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IR4572   Economy of Anger: Marxism, Psychoanalysis and the Politics of Status

Academic year(s): 2024-2025

Key information

SCOTCAT credits : 30

ECTS credits : 15

Level : SCQF level 10

Semester: 1

Availability restrictions: Not automatically available to General Degree students

Planned timetable: 2.00 - 5.00 pm Tue

Economy of Anger' explores how the competitive and adversarial ethos of modern capitalism encourages, and may require, violent separations and distinctions within and among social groups. The module explores the motivations of perpetrators of contemporary political violence associated with racism, xenophobia, misogyny, and other expressions from the extreme political right in Britain and the US, and theorizes these acts outgrowths of contemporary capitalism, not as opposition to it. Critical psychoanalytic engagements provide the means to examine the internalisation of violent social imaginaries resulting from anxieties of social displacement, precarity, and alterity. Marxian Psychoanalysis further offers a reflexive praxis to guide new modes of organising social interactions, and thereby recover or build anew inter-subjective engagements with one another and with nature.

Relationship to other modules

Pre-requisite(s): Before taking this module you must pass IR2006

Learning and teaching methods and delivery

Weekly contact: One 3-hour seminar (x11 weeks)

Scheduled learning hours: 36

Guided independent study hours: 275

Assessment pattern

As used by St Andrews: Coursework = 100%

Re-assessment: 3-hour Written Examination = 100%


Module coordinator: Dr J S Murer
Module teaching staff: Dr J Murer

Intended learning outcomes

  • Students will demonstrate knowledge of historical, political and economic developments that create the conditions of contemporary capitalism.
  • In addition students will critique these developments and the conditions of contemporary capitalism through the analytic lenses of Marxism and psychoanalysis.
  • The module will develop critical thinking and analytical skills, as well as the ability to closely and critically read texts.
  • Module skills will include conflict literacy and the ability to discern the contributions and combinations of Marxian social critiques with those from psychoanalysis.
  • Transferable and key skills include exposure to research methods, critical thinking, formal writing, and presenting oral arguments.