Psychoanalysis, Culture & Society

, Volume 16, Issue 4, pp 354–372 | Cite as

Psychologization or the discontents of psychoanalysis

  • Jan De Vos
Original Article


This article explores the possibility of a debate between psychoanalysis and the human sciences and, in particular, between psychoanalysis and psychology. Psychoanalysis's particular view on subjectivity values fiction (truth having the structure of fiction) as a constitutive dimension of personal and social reality. In contrast, the mainstream psy-sciences threaten to remain caught in the attempt to unmask things as they really are (eg, hard neurobiological reality), thus risking losing the subjective dimension as such. Drawing on examples of phenomena of psychologization (in Reality TV and in contemporary discourses of parent and child education), the author spells out the different, but eventually and necessarily intertwined, responses of psychoanalysis and psychology to modernity and modern subjectivity.


psychologization psychology ideology Reality TV parenting 


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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jan De Vos
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Ethics and Value Inquiry (CEVI), Department of Philosophy & Moral ScienceCenter for Ethics and Value Inquiry (CEVI), Ghent UniversityGhentBelgium

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