Archive for April, 2008

The Future of Social Networks at Graphing Social Patterns

Written by Sean Ammirati / March 3, 2008 8:03 PM / 4 Comments

Charlene Li gave the opening keynote at today’s Graphing Social Patterns conference. The keynote was titled “The Future of Social Networks” and Charlene clarified that specifically she was focused on five to ten years out in her presentation. Her basic thesis is that in the future, ‘social networks will be like air.’ In other words, it will be ubiquitous as you navigate across the web and sites will feel inadequate (like you can’t breathe) if a user’s social network isn’t part of the experience.

The majority of Charlene’s talk then focused on how each component of a social network will evolve given this vision:


  • Profiles
  • Relationships
  • Activities
  • Business Models


Profiles: A Universal Identity

Like most of us, Charlene has literally dozens of identities online (see slide below).


Moving forward she’d like to see a universal identity. Her specific proposal centers on either email and/or mobile phones, since this would be an identity she controls. Thankfully, Charlene also anticipates a federated approach (such as OpenID.) Also, she anticipates a few major players will probably serve as major federation focus points. We have already seen this happen begin to happen with both AOL and Yahoo! supporting OpenID.

Charlene also talked about the “Bill of Rights for Users of the Social Web,” a document created by a number of thought leaders in the social web: Joseph Smarr, Marc Canter, Robert Scoble & Michael Arrington. The document states:

We publicly assert that all users of the social web are entitled to certain fundamental rights, specifically:

  • Ownership of their own personal information, including:
    • their own profile data
    • the list of people they are connected to
    • the activity stream of content they create;
  • Control of whether and how such personal information is shared with others; and
  • Freedom to grant persistent access to their personal information to trusted external sites.


I imagine there will be more conversation on this in the afternoon panel Dan Farber is moderating on Data Portability.

Relationships: A Single Social Graph

Over the next few years, Charlene pointed out that a unified social graph will develop. She showed her current social graph as it exists inside Facebook, and then pointed out what it was missing: colleagues, parents, extended family, school parents, neighbors (see slide below). I think this is something we all realize intuitively – so the overriding point is that our real social graph is far more complex.


New ‘Entrants’ Will Be Portals

I actually found this one of the more interesting points from Charlene’s presentation. She proposed that the a number of ‘new entrants’ will emerge, except that they won’t be startups at all. Instead, she predicts that a number of the major portals (Google, Microsoft Live, Yahoo!, and AOL) will actually fill the the relationship mapping gap. She pointed to 4 reasons why they are natural entrants:


  1. Millions of Regular Users
  2. Search & Deep Content
  3. Ad & Content Networks
  4. Relationship Maps


Activities: Social Context for Activities

Going back to ‘social networks being like air’, not surprisingly Charlene projects that social context will be important for most online activities. As an example of how this might happen, she used shopping. She talked about Amazon integrating with Facebook (or any other repository of social graph info) such that they could highlight book reviews from her friends. Charlene also pointed out that any portal could easily incorporate social data into their site. She used Yahoo! as an example saying they could:


  1. Search based on what my friends find relevant
  2. Elevate stories tagged by my friends — anywhere (maybe multiple social graphs web 2.0 & shopping)
  3. Compare daily portfolio performance to friends
  4. In terms of advertising, which of my friends owns a Focus & what do they think of it?


Business Models: Social Influence Defines Marketing Value

When talking about business models, her basic point was that we have yet to properly value networks based on their social value. She pointed to Marian Salzman’s (of JWT) concept of personal CPMs. The basic idea being that an individual’s authority on specific topics plus their network’s interest and authority on the topic, results in a value of reaching that user. If this is true then “social networks will have to compete to have the best experience for high influence people.”


Based on the vision she laid out, Charlene ended with a map of how open she anticipated these open platforms evolving.


To realize this vision of ubiquitous social networks, Charlene pointed out 2 things that must happen:


  1. We need the technology to evolve, which she wasn’t that worried about
  2. We need to increase trust, which she challenged the industry to think about


You can view all of Charlene’s Slides here.

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Enterprise 2.0 To Become a $4.6 Billion Industry By 2013

Written by Sarah Perez / April 20, 2008 9:01 PM / 25 Comments

A new report released today by Forrester Research is predicting that enterprise spending on Web 2.0 technologies is going to increase dramatically over the next five years. This increase will include more spending on social networking tools, mashups, and RSS, with the end result being a global enterprise market of $4.6 billion by the year 2013.

This change is not without its challenges. Although there is money to be made in the industry by vendors, Web 2.0 tools by their very nature are defined by commoditization; as is much of the new social media industry, a topic we touched on briefly here, when discussing how content has become a commodity.

For vendors specifically, there are 3 main challenges to becoming successful in this new industry, including:

  1. I.T. shops being wary of what they perceive as “consumer-grade” technology
  2. Ad-supported web tools generally have “free” as the starting point
  3. Web 2.0 tools will have to now compete in a space currently dominated by legacy enterprise software investments

What is Enterprise Web 2.0?

Most technologists segment the Web 2.0 market between “consumer” Web 2.0 technologies and “business” Web 2.0 technologies. So what does Enterprise 2.0 include then?

Well, what it doesn’t include is consumer services like Blogger, Facebook, Netvibes, and Twitter, says Forrester. These types of services are aimed at consumers and are often supported by ads, so they do not qualify as Enterprise 2.0 tools.

Instead, collaboration and productivity tools based on the concepts of web 2.0, but designed for the enterprise worker will count as being Enterprise 2.0. In addition, for-pay services, like those from BEA Systems, IBM, Microsoft, Awareness, NewsGator Technologies, and Six Apart will factor in.

Enterprise marketing tools have also expanded to include Web 2.0 technologies. For example, money spent on the creation and syndication of a Facebook app or a web site/social network widget could be considered Enterprise 2.0. However, pure ad spending dollars, including those spent on consumer Web 2.0 sites, will not count as Enterprise 2.0.

Getting Past the I.T. Gatekeeper

One of the main challenges of getting Web 2.0 into the enterprise will be getting past the gatekeepers of traditional I.T. Businesses have been showing interest in these new technologies, but, ironically, the interest comes from departments outside of I.T. Instead, it’s the marketing department, R&D, and corporate communications pushing for the adoption of more Web 2.0-like tools.

Unfortunately, as often is the case, the business owners themselves don’t have the knowledge or expertise to make technology purchasing decisions for their company. They rely on I.T. to do so – a department that currently spends 70% of their budget maintaining past investments.

Despite the absolute mission-critical nature of I.T. in today’s business, the department is often provided with slim budgets, which tends to only allow for maintaining current infrastructure, not experimenting with new, unproven technologies.

To make matters worse, I.T. tends to view Web 2.0 tools as being insecure at best, or, at worst, a security threat to the business. They also don’t trust what they perceive to be “consumer-grade” technologies, which they don’t believe have the power to scale to the size that an enterprise demands.

In addition, I.T. departments currently work with a host of legacy applications. The new tools, in order to compete with these, will have to be able to integrate with existing technology, at least for the time being, in order to be fully effective.

Finally, given the tight budgets, there is still a chance that even if a particular tool does meet all the requirements to get in the door at a particular company, I.T. or other company personnel utilizing the service may try to exploit the free version of the service if the price point for the “enterprise” version gets to be too high. They may also choose to look for a free, open source alternative.

Enterprise 2.0 Adoption

How Web 2.0 Will Reach $4.6 Billion

All that being said, the Web 2.0 market, as  small as it is now, is, in fact, growing. In 2008, firms with 1000 employees or more will spend $764 million on Web 2.0 tools and technologies. Over the next five years, that expenditure will grow at a compound annual rate of 43%.

The top spending category will be social networking tools. In 2008, for example, companies will spend $258 million on tools like those from Awareness, Communispace, and Jive Software. After social networking, the next-largest category is RSS, followed by blogs and wikis, and then mashups.

The vendors expected to do the best in this new marketplace will be those that bundle their offerings, offering the complete package of tools to the businesses they serve.

However, newer, “pure” Web 2.0 companies hoping to capitalize on this trend will still have to fight with traditional I.T. software for a foothold, specifically fighting with the likes of Microsoft and IBM. Many I.T. shops will choose to stick with their existing software from these large, well-known vendors, especially now that both are integrating Web 2.0 into their offerings.

Microsoft’s SharePoint, for example, now includes wikis, blogs, and RSS technologies in their collaboration suite. IBM offers social networking and mashup tools via their Lotus Connections and Lotus Mashups products and SAP Business Suite includes social networking and widgets.

What this means is that much of the Web 2.0 tool kit will simply “fade into the fabric of enterprise collaboration suites,” says Forrester. By 2013, few buyers will seek out and purchase Web 2.0 tools specifically. Web 2.0 will become a feature, not a product.

