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Dimen, M. (1998). Subject to Ourselves: Social Theory, Psychoanalysis, and Postmodernity. By Anthony Elliott. Cambridge, MA: Polity Press, 1996, 174 pp., $49.95. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 46(4):1284-1287.

(1998). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 46(4):1284-1287

Subject to Ourselves: Social Theory, Psychoanalysis, and Postmodernity. By Anthony Elliott. Cambridge, MA: Polity Press, 1996, 174 pp., $49.95

Review by:
Muriel Dimen

Anthony Elliott's subject is subjectivity itself, and its contemporary vicissitudes and interpretations. He examines “the filtering effects of culture and society in psychic experience, accounting for how the subject's communication with itself and others comes into being, changes, and persists over historical time” (p. 2). Setting the psychic and social in play, he yet avoids the reductionism to which both social and psychoanalytic thought are prone when addressing the psyche's interface with other spheres, such as culture or biology. He argues on two terrains at once—culture theory's debates over modernism and postmodernism, and psychoanalytic debates on psychic process and intersubjectivity.

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