Psychoanalysis, Culture & Society

, Volume 13, Issue 4, pp 346–365

Psychoanalysis and Psychosocial Studies


DOI: 10.1057/pcs.2008.8

Cite this article as:
Frosh, S. & Baraitser, L. Psychoanal Cult Soc (2008) 13: 346. doi:10.1057/pcs.2008.8


This paper examines the way in which debates over the place of psychoanalysis in psychosocial studies are developing in the British academic context, from the position of sympathetic criticism both of psychosocial studies and of psychoanalysis. The general argument is that both these approaches have real objects of study and considerable legitimacy, and that bringing them together is in principle productive. However, the loose and sometimes pious way in which psychoanalysis has been theorized within psychosocial studies has not done favours to either approach. The paper offers a critique of psychoanalytic certainty – of the type of reading of psychoanalysis that sees it as harbouring the deep truths of human nature – and utilizes the broader concept of reflexivity to suggest that psychoanalysis' contribution might usefully become more tentative and disruptive than has so far been the case.


psychosocial studies psychoanalysis research methods reflexivity 

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of LondonLondonUK

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