Complicating the happy cure: psychoanalysis and the ends of analysis

Wright, Colin (2017) Complicating the happy cure: psychoanalysis and the ends of analysis. In: Critical Happiness Studies. Routledge, London. (In Press)

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This chapter explores the relative sidelining of psychoanalysis in critical approaches to Happiness Studies thus far. It argues that this stems from an American strand of psychoanalysis known as ego-psychology which forms an unacknowledged element in the genealogy of Happiness Studies itself. However, the chapter focusses primarily on Jacques Lacan’s critical interventions into ego-psychology and his elaboration of a contrasting psychoanalytic theory and practice. It is claimed that Lacan’s criticisms of happiness as an ego-based therapeutic ideology, and his related suspicion of models of ‘cure’, constitute a crucial resource for critical approaches to Happiness Studies. Finally, it is argued that, to this end, psychoanalysis is best approached as a clinical practice involving a tact with the subjective demand for happiness, rather than as a social or cultural theory that supports a generalised critique of happiness as a neoliberal ideology but misses, thereby, the affective hold over intimacy and sociality contemporary happiness has.

Item Type: Book Section
Keywords: Happiness Studies, Psychoanalysis, Lacan
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Arts > School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies > Department of Culture, Film and Media
Depositing User: Wright, Colin
Date Deposited: 07 Sep 2017 12:19
Last Modified: 04 May 2020 19:04

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