5 Feb 2009 4:30pm - 6:30pm CRASSH, 17 Mill Lane


Dr Yannis Stavrakakis 


The teaching of Jacques Lacan seems to have the potential to enrich discussions within the social sciences, political theory and organization studies and to suggest fruitful orientations for future research. It can account for obedience and attachment to particular identifications in at least two ways. First, by focusing on the symbolic presuppositions of authority and power, on the irresistibility of the Other’s command and the symbolic dependence of subjectivity; and, second, by exploring the role of fantasy and enjoyment, of the affective domain, in sustaining them and in neutralizing resistance. The salience of national identifications and the difficulties in constructing a shared European identity offer convincing illustrations of such an argument. This Lacanian orientation can also illuminate the ethical/cultural preconditions of consumption and production within capitalist societies by highlighting the mutual engagement between symbolic, imaginary and real dimensions and by formulating a typology of distinct administrations of jouissance (through the social matrices of prohibition and commanded enjoyment and their genealogical association with different but deeply inter-connected ‘spirits’ of capitalism).”

Suggested Background readings:

Stavrakakis, Yannis. 2007. The Lacanian Left : Psychoanalysis, Theory, Politics. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. (ch. 5 & 6)
Stavrakakis, Yannis. 2004. 'Passions of Identification: Discourse, Enjoyment and European Identity'. In D. Howarth and J. Torfing (eds.) Discourse Theory in European Politics, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. [Link to full text in “initial reading” section].
Stavrakakis, Yannis. 2008. 'Peripheral Vision: Subjectivity and the Organized Other: Between Symbolic Authority and Fantasmatic Enjoyment'. Organization Studies, 29(7): 1037-59.

Only for this session the Group will be meeting at 4.30pm 

All welcome. No registration required  



Part of the European Identities and Encounters Research Group Seminar Series. 

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