Alfred Lorenzer and the depth-hermeneutic method

Bereswill, Mechthild; Morgenroth, Christine and Redman, Peter (2010). Alfred Lorenzer and the depth-hermeneutic method. Psychoanalysis, Culture and Society, 15(3) pp. 221–250.



This extended article aims to introduce an Anglophone audience to the work of Alfred Lorenzer. As such, it has three main components: it outlines some of Lorenzer's central concepts (the scenic, interaction forms, engrams, symbolisation and desymoblisation, language games and scenic understanding); explores the dialectical relations through which, for Lorenzer, unconscious, bodily and social processes are mutually constituted; and sketches some of the principles informing the depth-hermeneutic method, the tradition of social, cultural and social psychological research to which his ideas gave rise. Throughout, Lorenzer is viewed as seeking to put psychoanalysis on a materialist footing and concerned to assert its critical potential.

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