Throughout the human sciences, recent debates have centred on the relationship between social structures and subjectivity. These debates have been exemplary in the areas of gender, discourse and psychotherapy. Drawing on postmodernism and on psychoanalysis, scholars in these areas have attempted to theorise the social 'human subject' as a site for the expression of cultural and linguistic forces, whilst struggling to maintain the possibility of personal agency and political resistance. In this book, which draws on some of Stephen Frosh's most innovative work, the question of how to understand the 'personal' in contemporary social life is explored through three themes: 'troubled masculinities', 'postmodernism and family therapy' and 'beyond discourse'. The studies which make up the book centre on the task of constructing theories which are genuinely 'psychosocial' in the sense of dealing with processes of social construction and with personal agency, in a context that celebrates the diversity of cultural and subjective forms.
The book thus represents a substantial contribution to thinking around the intersections between psychology, psychoanalysis, systems therapy, postmodernism and social theory. Stephen Frosh is Professor of Psychology and Director of the Centre for Psychosocial Studies at Birkbeck College, University of London. He was previously Consultant Clinical Psychologist at the Tavistock Clinic, London. He is the author of numerous academic papers and several books, the most recent (with Ann Phoenix and Rob Pattman) being Young Masculinities: Understanding Boys in Contemporary Society.