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Subject of Lacan, The

A Lacanian Reader for Psychologists

Kareen Ror Malone, Stephen R. Friedlander

Publication Year: 2000

An accessible introduction to the psychoanalytic theories of Jacques Lacan, intended especially for American psychologists but useful to anyone interested in the work of this important thinker. The notion of the church as a countercultural community of disciples confounds many conventional divides within the Christian family (liberal and conservative, church and sect), while forcing redefinition of commonplace categories like religion and politics, sacred and secular. The contributors to this book—theologians, social theorists, philosophers, historians, Catholics and Protestants of various backgrounds—reflect this shifting of categories and divisions. The book provides thought-provoking Christian perspectives on war and genocide, racism and nationalism, the legitimacy of liberalism and capitalism, and more.

Published by: State University of New York Press

Series: SUNY series in Psychoanalysis and Culture

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. vii-ix


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pp. xi

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pp. xiii-xvi

The editors wish to thank Sheila Sowecke, William Fettig, Denise Oglesby, and Clay Bohnet for their diligent and careful editorial assistance on The Subject of Lacan.As well, Nancy Farmer was, and is always, helpful with acquiring “hard to acquire” reference information. The editors also appreciate the financial assistance ...

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pp. 1-18

Psychology and psychoanalysis have, and always have had, many interests in common: personality and social interaction (conflict and affiliation, conformity and obedience), psychopathology (mood and thought disorders, anxiety), and developmental theory (gender identity, cognitive development, ...

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PART I Lacan and Psychological Theory

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pp. 19-22

As Ian Parker suggests (chapter 19, this volume), psychological theory generally lacks a certain degree of self-reflexiveness. This deficiency reflects the cost of dispensing with investigations that do not pay off in the currency of “provable” ideas; it implicates the field’s investment in experimental ...

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1 The Cartesian Subject without the Cartesian Theatre

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pp. 23-40

In his attacks on bourgeois ideology, Lenin liked to emphasize the need for a thorough knowledge of one’s enemies: in an ideological struggle, the enemy often perceives what is truly at stake in the struggle more accurately than those closer to us. Therein resides the interest, for those who endorse the Lacanian ...

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2 The Origins and Self-Serving Functions of the Ego

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pp. 41-62

For an American audience, what is, perhaps, most troubling in Lacan’s work is his persistent and insulting attack on what he calls the American hymn to “the autonomous ego” (Lacan, 1966/1977, p. 306). Historically, and culturally, we place a high value on individualism, and you can hardly pick up ...

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3 Socializing Psycholinguistic Discourse: Language as Praxis in Lacan

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pp. 63-78

Although language is often invoked as a uniquely human accomplishment, the study of language in psychology has failed to capture language as a human and, therefore, essentially social and ethical phenomenon. In particular, since the formation of psycholinguistics as a discipline almost half a century ...

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4 Lacanian Psychoanalysis and the Neurotic Orientation of Religious Experience

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pp. 79-90

How is it possible to speak about religious experiences? Descriptions of religious institutions, rites, theological disputes (what we might call “religious culture”) are common enough. But when we try to speak about the experience of a religion, we find that, like many other so-called “experiences,” ...

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5 No Laughing Matter: Girls’ Comics and the Preparation for Adolescent Femininity

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pp. 91-110

This chapter is a consideration of how girls are prepared for initiation into romantic love and other heterosexual practices. I have chosen to examine this preparation for adolescent sexuality as it is mediated by children’s fiction, especially girls’ comics. Such an inquiry allows us to discuss the relation between ...

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6 Homosexualities from Freud to Lacan

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pp. 111-122

As many commentators have recently pointed out, Freud’s usage of the concept of homosexuality is so widespread and diverse that it threatens to overwhelm his entire theoretical system (Abelove, 1993; Dollimore, 1991). From the beginning of his work, homosexuality is used to explain such diverse phenomena ...

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7 Jouissance in the Cure

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pp. 123-134

In American circles, Lacanian psychoanalysis is often associated with structuralism, linguistics, and the supervalence of the signifier and language in the understanding of the unconscious (e.g., Mitchell & Black, 1995; Barratt, 1993). One, in fact, cannot fully understand the import of Lacan ...

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PART II Lacan and the Clinic

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pp. 135-140

After some years of reading the primary and secondary literature on Lacan, I wondered: “This is a great intellectual exercise, but . . . what are the implications of this theory for clinical work? Does this theory really affect procedure?” I believe I stand for many clinicians in raising this question. ...

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8 The “Third Party” in Psychoanalysis

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pp. 141-156

Controversy about method has been endemic in the culture of psychoanalysis since the Freud-Ferenczi split: Is interpretation the essential factor in all psychoanalytic cures, or do nonlinguistic processes govern the outcome (i.e., must there be a healing relationship) in some or all cases? For many analysts ...

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9 The Analytic Relationship

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pp. 157-172

The role in which the analyst is cast by his or her analysands at the beginning of treatment depends a great deal on what they have heard and/or read about analysis, which in turn depends on their socioeconomic background, their education, and their cultural milieu. Generally speaking, however, people’s view ...

