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Psychosocial studies: Lacanian discourse analysis negotiating interview text

Parker, Ian (2010) Psychosocial studies: Lacanian discourse analysis negotiating interview text. Culture & Society, 15 (2). pp. 156-172. ISSN 1543-3390

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This paper shows, through exploration of interview transcripts, how conceptual elements derived from Lacanian theory can be used for analytic purposes. Rather than colonizing the text with psychoanalytic discourse, it organizes 21 aspects of Lacan's approach to discourse into seven clusters of analytic concepts concerned with the formal qualities of text, the anchoring of representation, the question of agency and determination, the role of knowledge in a text, positions in language, deadlocks of perspective, and the interpretation of textual material. This reading does not claim to unlock the secrets of the text or of those represented in it, nor does it attempt to show how psychoanalysis can be ‘applied’ outside the clinical setting. Instead, through attention to the productive effects of discourse and psychoanalysis, it aims to redeem the promise of those nonreductionist traditions in psychosocial research that attend to the construction of subjectivity.

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