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Prager, J. (1996). Sociology. Psychoanal Q., 65:667.

(1996). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 65:667

Sociology

Review by:
Jeffrey Prager

The following sociology abstracts represent articles culled from a wide selection of sociology journals. Articles were identified that expressed overlapping sets of concern held by sociologists and psychoanalysts. Entries were selected so the reader might be exposed only to the most recent scholarship. Part I is organized around the theme of men and masculinities, a field of research that is now enjoying widespread attention. These articles reflect research on the social and cultural meaning of masculinity and how that shapes and informs male behavior. Many of these articles, as well as the book by Connell, adopt a socially critical tone. The implication of much of this research suggests the powerful, delimiting meaning that masculinity holds in contemporary culture and the ways in which socially derived gender categories restrict full human expressiveness. While these articles will be of interest to psychoanalysts in conceptualizing the links between the unconscious and the social world in which it is constituted, it should be noted that this research tradition probably borrows more heavily from Michel Foucault and his ideas about the history of sexuality than it represents continuities with Freudian thought.

The abstracts in Part II have no single organizing theme although they are examples of sociological research that bears directly on psychoanalytic concerns. They span many different traditions of sociological analysis, including social theory, historical sociology, and critical social analysis. The wide range of topics reveals the breadth of research defined as sociological. At the same time, the fact that there are no abstracts drawn from journals like The American Sociological Review or The American Journal of Sociology, considered to be the semi-official organs of the profession, expresses the distance that currently exists between psychoanalytic and mainstream sociological research questions.

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