Object Relations and Social Relations: The Implications of the Relational Turn in Psychoanalysis
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This book has two essential aims. First, to introduce some of the key assumptions behind relational psychoanalysis to an international audience and to outline the points where this approach counters, complements, or extends existing object relations (Kleinian and Independent) traditions. Second, to consider some of the implications of the relational turn for the application of psychoanalytic concepts and methods beyond the consulting room.
The emergence of what has become known as "the relational turn" in psychoanalysis has interesting implications not just for clinical practice, but for other psychoanalytically informed practices, such as group relations, the human service professions, and social research. Relational forms of psychoanalysis have emerged primarily in the USA, and as a result their core concepts and methods are less well-known in other countries, including the UK. Moreover, even within the USA, few attempts have so far been made to consider the wider implications of this development for social and political theory; intervention in groups and organizations, and the practice of social research. As with all new developments, there is a tendency to deal with them in one of two ways: either to insist that there is nothing new about them and that existing practices already include their implied critique, or to sharpen and exaggerate the difference, thereby construing the new arrival as something that is a counter, rather than an extension and complement, to what already exists.
'Don't dare to say "but we do this already!" Ranging from clinical to cultural analysis, and exploring societal and organisational dilemmas, this important book sends out a challenge to all contemporary psychotherapy: it is not OK merely to claim that one is "relational". For the emerging tradition of relational psychoanalysis is spreading from its base in the United States and worldwide levels of interest are justifiably high. Drawing on, but going beyond, object relations, self psychology and the interpersonal approach, and utilizing what is necessary from feminism, post-structuralism, and social constructivism, this is the twenty-first century approach that cannot be ignored.'
- Andrew Samuels, Professor of Analytical Psychology, University of Essex
'"Object Relations and Social Relations" presents an introduction to inter-subjective approaches in the field of social relations. It provides a wide and interesting collection of chapters including the history of inter-subjective theories and their application in clinical settings, social research, organisational consultancy and teaching. The book does not stay with a unitary approach, but offers different perspectives and theoretical alignments thus demonstrating the variety of possible applications from inter-subjectivity as a broad concept. It also fills a gap by introducing this variety and orientation to practitioners. Included in the various chapters are many case examples and vignettes. It is always helpful to have such examples because the reader can follow the authors in understanding these from an inter-subjective viewpoint or, indeed, apply their own independent analysis and thus generate a critical analysis. The book will be of interest to those wanting to explore social relations from an inter-subjective viewpoint and hopefully it will lead to a series of further explorations within this influential perspective.'
- Susan Long, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia
Notes about the author(s):
Simon Clarke is Professor of Psycho-Social Studies and Director of the Centre for Psycho-Social Studies at the University of the West of England. He is the author of Social Theory, Psychoanalysis and Racism, From Enlightenment to Risk: Social Theory and Contemporary Society and Emotion, Politics and Society (co-edited with Hoggett and Thompson). He is a member of the board of directors of the Association for the Psychoanalysis of Culture and Society and Editor of Psychoanalysis, Culture & Society
Paul Hoggett is Professor of Politics and Director of the Centre for Psycho-Social Studies at the University of the West of England. He is a psychoanalytic psychotherapist, a member of the Severnside Institute for Psychotherapy, Associate Member of the Lincoln and is also an experienced group relations consultant. His books include Partisans in an Uncertain World and Emotional Life and the Politics of Welfare. He is a board member of the Association for Psychoanalysis, Culture and Society, and has editorial roles on Organisational & Social Dynamics, Psychodynamic Practice and Psychoanalysis Culture and Society
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