Paradox in the pursuit of a critical theorization of the development of self in family relationships.
Theory and Psychology, 16(4),
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This article starts with my dissatisfaction with the post-structuralist treatment of the production of subjectivity within regulatory discourses and practices due to its neglect of psychological processes. Taking starting points from within the history set out in the previous article, it highlights the paradox for critical psychologists like myself involved in both applying a post-structuralist critique to 'psy' discourses and trying to theorize subjectivity in a way that goes beyond the dualism of individual and society, of psychology and sociology. The relational, or intersubjective, approach to self that originates in object relations psychoanalysis as it emerged in the mid-20th-century UK is central to both of these activities; object of the former and resource for the latter. I explore the paradox that this creates for critical psychology, both epistemological and ontological. In aiming to provide a psycho-social account of self in family relationships, I deploy the radical conceptualisation of intersubjectivity initiated in British object relations theory as a way of going beyond both the individualized self and the neglect of psychological processes in constructionist theorizing subjectivity.
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