ASP workshop discusses Agendas in Analytic Social Psychology


Chicago, Philadelphia, Interwebs


Date & Time

Nov. 15, 2015
07:00pm —08:30pm

Free Event

Event Description

The Analytic Social Psychology Work Group will meet to discuss the short papers presented in the roundtable, “What’s My Line? Agendas in Analytic Social Psychology” one of SPI’s two panels at the annual conference of the Association for Psychoanalysis Culture and Society. These are the first contributions to SPI’s web/writing project on Agendas in Analytic Social Psychology. We hope to reflect on the specific content of the presentations, in light of their future appearance in an issue of the Journal for the Psychoanalysis of Culture and Society, and to develop the Agendas project as a whole.

Please email for the pieces and for an invitation to the conference call.


What’s My Line? Agendas in Analytic Social Psychology

  • Jeremy Cohan, Greg Gabrellas, Scott Jenkins, and Lynne Layton

In troubled times, it is worth asking basic questions—How do inner life and social form relate? Can an analytic social psychology contribute to social critique and change? Whose sleep is troubled? But we too often treat theory as a given, ready for launch against new happenings. We get a perpetual inventory, a critical cataloguing of events. But we  don’t create an agenda for research that points toward possibilities of transformation.  Analytic Social Psychology lives or dies with these agendas. They are shaped by theories concerning the core elements of psychoanalysis. They put forward core questions. They confront the obscure dynamics of domination. They have changed and must change. Emphasizing these changes means finding differences even among allies in the struggle for a better world, for the sake of clarity and purpose. The borders between theories can help elucidate the problems of our time.

This roundtable invites participants to discuss the theoretical fundamentals of analytic social psychology by examining schools that set strong agendas for it. Presenters will take on, for purposes of breadth and depth, the Sex-Political school/movement of Wilhelm Reich (1933), the Frankfurt School of Critical Theory (1945), and the Ljubljana school (1989), among others—their fundamental theories and their entwinement in political history. Each of these formations will be presented through a brief report on its fundamental fault lines. Each presentation will be followed by discussion. All participants will then have an opportunity to raise questions about the present, motivated by the conversation. We feel that this dialogue, while it may prove a modest contribution toward the formulation of a new agenda in social psychology, is important to the continuing vitality of psychoanalytic social theory as we draw, redraw, and efface the borders between sociology and psychology, society and individual, the status quo and an emancipated world.