Enterprise 2.0 Spending

Other Trends

Other trends will also have an impact on this new marketplace, including the following:

External Spending Will Beat Internal Spending: External Web 2.0 expenditure will surpass internal expenditure in 2009, and, by 2013, will dwarf internal spending by a billion dollars. Internally, companies will spend money on internal social networking, blogs, wikis, and RSS; externally, the spending patterns will be very similar. Social networking tools that provide customer interaction, allowing customers the ability to create profiles, join discussion boards, and read company blogs, for example, will receive more investment and development over the next five years.

Europe & Asia Pacific Markets Grow: Europe and Asia Pacific will become more substantial markets in 2009. Fewer European companies have embraced Web 2.0 tools, leaving much room for growth. Asia Pacific will also grow in 2009.

Web 2.0 Graduates from “Kids’ Stuff”:  Right now, it’s people between the ages of 12 and 17 that are the more avid consumers of social computing technology, with one-third of them acting as content creators. Meanwhile, only 7% of those 51-61 do the same. However, this is another trend that is going to change over the next few years. By 2011, Forrester believes that users of Web 2.0 tools will mirror users of the web at large.

Retirement of Baby Boomers: As with many things, it takes the passing of the older generation from executive status into retirement before a true shift can occur. Over the next three years, millions of baby boomers will retire and the younger workers brought in to fill the void will not only want, but will expect similar tools in the office as those they use at home in their personal lives.

What It All Means

For vendors wanting to play in the Enterprise 2.0 space, there are a few key takeaways to be learned from this research. For one, they can help ensure their success in this niche by selling across deployment types. That is, plan to grow beyond just selling to either the internal or external market.

Another option is to segment the enterprise marketplace by industry and then by company size. Some industries are more customer-focused than others when it comes to the external market, so developing customized solutions for a particular industry could be a key to success. For internal tools, focusing efforts on deploying enterprise grade tools that include things like integration or security will help sell products to larger customers. Other  levels of service can be designed specifically for the SMBs, featuring simple, self-provisioning products to help cut down on costs.

Finally, vendors looking to grow should consider making a name for themselves in the Europe or Asia Pacific markets, where the opportunity comes from the expected increased investment rates for Web 2.0/Enterprise 2.0 in those geographic regions.

However, the most valuable aspect of this change for vendors is the knowledge they obtain about how to run a successful SaaS business – something that will help propel them into the next decade and beyond and, ultimately, will provide more value than any single Web 2.0 offering alone ever will.

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Real People Don’t Have Time for Social Media

Written by Sarah Perez / April 16, 2008 2:00 PM / 50 Comments

Let’s be honest here: we’re all a bunch of social media addicts. We’re junkies. Whether it’s a new Twitter app, a new Facebook feature, or a new social anything service, we’re all over it. But we may not be the norm. The truth is, being involved in social media takes time, something that most people don’t have a lot of. So how can regular folk get involved with social media? And how much time does it really take?

The Time It Takes To Be Involved

It was this post on a blog called Museum 2.0 that caught our eye.

[Side Note: Museum 2.0 is a blog whose niche is exploring the technologies and philosophies of web 2.0 and then applying them to museums, yes, like brick-and-mortar museums. The site’s owner, Nina Simon, works at the Tech Museum of Innovation as curator of the new Tech Virtual Museum Workshop and previously, worked at the Electric Sheep Company and International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C. Fascinating read, by the way.]

The post was “How Much Time Does Web 2.0 Take?” and it looks at all the different types of activities and levels of participation on a sliding scale depending on how much time you have to invest.

The point of the scale is to show regular folk, albeit those in a particular industry, how they can fit getting involved with social media into their day-to-day routine.

Let’s call it a “real person” scale.

Although she was specifically writing for the museum crowd, there is some good information here that we can all benefit from. To summarize, here are her findings:

1-5 Hours per Week = Participant

A participant is at the lower end of the scale. Participants can set up MySpace or Facebook pages and groups, run a Twitter feed, comment on blogs, and/or upload images to a site like flickr. She notes that the most time-consuming aspect of Twitter is not the broadcasting aspect but finding followers who will read your content.

5-10 Hours per Week = Content Provider

A content provider can start a blog or a podcast. Both activities require slightly more advanced technical skills and a larger time commitment. Bloggers should aim for a minimum of at least one post per week, but two or three would be better, she says. Podcasts can be as infrequent as once per month.

10-20 Hours per Week = Community Director

A community director is much more involved with social media. Here, her advice is more narrowly aimed towards museum staff, but still the overall suggestions hold up. Community directors  can get involved in community web sites, work comment boards, and create projects in Second Life. Basically this category involves getting involved in larger scale activities, but, once launched and running, they don’t require full-time management.

Time Spent on Social Media, image via Museum 2.0

How Much Time Do You Spend on Social Media?

For a comparison between what time commitments are recommended for “regular” folk versus how much time our community spends on social media, I took a completely unscientific Twitter poll where I asked that question.

Let’s see what you responded with to the question: “How much time do you spend on social media per day?”

A Couple Hours per Day:

A Bit More Involved:

There Should Be a Support Group for This:

What Can We Learn From This?

Looking at all the various web-based activities and projects, what we can tell is that not everyone is going to have the time to be as heavily involved in social media and we are.

Even those of us at the lower end of the range, offering up only a few hours per day, are still heavily involved with social media when we’re placed on this “real person” scale that Nina provides.

If we’re going to recommend a service or activity to a friend whose alarm goes off at 6 AM and doesn’t return home from the office until 6 PM, then we need to respect that their “spare” time is precious. Whatever new app or service we’re trying to push on them should have real value.

Where do you rate on this scale? Have you over-committed or under-committed your time?

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Jacques Lacan (Encyclopædia Britannica Online)

Jacques LacanFrench psychologist in full Jacques Marie Émile Lacan


French psychoanalyst who gained an international reputation as an original interpreter of Sigmund Freud’s work.

Lacan earned a medical degree in 1932 and was a practicing psychiatrist and psychoanalyst in Paris for much of his career. He helped introduce Freudian theory into France in the 1930s, but he reached prominence only after he began conducting regular seminars at the University of Paris in 1953. He acquired celebrity status in France after the publication of his essays and lectures in Écrits (1966; Eng. trans. The Language of the Self: The Function of Language in Psychoanalysis). He founded and headed an organization called the Freudian School of Paris from 1964 until he disbanded it in 1980 for what he claimed was its failure to adhere with sufficient strictness to Freudian principles.

Lacan emphasized the primacy of language as the mirror of the unconscious mind, and he tried to introduce the study of language (as practiced in modern linguistics, philosophy, and poetics) into psychoanalytic theory. His major achievement was his reinterpretation of Freud’s work in terms of the structural linguistics developed by French writers in the second half of the 20th century. The influence he gained extended well beyond the field of psychoanalysis to make him one of the dominant figures in French cultural life during the 1970s. In his own psychoanalytic practice, Lacan was known for his unorthodox, and even eccentric, therapeutic methods.

External Web sites

This topic is discussed at the following external Web sites.

European Graduate School – Biography of Jacques Lacan


MLA Style:

Jacques Lacan.” Encyclopædia Britannica. 2008. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 19 Apr. 2008 <http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/327112/Jacques-Lacan>.


APA Style:

Jacques Lacan. (2008). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved April 19, 2008, from Encyclopædia Britannica Online: http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/327112/Jacques-Lacan


More from Britannica on “Jacques Lacan”
Jacques Lacan (French psychologist)

French psychoanalyst who gained an international reputation as an original interpreter of Sigmund Freud’s work.

Lacan earned a medical degree in 1932 and was a practicing psychiatrist and psychoanalyst in Paris for much of his career. He helped introduce Freudian theory into France in the 1930s, but he reached prominence only after he began conducting regular seminars at the University of Paris in 1953. He acquired celebrity status in France after the publication of his essays and lectures in Écrits (1966; Eng. trans. The Language of the Self: The Function of Language in Psychoanalysis). He founded and headed an organization called the Freudian School of Paris from 1964 until he disbanded it in 1980 for what he claimed was its failure to adhere with sufficient strictness to Freudian principles.

Lacan emphasized the primacy of language as the mirror of the unconscious mind, and he tried to introduce the study of language (as practiced in modern linguistics, philosophy, and poetics) into psychoanalytic theory. His major achievement was his reinterpretation of Freud’s work in terms of the structural linguistics developed by French writers in the second half of the 20th century. The influence he gained extended well beyond the field of psychoanalysis to make him one of the dominant figures in French cultural life during the 1970s. In his own psychoanalytic practice, Lacan was known for his unorthodox, and even eccentric, therapeutic methods.

Freudian School of Paris (French organization)

Aspects of this topic are discussed in the following places at Britannica.

