Reaction Formations: Dialogism, Ideology, and Capitalist Culture

The Creation of the Modern Unconscious


Author: Jonathan Hall
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.

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Jonathan Hall, B.Phil. Oxon, is a Research Fellow at the Bakhtin Centre, Sheffield University. He is the author of Anxious Pleasures: Shakespearean Comedy and the Nation State (AUP 1995), and he has written extensively on the work of Bakhtin and Voloshinov.
Dialogism: the Potential for Change and for Resistance to Change
The Fissured Modern Subject: Paradox versus “Becoming” in Dostoevsky’s Notes from Underground
Rethinking Ideology as a Field of Dialogical Conflict
A Contradictory Symbiosis is Born: the Rival Ideologies of the Market and the State under Capitalism
Captivating the Unruly Subject: Ideology in Early Modern Europe
Repairing the Universe: Mysticism as Loss and Longing
Baroque Incompletion, the Captivated Subject, and the Humour of Don Quijote
The Dialectics of Laughter and Anxiety
This book is aimed at students and researchers in European cultural history, cultural Marxism. literary theory, sociolinguistics, psychoanalysis, and comparative literature in a historical perspective.