‘Jacques Lacan and American Sociology: Be Wary of the Image (The Palgrave Lacan Series)’ by Duane Rousselle

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Duane Rousselle aims to disrupt the hold that pragmatist ideology has had over American sociology by demonstrating that the social bond has always been founded upon a fundamental and primordial bankruptcy. Using the Lacanian theory of “capitalist discourse,” Rousselle demonstrates that most of early American sociology suffered from an inadequate account of the “symbolic” within the mental and social lives of the individual subject. The psychoanalytic aspect of the social bond remained theoretically undeveloped in the American context. Instead it is the “image,” a product of the imaginary, which takes charge over any symbolic function. This intervention into pragmatic sociology seeks to recover the tradition of “grand theory” by bringing psychoanalytical and sociological discourse into fruitful communication with one another.