  • Irigaray Irigaray, LuceIrigaray was a member of the Freudian School of Paris, founded by Jacques Lacan, and taught at the University of Paris VIII-Vincennes from 1968 until she was dismissed in 1974 because of her doctoral thesis. Entitled Speculum de l’autre femme (Speculum of the Other Woman), it argues that history and culture are written in patriarchal language, that they exclude women’s needs and…
  • Lacan Lacan, Jacques…of his essays and lectures in Écrits (1966; Eng. trans. The Language of the Self: The Function of Language in Psychoanalysis). He founded and headed an organization called the Freudian School of Paris from 1964 until he disbanded it in 1980 for what he claimed was its failure to adhere with sufficient strictness to Freudian principles.
Tel Quel (French journal)

French avant-garde literary review published from 1960 to 1982 by Éditions du Seuil. Founded by Philippe Sollers and other young writers, this eclectic magazine published works by such practitioners of the nouveau roman (“new novel”) as Alain Robbe-Grillet and Nathalie Sarraute, as well as works by these writers’ acknowledged predecessors— e.g., James Joyce and Francis Ponge.

Much influenced by Surrealism, Tel Quel had as a goal the evaluation of 20th-century literature; it printed previously unpublished works by Antonin Artaud, Georges Bataille, and Ezra Pound, as well as contemporary literary criticism by Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida, Julia Kristeva, Roland Barthes, and Jacques Lacan. From 1966 to 1970 Tel Quel represented a Maoist view of Marxism.

From 1974 the review relinquished political involvement, becoming a supporter of such intellectuals as Bernard-Henri Lévy and André Glucksmann and others in the “new philosophers” movement. The critical orientation of Tel Quel shifted toward the classical Greco-Hebrew tradition, including discussion of biblical and theological questions. Its new stance included unequivocal support of worldwide human rights and the beginnings of an appreciation of modern culture, particularly that of the United States.

Aspects of this topic are discussed in the following places at Britannica.

  • place in French literature French literature…style of filmmaking. The nouveau roman was taken up by the literary theorist Jean Ricardou and promulgated by him through the avant-garde critical journal Tel Quel. (Founded in 1960 by Philippe Sollers and other writers, Tel Quel reflects the transformation and politicization of Parisian and…
  • significance to Sarduy Sarduy, Severo…fearful of its persecution of homosexuals and the censorship imposed on writers, Sarduy never went home. In Paris he became close to the group of critics and theoreticians…
Jean-François Revel (French philosopher and journalist)

French philosopher and journalist (b. Jan. 19, 1924, Marseille, France—d. April 30, 2006, Kremlin-Bicêtre, near Paris, France), was a defender of American liberal democracy, an unusual position for a French intellectual. Ricard adopted the pen name Revel in the Resistance during World War II. He graduated in philosophy from the École Normale Supérieure in 1943, after which he taught in Algeria, Mexico, and Italy before returning to France in 1956. His polemical Pourquoi des philosophes? (1957) criticized Marxism, the German philosopher Martin Heidegger, and the French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan. In 1963 Revel left teaching for full-time journalism. Among his most influential books were Ni Marx, ni Jésus (1970; Without Marx or Jesus, 1971), La Tentation totalitaire (1976, The Totalitarian Temptation, 1977), Comment les démocraties finissent (1983; How Democracies Perish, 1984), and L’Obsession anti-américaine (2002; Anti-Americanism, 2003). In 1997 Revel was elected to the Académie Française.

semiotics (study of signs)

the study of signs and sign-using behaviour. It was defined by one of its founders, the Swiss linguist Ferdinand de Saussure, as the study of “the life of signs within society.” Although the word was used in this sense in the 17th century by the English philosopher John Locke, the idea of semiotics as an interdisciplinary mode for examining phenomena in different fields emerged only in the late 19th and early 20th centuries with the independent work of Saussure and of the American philosopher Charles Sanders Peirce.

Peirce’s seminal work in the field was anchored in pragmatism and logic. He defined a sign as “something which stands to somebody for something,” and one of his major contributions to semiotics was the categorization of signs into three main types: (1) an icon, which resembles its referent (such as a road sign for falling rocks); (2) an index, which is associated with its referent (as smoke is a sign of fire); and (3) a symbol, which is related to its referent only by convention (as with words or traffic signals). Peirce also demonstrated that a sign can never have a definite meaning, for the meaning must be continuously qualified.

Saussure treated language as a sign-system, and his work in linguistics has supplied the concepts and methods that semioticians apply to sign-systems other than language. One such basic semiotic concept is Saussure’s distinction between the two inseparable components of a sign: the signifier, which in language is a set of speech sounds or marks on a page, and the signified, which is the concept or idea behind the sign. Saussure also distinguished parole, or actual individual utterances, from langue, the underlying system of conventions that makes such utterances understandable; it is this underlying langue that most interests semioticians.

This interest in the structure behind the use of particular…


Jacques Lacan

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Western Philosophy
20th-century philosophy
Jacques Lacan
Birth April 13, 1901
Death September 9, 1981
School/tradition Psychoanalysis, Structuralism
Main interests Psychoanalysis
Notable ideas The Mirror Stage,
The Real,
The Symbolic,
The Imaginary
Influenced by Hegel, Saussure, Heidegger, Freud, Lévi-Strauss, Kojève
Influenced Guattari, Miller, Milner, Althusser, Žižek, Laclau, Mouffe, Irigaray, Badiou, Castoriadis, Lefort, Butler, McLuhan
Part of a series of articles on
Psychosexual development
Psychosocial development
Id, ego, and super-ego
TransferenceSublimationResistanceImportant Figures
Sigmund FreudCarl Jung
Alfred AdlerOtto Rank
Anna FreudMargaret Mahler
Karen HorneyJacques Lacan
Ronald FairbairnMelanie Klein
Harry Stack Sullivan
Erik EriksonNancy Chodorow
Susan Sutherland Isaacs
Ernest JonesHeinz Kohut
John Bowlby

Important works
The Interpretation of Dreams
Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis
Beyond the Pleasure Principle
Civilization and Its Discontents

Schools of Thought
Self psychologyLacanian
Analytical psychologyObject relations
AttachmentEgo psychology

Psychology Portal

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Jacques-Marie-Émile Lacan (French pronounced [ʒak lakɑ̃]) (April 13, 1901September 9, 1981) was a French psychoanalyst, psychiatrist, and doctor, who made prominent contributions to the psychoanalytic movement. His yearly seminars, conducted in Paris from 1953 until his death in 1981, were a major influence in the French intellectual milieu of the 1960s and ’70s, particularly among post-structuralist thinkers.

Lacan’s ideas centered on Freudian concepts such as the unconscious, the castration complex, the ego, focusing on identifications, and the centrality of language to subjectivity. His work was interdisciplinary, drawing on linguistics, philosophy, mathematics, amongst others. Although a controversial and divisive figure, Lacan is widely read in critical theory, literary studies, and twentieth-century French philosophy, as well as in the living practice of clinical psychoanalysis.

[edit] Biography

Because Lacan, like Freud, destroyed most of his records, it is difficult to disentangle the myths, anecdotes, and rumors that have surrounded him.

[edit] Early life

Jacques Lacan was born in Paris, the eldest child of three born to Emilie and Alfred Lacan. Alfred was a successful, middle-class salesman dealing in soap and oils. Emilie was an ardent Catholic, and Lacan’s younger brother eventually entered monastic life in 1929. Lacan attended the Collège Stanislas, a well-known Jesuit high school. In the early 1920s, Lacan attended some meetings of right-wing group Action Française and met its founder Charles Maurras. By the mid-1920s, Lacan’s growing anti-religious sentiment led to tensions with his Catholic family.[1][2]

Too thin to be accepted into military service, Lacan went directly into medical school in 1920, specializing in psychiatry from 1926. He took his clinical training at Sainte-Anne, the major psychiatric hospital in central Paris. In his studies he had a particular interest in the philosophic work of Karl Jaspers and Martin Heidegger and, alongside many other Parisian intellectuals of the time, he attended the famous seminars on Hegel given by Alexandre Kojève.

Beginning in the 1920s, Lacan undertook analysis with Rudolph Loewenstein, which continued until 1938.

[edit] 1930s

In 1931 Lacan received his license as a forensic psychiatrist, and in 1932 was awarded the Doctorat d’état for his thesis, De la Psychose paranoiaque dans les rapports avec la personnalité. While this thesis drew considerable acclaim outside psychoanalytic circles, particularly among the surrealist artists, it was largely ignored by psychoanalysts. In 1934 Lacan became a candidate for the Société Psychoanalytique de Paris. In January of that year, he married Marie-Louise Blondin, who gave birth to their first child, Caroline, the same month. Another child, Thibaut, was born in August of 1939.

