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Lacanian discourse analysis in psychology: seven theoretical elements

Parker, Ian (2005) Lacanian discourse analysis in psychology: seven theoretical elements. Theory and psychology, 15 (2). pp. 163-182. ISSN 0959-3543

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This paper describes seven key elements of the psychoanalytic work of Jacques Lacan that have a direct bearing on the development of theory for discourse analysis in psychology and implications for discourse-analytic reading of text. The paper reconstructs an account of discourse from Lacanian clinical and cultural practice and elaborates upon the way this practice conceives of: (i) formal qualities of text; (ii) anchoring of representation; (iii) agency and determination; (iv) the role of knowledge; (v) positions in language; (vi) deadlocks of perspective; and (vii) interpretation of textual material. While some of the elements outlined here are compatible with current social constructionist perspectives, Lacan’s work takes us beyond these approaches to something quite new.

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