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Chapter 07.pdf

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Media Studies
Ted Petit

Chapter 7: Psychoanalytic Analysis Psychoanalytic Theory: An Overview - basic human desire = emotional wholeness - Psychoanalytic Analysis = how media texts reflect human mental drives toward unity, pleasure, and desire Sigmund Freud - Psychoanalytic Theory = tension between pleasure + reality principle - Desire = appetite for something that promises enjoyment + satisfaction + pleasure (sex / power / food) - Freudian Slip = misspoken words (moment where repressed desire breaks through to conscious) - Pleasure Principle = uncontrollable human drive to satisfy desire - id = inherited + instinctive part of the psyche for satisfaction - unconscious = part of the mind that attempts to make repressed desires felt again - Reality Principle = regulates pleasure principle (curbing of desire according to laws, possibility, social convention) - ego = decides whether we should carry out attempt to satisfy desire or postpone it - control of ego = why we find pleasure in shocking, thrilling, or upsetting aspects of life - repression = process of mentally containing our desires below conscious recognition (manage pleasure + reality tension) Jacques Lacan - Lack = not so much a struggle that separates pleasure + reality but a gap that separates them - feelings of Lack = arise because we are consciously divided from the pleasures that cannot be captured in daily symbol systems - “we still desire for pleasure, but we are trapped in a reality whose social order + language keep us from knowing pleasure fully” - unconscious = shared realm of pleasures + desires that remain beyond our access (insufficiency of language in knowing them) - “traversing the gap and reuniting with those lost pleasures motivates many of our actions throughout life” Freudian Psychoanalysis Sigmund Freud - founder of modern psychoanalytic theory - focus: how sexual experiences + drives direct human action - individuals identity = result of outside forces encountered early in life - Polymorphously Perverse = nature of infants - ability to experience pleasure in an infinite number of ways - uninhibited by social conventions - understand the world as an extension of themselves - no distinction: having a desire + fulfilling it (this distinction must be learned) - criticized: sexual reductionism + ignorance of gender constructs - Modern Psychoanalytic Theory = “our subjectivity is the result of identification with outside forces and contact with these forces results in the formation of the conscious / unconscious divide” - contact with outside forces → subjectivity → formation of conscious / unconscious divide Origins of Sexual Pleasure 1. Oral Stage - activity is concentrated on satisfying oral needs - erotogenic zone: mouth (sucking: breastfeeding) - fantasies: comforting 2. Anal Stage - activity is concentrated on satisfying anal needs - erotogenic zone: bowel + bladder (expulsion of waste) - fantasies: sadistic 3. Phallic Stage - activity is concentrated on satisfying phallic needs - erotogenic zone: genetalia - fantasies: control + self-sufficiency - Oedipus Complex - child undergoes a mental restructuring (splits oral / anal / phallic stages into conscious / unconscious desires) - Boys: - father (embody reality principle): intercedes the mother/child union + dissolves the infant’s sexual desire for his mother - threat = castration (from the father figure) - successfully navigating the process = gives rise to human sexual subjectivity - Girls: - penis envy = presence of father (+ his powerful phallus) forces girl to recognize she is without one (already castrated) - girl rejects the penis-less, powerless mother + sexually desire the father / bearing him children - this process is always incomplete (shifting between maternal + paternal identification) Lacanian Psychoanalysis - unconscious = shared sense of unnamable / lost desires (of the Imaginary) we yearn to experience again - sense of lack = dominates the way that we understand life + the decisions we make - language = gives rise to consciousness (banishing what cannot be expressed in symbols to the unconsciousness) Three separate orders / realms of Human Existence 1. The Real - made up of things in the world that cannot be consciously known / put into words 2. The Imaginary - path a newborn takes in the process of developing a “normal” psychica
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