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Topic 6: Psychoanalysis and Social Theory (Essay Sample)


444164 SСНОLАRLY LЕАRNING JОURNАL (СRIТIСАL DISСUSSIОN 6.) Order Summary Number of pages: 1 Type of assignment: Assessment Academic level: High-School Level Referencing style: Harvard Number of sources: 1 Subject: Sociology Client country: Australia (UK English) Assignment extract: Topic 6, Psychoanalysis and Social Theory,is a particularly interesting one in many ways as it shows how ideas that are not necessarily first and foremost associated with "the social" can not only be influential in the development and application of social theory but give rise to its own brand of social theories. Freud's extensive theories of the nature of humankind and the relationship between the psyche and personhood is a very prominent example of this, and can make for an interesting analysis of the relationship between nature and the social (topics which we have spent a fair bit of time discussing already, particularly in the context of natural or human sciences). Most of the readings on this topic consequently represent critical engagements with Freudian principles and ideas from various social science perspectives; Marcuse provides a very interesting take on this as do the theorists like Grosz and Zizek who approach their analysis via Jacques Lacan. A key starting point, then, could perhaps be: 1. While psychoanalysis has a central place in a lot of contemporary social theory, its presence often seems to be mediated by other social theories and principles (Marxism, feminism, post-structuralism etc). In other words, the allure of psychoanalysis always seems to be compromised by its lack of something crucial for social analysis. In light of this claim, what are the limitations of psychoanalytic perspectives in explaining humans as "social beings"? (Hint: this is perhaps most explicitly dealt with in Marcuse's reading). 2. Much of Jacques Lacan's appeal for social theorists appears to be his insistence on the social aspect of selfhood and identity formation. Based on some of our readings here, which aspects of Lacanian theory seems particularly useful for social theory? 3. Finally, is psychoanalysis a social theory, a professional practice, a research methodology, or something completely different? As usual I do not want you to feel constrained by these questions - they are mere suggestions for how you can start off your discussion postings.


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According to Elliot, (1999), psychoanalysis is a social theory that involves professional practice and research methodologies. He further argues that the social theory mainly deals with language and the interpretation of its meaning. The relationship between the social theories and psychoanalysis is on the concepts of practice and transformation. I believe that psychoanalysis is closely related to the social theory. This is because its can easily be defined suing the concepts of social theory.
According to Freud, (1920), human beings do not exist independently of sexuality. This means that psychoanalysis is closely linked to sexuality and subjectivity. Marcuse, (1955), agrees with the Freudian Principals and highlights that Freudian theory can be used for the purposes of tracing the hidden tend in psychoanalysis. I also think that psychoanalysis has some hidden trends as its perceptions and definitions seem to be changing. The perception of Marcuse plays an essential role in highlighting some of the concepts that cannot be easily understood in relation to psychoanalysis and social theory.
Elliot, (1999), also provides important information with regards to post-psychoanalysis. This is because he suggests that human subject is both subjective and decentralized with regards to the psychoanalysis concepts. This seems to address some of the concepts that had been put forward by Marcuse, (1955). The social transformation, technological advancement as well as the globalization concepts has also affected psychoanalysis concepts. I therefore agree with Marc...
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