriation of psychoanalysis in social idea and cultural studies.Moving from the impression of the tradition Wars and up to date Freud-bashing to modern debates in social thought, feminism and postmodernism, Elliott argues for a brand new alliance among sociological and psychoanalytic views.

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Marcuse, for a time, thought that it might be possible to recast sexual perversion, and specifically the domain of fantasy, as somehow prefigurative of a utopian social order—on the grounds that the primary processes slipped past the net of the reality/performance principle. These and other images of Utopia arose from the School’s intriguing blend of Marxism and Freudianism. And yet the issue of critique—specifically the vantagepoint from which the School launched its devastating condemnation of capitalist culture—has dogged followers of Frankfurt sociology.

Another reason concerns the immense conceptual shifts inaugurated by Lacan, shifts in the language of psychoanalysis away from the world of biology and toward the study of language and human speech, away from the deterministic forces of instincts and appetites and toward the analysis of structures and culture. In taking psychoanalysis in this largely anti-biological direction, Lacan was dazzlingly eclectic, in his writings borrowing one moment from the structuralist anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss and the next from the philosopher Maurice Merleau-Ponty, while in his seminars putting to work the insights of the linguist Roman Jakobson and recontextualizing Hegel’s master/slave dialectic for the analysis of human desire.

But, in a tragic irony, the unconscious forces facilitating the achievement of autonomy undergo a mind-shattering repression that leaves the subject marked by inner division, isolation and compulsion. The Janus-face of this forging of the self is clearly discerned in Adorno’s historicization of Freud’s Oedipus complex. According to Adorno, the bourgeois liberal subject repressed unconscious desire in and through oedipal prohibitions and, as a consequence, achieved a level of self-control in order to reproduce capitalist social relations.

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Social Theory Since Freud: Self and Society After Freud by Anthony Elliott


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