4 Freud’s medicine: from the ‘cocaine papers’ to ‘Irma’s Injection’ Mixing psychoanalysis and psychopharmacology In an essay titled ‘What Good Are Psychoanalysts at a Time of Distress Oblivious to Itself?’ the French psychoanalyst and cultural theorist Julia Kristeva provides a succinct and striking image of the modern city and the place of drugs within it: I imagine a huge city with houses of glass and steel, reaching the sky, reﬂecting the sky, itself and you. People cultivate their image, hurried and made up in the extreme, covered in gold, pearls and pure
experimental readings of a number of texts by writers whose own diverse inquiries into the condition of modernity have found prominence in the annals of twentieth-century philosophy and cultural theory. This resulting cocktail of chapters I pass on to the reader to take as they wish. Together they offer a series of oblique and partial entries principally to the work of Freud, Benjamin, Sartre, Derrida, Foucault and Deleuze, in each case from the perspective of their encounters with drugs or on the basis of where the theme of ‘drugs’ touches upon their writings. This book
evocations of the self or the family we want in our homes; gestures to buttress what we want to be. (Wright, 1991: 223) Such reflections place us in a kind of limbo – caught between a worrisome world outside and the possible fear of life within the household and home – feelings of agoraphobia that operate in tension with domophobia (fear of the home). This may seem an overstatement, so let us turn for a moment to Freud’s essay on the unheimlich (or unhomely/ uncanny) and its deeper associations. For Freud, the homely (heimlich) is connected to ideas of homeliness
Never has a reconsideration of the place of drugs in our culture been more urgent than it is today. Drugs are seen as both panaceas and panapathogens, and the apparent irreconcilability of these alternatives lies at the heart of the cultural crises they are perceived to engender. Yet the meanings attached to drugs are always a function of the places they come to occupy in culture. This book investigates the resources for a re-evaluation of the drugs and culture relation in several key areas of twentieth-century cultural and philosophical theory. Addressing themes such as the nature of consciousness, language and the body, alienation, selfhood, the image and virtuality, the nature/culture dyad and everyday life – as these are expressed in the work of such key figures as Freud, Benjamin, Sartre, Derrida, Foucault and Deleuze – it argues that the ideas and concepts by which modernity has attained its measure of self-understanding are themselves, in various ways, the products of encounters with drugs and their effects. In each case, the reader is directed to the points at which drugs figure in the formulations of ‘high theory’, and it is revealed how such thinking is never itself a drug-free zone. Consequently, there is no ground on which to distinguish ‘culture’ from ‘drug culture’ in the first place.
principle, culture, and in doing so it completes the cosmos – adding the second of the two irreducible ordering principles and initiating a new source of cosmic energy and process.6 Controlled fire and/or cooking is not the only contender for the role of pivot that allows the great transformation from nature to culture. Freud famously posits the establishment of the incest taboo as the pivotal event, and spins out a sort of origin myth that begins ‘One day … ’ and proceeds to tell how a group of sons murder their women/wife-hoarding father (1950: 141ff.). Feeling guilty
This book is about people willing to do the sorts of things that most others couldn't, shouldn't or wouldn't. While there are all sorts of reasons why people consume substances, the author notes that there are those who treat drug-taking like an Olympic sport, exploring their capacity to really push their bodies, and frankly, wanting to be the best at it. Extreme athletes, death-defiers and those who perform incredible stunts of endurance have been celebrated throughout history. The most successful athletes can compartmentalise, storing away worry and pain in a part of their brain so it does not interfere with their performance. The brain releases testosterone, for a boost of strength and confidence. In bondage, discipline, sadism and masochism (BDSM) play, the endogenous opioid system responds to the pain, releasing opioid peptides. It seems some of us are more wired than others to activate those ancient biological systems, be it through being caned in a dungeon during a lunchbreak or climbing a sheer rock wall at the weekend. Back in 1990, sociologist Stephen Lyng coined the term 'edgework', now frequently used in BDSM circles, as 'voluntary pursuit of activities that involve a high potential for death, physical injury, or spiritual harm'.
