Concepts used to analyze “Culture”. A Critique of 20th Century ways of Thinking

Author: Sobolev, Dennis
This study is devoted to the stratified description and analysis of the unconscious mechanisms of culture, that is, the mechanisms that form the human being, as an empirical subject in its actual existence.


“Sobolev explicitly refuses psychology and psychoanalysis the exclusive rights they have claimed to the subject. His entire study explains the reasons for this impossibility of dealing with the problem of the unconscious by means of psychological instruments. He shows the unconscious to be the complex field of cultural constructions, influences and determinations, which is hidden by a no less complex system of misrepresentations and resistances.” – Dr. Vladimir Paperni,The University of Haifa

“. . . beautifully written; it will be of very significant interest to a wide audience of readers and has a good chance of becoming a seminal work.” – Dr. Larisa Fialkova, The University of Haifa

“. . . impressive, original and convincing.” – Dr. Yoseph Milman, University of Haifa

Table of Contents

Foreword by Dr. Vladimir Paperni
Part I. Beyond Psychology
The Unconscious: Towards a Topographic Model
Freudian Topographic Model and Thematic Elucidations
Freud’s Analytical Practices
‘The Collective Unconscious’: A Brief History of the Problem
The Mythologization of Archetypes and Post-Jungian Models
Archetypes: A Culturalist Understanding
Between the Instinctive and the Cultural: The Will to Power and Self-Assertion
The Will to Power: Culturalist Aspects
The Intrusion of the Changing and Social Psychology
Social Psychiatry: From ‘Games’ to Behavioral Scenarios
Identity and the Social: Fromm’s Theory of Social Characters
Jacques Lacan and the Self-Transcendence of Psychology
Part II. Between Language and Myth
The Subject Speaking and the Linguistic Model
The Way of Rhetoric
From Folklore to Narrative Schemes
The Rule of the Form
Great Expectations of Narrative Organization
Anthropology and the Structures of Thought
Part III. Functionalist Specifications
The Notion of Residual Zones
Generative Mechanisms and Determining Relations in Early Anthropology
Institualization and the Unconscious: From Durkheim to Mauss
The Semiotic as the Unconscious: Clifford Geertz against Himself
Contemporary Urban Anthropology: From the Semiotic to the Social
Horizons of Hermeneutic Expectations: From Ingarden to Fish
Part IV. Intentionality and Configurations
Language and the Grounding of Consciousness: A Historical Digression
Language and the Grounding of Consciousness: Jacques Derrida
Conceptual Spaces and Taxonomies
Foucault’s ‘Epistemological Spaces’ and ‘Archaeologies’
Types of Thought and the Structure of Consciousness
‘Mentality’ beyond Consciousness: A Historicist Perspective
The Aesthetic Dimension ‘The Real’
Part V. The Orders of Power and the Unconscious
Towards a Different Concept of Power
Classical Marxism and the Problem of the Subject
Alienation, Reification, Commodity Fetishism
Marx and the Concept of Ideology
Georg Lukacs, Reification and False Consciousness
Walter Benjamin and the Relational Theory Culture
Lucien Goldmann’s Structural Homology
The Invisible Spirits of Hegemony: From Gramsci to Bourdieu
The Frankfurt School and the Contemporary Individual
Ideology, Feeling, and Desire
Althusser’s Ideological Apparatus and the Centering of the Subject
The Problem of Homology Reappraised
Part VI. Subjectivity and Resistance
The Problem of the ‘Subject’ and its Utopian Representations
Narcissistic Subject Speaking and Teaching
Self-Image of the Subject and the Problem of Epistemological Narcissism
The Subject, the Real, and the Natural
‘The Oppositional’: Representation, Function, Containment
Further Notes on the Problem of Containment
Between Concealment and Resistance
The Suppression of the Historical and the Existential
More Strategies of Resistance
The Symptomatic Function of Resistance
Cultural Analysis and the Problem of the ‘Counterintuitive’
Part VII. The Cave Revisited
The Functional-Topographic Stratification of Culture and the Unconscious
Cultural Unconscious and the Freudian Topographic Model
Psychology and the Unconscious of Culture
Between Nature and Culture
The Concept of Culture, ‘Plastic Control,’ and Partial Determinations
The Unbearable Heterogeneity of Consciousness
The Unconscious as a Philosophical Problem: Beyond Kant and Cassirer
From the Hermeneutics of Consciousness to Semiotic Phenomenology
In the Prison House of the Constructed
Zabriskie Point: A Place of Freedom
Faith, Ethical Choice, and the Other