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 privileging of culture, language, and ethics in Lacan’s corpus suggests that the ideological, normative, and political aspects of work practices may be more readily discerned when examined through this particular psychoanalytic prism, thereby problematizing, rather than taking for granted, the nature and content of an individual’s or organization’s ‘good psychological health’. A Lacanian-inflected political theory of discourse seeks to move beyond approaches that take the norms, ideals, and goals of organizations for granted, and could help throw light on the more collective and political aspects of such practices, highlighting the normative and ideological relevance of psychic processes. By situating the logics of fantasy alongside social and political logics, Lacanian insights can be brought to bear on the study of organizations by making this relevance explicit. (p.39)


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


Lacan, Jacques

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