Psychoanalysis and Politics: Exclusion and the Politics of Representation Editor: Lene Auestad

Psychoanalysis and Politics: Exclusion and the Politics of Representation
Editor: Lene Auestad

Thinking psychoanalytically about the nature of social exclusion involves a
self-questioning on the part of the interpreter. While we may all have some
experiences of having been subject to stereotyping, silencing, discrimination
and exclusion, it is also the case that, as social beings, we all, to some
extent, participate in upholding these practices, often unconsciously.

The book poses the question of how psychoanalysis can be used to think about
the invisible and subtle processes of power over symbolic representation, in
the context of stereotyping and dehumanization: What forces govern the state
of affairs that determine who is an ‘I’ and who is an ‘it’ in the public

Thinking in terms of ‘containment’, a communication which is denied a social
space for expression can be said to be actively stripped of meaning. Through
its original contribution of attending to, and interpreting material that so
far had seemed meaningless, psychoanalysis demonstrates a capacity to
reinstall meaning where none was before – but how are such acts performed on
a social level?

When common responsibility is displaced onto a suitable class or group and
its representatives, the end point is reached when the individual is
objectified and the social aspects of the process are no longer recognized.
His or her position becomes an illegitimate one from which to speak – the
person’s subjectivity is excluded. The book poses the question of how we can
conceive of the ‘how’ and the ‘why’ of this phenomenon and of possible

‘Drawing on several contemporary forms of psychoanalysis and the social
sciences, this collection of original theoretical and empirical contributions
to a nascent European object relations perspective helps us to understand the
current resurgence of social prejudice against ethnic minority groups and the
scapegoating of them in the search for safety and fulfilment in the illusion
of perfection. This is the first of a series of volumes building bridges
between academic, clinical, and political work.’
– Earl Hopper, PhD, former President of the International Association for
Group Psychotherapy, and psychoanalyst, group analyst, and organisational
consultant in private practice in London

‘This brilliant collection of essays edited by Lene Auestad articulates
diverse strands of psychoanalytic theory and offers lucid interpretations of
a wide range of historical experiences of social and political exclusion. The
volume widens our understanding of the logics of “othering” and violence that
take place in our society. It adds a valuable resource to the growing
interdisciplinary field of psychosocial studies, and particularly to the
study of the intersection of politics and psychoanalysis.’
– Dr Margarita Palacios, Senior Lecturer, Department of Psychosocial Studies,
Birkbeck College, University of London

‘Anyone who doubts psychoanalysis has useful things to say about the social
world should read this book. It is, by any measure, an important contribution
to our understanding of the politics of social exclusion and reminds us, once
again, why the task of psychoanalytically informed social and political
analysis remains urgent.’
– Peter Redman, Faculty of Social Sciences, The Open University; Editor of
Psychoanalysis, Culture and Society

‘At a time of protracted economic crisis and global insecurity, malignant
political developments such as resurgent nationalist extremism cast a shadow
across Europe from Norway to Greece. This very timely volume goes beyond
traditional forms of political analysis to examine the unconscious
phantasies, powerful affects and nonrational dynamics which underpin attempts
to establish new forms of national purity and racialised exclusion.’
– Paul Hoggett, author of Politics, Identity and Emotion

This book has just been published. (Karnac
provides free delivery worldwide.)
Link to the book on the publisher’s website:

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