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10 Some Reflections on Lacan’s View of Interpretation

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pp. 173-188

Jacques Lacan is perhaps the most difficult and complex thinker of this century. Despite the complexity of his thinking and the difficulties of his “writing style,” however, it is my conviction that his interpretation or reading of Freud involves a genuine developmental advancement for psychoanalysis, offering ...

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11 How Analysis Cures According to Lacan

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pp. 189-208

In the eyes of American clinicians, Lacan often appears more a self-indulgent, hermetic French philosopher or wild, whimsical therapist than a practitioner of psychoanalysis. Indeed, Lacan’s neologisms, highly allusive style, convoluted syntax, and quasimathematical formulas, graphs, and topologies, ...

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12 The Treatment of Psychosis

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pp. 209-228

This title merits a few explanatory remarks. It refers to the title of our book Traiter la psychose (Treating Psychosis), published in 1990 within a very specific framework. Its aim was to publicize the results of a report on our practices at the Psychoanalytic Treatment Center for Young Psychotic Adults ...

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13 Lacan and Family Therapy?! Opening a Space for Lacanin American Clinical Practice

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pp. 229-242

The resistance to Lacan in the American mainstream psychoanalytic world is well known and well documented. Lacan himself and his closest followers did little but antagonize the international and especially the American psychoanalytic establishment. Perhaps the cool response to his ideas in the ...

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PART III Lacan, Psychology, and Culture

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pp. 243-250

Psychologists and other scholars are working to develop an explicit account of the subtle, intricate ways that cultural interests and horizons affect the theories and research of psychology (e.g., Parker & Shotter, 1990; Bohan, 1992). Acknowledging the impact of culture on this putatively disinterested, ...

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14 How the Fact That There Is No Sexual Relation Gives Rise to Culture

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pp. 251-264

The American literary critic and theorist Stanley Fish (1991) told a group of academics attending a conference on “The Rhetoric of Controversies” that he was writing a book entitled The Domestic Quarrel. He said such a quarrel is constituted in that moment when one looks at one’s intimate partner ...

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15 Femininity and the Limits of Theory

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pp. 265-278

Ever since Freud’s notion of a “dark continent,” psychoanalytic theory and theory in general have referred to femininity as an enigmatic domain. While male sexuality is assumed to be inherently intelligible in its sequence and in its articulation, female sexuality remains obscure. With the awareness of ...

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16 Why Do People Take Prozac? Anxiety, Symptom, and the Inhibition of Responsibility

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pp. 279-296

This paper explores the wide appeal Prozac holds for middleclass Anglo-Saxon patients and contrasts the appeal of Prozac with a marked preference of Xanax among the Puerto Rican low-income population in the North Philadelphia Hispanic ghetto. The stories of two patients, Emily and Margarita, raise ...

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17 Lacan’s Social Psychoanalysis: Religion and Community in a Pluralistic Society

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pp. 297-316

Analysts thrive, intellectually and economically, on people who want to work through their internal conflicts, misunderstood relationships, identity crises, and hidden (or silently harbored) fantasies. If Seyla Benhabib is right, groups can suffer the same way that individuals needing therapy do ...

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18 Lacan in America

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pp. 317-330

As you can easily imagine, Lacan in America implies the encounter, one could even say the clashing, of two languages, two cultures, two quite different philosophical traditions. While Lacan represents a very broad intellectual tradition in the European theatre, on the American side, analysts in general ...

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19 Looking for Lacan: Virtual Psychology

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pp. 331-344

As critical psychology gains a more established foothold as a viable theoretical alternative to the traditional paradigm and as it articulates its particular forms of research and cultural analysis, it is pressing to make sure that we fully absorb the extent of critical psychology’s challenge to the discipline. ...

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20 Executors of an Ancient Pact

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pp. 345-360

Since the beginning of the century, a number of polarities, such as nature and culture, contingent and universal, inner and outer, have functioned as organizers for the work of those trying to understand the intricacies of the human mind, whether from a philosophical, anthropological, psychological, ...

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Glossary of Lacanian Terms

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pp. 361-368

It has been said before: most readers experience some confusion in their first encounter with Lacan. Seemingly inconsistent, possibly even contradictory usages of words can be found throughout his work. It was no different with Freud than it is now with Lacan—the vocabulary of pioneers of great stature ...

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pp. 369-372

Willy Apollon, Ph.D. (Sorbonne), is Consulting Psychoanalyst at Psychoanalytic Treatment Center for Psychotics; Director of Research on Family Structures at Groupe interdisciplinaire freudien de recherches et d’interventions cliniques (GIFRIC) and is coresponsible for the training of psychoanalysts at GIFRIC. ...


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pp. 373-388

E-ISBN-13: 9780791492376
E-ISBN-10: 0791492370
Print-ISBN-13: 9780791446232
Print-ISBN-10: 0791446239

Page Count: 408
Illustrations: 4 figures
Publication Year: 2000

Series Title: SUNY series in Psychoanalysis and Culture