Reaction Formation: Dialogism, Ideology, and Capitalist Culture

Reaction Formation: Dialogism, Ideology, and Capitalist Culture

The Creation of the Modern Unconscious

Studies in Critical Social Science

by Jonathan Hall

Published by: Haymarket Books

285 pages, 6.00 x 9.00 in

  • Paperback
  • ISBN: 9781642591965
  • Published: August 2020


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Bakhtin and Voloshinov argued that dialogue is the intersubjective basis of consciousness, and of the creativity which makes historical changes in consciousness possible. The multiple dialogical relationships give every subject, who has developed through internalising them, the potential to distance him or herself from them. Consciousness is therefore an "unfinalised" process, always open to a possible future which would not merely reiterate the past. But this book explores its corollary: The relative openness is a field of conflict where rival discourses struggle for hegemony, by subordinating or eliminating their rivals. That is how the unconscious is created out of socio-historical conflicts. Hegemony is always incomplete, because there is always the possibility of a return of its repressed rivals in new combinations.