Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

Absolute other: Lacan’s ‘big Other’ as adjunct to critical social psychological analysis?

By Derek Hook

Abstract

Lacanian theory offers a series of promising conceptualization – amongst then the notion of the ‘big Other’ – which, despite their obvious analytical value, have been curiously neglected by critical social psychology. This paper concerns itself with an overview of this concept of the ‘big Other’ particularly in reference to how it may benefit critical social psychological analyses. The explanatory value of this notion is introduced via a series of Lacanian paradoxes (the Other as vanishing-point of inter-subjectivity that cannot itself be subjectivized; the Other as simultaneously “inside” and “outside”; the Other as both embodiment of the social substance and yet also the site of the unconscious). I then move on to show how this notion opens conceptual opportunities for social psychological conceptualizations of the formation of the social. I close by demonstrating what the ‘big Other’ offers critical social psychological analyses of power

Topics: BF Psychology
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing
Year: 2008
DOI identifier: 10.1111/j.1751-9004.2007.00067.x
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.lse.ac.uk:2979
Provided by: LSE Research Online

Suggested articles

Citations

  1. (1982). (Eds.), Feminine Sexuality, (Translated by Jacqueline Rose). London & doi
  2. (1998). (Per)versions of Love and Hate. London &
  3. (1997). A Clinical Introduction to Lacanian Psychoanalysis, Theory and Technique. doi
  4. (2006). A Voice and Nothing More.
  5. (1997). Ambiguous ideology and the Lacanian twist.
  6. (1996). An Introductory Dictionary of Lacanian Psychoanalysis. London & doi
  7. (2001). Beyond Gender: From Subject to Drive.
  8. (1952). Black Skin, White Masks. doi
  9. (1993). Bodies that Matter: On the Discursive Limits of “Sex”. London & doi
  10. (2000). But it’s racism I really hate”: Young masculinities, racism and psychoanalysis. doi
  11. (2000). Class struggle or postmodernism? Yes, please! In
  12. (1995). Cognition in the Wild. doi
  13. (1994). Deference to the great Other: The discourse of education.
  14. (2000). Desiring Whiteness: A Lacanian Analysis of Race. London & doi
  15. (1998). Dialogic repression and the Oedipus Complex: Reinterpreting the Little Hans case. doi
  16. (1997). Discourse analysis and psychoanalysis. doi
  17. (1996). Distributed cognition in an airline cockpit. doi
  18. (2002). Does the Woman Exist? From Freud’s Hysteric to Lacan’s Feminine. doi
  19. (2000). Doing Qualitative Research Differently. Free Association, Narrative and the Interview Method. doi
  20. (1977). Écrits: A selection. doi
  21. (1992). Enjoy your Symptom: Jacques Lacan in Hollywood and out. London & doi
  22. (2002). Enjoyment, bigotry, discourse and cognition. doi
  23. (2001). Ethics an Essay on the Understanding of Evil. London & doi
  24. (1991). For they know not what they do: Enjoyment as a Political Factor. London &
  25. (1999). Freudian Repression: Conversation Creating the Unconscious. Cambridge: doi
  26. (1918). From the history of an infantile neurosis (the ‘Wolf Man’). . doi
  27. (1921). Group psychology and the analysis of the ego.. In doi
  28. (1985). Hegemony and Socialist Strategy. London & doi
  29. (2006). Ideology: Contemporary social, political and cultural theory. doi
  30. (2007). Infinitely Demanding: Ethics of Commitment, Politics of Resistance. London & doi
  31. (2001). Insides and outsides: A review of psychoanalytic renderings of difference, racism and prejudice. doi
  32. (2005). Interrogating the doi
  33. (2003). Jacques Lacan: Barred Psychologist. doi
  34. (2000). Lacan and Postfeminism.
  35. (1999). Lacan and the Political. London & doi
  36. (2006). Lacan’s misuse of psychology: Evidence, rhetoric and the mirror stage. doi
  37. (2005). Lacanian discourse analysis in psychology: Seven theoretical elements. doi
  38. (2005). Lacanian psychoanalysis and the subject of social constructionist psychology: Analysing subjectivity in talk.
  39. (2007). Lecture on psychosis. Centre for Freudian Analysis and Research (Birkbeck College),
  40. (1992). Looking Awry: An Introduction to Jacques Lacan through Popular Culture. Cambridge & doi
  41. (2004). On Anxiety. London & doi
  42. (2001). On Belief. London & doi
  43. (1997). On the Psychic Life of Power: Theories in Subjection. doi
  44. (2005). Panic and perjury: A psychosocial exploration of agency. doi
  45. (2003). Paranoia, ambivalence and discursive practices: Concepts of position and positioning in psychoanalysis and discursive psychology.
  46. (1989). Psychoanalysis and psychology minding the gap. doi
  47. (2002). Psychoanalysis and racism: Reading the Other scene. In
  48. (2005). Psychoanalysis as a ‘postcolonising’ reading practice: Towards a discursive psychological reading of racism-as-repression.
  49. (2004). Psychoanalysis as a resource for understanding emotional ruptures in the text: The case of defensive masculinities. doi
  50. (2004). Slavoj Žižek: A Little Piece of the Real.
  51. (1976). Social psychology and intergroup relations. doi
  52. (2003). Social theory, psychoanalysis and racism. Houndmills,
  53. (2002). Stealing the Mona Lisa. Shoemaker
  54. (1994). Subject of Analysis.
  55. (2003). Taking a stand: Using psychoanalysis to explore the positioning of subjects in discourse. doi
  56. (2006). The anti-analytic third. doi
  57. (1997). The dialogic unconscious: psychoanalysis, discursive psychology and the nature of repression. doi
  58. (1992). The Ethics of Psychoanalysis, Seminar of 1959-1960, doi
  59. (2001). The grip of ideology: A Lacanian approach to the theory of ideology. doi
  60. (1996). The Indivisible Remainder: On Schelling and Related Matters. London &
  61. (2007). The Lacanian Left. doi
  62. (1995). The Lacanian Subject between Language and Jouissance. doi
  63. (1994). The Metastases of Enjoyment: Six essays on Woman and Causality. London &
  64. (1997). The Plague of Fantasies. London doi
  65. (2000). The schema L. In doi
  66. (1997). The socially structured mind.
  67. (1994). The spectre of ideology.
  68. (1994). The Spoils of Freedom: Psychoanalysis and Feminism after the Fall of Socialism. London & doi
  69. (1917). The standard edition of the complete psychological works of Sigmund Freud. doi
  70. (2003). Thinking, Recognition and Otherness. The Psychoanalytic Review, doi
  71. (1999). Where does power come from?
  72. (2005). Where is your hamster? The concept of ideology in Slavoj Žižek’s cultural theory. In
  73. (1996). Why do women write more letters than they post? doi

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.