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Part Two

Psychoanalysis and the French Press

Content Analysis and Analysis of Systems of Communication
Chapter 1 - The Press: Overview
1. Who Tals a!out Psychoanalysis"
#. The $any %aces of Psychoanalysis
&. Attitudes' (roups and )deolo*ical Orientations
Chapter # - The +iffusion of Psychoanalysis
1. %irst +escriptions
#. ,hetoric to the %ore
&. -an*ua*e' The %iction of Communication and impre*nation
.. Overview
Chapter & - The /ncounter 0etween ,eli*ious +o*ma and Psychoanalytic Principles
1. Propa*ation: )ts Characteristics and )ts +omain
#. The Assimilation and Adaptation of Profane 1otions
&. )n Search of a Catholic Conception of Psychoanalysis
Chapter . - The Communist Party $eets a Science that is 2ery Popular and 1on-$ar3ist
1. Theoretical Perspectives
#. What Can We /3pect to ,ead in a Communist or Pro*ressive Pu!lication"
&. What Anti-Psychoanalytic Propa*anda Are We Talin* A!out"
Chapter 4 - A Psychosociolo*ical Analysis of Propa*anda
1. The %unctions of Propa*anda
#. Co*nitive Aspects and ,epresentation in Propa*anda
&. ,epresentation As a Tool for Action
.. -an*ua*e and Action
4. %inal O!servations
%ifteen 5ears -ater
Chapter 6 - A 7ypothesis
Psychoanalysis and the French press
Content analysis and analysis of systems of communication
- The followin* chapters deal with the diffusion of the concepts and the psychoanalytical lan*ua*e
in the %rench press8
- When a science is diffused throu*h the channels of communication' we must first e3amine its
social representation8 we may o!serve the formation of 3 systems of communication' that
determine the content and shape of the emitted and received messages about the social object
in question: diffusion, propagation and propaganda.
/3ample: the Comunist French Party engaged in serious propaganda about psychoanalysis, firmly
rejecting it. The content of the propaganda is dependent upon the ideology of the party, and its
shape by the nature of the relationships between the Comunist Party and other political parties.
- The analysis of these systems of communication 9 diffusion' propa*ation and propa*anda 9 is the
analysis of the multitude of relationships and situations in our society.
- -et us summari:e the essential methods employed in analyzing the data o!tained. The articles
dealin* with psychonalysis were collected' and an e3amination of the manifest ;actual< content of
the articles was performed accordin* to a num!er of preselected cate*ories 9 for instance' we noted
the fre=uency with which certain ideas ;>se3uality?' >affectivity?' >moderation?' etc< appeared in
the collected articles. On the other hand' we chose a certain num!er of other criteria accordin* to
which we *rouped the articles as >favora!le to psychoanalysis?' >interested in psychoanalysis? etc.
)n the same manner' the o!@ectives of the author;s< of the article were analy:ed ;that is' to what
purpose is the article written" )s it to e3plain the main framewor' to present a personal opinion
a!out the o!@ect' to !rin* ar*uments for its utility or futility" /tc<.
- The startin* point of this techni=ue is to determine the main units accordin* to which the analysis
will !e performed: the theme and relation (nits of !nalysis"
# The theme A a *eneral proposition' which can !e found across various articles !ut may !e
presented in different forms ;and formulations<. /3ample: >Psychoanalysis is *rowin* more and
more popular each day' !ut in reality' the wide pu!lic nows very little a!out it? - which is the same
as >This article will present to you the little nown thin*s a!out this mysterious therapy? ;same
theme' different formulation<.
B The relation A the lin' the relationship !etween two themes within the communicated messa*e.
Two themes could' for e3ample' !e e=uivalents' and as such' interchan*ea!le ;how often do you
e3pect to find one theme paired with the other"< 0asically' the relation refers to the de*ree of
naturalness with which # ideas can !e paied to*ether within a messa*e.
