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SYSTEM-INTEGRATION AND ITS DISCONTENTS: A RECONSIDERATION OF WHAT SOCIOLOGY CAN LEARN FROM PSYCHOANALYSIS

Göran Dahl
Social Thought & Research
Vol. 20, No. 1/2 (1997), pp. 37-53
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23252134
Page Count: 17
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
SYSTEM-INTEGRATION AND ITS DISCONTENTS: A RECONSIDERATION OF WHAT SOCIOLOGY CAN LEARN FROM PSYCHOANALYSIS
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Abstract

Sociology and psychoanalysis have one common insight - that they can conceptualize the objective, symbolically general forms of human interaction. However, they can never grasp the private experience, feelings and unconscious meanings of the individual as they really are. In psychoanalysis this is most outspoken - the real and imaginary spheres in which we all live are to a great extent outside the symbolical. Thus, I think sociology in general, and 'critical' sociology and the sociology of knowledge in particular have something to learn from psychoanalysis. My point in this article is simply to reconsider what sociology can learn from psychoanalysis. In doing so, I am not trying to construct a new 'synthesis'. This article treats three basic features: how sociology and psychoanalysis share basic assumptions on sociability; how they both have interacted with the modernization of society; finally how my discussion can be related to the difficult project of a 'critical theory'.

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