You are here

Psychoanalytic Culture

Psychoanalytic Culture
Psychoanalytic Discourse in Western Society

  • Ian Parker - Manchester Metropolitan University, UK

August 1997 | 304 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
Parker systematically reviews the key psychoanalytic theories to reveal social processes and their significance to modern life: Freud and object relations theory is directed towards group processes, religion and war; the Frankfurt School is used to examine modern individuality, authoritarianism and changes in culture; and the Lacanian tradition to account for language, representation and self-improvement. The theoretical analysis incorporates throughout the volume the work of key figures ranging from Adorno, Habermas and Fromm to Klein, Kristeva, Winnicott and Zizek.
Psychoanalysis and Discourse

Groups, Identity and Forms of Knowledge
Religious Belief, Charity and Crooked Cures
War Breaking Out, in Inner and Outer Space
Individuality, Enlightenment and the Psy-Complex
Authoritarianism, Ideology and Masculinity
Culture and Nature after Enlightenment
Symbolic Orders, Subjects and Cyberspace
Mirroring, Imagining and Escaping the Local Economy
Real Things, Recovery and Therapy

`[The book] promise[s] to become increasingly important for those involved in the therapeutic professions.... Parker very clearly illustrates the discursive functions of psychoanalysis, in relation to understandings of such phenomena as emotion, and sexual, gender and moral identities.... required reading for training in any form of psychotherapy' - Journal of the Society for Existential Analysis

`This richly referenced and thought-provoking book examines the extent to which psychoanalysis is threaded throughout 20th century culture.... Hooray for this complex book and its stunningly simple (and for me) happy ending' - Therapeutic Communities

`In this highly ambitious book, Ian Parker has taken psychoanalytic theory to new levels of sophistication - illuminating contemporary culture, while highlighting the culture-bound kinds of knowledge that psychoanalysis offers... With this book, Parker surely confirms his status as one of the foremost thinkers on psychoanalytic theory and contemporary culture... For anyone wanting to keep abreast of leading-edge developments in (cultural-)analytic thinking, this fresh and pioneering text, though often challenging, is most definitely seminal' - Counselling, The Journal of the British Association for Counselling

`An exciting project... Parker succeeds in producing a useful critical survey of psychoanalytic schools in a socal context, interrogating them for their political implications... [he is] successful in his discussions of actual texts, films and so on... this book is a vastly ambitious undertaking' - ps, the Journal of the Universities Association for Psychoanalytic Studies

`A mature and thoughtful work of scholarship. In this hugely ambitious book, Parker treats psychoanalysis as both resource and topic. He uses psychoanalytic theory to make sense of cultural phenomena, offering insightful and illuminating accounts of ourselves and our social relations. But he also encourages us to remain sceptical - not to take psychoanalysis as truth, but to look at how it constructs truth. The result is a complex layering of readings, a treasure trove of original analyses, new ideas and reflections on old ideas as Parker moves back and forth between the use of psychoanalysis to read texts and psychoanalysis itself as text. Whatever level of expertise they possess, readers interested in psychoanalytic theory, social psychology or cultural studies will find something of value here - whether it be reviews of key psychoanalytic texts, applications of those ideas to areas as diverse as sexual harrassment policies in universities, science fiction, disaster movies and men's movements, or reflections on the reach of discourse and discourse theories' - Dr Margaret Wetherell, The Open University

`Ian Parker has made a major contribution to the phenomenon of psycho-analysis and the psycho-analytic movement... This is an exhaustive and convincing exposition of the relativity of psycho-analysis - relative to culture, relative to history and relative to language... Ian Parker's text is beautifully clear and ranges across a very wide cultural landscape from the Frankfurt school to ego-psychology to post-structuralism, new age body-piercing to the British Psychological Society, from Classical Freud to the post-modern individual, from the Lacanian return to Kleinian social science. It is always informative and digestible, and always to the point - psycho-analysis has created a wide social discourse which entraps thought in conformist patterns appropriate to our times. Parker's range of views upon that happy harmony strives for a critical purchase upon it and ultimately subversion of it' - Professor Robert D Hinshelwood, Centre for Psycho-Analytic Studies, University of Essex

`While psychoanalysis is often thought of as concerned only with the private self, Ian Parker shows how it always has a social meaning and a cultural context. Accessible and persuasive, Psychoanalytic Culture illustrates its comprehensive account with witty and sometimes mischievous examples from contemporary life, including cyberpunk, the programme of the British Psychological Society, the film of "The Lion King", self-trepanation, the real meaning of "a Prince Albert". Psychoanalytic Culture is the book we've been waiting for' - Professor Anthony Easthope, Manchester Metropolitan University

This is not just another book about psychoanalytic discourse, but an oevre in the traditional sense of the French word. It combines scholary knowledge with interest and enthusiasm for cultural materials and movements..It is an extremely thoughtful and sophisticated book which brings together careful and painstaking discussion of psychoanalytic and social theories, while addressing highly interesting contemporary cultural materials' - Psychoanalytic Culture

For instructors

Please contact your Academic Consultant to check inspection copy availability for your course.

Select a Purchasing Option

ISBN: 9780761956433