For a Freudo-Marxist Critique of Social Domination: Rediscovering Erich Fromm Through the Mirror of Pierre Bourdieu
Journal of Classical Sociology, Vol. 11, No. 4, 2011
20 Pages Posted: 25 Jul 2011
Date Written: July 24, 2011
This article aims to make a case and set the foundations for retrieving Erich Fromm’s Freudo-Marxist theory of action and his approach to social domination in particular. To this end, Frommian psychoanalysis is compared with the ‘socio-analysis’ of Pierre Bourdieu. As far as method is concerned, whereas Bourdieu focuses attention on the socio-political processes of production and reproduction of the perceptive structures that individuals and groups employ in their judgements and actions, Fromm fruitfully extends wider to include the links between perceptive and socio-political structures, on the one hand, and the innate structures of the human psyche, on the other hand. Substantively, moreover, Bourdieu tends to exclude physically violent forms of domination from his account of the material effects of symbolic constructs, whilst Fromm consistently places them centre stage. Indeed, Fromm’s analytic operations and foci combine to offer a firm rebuttal to Bourdieu’s curiously ahistorical contention that psychoanalysis concerns itself exclusively with the individual and always in line with some version of psychologistic determinism, thereby serving as an apologia for the abuses subjects suffer under the established order.
Keywords: Erich Fromm, Pierre Bourdieu, Psychoanalysis and Socio-analysis, Freudo-Marxism, the unconscious, social domination
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