Lene Auestad

Lene Auestad (born 8 October 1973) is an author and a philosopher from the University of Oslo. She has written on the themes of prejudice, social exclusion and minority rights, and has contributed to public debates on hate speech.

Her book Respect, Plurality, and Prejudice combined critical theory with psychoanalysis and psychosocial studies, examining the underlying unconscious forces and structures that make up the phenomena of xenophobia, Antisemitism, Islamophobia, homophobia and sexism. It provides an overview of how social prejudices, and the discrimination and violence that often tend to accompany the latter, come into being. Moreover, It argues that in order to fully understand how a complex phenomenon such as prejudice works, we need to alter our traditional Western philosophical understanding of the subject as a supposedly fully rational, autonomous and individual agent. Auestad argues that we need a more situated and relational understanding of subjectivity and the subject, as prejudice and acts of discrimination always take place in a contextualized setting between subjects whose thoughts and actions influence each other.

Auestad has also written about the rise of nationalism in European countries, both in terms of its expression in extreme far-right groups and in the context of everyday political language and policy.

Auestad suggested that psychoanalysis can be used to think about the invisible and subtle processes of power over symbolic representation, for example, in the context of stereotyping and dehumanization, and posed the question of what forces govern the states of affairs that determine who is an 'I' and who is an 'it' in the public sphere.

She founded and runs the international and interdisciplinary conference series Psychoanalysis and Politics http://www.psa-pol.org , which aims to address how contemporary political issues may be analyzed through psychoanalytic theory and vice versa – how political phenomena may reflect back on psychoanalytic thinking.

In English: About the book, Respect, Plurality, and Prejudice, podcast on New Books in Psychoanalysis 11 September 2015

This page was last edited on 21 January 2018, at 16:36.
Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lene_Auestad under CC BY-SA license.

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