The purpose of this collection is to provide an exposition of a theory of discourse which offers possibilities for understanding both the constitutive and the transformative functions of discourse in human affairs. The volume does not seek to provide a totalising exposition of Lacanian theory of discourse, or a monolithic approach to social/discursive phenomena, but rather to demonstrate the rich potential that Lacanian psychoanalytic theory holds for understanding psychological phenomena - including collective psychological, and thus social, phenomena - in relation to language and discourse. The first sections of the volume explore various social and cultural phenomena relating to Lacan's theorising about discourse. The final essays make such phenomena the focus of their analyses, using Lacanina theory to illuminate the role of discourse in the force exerted by four major social phenomena: totalitarian terrorism, religious belief, education, and gangs.
"I recommend it to all researchers in cultural analysis, and to all those who were afraid to ask Lacan about Lacan."
-Juliet Flower MacCannell, author of Figuring Lacan