- The purpose for collectin* this data ;e.*. the themes and the relations identified in the articles< was
to !e a!le to formulate hypotheses and see whether they are confirmed or infirmed in the end. )n
order to ensure a ma3inum of information that can !e o!tained from the data analysis' $oscovici
paired up the themes and relations in the followin* way: he placed the themes as column head' and
the relations as row heads' and from their pairin* in the ta!le' he o!tained a series of dimensions 9
for instance' the dimension >information?' which read lie this: >in *eneral' there isnCt sufficient
information?' >psychoanalysis is little nown?' etc.
- The function of the theme is to resume the content' while the function of the relation is to e3press
the themesC or*ani:ation8
- The content analysis was performed on articles from #.1 newspapers and ma*a:ines' !etween the
1st of Danuary 1E4# and the 1st of $arch 1E4&. All pu!lications to which the author had access
were systematically e3amined. Scientific articles pu!lished in speciali:ed @ournals were e3cluded'
!ecause o@ective information on psychonalysis was not the purpose of the anaysis' the S, of
psychonalysis was' so scientific communication was e3cluded.
$%!PT&' ( ) The press* an overview
((" +ho tal,s about psychonalysis-
- The first thin* $oscovici did is to find in which pu!lications there were articles or e3pressions
pertainin* to psychoanalysis. 7e e3tracted 64. such e3pressions from daily newspapers ;%rance
Soir' Paris Presse' -C 7umanite' etc<' &## monthly ma*a:ines ;/cclessia' -a Ta!le ,onde' etc<' and
.#4 seminaries ;-es -ettres %rancaises' %rance O!servateur' etc<.
- )n order to assess the wideness of the pu!lic who had access to each of those pu!lications' he
*rouped the newspapers and ma*a:ines according to their popularity (wideness of circulation".
The criteria thou*h were not so easily separated' as some papers' for instance' althou*h had hi*h
circulation' were of avera*e political importance' or wei*ht.
- 7e also *rouped them according to political or religious orientations of the emitting
publication* The *eneral characteristics of the articles in which psychoanalysis was approached
were: 1#F communist pu!lications' #GF non-political' EF Catholic' #F Protestant' etc.
- 7e divided the articles that were centered on psychonalysis of the ones that only mentioned it
in passin* or made some reference to it. 7e found the followin* cate*ories: a<. articles that donCt
contain psychoanalytical terms8 !<. others were psychoanalytical concepts are used and the theory is
named' cited8 c<. others that employ psychonalytical concepts !ut do not cite the theory8 d<. the
theory is only mentioned.
- 7e also divided them into cate*ories according to the degree to which the titles of the articles
matched with their content: for instance' there were articles where no mention of psychoanalysis
was made in the title' !ut the !ody of the article dealt with it' while there were others with
>psychoanalysis? in the title' which didnCt deal much with this topic or dealth with it lar*ely in
- $oscovici also too into account the trainin* of the authors of the articles' and found that #F
were authored !y psychoanalysts' 14F !y people with reco*ni:ed academic authority in other
domains ;for instance' writers<' 4#F !y authors with no specific competence and &GF !y authors
who did not si*n the articles with their own names.
- What is the part played !y psychoanalysis in the press" Some articles employ it as a framewor
for comprehension. )n this way' the theory serves as an e3plicative model for a variety of
nowled*e domains: the study of personality' the understandin* of art' education' and professional
(." The multiple images of psychoanalysis
- $oscovici points out that psychoanalysis has various ima*es in the press: &GF of pu!lications
define it as a therapeutic method' &GF as a theory of personality and its disorders' ##F as a
psycholo*ical theory in *eneral' 4F as a means to e3plain phenomena in *eneral' 4F as a
philosophical frame' and .F as a theory on se3uality.
- Another cate*ory was esta!lished accordin* to how psychoanalysis is employed: purely theoretical
and conceptual' or as a practical tool for the comprehension of various o!@ects of nowled*e.
- The newspapers without political orientation or left-win* political ones deal with psychoanalysis
most often to a theoretical level' which the communist' pro*ressist and ri*ht-win* ones deal with its
therapeutical functions.
- all the results conver*e towards the same *eneral conclusion: the ma*a:ines and newspapers
fundamentally represent psychoanalysis as an interpretative system' and only tan*entially as a
technical and theoretical scientific discipline.
