Law and the Unconscious

Handbook (chapter)


Hourigan, Daniel. 2024. "Law and the Unconscious." The Routledge Handbook of Cultural Legal Studies. United Kingdom. Routledge.
Chapter Title

Law and the Unconscious

Book Chapter CategoryHandbook (chapter)
ERA Publisher ID3137
Book TitleThe Routledge Handbook of Cultural Legal Studies
AuthorsHourigan, Daniel
Year2024
PublisherRoutledge
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
ISBN9780367506957
Web Address (URL)https://www.routledge.com/The-Routledge-Handbook-of-Cultural-Legal-Studies/Crawley-Giddens-Peters/p/book/9780367506957
Abstract

Freud’s discovery of the unconscious in the 19th century has had a profound impact on the ways that we think about the cultural life of the law. Unlike representations of the legal and juridical in cultural forms such as the film or the novel, the life of the law in the Freudian unconscious is latent and libidinal—and so too is its law. Psychoanalysis since Freud has had a rich impact on the cultural deployment of Western legal forms, including the biography of Judge Schreber, Jerome Frank’s legal realism, and the psychoanalyst as expert witness. These tropes are only one part of the story of the psychoanalytic relation of law to the unconscious. Even before we see the law in camera, cultural significance is inflected by the unconsciously legal. Here, it is cultural legal studies that is crucial, as it dares to think Freud’s dangerous idea.

KeywordsJurisprudence; Psychoanalysis; Law; Unconscious
Contains Sensitive ContentDoes not contain sensitive content
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020480403. Law and humanities
470207. Cultural theory
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Byline AffiliationsSchool of Humanities and Communication
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