Towards a Lacanian methodology for analyzing extra-analytic textual material.

Apteker, R. L.
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This research report presents a pilot study exploring the possibility of applying a Lacanian clinical methodology for analyzing unconscious dynamics in extra-analytic material. This research initially investigates the legitimacy and utility of this endeavour, followed by immersion in Lacanian thinking and the subsequent selection of potentially relevant data sets; samples of extra-analytic textual material. As this stage a recursive interaction between reading Lacanian theory and reflecting on the text is enacted. Five Lacanian concepts are identified (mirror phase, the three orders of the imaginary, the symbolic and the real, as well as the paternal agency). Although these concepts are, in process inextricable from another, they are presented as though discrete entities given that this allows for the foregrounding of different aspects in the process. The interaction between these concepts is considered with respect to Lacan‟s requirement in clinical practice of a tentative preliminary diagnosis of the patient into one of three diagnostic categories; perversion, neurosis and psychosis. Consequently, in a step that mirrors the clinical process, the textual subject of the data sets is tentatively classified as a (Lacanian) psychotic whose characteristic psychic structure is constituted out of foreclosure. Ways of discerning this structure in textual matter outside of the analytic setting are then considered. Four ways are proposed here. These are the unified or unbounded use of personal pronouns; evidence of thinking towards resolution or disintegration; denial or tolerance of difference and fourthly, the manifestation of regressive or libidinal speech actions. These four provide the basis for approaching the analysis of the selected data sets, which consist of carefully selected instances of Jacob Zuma‟s ostensibly unscripted public utterances. It is proposed that the four ways identified can be used in the analysis of other extra-analytic material.
Lacan, Lacanian, Mirror phase, Imaginary order, Symbolic order, Order of the real, Paternal agency, Paternal metaphor, Lacanian psychotic, Foreclosure