Factor C

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French: facteur c

Jacques Lacan

Lacan coined the term "factor c" at a psychiatric congress in 1950.

Culture

Factor c is "the constant characteristic of any given cultural milieu"[1]: it is an attempt to designate that part of the symbolic order which marks the particular features of one culture as opposed to another (c stands for culture).

"American Way of Life"

Although it would be interesting to speculate on the possible applications of this concept to the interrelationship between different cultural milieux and psychoanalysis, Lacan only gives one example of the c factor; ahistoricism, he argues, is the c factor of the culture of the United States.[2]

The "American way of life" revolves around such signifiers as "happiness," "adaptation," "human relations" and "human engineering."[3]

Psychoanalysis

Lacan regards the c factor of United States culture as particularly antithetical to psychoanalysis, and sees it as largely responsible for the errors which have beset psychoanalytic theory in the USA (such as ego-psychology).

See Also

References

  1. Lacan, Jacques. Écrits: A Selection. Trans. Alan Sheridan. London: Tavistock Publications, 1977. p.37
  2. Lacan, Jacques. Écrits: A Selection. Trans. Alan Sheridan. London: Tavistock Publications, 1977. p.37, 115
  3. Lacan, Jacques. Écrits: A Selection. Trans. Alan Sheridan. London: Tavistock Publications, 1977. p.38