that sperm is. Sigmund Freud ( 1966 ) categorizes jokes on sexual matters as tendentious jokes, designed to enable the discharge of penned-up energy around that which we repress. He regards such jokes as particular to men, not least because they require a third person: the joker, the person or object of the joke and a passive listener (Freud, 1966 : 143). According to Freud ( 1966 : 143), ‘The men save up this kind of entertainment, which originally presupposed the presence of a woman who was feeling ashamed, till they are “alone together”. So that gradually, in
Anthropology after Gluckman places the intimate circle around Max Gluckman, his Manchester School, in the vanguard of modern social anthropology. The book discloses the School’s intense, argument-rich collaborations, developing beyond an original focus in south and central Africa. Where outsiders have seen dominating leadership by Gluckman, a common stock of problems, and much about conflict, Richard Werbner highlights how insiders were drawn to explore many new frontiers in fieldwork and in-depth, reflexive ethnography, because they themselves, in class and gender, ethnicity and national origins, were remarkably inclusive. Characteristically different anthropologists, their careers met the challenges of being a public intellectual, an international celebrity, an institutional good citizen, a social and political activist, an advocate of legal justice. Their living legacies are shown, for the first time, through interlinked social biography and intellectual history to reach broadly across politics, law, ritual, semiotics, development studies, comparative urbanism, social network analysis and mathematical sociology. Innovation – in research methods and techniques, in documenting people’s changing praxis and social relations, in comparative analysis and a destabilizing strategy of re-analysis within ethnography – became the School’s hallmark. Much of this exploration confronted troubling times in Africa, colonial and postcolonial, which put the anthropologists and their anthropological knowledge at risk. The resurgence of debate about decolonization makes the accounts of fierce, End of Empire argument and recent postcolonial anthropology all the more topical. The lessons, even in activism, for social scientists, teachers as well as graduate and undergraduate students are compelling for our own troubled times.
Nationalism has reasserted itself today as the political force of our times, remaking European politics wherever one looks. Britain is no exception, and in the midst of Brexit, it has even become a vanguard of nationalism's confident return to the mainstream. Brexit, in the course of generating a historically unique standard of sociopolitical uncertainty and constitutional intrigue, tore apart the two-party compact that had defined the parameters of political contestation for much of twentieth-century Britain. This book offers a wide-ranging picture of the different theoretical accounts relevant to addressing nationalism. It briefly repudiates the increasingly common attempts to read contemporary politics through the lens of populism. The book explores the assertion of 'muscular liberalism' and civic nationalism. It examines more traditional, conservative appeals to racialised notions of blood, territory, purity and tradition as a means of reclaiming the nation. The book also examines how neoliberalism, through its recourse to discourses of meritocracy, entrepreneurial self and individual will, alongside its exaltation of a 'points-system' approach to the ills of immigration, engineers its own unique rendition of the nationalist crisis. There are a number of important themes through which the process of liberal nationalism can be documented - what Arun Kundnani captured, simply and concisely, as the entrenchment of 'values racism'. These include the 'faux-feminist' demonisation of Muslims.
With race as a central theme, this book presents racial stratification as the underlying system which accounts for the difference in outcomes of Whites and Blacks in the labour market. Critical race theory (CRT) is employed to discuss the operation, research, maintenance and impact of racial stratification. The power of this book is the innovative use of a stratification framework to expose the pervasiveness of racial inequality in the labour market. It teaches readers how to use CRT to investigate the racial hierarchy and it provides a replicable framework to identify the racial order based on insight from the Irish case. There is a four-stage framework in the book which helps readers understand how migrants navigate the labour market from the point of migration to labour participation. The book also highlights minority agency and how migrants respond to their marginality. The examples of how social acceptance can be applied in managing difference in the workplace are an added bonus for those interested in diversity and inclusion. This book is the first of its kind in Ireland and across Europe to present inequality, racism and discrimination in the labour market from a racial stratification perspective. While this book is based on Irish data, the CRT theoretical approach, as well as its insight into migrant perspectives, poses a strong appeal to scholars of sociology, social justice, politics, intercultural communication and economics with interest in race and ethnicity, critical whiteness and migration. It is a timely contribution to CRT which offers scholars a method to conduct empirical study of racial stratification across different countries bypassing the over-reliance on secondary data. It will also appeal to countries and scholars examining causal racism and how it shapes racial inequality.