- The fundamentals of interpretation are lined to se3uality in the first place ;#4F<' the unconscious
;#GF<' affectivity ;16F< and childhoodHinfancy traumas ;14F<. Those articles in which a favora!le
or neutral attitude toward psychoanalysis is displayed touch more upon issues of childhood'
affectivity and unconscious' while those un which a ne*ative attitude touch more upon issues of
child se3uality.
(3" !ttitudes, groups and ideological orientations
- The final o!@ective of psychoanalysis is perceived simultaneously as very *eneral and very
imprecise. The articles which show a favora!le attitude refer to psychoanalysisC finality as !ein* a
positive one' while those which show an unfavoura!le often do not refer to its finality at all' and
when they do' they perceive its ends as ne*ative8
/ Three dimensions were found in what regards attitudes*
B the first refers to adhesion or opposition to it- pro and a*ainst psychoanalysis8
B the second' which refers to the intensity ;the vehemence< of the attitude' mars the e3istence of
a!sence o an interest in psychoanalysis8
B the third indicates the distance in relation to the o!@ect' that is' its characterisation as e3ternal or
internal to the universe of the author.
- The articles which were pu!lished in the followin* newspaperHma*a:ine sections: education'
science' medicine' findin*s and discoveries' were *enerale favora!le towards psychoanalysis' while
in the sections politics' and critics' the articles a!out psychoanalysis were *enerally unfavora!le.
- A si*nificant proportion of the articles that painted psychoanalysis in a ne*ative li*ht used famous
people in politics and reli*ion in order to ne*atively influence the pu!lic opinion.
- /3treme opinions were usually revealed across the articles: the ones that were maredly positive
toward the o!@ect were associated with a certain interest towards the theory and with psychoanalysis
!ein* internal to the authorCs universe' while the ones that were maredly ne*ative towards
psychoanalysis were associated with a lac of interest from the author and e3teriority in relation to
the authorCs universe.
- The Catholic press is *enerally favora!le to psychoanalysis' and treats it as a discipline whose
notions can fit in with its own conception of the psychic or*ani:ation and that of the human
personality. The articles put forth !y the Catholic press situate themselves at a certain level of
a!traction in relation to it' and itCs the *roup whose proportion of articles dealin* with
psychoanalysis in an a!stract manner ;.6F< far e3ceeds the proportion of articles dealin* with this
o!@ect in a more concrete manner ;&GF<. The o!@ectives of its authors are mainly to present
psychoanalysis ;&GF<' @ustify its use and showin* its value ;&.F<. 7owever' it must !e noted that a
considera!le proportion of articles on psychoanalysis released !y the Catholic press were also
ne*ative ;1IF<.
- The most ne*ative positions towards psychoanalysis were sustained !y the communist and
pro*resist press. .IF were ne*ative' relatively uninterested' deemin* psychoanalysis as somethin*
e3terior and artificial' that does not resem!le the innerworin*s of people at all.
- The newspaper sections in which psychoanalysis articles are pu!lished are as follows:
cinemato*raphic criti=ue ;#&F<' literary chronic ;#1F<' science section ;16F<.
- The communists re*ard psychoanalysis as a vesti*e of American decadence8
- 0eft party political newspapers are generally favourable and interested. The articles on
psychoanalysis appear mostly in the literary criti=ue section ;#JF<' information ;#GF<' scientific
chronic8 they are written in a concrete style' The authorsC o!@ectives are to use it as a theoretical
framewor for understandin* human personality ;#&F<' validate the e3istence of psychoanalysis'
@ustify it ;#1F<' and simply to discuss it ;1#F<' and re@ect some specific aspect of the theory ;1JF<.
- 'ight party political newspapers are generally not favorable and uninterested ;#&F<'
considerin* as somethin* e3terior to the reference points of their *roup. This reduced interest may
!e noticed !y simplynotin* the newspaper sections in which articles dealin* with the o!@ect are
usually printed: miscellaneous' entertainment' womenCs section ;#1F<. The o!@ectives are: to study
a personality or pro!lem ;#IF<' to ridicule it and those who practice it ;16F<' or show that the
theoryCs internal coherence is flawed.
