Dissociation, unconscious and social theory :

Electronic versions

  • Shahram Rafieian Koupaei


The recent attention which has been paid in sociology to the role of embodiment, intersubjectivity and reflexivity has resulted in the development of new social theories which aim to provide better explanations of structure and agency interactions and the dynamics of self and identity formation. In the process of the development of these theories, social theorists have often communicated with other relevant disciplines such as social psychology and psychoanalysis. Clearly, new developments in these related disciplines are likely to have relevance for micro-sociological theories. The aim of this project is to further develop modern micro-sociological theories in the light of new ideas in social psychology and recent understandings in psychoanalysis. Drawing on the ideas of relational psychoanalysis and relational sociology I have tried to define a dynamic unconscious in social theory and a fluid conceptualization of self and identity by applying the concept of dissociation as the key mechanism for shifting between different self-states. Also, based on the theories of Pierre Bourdieu, Anthony Giddens and Margaret Archer, the relationship between reflexivity and habitus is explored, different levels of reflexivity and various forms of consciousness are considered, and these interactions are further investigated using the two examples of sports training and hypnotic involuntariness. Using hypnosis as a model, the development of social self and embodied agency is explored in depth in this context. Furthermore, as a real-life example, the role of subjectivity, relationality and embodiment in doctor-patient relationships is investigated using findings in the research fields of hypnosis and placebo. In conclusion, based on the conceptualization made in this research, the place of two consciousness modalities (discursive and practical) and forms of unconscious (psychological and psychoanalytical) is clarified. Finally, the implications of this categorization for understanding core concepts such as agency, self and identity are explored and some suggestions are made for the further development and application of the theories explored in this project.


Iaith wreiddiolSaesneg
Sefydliad dyfarnu
Goruchwylydd / Goruchwylwyr / Cynghorydd
Dyddiad dyfarnuIon 2015