He presented his first analytic paper on the “Mirror Phase” at the 1936 Congress of the International Psychoanalytical Association in Marienbad. According to Roudinesco, Lacan’s reading was interrupted by chairman of the congress, Ernest Jones, who was unwilling to offer more than the alloted time. Frustrated with what he considered an insult, Lacan left the congress to witness first hand a mass event manipulated by Nazis, in the form of the Olympic Games in Berlin. No copy of Lacan’s original lecture remains extant.[3]

Lacan was very active in the world of Parisian writers, artists and intellectuals during the inter-war period. In addition to André Breton and Georges Bataille, he was also associated with Salvador Dalí and Pablo Picasso. He attended the mouvement Psyché founded by Maryse Choisy. Several of his early articles were published in the Surrealist journal Minotaure and he was present at the first public reading of James Joyce’s Ulysses. Dylan Evans has speculated that Lacan was a surrealist at heart, “his interest in surrealism predates his interest in psychoanalysis. Perhaps Lacan never really abandoned his early surrealist sympathies, its neo-Romantic view of madness as ‘convulsive beauty’, its celebration of irrationality, and its hostility to the scientist who murders nature by dissecting it.”[4] As such company would suggest, during this period Lacan was better known in literary circles than psychoanalytic ones.

[edit] 1940s

The Société Psychoanalytique de Paris (SPP) was disbanded due to Nazi Germany’s occupation of France in 1940 and Lacan was subsequently called up to serve in the French army at the Val-de-Grâce military hospital in Paris, where he spent the duration of the war. His third child, Sibylle, was born in 1940.

The following year, Lacan fathered a child, Judith (who kept the name Bataille) with Sylvia Bataille (née Maklès), estranged wife of his friend Georges. There are contradictory stories about his romantic life with Sylvia Bataille in southern France during World War II. The official record shows only that Marie-Louise requested divorce after Judith’s birth, and Lacan married Sylvia in 1953.

Following the war, the SPP recommenced their meetings, and Lacan visited England for a five-week study trip, meeting English analysts Wilfred Bion and John Rickman. He was influenced by Bion’s analytic work with groups and this contributed to his own later emphasis on study groups as a structure with which to advance theoretical work in psychoanalysis.

In 1949, Lacan presented a new paper on the mirror stage to the sixteenth IPA congress in Zurich.

[edit] 1950s

In 1951 Lacan started to hold a private weekly seminar in Paris, urging what he described as “a return to Freud” concentrating upon the linguistic nature of psychological symptomatology. Becoming public in 1953, Lacan’s twenty-seven year long seminar was very influential in Parisian cultural life as well as in psychoanalytic theory and clinical practice.

In 1953, after a disagreement about analytic practice methods, Lacan and many of his colleagues left the Société Parisienne de Psychoanalyse to form a new group the Société Française de Psychanalyse (SFP). One of the consequences of this was to deprive the new group of membership within the International Psychoanalytical Association.

Encouraged by the reception of “the return to Freud” and of his report – “The Function and Field of Speech and Language in Psychoanalysis” (Écrits) – Lacan again returned to Freud, re-reading the canon in relation with contemporary philosophy, linguistics, ethnology, biology and topology. From 1953 to 1964 at Sainte-Anne Hospital , he held his Seminars and presented case histories of patients. During this period he wrote the texts that are found in Écrits, a selection of which was first published in 1966. In his seventh Seminar of 1959-60, ‘The Ethics of Psychoanalysis’, Lacan defined his ethical foundations of psychoanalysis and constructs his “ethics for our time”; according to Freud, an ethics that would prove to be equal to the tragedy of modern man and to the “discontent of civilization”. At the roots of the ethics is desire: analysis’ only promise is austere, it is the entrance-into-the-I (in French a play of words between ‘l’entrée en je’ and ‘l’entrée en jeu’). ‘I must come to the place where the id was’, where the analysand discovers, in its absolute nakedness, the truth of his desire. The end of psychoanalysis entails ‘the purification of desire’. This text functions throughout the years as the background of Lacan’s work. He defends three assertions: that psychoanalysis must have a scientific status; that Freudian ideas have radically changed the concepts of subject, of knowledge, and of desire; that the analytic field is the only place from where it is possible to question the insufficiencies of science and philosophy.

[edit] 1960s

Starting in 1962 a complex negotiation took place to determine the status of the SFP within the IPA. Lacan’s practice—with his controversial indeterminate-length sessions in which he charged a full fee for truncated sessions, had his hair cut during sessions,[5] and Lacan’s critical stance towards psychoanalytic orthodoxy—led, in 1963, to a condition being set by the IPA that registration of the SFP was dependent upon removing Lacan from the list of SFP training analysts. Lacan left the SFP to form his own school which became known as the École Freudienne de Paris (EFP)

With Lévi-Strauss and Althusser‘s support, he was appointed lecturer at the École Pratique des Hautes Etudes. He started with a seminar on The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis in January 1964 in the Dussane room at the École Normale Supérieure (in his first session he thanks the generosity of Fernand Braudel and Claude Lévi-Strauss). Lacan began to set forth his own teaching on psychoanalysis to an audience of colleagues who had joined him from the SFP. His lectures also attracted many of the École Normale’s students. He divided the École de la Cause freudienne into three sections: the section of pure psychoanalysis (training and elaboration of the theory, where members who have been analyzed but haven’t become analysts can participate); the section for applied psychoanalysis (therapeutic and clinical, physicians who have neither completed nor started analysis are welcome); the section for taking inventory of the Freudian field (it concerned the critique of psychoanalytic literature and the analysis of the theoretical relations with related or affiliated sciences (Proposition du 9 octobre 1967 sur le psychanalyste à l’Ecole).

By the 1960s, Lacan was associated—at least in the public mind—with the far left in France.[6] In May 1968 Lacan voiced his sympathy for the student protests and as a corollary a Department of Psychology was set up by his followers at the University of Vincennes (Paris VIII). Echoing this sentiment, “Shortly after the tumultuous events of May 1968, Lacan was accused by the authorities of being a subversive, and directly influencing the events that transpired.”[7]

In 1969 Lacan moved his public seminars to the Faculté de Droit (Panthéon) where he continued to deliver his expositions of analytic theory and practice till the dissolution of his School in 1980.

[edit] 1970s

Throughout the final decade of his life, Lacan continued his widely followed seminars. During this period, he focuses on the development of his concepts of masculine and feminine jouissance, and puts special emphasis on his concept of “The Real” as a point of impossible contradiction in the “Symbolic Order”. This late work had the greatest influence on feminist thought, as well as upon the informal movement that arose in the 1970s or 1980s called post-modernism.

[edit] Major concepts

[edit] The ‘Return to Freud’

Lacan’s “return to Freud” emphasizes a renewed attention to the original texts of Freud and a radical critique of Ego psychology, Melanie Klein and Object relations theory. Lacan thought that Freud’s ideas of “slips of the tongue”, jokes, etcetera, all emphasized the agency of language in subjective constitution. “Correcting” Freud from within the light of Saussure, Lévi-Strauss, and Barthes, Lacan’s “return to Freud” could be read as the realization that the pervading agency of the unconscious is intimately tied to the functions and dynamics of language, where the signifier is irremediably divorced from the signified in a chronic but generative tension of lack. In “The Instance of the Letter in the Unconscious, or Reason Since Freud” (Écrits, pp. 161 – 197).) he argued that “the unconscious is structured like a language”; it was not a primitive or archetypal part of the mind separate from the conscious, linguistic ego, but a formation as complex and structurally sophisticated as consciousness itself. If the unconscious is structured like a language, he claimed, then the self is denied any point of reference to which to be ‘restored’ following trauma or ‘identity crisis’.

[edit] The mirror stage (le stade du miroir)

Lacan’s first official contribution to psychoanalysis was the mirror stage which he described “… as formative of the function of the I as revealed in psychoanalytic experience”. By the early fifties, he no longer considers the mirror stage as only a moment in the life of the infant, but as the permanent structure of subjectivity. In the paradigm of The Imaginary order, the subject is permanently caught and captivated by his own image. Lacan writes, “[T]he mirror stage is a phenomenon to which I assign a twofold value. In the first place, it has historical value as it marks a decisive turning-point in the mental development of the child. In the second place, it typifies an essential libidinal relationship with the body-image”.[8]

As he further develops the concept, the stress falls less on its historical value and ever more on its structural value.[4] In his fourth Seminar, La relation d’objet, Lacan states that “the mirror stage is far from a mere phenomenon which occurs in the development of the child. It illustrates the conflictual nature of the dual relationship”.

