For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

"Lacan at Work"

by Glynos, J (2010)


As a site of wealth creation, work and the organization of work receive critical attention from many disciplines and from many traditions of thought. In this chapter I explore why one might want to supplement existing approaches to work and the organization of work – both psychoanalytic and non-psychoanalytic – with ideas drawn from the field of Lacanian psychoanalysis. I suggest that there are advantages to organizing this Lacanian intervention around the category of fantasy, but that there are also aspects of this approach that demand further development if we are to offer a convincing critical explanation of workplace phenomena.

Key Passage

The tendency of many poststructuralist approaches to highlight the importance of the political dimension of workplace practices signals a desire to eschew the idea that the economy is an extra-discursive force outside of, and acting upon, politics, culture, and society. On the contrary, such a poststructuralist perspective seeks to make explicit the idea that the economy is discursively constructed and thus contestable. The political dimension of workplace practices is thus theorized in a way that diverges from the way politics and power are often understood. The concept of the political is theorized not as a function of the way that power is distributed in the organization, where power is understood in terms of identifiable sovereign authority, capacities, resources, interests, structures, or a dispersed micro-physics of power. (p.17)


Lacan, Psychoanalytic, Lacanian Psychoanalysis, Organisation Studies, Pathologies Of Work, Psychosocial Studies


Lacan, Jacques

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