Psychoanalysis for anthropology: An introduction to Lacanian anthropology

  • Lenart Kodre Independent researcher
Keywords: anthropology and psychoanalysis, Lacan, psychoanalysis, epistemology


This article revisits the theoretical junctions of anthropology and psychoanalysis, two of the impossible disciplines, and explores the potential for re-interpreting key anthropological questions from the psychoanalytic perspective, focusing mainly on the work of Jacques Lacan and his followers. Over the years, there have been many attempts to fuse ideas from both disciplines. This co-operation began with Freud and continues on the basic conceptual level to this day, and is (rightfully) rejected by most of the anthropological community. In contrast, attempts to revaluate some fundamental constants of anthropological theory from the Lacanian perspective have been scarce and lacking the effort or courage to outline the binding points of the two overlapping fields of knowledge. This article tries to do exactly that: to outline the scope of the interrelationship and to identify important areas, such as subjectivity and its relation to the social reality and vice versa, methodology and epistemology, where Lacan’s ‘return to Freud’ can offer new insights into old problems.