The mirror stage describes the formation of the Ego via the process of objectification, the Ego being the result of feeling dissention between one’s perceived visual appearance and one’s perceived emotional reality. This identification is what Lacan called alienation. At six months the baby still lacks coordination, however, he can recognize himself in the mirror before attaining control over his bodily movements. He sees his image as a whole, and the synthesis of this image produces a sense of contrast with the uncoordination of the body, which is perceived as a fragmented body. This contrast is first felt by the infant as a rivalry with his own image, because the wholeness of the image threatens him with fragmentation, and thus the mirror stage gives rise to an aggressive tension between the subject and the image. To resolve this aggressive tension, the subject identifies with the image: this primary identification with the counterpart is what forms the Ego.[4] The moment of identification is to Lacan a moment of jubilation since it leads to an imaginary sense of mastery, yet the jubilation may also be accompanied by a depressive reaction, when the infant compares his own precarious sense of mastery with the omnipotence of the mother.[9] This identification also involves the ideal ego which functions as a promise of future wholeness sustaining the Ego in anticipation.

In the Mirror stage a misunderstanding – “méconnaissance” – constitutes the Ego–the ‘moi’ becomes alienated from himself through the introduction of the Imaginary order subject. It must be said that the mirror stage has also a significant symbolic dimension. The Symbolic order is present in the figure of the adult who is carrying the infant: the moment after the subject has jubilantly assumed his image as his own, he turns his head towards this adult who represents the big Other, as if to call on him to ratify this image.[10]

[edit] Other/other

While Freud uses the term “other”, referring to der Andere (the other person) and “das Andere” (otherness), Lacan’s use is more like Hegel’s, through Alexandre Kojève.

Lacan often used an algebraic symbology for his concepts:[11] the big Other is designated A (for French Autre) and the little other is designated a (italicized French autre). He asserts that an awareness of this distinction is fundamental to analytic practice: ‘the analyst must be imbued with the difference between A and a,[12] so he can situate himself in the place of Other, and not the other’.[13]

  1. The little other is the other who is not really other, but a reflection and projection of the Ego. He is both the counterpart or the other people in whom the subject perceives a visual likeness (semblable), and the specular image or the reflection of one’s body in the mirror. In this way the little other is entirely inscribed in The Imaginary order. See Objet Petit a.
  2. The big Other designates a radical alterity, an otherness transcending the illusory otherness of the Imaginary because it cannot be assimilated through identification. Lacan equates this radical alterity with language and the law: the big Other is inscribed in The Symbolic order, being in fact the Symbolic insofar as it is particularized for each subject. The Other is then another subject and also the Symbolic order which mediates the relationship with that other subject.

‘The Other must first of all be considered a locus, the locus in which speech is constituted’.[14] We can speak of the Other as a subject in a secondary sense, only when a subject may occupy this position and thereby embody the Other for another subject.[15]

When he argues that speech originates not in the Ego nor in the subject, but in the Other, Lacan stresses that speech and language are beyond one’s conscious control; they come from another place, outside consciousness, and then ‘the unconscious is the discourse of the Other’.[16] When conceiving the Other as a place, Lacan refers to Freud’s concept of physical locality, in which the unconscious is described as “the other scene”.

“It is the mother who first occupies the position of the big Other for the child, it is she who receives the child’s primitive cries and retroactively sanctions them as a particular message”.[4] The castration complex is formed when the child discovers that this Other is not complete, that there is a Lack (manque) in the Other. This means that there is always a signifier missing from the trove of signifiers constituted by the Other. Lacan illustrates this incomplete Other graphically by striking a bar through the symbol A; hence another name for the castrated, incomplete Other is the ‘barred Other’.[17][18]

[edit] The Three Orders

[edit] The Imaginary

Lacan thought the relationship between the Ego and the reflected image means that the Ego and the Imaginary order itself are places of radical alienation: “alienation is constitutive of the Imaginary order”.[14] This relationship is also narcissistic. So the Imaginary is the field of images and imagination, and deception: the main illusions of this order are synthesis, autonomy, duality, similarity.

The Imaginary is structured by the Symbolic order: in The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis Lacan argues how the visual field is structured by symbolic laws. Thus the Imaginary involves a linguistic dimension. If the signifier is the foundation of the Symbolic, the signified and signification are part of the Imaginary order. Language has Symbolic and Imaginary connotations; in its Imaginary aspect, language is the “wall of language” which inverts and distorts the discourse of the Other. On the other hand, the Imaginary is rooted in the subject’s relationship with its own body (the image of the body). In Fetishism: the Symbolic, the Imaginary and the Real Lacan argues that in the sexual plane the Imaginary appears as sexual display and courtship love.

Lacan accused major psychoanalytic schools of reducing the practice of psychoanalysis to the Imaginary order by making identification with the analyst the objective of analysis (see Écrits, “The Directions of the Treatment”). He proposes the use of the Symbolic as the way to dislodge the disabling fixations of the Imaginary: the analyst transforms the images into words. “The use of the Symbolic is the only way for the analytic process to cross the plane of identification.”[19]

[edit] The Symbolic

In his Seminar IV “La relation d’objet” Lacan asserts that the concepts of Law and Structure are unthinkable without language: thus the Symbolic is a linguistic dimension. Yet, he does not simply equate this order with language since language involves the Imaginary and the Real as well. The dimension proper of language in the Symbolic is that of the signifier, that is a dimension in which elements have no positive existence but which are constituted by virtue of their mutual differences.

The Symbolic is also the field of radical alterity, that is the Other: the unconscious is the discourse of this Other. Besides it is the realm of the Law which regulates desire in the Oedipus complex. We may add that the Symbolic is the domain of culture as opposed to the Imaginary order of nature. As important elements in the Symbolic, the concepts of death and lack (manque) connive to make of the pleasure principle the regulator of the distance from the Thing (das ding an sich) and the death drive which goes “beyond the pleasure principle by means of repetition”—”the death drive is only a mask of the Symbolic order.”[11]

It is by working in the Symbolic order that the analyst can produce changes in the subjective position of the analysand; these changes will produce imaginary effects since the Imaginary is structured by the Symbolic.[4] Thus, it is the Symbolic which is determinant of subjectivity, and the Imaginary, made of images and appearances, is the effect of the Symbolic.

[edit] The Real

Not only opposed to the Imaginary, the Real is also located outside the Symbolic. Unlike the latter which is constituted in terms of oppositions, i.e. presence/absence, “there is no absence in the Real.”[11] Whereas the Symbolic opposition presence/absence implies the possibility that something may be missing from the Symbolic, “the Real is always in its place.”[19] If the Symbolic is a set of differentiated elements, signifiers, the Real in itself is undifferentiated, it bears no fissure. The Symbolic introduces “a cut in the real”, in the process of signification: “it is the world of words that creates the world of things – things originally confused in the “here and now” of the all in the process of coming into being.[20]

Thus the Real is that which is outside language, resisting symbolization absolutely. In Seminar XI Lacan defines the Real as “the impossible” because it is impossible to imagine and impossible to integrate into the Symbolic, being impossibly attainable. It is this resistance to symbolization that lends the Real its traumatic quality. In his Seminar “La relation d’objet”, Lacan reads Freud’s case on “Little Hans.” He distinguishes two real elements which intrude and disrupt the child’s imaginary pre-oedipical harmony: the real penis which is felt in infantile masturbation and the newly born sister.

Finally, the Real is the object of anxiety in that it lacks any possible mediation, and is “the essential object which is not an object any longer, but this something faced with which all words cease and all categories fail, the object of anxiety par excellence.”[11]

[edit] Desire

Lacan’s désir follows Freud’s concept of Wunsch and it is central to Lacanian theories. For the aim of the talking cure – psychoanalysis – is precisely to lead the analysand to uncover the truth about their desire, but this is only possible if that desire is articulated, or spoken.[21] Lacan said that “it is only once it is formulated, named in the presence of the other, that desire appears in the full sense of the term.”[22] “That the subject should come to recognize and to name his/her desire, that is the efficacious action of analysis. But it is not a question of recognizing something which would be entirely given. In naming it, the subject creates, brings forth, a new presence in the world.”[11] “[W]hat is important is to teach the subject to name, to articulate, to bring desire into existence.” Now, although the truth about desire is somehow present in discourse, discourse can never articulate the whole truth about desire: whenever discourse attempts to articulate desire, there is always a leftover, a surplus.[21]

In The Signification of the Phallus Lacan distinguishes desire from need and demand. Need is a biological instinct that is articulated in demand, yet demand has a double function, on one hand it articulates need and on the other acts as a demand for love. So, even after the need articulated in demand is satisfied, the demand for love remains unsatisfied and this leftover is desire.[23] For Lacan “desire is neither the appetite for satisfaction nor the demand for love, but the difference that results from the subtraction of the first from the second” (article cited). Desire then is the surplus produced by the articulation of need in demand (Dylan Evans). Lacan adds that “desire begins to take shape in the margin in which demand becomes separated from need” (article cited). Hence desire can never be satisfied, or as Slavoj Žižek puts it “desire’s raison d’être is not to realize its goal, to find full satisfaction, but to reproduce itself as desire.”

