In this compelling book, Anthony Elliott traces the rise of psychoanalysis from the Frankfurt School to postmodernism, exploring in detail the social and political factors that have led intellectuals to draw from the insights of Freud. Examining how pathbreaking theorists such as Adorno, Marcuse, Lacan and Lyotard have deployed psychoanalysis to politicize issues like desire, sexuality, repression and identity, Elliott develops a powerful assessment of the gains and losses arising from this appropriation of psychoanalysis in social theory and cultural studies.
Moving from the impact of the Culture Wars and recent Freud-bashing to contemporary debates in social theory, feminism and postmodernism, Elliott argues for a new alliance between social-theoretical and psychoanalytic perspectives.
'Anthony Elliott is quickly emerging as a one-person industry, intent in all his writings to demonstrate both the relevance and the importance of psychoanalytic theory for social analysis.' - Thesis Eleven
'Anthony Elliott has once again provided a lucid and critical examination of the relationship between psychoanalysis and social theory. While many writers are still catching up with Lacan's work, Elliott explains the major advances to be found in post-Lacanian theory, and shows how it offers a new view of subjectivity and the 'imagination' attuned to the complexities of contemporary social life.' - Stephen Frosh, Birkbeck College, London
'Comprehensive and challenging, Social Theory Since Freud explores major developments in western thought since Freud mapped out the unconscious. It is an authoritative synopsis of the Frankfurt School, Castoriadis, Lacan, Laplanche and Kristeva. In pursuing the legacy of Freud, Anthony Elliott shows convincingly that the imagination is central to rethinking the relationship between social theory and psychoanalysis.' - Bryan Turner, Cambridge University