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Chapter 7

Chapter 7: MDSA01: Psychoanalytic Analysis

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Media Studies
Michael Petit

Psychoanalytic Analysis: Media Studies: Week 7 Phantom Lady  1944  Married man meets woman in bar, spent the evening together, they are two unhappy people who simply seek a little companionship, never learns her name  His wife died – she was strangled in her apartment  The “phantom lady” cannot confirm his alibi therefore he is convicted to death Psychoanalytic Analysis  Why do media studies scholars adopt psychoanalytic framework to analyze media artifacts?  Repressed or lost desires influence the creation of media artifacts and explain the mental drives activated by those artifacts  This is grounded in the genesis of individual psychology  The psychology of the media artifact  The ways in which the two interact in the process of media consumption Freudian Psychoanalysis: Sigmund Freud  Freud’s model of the human psyche  Perceptional consciousness: conscious awareness provided by your senses  Pre-conscious: things easily called to your conscious mind  Conscious mind: perceptional consciousness + pre-conscious ID  ASSOCIATED WITH THE PLEASURE PRINCIPLE: the uncontrollable human drive to satisfy desire including LIBIDO: human sexual desire  The one and only urge of the ID is toward satisfaction  It is the dark, inaccessible part of our personality SUPER-EGO  Associated with the REALITY PRINCIPLE: the constant curbing of desire according to possibility; laws, both written and unwritten and social convention EGO  Acts according to the reality principle and seeks to please the id’s drive in realistic ways The boundary between the conscious and unconscious is permeable. The unconscious can reveal itself through  DREAMS  SLIPS OF THE TONGUE (Freudian slip) Repression: proposed by freud is the rocess of mentally containing our desires below conscious recognition or expression Lack: is based on the theories of French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan, there is not so much a struggle ebetween pleasure, but we are trapped in a reality whose social order and language keep us from knowing and expressing pleasure fully Oedipus complex: The child undergoes a mental structuring that takes the raw libidinal materials of the oral, anal and phallic stages and splits them into conscious and unconscious desires – fissolving the infants intensely pleasurable and sexual desire for the mother Lacanian Psychoanalysis: Jacque Lacan  Lacan as Borromean Rings: Real, Imaginary, Symbolic  The imaginary: the gaze, the fantasy, the mirror, ideal ego and ego ideal  The Symbolic: signifiers, codes, language, law  The Real: the unsymbolizable, the gab in representation The REAL  The state of nature from which we have been forever severed by our entrance into language. Only as neo-natal children were we close to this state of nature, a state in which there is nothing but need. A baby needs and seeks to satisfy those needs with no sense for any separation between itself and the external world or the world of others. The primordial animal need for copulation (for example, when animals are in heat) similarly corresponds to this state of nature. There is a need followed by a search for satisfaction.  As far as humans are concerned, however, "the real is impossible
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