Norbert Elias and Psychoanalysis: The Concept of Figuration in the Clinical Practice.

Sunday, 10 July 2016: 15:00
Location: Hörsaal 30 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Andre COSTA, University of Sao Paulo, Brazil
The influence of Sigmund Freud's psychoanalysis in the work of Norbert Elias is notorious and recognized by the sociologist himself. The Freudian thought grounds the thesis about the civilizing process, according to which social norms are internalized by individuals, leading them toward a differentiation with others at the expense of the repression of drive and affections. According to the idea of the civilizing process, we should not think on social structures as static, but always consider them as subject to a long-term development. We also should not think on acts as due just to individuals, because individuals are part of a network of relationships. For psychoanalysis, the individual cannot be thought out of social ties, as well as social discourses should be understood through subjective processes. In turn, the concept of figuration shows that individuals are in relationships of interdependence with each other, allowing the dissolution of the antithesis between individual and society. Figuration is a concept that Elias applies in sociology, but can be extended to every discipline that works in the perspective of understanding the human being within a network of relationships and interdependencies, beyond a structure closed in itself. In this paper, we propose to consider how the concept of figuration can contribute as an operator for the field of psychoanalytic practice. So, we will seek to articulate psychoanalysis and Norbert Elias’s sociology through the concept of figuration as a methodological operator that helps us understand the subjective processes in psychoanalytic practice. Jacques Lacan’s psychoanalytic theory will contribute to our research through concepts such as discourses and social ties. For Lacan, the unconscious is the politics and his theory of discourses show different forms of production of subjectivity.