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Self Divided

SELF, PSYCHOANALYIS AND SOCIETY IN THE 21ST CENTURY

RC36 Symposium
Gothenburg, Sweden
July 10, 2010

The relationship of self and society has intrigued philosophers, psychoanalysts, and sociologists for over a century. In the early part of the last century, as economic conditions fostered alienation, malaise and despair, the neo-Marxist Frankfurt School, among the first scholars influence by both the Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts, as well as Freudian psychology, began to investigate and theorize the social psychological factors that disposed certain people to Fascism. At about the same time, in the US, scholars such as Cooley, James and above all GH Mead began to think about socialization and the formation of self. These early perspectives played a major role in the rise of symbolic interactionism.

These theories have seen a number of developments and transformations. While the work of Reich, Fromm, Adorno and Horkhiemer was groundbreaking, Marcuse, Habermas and Jessica Benjamin have added to that tradition. Surely the work of Althusser, Lacan and Foucault has added a number of other concerns and dimensions.

For the past few years, a number of scholars have gathered together before the American Sociological Association meetings to discuss the vagaries of contemporary selfhood, largely, but not exclusively from a psychoanalytical perspective. This year, given the many European and International scholars that will be attending the ISA, we decided to move our venue to Gothenburg, Sweden, and schedule our meeting the day before ISA meets. The meeting will be sponsored by RC36 Alienation Theory and Research.

We would like to invite all interested scholars to join us in what have been among the most stimulating meetings. Please send an abstract of about 200-250 words to Lauren Langman, Llang944@aol.com and Lynne Chancer, lchancer@hunter.cuny.edu. Please send by April 25, 2010. 

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