It is also important to distinguish between desire and the drives. If they belong to the field of the Other (as opposed to love), desire is one, whereas the drives are many. The drives are the partial manifestations of a single force called desire (see “The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis”). If one can surmise that objet petit a is the object of desire, it is not the object towards which desire tends, but the cause of desire. For desire is not a relation to an object but a relation to a lack (manque). Then desire appears as a social construct since it is always constituted in a dialectical relationship.

[edit] Drives

Lacan maintains Freud’s distinction between Trieb (drive) and Instinkt (instinct) in that drives differ from biological needs because they can never be satisfied and do not aim at an object but rather circle perpetually round it, so the real source of jouissance is to repeat the movement of this closed circuit. In the same Seminar Lacan posits the drives as both cultural and symbolic (discourse) constructs, to him “the drive is not a given, something archaic, primordial”. Yet he incorporates the four elements of the drives as defined by Freud (the pressure, the end, the object and the source) to his theory of the drive’s circuit: the drive originates in the erogenous zone, circles round the object, and then returns to the erogenous zone. The circuit is structured by the three grammatical voices:

  1. the active voice (to see)
  2. the reflexive voice (to see oneself)
  3. the passive voice (to be seen)

The active and reflexive voices are autoerotic, they lack a subject. It is only when the drive completes its circuit with the passive voice that a new subject appears. So although it is the “passive” voice, the drive is essentially active, “to make oneself be seen” instead of “to be seen.” The circuit of the drive is the only way for the subject to transgress the pleasure principle.

Lacan identifies four partial drives: the oral drive (the erogenous zones are the lips, the partial object the breast), the anal drive (the anus and the faeces), the scopic drive (the eyes and the gaze) and the invocatory drive (the ears and the voice). The first two relate to demand and the last two to desire. If the drives are closely related to desire, they are the partial aspects in which desire is realized: again, desire in one and undivided whereas the drives are partial manifestations of desire.

[edit] Other concepts

[edit] Writings and seminars

Although Lacan is a major figure in the history of psychoanalysis, his Seminar lectures – contains the majority of his life’s work, though some of these remain yet unpublished. Jacques-Alain Miller, the sole editor of Lacan’s seminars, has been regularly conducting since 1984 a series of lectures, “L’orientation lacanienne”, within the structure of ParisVIII. Miller’s teachings have been published in the US by the journal Lacanian Ink.

Lacan claims that his Écrits were not to be understood, but would produce a meaning effect in the reader similar to some mystical texts. Lacan’s writing is notoriously difficult due to the repeated Hegelian/Kojèvean allusions, wide theoretical divergences from other psychoanalytic and philosophical thinking, and Lacan’s obscure prose style.

[edit] Criticism

Although Lacan is associated with it, he was criticized by major figures associated with post-structuralism (and the related postmodernism school). Jacques Derrida characterized Lacan as taking a structuralist approach to psychoanalysis. Derrida claimed this led Lacan to inherit a Freudian “phallocentrism,” exemplified by Lacan’s conception of the phallus as the “primary signifier” that determines the social order of signifiers. Derrida deconstructs the Freudian conception of “penis envy”, upon which female subjectivity is determined “as an absence,” to show that the primacy of the male phallus entails a hierarchy between phallic presence and absence that ultimately collapses.

While he has been criticized for adopting a Freudian phallocentric stance in his psychoanalytic theories, many feminists believe Lacan provides a useful analysis of gender biases and imposed roles. Some feminist critics, such as Luce Irigaray,[24] accuse Lacan of maintaining the sexist tradition in psychoanalysis. Others feminists, such as Judith Butler,[25] Jane Gallop,[26] Bracha Ettinger, [27] and Elizabeth Grosz,[7] have each interpreted Lacan’s work as opening up new possibilities for feminist theory.

Other critics have often dismissed Lacan and his work in a more-or-less wholesale fashion. François Roustang[28] called Lacan’s output “extravagant” and an “incoherent system of pseudo-scientific gibberish.” Noam Chomsky described Lacan as “an amusing and perfectly self-conscious charlatan”[29].In Fashionable Nonsense, Alan Sokal and Jean Bricmont accuse Lacan of “superficial erudition” and of abusing scientific concepts he does not understand.

Defenders of Lacanian thinking dispute most external criticism, stating that these critics’ misunderstand—or often simply have not read—Lacan’s texts. Bruce Fink has dismissed Sokal and Bricmont, claiming they have “no idea whatsoever what Lacan is up to,” and accuses them of elevating a distaste for Lacan’s writing style into an attack on his thought as a whole.[30] Similarly, Arkady Plotnitsky claims that Lacan uses the mathematical concepts more accurately than do Sokal and Bricmont.[31]

[edit] Sources

[edit] References

  1. ^ Roudinesco, Elisabeth Jacques Lacan & Co.: a history of psychoanalysis in France, 1925-1985, 1990, Chicago University Press
  2. ^ Perry Meisel (April 13, 1997). The Unanalyzable. New York Times.
  3. ^ Roudinesco, Elisabeth. ‘The mirror stage: an obliterated archive’ The Cambridge Companion to Lacan. Ed. Jean-Michel Rabaté. Cambridge: CUP, 2003
  4. ^ a b c d e Evans, Dylan “From Lacan to Darwin”, in The Literary Animal; Evolution and the Nature of Narrative, eds. Jonathan Gottschall and David Sloan Wilson, Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 2005
  5. ^ Review of Bruce Fink’s A Clinical Introduction to Lacanian Psychoanalysis: Theory and Technique
  6. ^ French Communist Party “official philosopher” Louis Althusser did much to advance this association in the 1960s. Zoltán Tar and Judith Marcus in Frankfurt school of sociology. ISBN 0878559639 (p.276) write, for example, Althusser’s call to Marxists that the Lacanian enterprise might … help further revolutionary ends, endorsed Lacan’s work even further.
  7. ^ a b Elizabeth A. Grosz, Jacques Lacan: A Feminist Introduction
  8. ^ Lacan, J., Some reflections on the Ego in Écrits
  9. ^ Lacan, J., La relation d’objet in Écrits
  10. ^ Lacan, Tenth Seminar, L’angoisse, 1962-1963
  11. ^ a b c d e Lacan, J., The Seminar of Jacques Lacan: Book II : The Ego in Freud’s Theory and in the Technique of Psychoanalysis 1954-1955 (W. W. Norton & Company, 1991), ISBN 9780393307092
  12. ^ Lacan, J., The Freudian Thing in Écrits
  13. ^ Lacan, J., Psychoanalysis and its Teaching in Écrits
  14. ^ a b Lacan, Seminar III: The Psychoses
  15. ^ Lacan, Seminar VIII: Le transfert
  16. ^ Lacan, J., Seminar on “The Purloined Letter” in Écrits
  17. ^ Lacan, J., The Agency of the Letter in the Unconscious in Écrits
  18. ^ Lacan, Seminar V: Les formations de l’inconscient
  19. ^ a b Lacan, J. Seminar XI: The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis
  20. ^ Lacan, J., The Function and Field of Speech and Language in Psychoanalysis in Écrits
  21. ^ a b Fink, Bruce, The Lacanian Subject: Between Language and Jouissance (Princeton University Press, 1996), ISBN 9780691015897
  22. ^ Lacan, J., The Seminar of Jacques Lacan: Book I : Freud’s Papers on Technique 1953-1954 “…what is important is to teach the subject to name, to articulate, to bring desire into existence” (W. W. Norton & Company, 1991), ISBN 9780393306972
  23. ^ Lacan, J., ‘The Signification of the Phallus’ in Écrits
  24. ^ Irigary, Luce, This Sex Which Is Not One 1977, (Eng. trans. 1985)
  25. ^ Butler, Judith. Bodies That Matter: On the Discursive Limits of “Sex” (1993)
  26. ^ Gallop, Jane, Reading Lacan. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1985.
  27. ^ Ettinger, Bracha L., The Matrixial Borderspace, University of Minnesota Press, 2006 (essays from 1994-1999, published in French as “Régard et éspace-de-bord matrixiels”, Bruxelles: La Lettre Volée, 1999) and Special Issue of Theory, Culture and Society, Vol. 21, n.1, 2004.
  28. ^ Roustang, François, The Lacanian Delusion
  29. ^ Usenet, 1996
  30. ^ Bruce Fink, Lacan to the Letter
  31. ^ Arkady Plotnitsky, The Knowable and the Unknowable

[edit] Bibliography

Selected works published in English listed below. More complete listings can be found at Lacan Dot Com.

