Sex Roles

, Volume 55, Issue 9–10, pp 601–608 | Cite as

Never the Twain Shall Meet: A Critical Appraisal of the Combination of Discourse and Psychoanalytic Theory in Studies of Men and Masculinity

  • Nigel EdleyEmail author
Original Article


In recent years there have been a number of attempts by different researchers to study men and masculinity using a combination of discourse theory and psychoanalysis. The main reason for this development is the sense that, on its own, discourse theory provides an incomplete account of masculine subjectivity. Psychoanalysis is thought to be able to fill those gaps. In this paper I reviewed these arguments, provided an outline of the alleged deficiencies in discursive approaches to men and masculinity, and examined some of the work that has attempted the above synthesis. I argued that, for a number of reasons, such attempts are bound to fail. Instead, I argued that better progress can be made in studies of masculinity by remaining within the theoretical boundaries of Discursive Psychology.


Discursive psychology Psychoanalysis Masculinity Homophobia Ego-defence Subject positions Rhetoric 



I would first like to thank Margaret Wetherell for her support and, more specifically, for reading through an earlier draft of this paper. Secondly I’d like to thank Zoe Moorhouse for her help in converting this manuscript into something more compatible with APA format.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Arts and HumanitiesNottingham Trent UniversityNottinghamUK

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