$%!PT&' . ) The diffusion of Psychoanalysis
((" First descriptions
- when studyin* the communication processes' we must tae into account the multitude of
relationships !etween the or*ani:ation of the content of the S, and !ehavior' !etween the mar of
reference and the o!@ect of the representation' and the relationship !etween the transmitter of the
messa*e and the receiver.
- 1iffusion is discontinuous and disor*ani:ed' while in propa*anda and propa*ation the or*ani:in*
themes and principles are systematic.
- )n diffustion, the set of themes and lins consists of elements that are relatively autonomous and
mo!ile. The fact that they are com!ined so re*ularly is what !inds them to*ether' even thou*h their
contours are neither clearly defined nor e3plicitly delineated. The conver*ence of these elements'
which is random' is due to a multiplicity of centres of reference 9 professional' reli*ious' political
and cultural' and the data are' in =ualitative terms' uneven.
- propaganda, li,e propagation, presupposes that models are constructed in accordance with !asic
*uidelines and !y ade=uately informed individuals. The difference !etween them is one of de*ree-
in propa*anda' e3planations are reminders of !asic orientations are continuous and iterative' !ut
once the model of propa*ation has !een esta!lished there is no constant reference to it.
/3mplanation is authoritarian in propa*anda' !ut persuasive in propa*ation.
The lins !etween the sources of communication' the sender *roup and the receiver *roup' are
univocal in the case of !oth propaganda and propagation2 The function of !oth propa*anda and
propa*ation is primarily instrumental. The o!@ectives of propa*anda are to ensure that the *roup
acts rapidly and in specific ways' and it intervenes in specific conte3ts. One of the conse=uences
desired !y propa*ation is to control e3istin* !ehavior !y chan*in* the conte3t and the meanin*s
attached to it. 1iffusion tends to create a potential for action to act 9 it pressuposes nothin* more
than a simple alternative that does not have to !e actuali:ed. The incitement to action is never
imperative. ,elations !etween communication and !ehavior are: necessary and e3plicit in the case
of propaganda' necessary and implicit in the case of propagation' and fra*mentary and local in
that of diffusion.
- )f we loo at them in terms of structure of their messa*e' the ela!oration of social models' the
lins !etween sender and receiver' and the !ehavior they see to incite' the & systems of
communication are very different.
- An opinion is an evaluative assertion a!out a controversial =uestion. +iffusion has no unitary or
overall models' it uses themes with a low level of or*ani:ation and stresses one or another particular
point without indicatin* that any particular form of action is re=uired. The concomitant thematic
discontinuity and the contradictions and variations mean that the stance adopted !y a pu!lication'
and therefore its messa*e' has a certain ista!ility. The fluidity of diffusion conver*es with that of
The eesential features of diffusion*
1. information is not released with any well articulated intentions' and it doesnCt maintain a sta!le
#. the communication is intended to influence certain particular !ehaviours !ut without instistin* on
the creation of a lin !etween what is communicated and how people should act' dependin* on that.
&. the transmitter most often tends to reflect the *eneral opinion of the receiver.
.. the receiver 9 the pu!lic 9 doesnCt constitute a particular structured tar*et *roup8
4. Althou*h itCs not a form of communication that aims to lead the pu!lic to certain !ehavior as an
effect of what was communicated' diffusion can !e effective that way.
(." 'hetoric to the fore
Psychoanalysis is diffused in various repetitive ways !y a non-coordinated multiplicity of sources
of information. A content anaysis demonstrates that e3plicit references to its content constitute no
more than a small part of the articles that are pu!lished.
Articles centered on psychoanalysis ;##F<
Kse of simple psychoanalytic terms ;#J<
Kse of concepts !ut no mention of psychoanalysis ;JF<
Kse of concepts with mention of psychoanalysis ;&GF<
Terms misused ;4F<
- Psychoanalytical terms have !e*an to !e more and more employed in communication8 for
instance' letCs tae the insertion of the psychoanalytic concept >comple3? into a slo*an for a
toothpaste >no more comple3es?' advertisement which appears in various hi*h circulation
- /ssentially' !asic psychoanalytic concepts ;such as comple3< are taen outside of the scientific
theoretical framewor and appropriated to common sense' and as such psychoanalysis !ecomes
(3" 0anguage, The Fiction of $ommunication and impregnation
+iffusion has the role to mediate !etween social *roups and their systems of values' and as such it
mediates !etween social *roups and psychoanalysis as well. This mediation can tae different
- To !e a!le to e3plore these forms' we must distin*uish !etween the instrumental and
consumerist functions of communication8
B the instrumentality of communication is defined !y the e3istence of a relationship !etween the
!ehavior it sees to induce and the senderCs ima*e of his o!@ectives.