*referenced above

[edit] Works about Lacan’s Work and Theory

  • Badiou, Alain, “The Formulas of L’Etourdit” (New York: Lacanian Ink 27, 2006.)
  • —————, “Lacan and the Pre-Socratics”, Lacan Dot Com, 2006.
  • Benvenuto, Bice; Kennedy, Roger, The Works of Jacques Lacan (London, 1986, Free Association Books.)
  • Bowie, Malcolm, Lacan (London: Fontana, 1991). (An introduction.)
  • Dor, Joel, The Clinical Lacan (New York: Other Press, 1999)
  • —————, Introduction to the Reading of Lacan: The Unconscious Structured Like a Language (New York: Other Press, 2001)
  • Elliott, Anthony and Stephen Frosh(eds.), Psychoanalysis in Contexts: Paths between Theory and Modern Culture (London and New York: Routledge, 1995). (A recent overview.)
  • Ettinger, Bracha L., “The Feminine/Prenatal Weaving in the Matrixial Subjectivity-as-Encounter.” Psychoanalytic Dialogues, VII:3, The Analytic Press, New York, 1997.
  • —————, “Matrixial Gaze and Screen: Other than Phallic and Beyond the Late Lacan.” In: Laura Doyle (ed.) Bodies of Resistance. Evanston, Illinois: Northwestern University Press, 2001.
  • —————, “Weaving Trans-Subjective Texture or The Matrixial Sinthome.” In : Thurston, Luke (ed.), Re-inventing the Symptom: Essays on the final Lacan. NY: The Other Press, 2002.
  • Evans, Dylan, An Introductory Dictionary of Lacanian Psychoanalysis, Routledge, 1996.
  • Fink, Bruce, The Lacanian Subject: Between Language and Jouissance (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1995).
  • —————, Lacan to the Letter: Reading Ecrits Closely, University of Minnesota, 2004.
  • Forrester, John, Language and the Origins of Psychoanalysis (Basingstoke and London: Macmillan, 1985).
  • Fryer, David Ross, The Intervention of the Other: Ethical Subjectivity in Levinas and Lacan (New York: Other Press, 2004)
  • Gallop, Jane, Reading Lacan. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1985.
  • —————, The Daughter’s Seduction: Feminism and Psychoanalysis. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1982.
  • Gherovici, Patricia, The Puerto Rican Syndrome (New York: Other Press, 2003)
  • Glynos, Jason and Yannis Stravrakakis, ED, Lacan and Science. London :Karnac Books, May 2002.
  • Harari, Roberto, Lacan’s Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis: An Introduction (New York: Other Press, 2004)
  • —————, Lacan’s Seminar on “Anxiety”: An Introduction (New York: Other Press, 2005)
  • Homer, Sean, Jacques Lacan (London: Routledge, 2005)
  • Lander, Romulo, Subjective Experience and the Logic of the Other (New York: Other Press, 2006)
  • Leupin, Alexandre, Lacan Today (New York: Other Press, 2004)
  • Mathelin, Catherine, Lacanian Psychotherpay with Children: The Broken Piano (New York: Other Press, 1999)
  • McGowan, Todd and Sheila Kunkle Eds., Lacan and Contemporary Film (New York: Other Press, 2004)
  • Miller, Jacques-Alain, “Introduction to Reading Jacques Lacan’s Seminar on Anxiety I ” (New York: Lacanian Ink 26, 2005.)
  • —————, “Introduction to Reading Jacques Lacan’s Seminar on Anxiety II” (New York: Lacanian Ink 27, 2006.)
  • —————, “Jacques Lacan’s Later Teachings” (New York: Lacanian Ink 21, 2003.)
  • —————, “The Paradigms of Jouissance” (New York, Lacanian Ink 17, 2000.)
  • —————, “Suture: Elements of the Logic of the Signifier”, Lacan Dot Com, 2006.
  • Moustafa, Safouan, Four Lessons of Psychoanalysis (New York: Other Press, 2004)
  • Nasio, Juan-David , Book of Love and Pain: The Thinking at the Limit with Freud and Lacan. Translated by David Pettigrew and Francois Raffoul (Albany: SUNY Press, 2003)
  • —————, Five Lessons on the Psychoanalytic Theory of Jacques Lacan. Translated by David Pettigrew and Francois Raffoul (Albany: SUNY Press, 1998)
  • —————, Hysteria: The Splendid Child of Psychoanalysis. Translated by Susan Fairfield (New York: Other Press, 1998)
  • Pettigrew, David and François Raffoul (eds.), Disseminating Lacan (Albany: SUNY Press, 1996)
  • Rabaté, Jean-Michel (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Lacan (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003)
  • Rose, Jacqueline, Sexuality in the Field of Vision (London: Verso, 1986)
  • Roudinesco, Élisabeth, “Jacques Lacan: His Life and Work”. Translated by Bray B. New York, Columbia University Press, 1997
  • Turkle, Sherry, Psychoanalytic Politics: Jacques Lacan and Freud’s French Revolution, 2nd edition, Guildford Press, New York, 1992
  • ————— and Wollheim, Richard, ‘Lacan: an exchange’, New York Review of Books, 26 (9), 1979, p. 44.
  • Soler, Colette, What Lacan Said About Women Translated by John Holland (New York: Other Press, 2006)
  • Thurston, Luke (ed.), “Re-inventing the Symptom”, NY: Other Press, 2002.
  • Van Haute, Philippe, Against Adaptation: Lacan’s “Subversion” of the Subject (New York: Other Press, 2002)
  • Van Haute, Philippe and Tomas Geyskens, Confusion of Tongues: The Primacy of Sexuality in Freud, Ferenczi, and Laplanche (New York: Other Press, 2004)
  • Webster, Richard, Why Freud Was Wrong-Sin, Science and Psychoanalysis (Harper Collins, 1995.)
  • Wilden, Anthony, ‘Jacques Lacan: A partial bibliography’, Yale French Studies, 36/37, 1966, pp. 263–268.
  • Žižek, Slavoj, “Woman is One of the Names-of-the-Father, or how Not to misread Lacan´s formulas of sexuation”, Lacan Dot Com, 2005.
  • —————, ‘The object as a limit of discourse: approaches to the Lacanian real’, Prose Studies, 11 (3), 1988, pp. 94–120.
  • —————, Interrogating the Real, ed. Rex Butler and Scott Stephens (London and New York: Continuum, 2005).
  • —————, “Jacques Lacan as Reader of Hegel” (New York: Lacanian Ink 27, 2006.)

[edit] External links

[edit] Introductions

[edit] Practice

[edit] Theory

[edit] Criticism


NAME Lacan, Jacques
SHORT DESCRIPTION French psychologist
DATE OF BIRTH 13 April 1901
PLACE OF BIRTH Paris, France
DATE OF DEATH 9 September 1981
PLACE OF DEATH Paris, France

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About the social semantic web

Web 2.0 – what´s next?

It´s a web of data, stupid!

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News Analysis April 17, 2008, 12:04AM EST

IBM, eBay: The Boost from Overseas

A weak U.S. dollar and fast growth abroad are helping tech companies handle the economic slump—and beat analyst expectations

Two tech bellwethers showed on Apr. 16 what it takes to shrug off the U.S. economic slump: international exposure and a weak U.S. dollar. IBM (IBM), a global seller of software and computer services, and eBay (EBAY), the online shopping giant, both released first quarter results that exceeded analysts’ expectations and raised respective forecasts for this year’s financial performance. In both cases, sluggish U.S. gains were offset by faster growth abroad, allaying concern over how well tech titans can weather the storm.

Electronic commerce pioneer eBay reported profits of $460 million on $2.19 billion in revenue, a 24% increase from the prior year. Fueling the growth was growing demand for U.S. goods abroad and strong activity on eBay’s international sites. About 54% of sales on eBay’s shopping sites and 43% of revenues from eBay’s PayPal payments business came from markets outside the US. “There is no doubt that there are uncertain economic times ahead of us that will impact retail and could impact e-commerce,” newly appointed eBay Chief Executive John Donahoe said in a telephone interview following a call with analysts. “We are glad to be a global business…and the U.S. is on sale right now given the relatively weak dollar.”

Despite the U.S. slowdown, eBay raised its guidance for the full year. It now expects net revenue of $8.7 billion to $9 billion for the full year, with roughly 25% margins. That’s up from the $8.5 to $8.7 billion in revenue eBay had projected in January. Shares of San Jose (Calif.) eBay rose 0.4%, to $32.12, in extended trading on Apr. 16.

