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    Psychoanalytic approaches to qualitative psychology

    Frosh, Stephen and Saville Young, L. (2017) Psychoanalytic approaches to qualitative psychology. In: Willig, C. and Stainton-Rogers, W. (eds.) The Sage Handbook of Qualitative Research in Psychology (Second Edition). London, UK: Sage, pp. 124-140. ISBN 9781473925212.

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    The possible syncretism of contemporary social psychology and psychoanalysis has a number of facets, relating particularly to a shared concern with language or communication as the medium through which people compose themselves. The ‘affective turn’ in the social sciences has opened this out still further, despite some radical criticisms of ‘social psychoanalysis’ developed therein. This chapter explores the issues involved in this ‘syncretism’ and in the critiques, and examines practical issues around the deployment of notions such as reflexivity, transference and countertransference in research. We present an example from recent research on ‘brothering’ and argue both for the productivity of the application of psychoanalysis to qualitative material and for its problems. We argue that the use of psychoanalytic understanding must be tentative, rooted both in biographical information and in a dynamic contact with research participants that allows space for emotional connectedness and observation and thoughtful reflection on the relationship that arises. As with other forms of qualitative research, analysis of textual material must be rigorous and cautious, employing psychoanalytic concepts but grounding them in clearly observable textual moves –however open these might be to alternative readings as well.


    Item Type: Book Section
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Psychoanalysis, narrative analysis, affect, qualitative research, brothers, reflexivity
    School: School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy > Psychosocial Studies
    Research Centres and Institutes: Mapping Maternal Subjectivities, Identities and Ethics (MAMSIE)
    Depositing User: Stephen Frosh
    Date Deposited: 24 Oct 2017 14:24
    Last Modified: 09 Jun 2021 17:17


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