Psychoanalytic Discursive Perspective

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In this essay, I will be discussing which perspective of critical social psychology I find most convincing. In order to do this, I will be looking at the work of theorists from each respective perspective within the field. In looking at the works of these theorists I will demonstrate my agreement with the psychoanalytic discursive perspective over the fields of discursive (pure) and psychosocial. Firstly, I will present some background on the discursive, psychoanalytic discursive perspective and psychosocial. Secondly, I will present certain works from within each field mentioned. Thirdly, I will use these studies to show the benefits as well as the possible pitfalls to the psychoanalytic discursive perspective. This will all lead to the return…show more content…
A common criticism of discursive psychology is that it has a tendency to be more descriptive as opposed to explanatory due to its focus on just language. The reason for this rigid focus could be an echo left over from the point of time known as the discursive turn, wherein critical social psychologists began to move actively against the dominant form of psychology that was cognitive psychology. The reason for this being that the theorists, of the future discursive side, at the time believed that what the cognitivists and others within the field of cognitive social psychology who conducted their research to explore the area, were dealing with unknowable entities that could not and would not lend themselves to analysis (Harré 2002). Furthermore, they felt that in trying to infer the existence of these entities that were intrinsically unobservable, they were neglecting something more important, which is what the discursive psychologists focused on: discourse. In trying to find the entities of the mind, the cognitivist scientist were attempting to locate, they neglected to study the intricacies of the language used in social behavior. Through changing the topic of investigation, to that of language, more discursively based psychologies came about. As stated above, this ‘ghost’ of that time may lead to discursive theorists to disregard the…show more content…
For Freud, repression was the balancing of the ego and id through repressing immoral desires, allowing one to function well in society. However, Freud, never goes into detail on what repression actually is thus leaving it with no solid definition. In Billig’s work of re-examining Freud’s past cases, he attempted to reconstitute the idea of repression, by finding it a place within the field of discourse psychology. His new formulation of repression took from the existing theories of conversational analysis regarding dialogic structure. However, in direct contrast to those theories, Billig’s took the form of absences rather than presences. These patterns of absences of “something” are what he looks to in his

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