IBM’s surprise strength

Likewise, IBM said net income rose 26%, to $2.32 billion, or $1.65 a share, beating analysts’ expectations for per-share earnings of about $1.45. Sales increased 11%, to $24.5 billion, also exceeding the analyst forecast of $23.6 billion in revenue. “Big Blue has proven that it can do well at a time of boom as well as doom,” Annex Research analyst Bob Djurdjevic wrote in an Apr. 16 research note.

Like his counterpart at eBay, IBM Chief Executive also raised full-year projections. “IBM had a very good quarter, and a good start to 2008,” he said in a statement. “These results reinforce our confidence in IBM’s ability to perform well in a dynamic global economy” and reflect the company’s efforts to expand in overseas markets, he said. IBM boosted its forecast for per-share earnings in 2008 to at least $8.50, a 25¢ increase from the target it issued in February.

About two-thirds of IBM’s revenue comes from abroad, helping IBM benefit from areas of the world that are growing more quickly than the U.S. IBM also attributed gains to weakness in the U.S. dollar, which boosts the value of overseas revenue. Excluding foreign exchange impact, revenue would have risen 4%, IBM said. Sales in the region that includes Europe, the Middle East, and Africa increased 16%. In Asia-Pacific, revenue gained 14%. Both regions outpaced the Americas, where sales climbed 8%.

The company exhibited strength even in financial services, which rose 14%. IBM said in January that it detected signs of weakness in the sector, which has been buffeted by losses amid the mortgage and housing malaise. IBM’s results show “the banking segment woes are company-specific, not generic in nature,” according to Djurdjevic. Shares of Armonk (N.Y.) IBM gained 2.5%, to $123.44, in extended trading.

Changes at eBay

As upbeat as eBay executives were about overall performance, they underscored the challenges facing Donahoe, who replaced Meg Whitman as CEO this month. On his first call at eBay’s helm, Donahoe reiterated plans to make eBay’s shopping sites more buyer friendly and reaccelerate growth in the company’s core business.

EBay’s shopping sites accounted for about 67% of revenue this quarter and still fuels much of PayPal’s business, despite strong demand for PayPal from other sites. “This is a barge and they are dipping oars in the water to try to turn it around,” says American Technology Research analyst Tim Boyd, who has a buy on the stock. “It is going to take a long long time to turn it around, and it is not without risk.”

Earlier this year, eBay announced sweeping changes (BusinessWeek.com, 1/29/08) to its fee structure that appealed more to sellers of higher-ticket items and fixed price goods. The new fee structure reduced up-front fees up to 25% for listing items in an auction and up to 50% for listing items in stores. It also decreased percentage-based fees for higher ticket items and offered discounts to PowerSellers who receive high ratings from users. Meanwhile, many smaller merchants who sell goods priced at $100 or less saw fee increases, or those who rely heavily on auctions saw the overall amount they pay to eBay increase.

Many see the changes as a signal that eBay is moving away from the auction format and toward fixed pricing, a segment of the marketplace that has seen higher growth and appeals to many buyers who shop online for convenience as well as deals. “The price increase does hurt the auction traditionalists pretty significantly,” says Scot Wingo, CEO of ChannelAdvisor, a software and services company that helps more than 6,000 businesses manage their inventory on eBay, Amazon (AMZN), Overstock.com (OSTK), and other e-commerce sites. “They are definitely trimming auction content from the site.”

“Still Room for Small Sellers”

While unwilling to say that eBay is moving away from its auction roots, Donahoe did say that the company would be somewhat format agnostic when it comes to how items are sold. If buyers want fixed prices, that’s what they will get. “From the beginning, eBay was about great deals and a wide selection and that is still what we stand for,” said Donahoe after the earnings call. “But as search has developed, you can get a great deal in a fixed-price format.”

The changes to date have received mixed reactions. Many sellers, such as those advised by Wingo, have applauded the efforts and report more shopping activity and higher returns. Others have been so upset by the fee changes and changes to the feedback system that prevent sellers from leaving negative buyer feedback that they have boycotted the site. “[Donahoe] is not interested in the small seller because they give eBay a flea market atmosphere,” says Terry Norman, a longtime eBay buyer and merchant who sells audio books, instruction manuals, and other items on the site.

Donahoe admits that some of the changes may have affected some auction sellers too harshly and that the company heeds their concerns. “There is absolutely still room for small sellers on eBay,” he says.

As he works to appease sellers, Donahoe will need to navigate the company through a domestic slowdown. Meantime, he and Palmisano can take satisfaction from international operations that for now leave their companies well insulated from gloom and doom in the U.S.

Holahan is a writer for BusinessWeek.com in New York .

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Yahoo’s Mixed Message

Special Report March 18, 2008, 5:56PM EST

Yahoo’s Mixed Message

An optimistic announcement is meant to show the Internet portal doesn’t need help from Google, News Corp., or AOL. Do shareholders buy it?

https://i0.wp.com/images.businessweek.com/story/08/370/0319_yang.jpgYahoo CEO Jerry Yang Getty Images

Here’s the message Yahoo! (YHOO) wanted to convey with its unscheduled update to investors: We’re sticking by our growth forecasts despite the slowing economy, and that’s all you need to know about why we’re strong enough to keep rebuffing that pesky Microsoft takeover bid.

Here’s the message many investors took away from the Mar. 18 declaration: All those serpentine maneuvers Yahoo has reportedly undertaken to keep Microsoft at bay—including talks with News Corp. (NWS), Google (GOOG), and AOL (AOL)—aren’t panning out. So Yahoo is sticking to a strategy of growing the best it can on its own.

Reiterating the 2008 projections it gave in late January, just days before Microsoft’s unsolicited bid, Yahoo said it expects to bring in between $4.32 billion and $4.8 billion in full-year profits on $7.2 billion to $8 billion in sales. Moreover, the company expects annual revenue to reach $8.8 billion by 2010. “Yahoo is positioned for accelerated financial growth—we have a powerful consumer brand, a huge global audience and a highly profitable operating model,” Yahoo Chief Executive and co-founder Jerry Yang said during the presentation.

Remaining Low Amid Market Rally

Yahoo also strove to ease speculation the current quarter might produce an earnings disappointment that would send the one-time Web kingpin scurrying into Microsoft’s protective embrace. First-quarter revenue is still expected to total between $1.68 billion and $1.84 billion. Should Yahoo miss Wall Street’s expectations when it reports its first quarter results in April investors might start dumping its shares, fearful Microsoft will lower its bid.

Yahoo’s update helped boost its shares by 7% amid a broad market rally spurred by the Federal Reserve’s latest cut in lending rates. But despite the gain the stock remained nearly $2 dollars below the roughly $29.50 a share that Microsoft’s cash-and-stock bid is now worth—a sign investors don’t have much confidence Microsoft will sweeten its offer.

The reaction among industry analysts was mixed. In a note to investors, BMO Capital Markets analyst Leland Westerfield wrote Yahoo had shown its goals were even “more optimistic” than analysts previously thought. “Yahoo is presenting its case to remain independent of Microsoft, or at minimum, support why the buyout offer from Microsoft is insufficient in the Yahoo board’s estimation,” wrote Westerfield.

Online Ad Revenues Feeling the Pain

Yet Yahoo’s bullish forecast, including a promise to double its operating cash flow to $3.7 billion by 2010, sounded hollow to some. “To say they are being aggressive is an understatement,” said UBS analyst Benjamin Schachter. “This is a company that hasn’t executed for a couple years, why should we believe that they will be able to grow the top line while keeping costs down?”

The ambitious projections may be even harder to meet given the increasingly grim economic outlook. Separately on Mar. 18, research firm eMarketer reduced its 2008 estimate for U.S. online ad revenues to $25.8 billion, down from an earlier forecast of $27.5 billion. Though the floundering economy would harm ad-supported sites less than other media—thanks to a shift in marketing dollars from traditional media to the Web—it will still slow the market’s growth, said David Hallerman, a senior eMarketer analyst.

Share Prices Have Slipped

Analysts and investors have been burned before by buying too heavily into Yahoo’s growth hype. A year ago many took management’s assurances that a new search-advertising system, Panama, was performing better than expected as an indication profits would beat expectations. Instead, Yahoo failed to show a significant boost from higher ad-clicks after the system’s debut and reported an 11% drop in profits during the first quarter of 2007 (BusinessWeek.com, 4/18/08).

Microsoft did not return calls seeking comment. The software maker has thus far refused to raise its bid despite Yahoo’s assertion the offer “significantly undervalued” the company. Instead, Microsoft threatened to nominate a slate of directors to Yahoo’s board who would favor the deal (BusinessWeek.com, 3/6/08). The offer, initially worth $44.6 billion, now values Yahoo at $42.4 billion because Microsoft’s share price has slipped since the bid was launched.

Though the companies have reportedly been talking in recent days, there’s been no sign that Microsoft is willing to open its purse any wider.

Holahan is a writer for BusinessWeek.com in New York .


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