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Christopher Lasch's the culture of narcissism the failure of a critique of psychological politics

Jan De Vos (UGent)
(2010) THEORY & PSYCHOLOGY. 20(4). p.528-548
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Abstract
Christopher Lasch's bestseller The Culture of Narcissism had, beyond doubt, a significant impact-it was even read in the White House. Today it is not only still frequently taught and referenced, there are also still empirical studies conducted which try to verify Lasch's assertion of the preponderance of the narcissistic personality. This paper re-reads the book as a critique of psychologization processes, and this allows us to discern, besides the flaws in Lasch's approach, a fundamental insight which goes largely unnoticed by both Lasch's opponents and his proponents. Following this, the article will situate subjectivity within the matrix of psychology, science, psychoanalysis, and politics. In this way a critique of contemporary forms of psychologization-psychologization under globalization, as it were-is made possible.
Keywords
psychoanalysis, psychologization, Lasch, narcissistic personality

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Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

Chicago
De Vos, Jan. 2010. “Christopher Lasch’s the Culture of Narcissism the Failure of a Critique of Psychological Politics.” Theory & Psychology 20 (4): 528–548.
APA
De Vos, Jan. (2010). Christopher Lasch’s the culture of narcissism the failure of a critique of psychological politics. THEORY & PSYCHOLOGY, 20(4), 528–548.
Vancouver
1.
De Vos J. Christopher Lasch’s the culture of narcissism the failure of a critique of psychological politics. THEORY & PSYCHOLOGY. 2010;20(4):528–48.
MLA
De Vos, Jan. “Christopher Lasch’s the Culture of Narcissism the Failure of a Critique of Psychological Politics.” THEORY & PSYCHOLOGY 20.4 (2010): 528–548. Print.
@article{1028366,
  abstract     = {Christopher Lasch's bestseller The Culture of Narcissism had, beyond doubt, a significant impact-it was even read in the White House. Today it is not only still frequently taught and referenced, there are also still empirical studies conducted which try to verify Lasch's assertion of the preponderance of the narcissistic personality. This paper re-reads the book as a critique of psychologization processes, and this allows us to discern, besides the flaws in Lasch's approach, a fundamental insight which goes largely unnoticed by both Lasch's opponents and his proponents. Following this, the article will situate subjectivity within the matrix of psychology, science, psychoanalysis, and politics. In this way a critique of contemporary forms of psychologization-psychologization under globalization, as it were-is made possible.},
  author       = {De Vos, Jan},
  issn         = {0959-3543},
  journal      = {THEORY \& PSYCHOLOGY},
  keyword      = {psychoanalysis,psychologization,Lasch,narcissistic personality},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {4},
  pages        = {528--548},
  title        = {Christopher Lasch's the culture of narcissism the failure of a critique of psychological politics},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0959354309351764},
  volume       = {20},
  year         = {2010},
}

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