B consumerism presupposes a form of communication that is in itself an end' !ecause it is a self-
sufficient activity.
- CommunicationCs sole function is to satisfy the need to communicate' which is created socially. A
newspaper or ma*a:ine can sometimes !e no more than a mode of e3pression' !ut it can' in other
cases' !e a field of financial investment. %rom this lucrative perspective' producin* te3ts' !uyin*
and sellin* news' photos and stories' and printin* advertisements is the pro*ramme of most
contemporary pu!lications. Whether a paper advertises locomotives' *uns' fishin* rods' or news is
entirely relevant 9 the important thin* is sellin* and therefore adaptin* to an ever-e3pandin*
readership and eepin* it happy.
- psychoanalysis provides the raw material for a lot of articles -it fills space' attracts attention' and
offers a new terminolo*y' !ut this does not mean that it is discussed seriously or in its own terms.
Psychoanalysis is somethin* that sells newspapers8 whether it is discusses in sympathetic or
unsympathetic terms is irrelenvant 9 the point is to *et people to tal a!out it.
- A lot of people recruited psychoanalytical terms and concepts in common place e3pressions'
which had !een present in peopleCs lan*ua*e even !efore the appearance of psychoanalysis: for
instance' instead of sayin* someone is timid' he has a timidity comple3. Another e3ample refers to
the fact that newspapers started to e3plain cele!ritiesC !ehavior usin* the e3plicative framewor of
psychoanalysis 9 the newspaper -e $onde says of a foot!aller that >he did not act lie that !ecause
of some e*ocentrism comple3t or some desire to score a *oal?' or >his father was so strict that he
infliected a fearful inferiority comple3 on him at an early a*e?' and so on.
- a!ove were cited a few e3amples of a lan*ua*e that supports a family of metaphors or an
e3presion of cultural syncrasia !ecause it is not only the product of diffusion of psychoanalysis' !ut
also one of its tools. At a deeper level' this diffusion is also an e3pansion of models used to interpret
the real8
- One of >/lle?Cs readers ass a =uestion at a LMA section: >When ) am dancin*' the !oys usually
hold me too ti*ht. ) find that indecent. +o ) have a comple3"? and a minister declares: >certain
statements mi*ht reveal the su!conscious of allied leaders' or the perspectives they adopt in order to
!e a!le to act?. 0oth the reader and the minister demonstrate that a psychoanalytic schema for
understandin* and perception of the real has penetrated %rench society.
(3"2 4verview
- What the press prints is very much dependent on the pu!lic it hopes to attract8 since newspapers
see to attract a lar*e as possi!le a num!er of readers' they have to always !e *uided in their
decisions over what to print !y the tastes of the readers. When they try to chan*e an opinion or
orient the pu!lic towards a certain point of view' they have to do this very prudently in order to not
distance said pu!lic.
- 0ecause most people arenCt of a very hi*h intellectual status' newspapers must eep this in mind
and try to match the level of as many people as possi!le. )n other words' the transmitter very much
depends on the receiver in what re*ards what they can communicate' and how they can
communicate it.
$hapter 3* The &ncounter 5etween 'eligious 1ogma and Psychoanalytic
((" Propagation* 6ts $haracteristics and 6ts 1omain
/ psychoanalysis has pervaded in %rance relatively late' due to a series of conditions which
eventually led to its acceptance: the revolution in Physics' the increasin*ly wide spread of $ar3ism'
the re!orn interest for 7e*el' the institutionali:in* of analytical practice' the social tension and
ideolo*ical division world-wide 9 all these factors set the sta*e for the readiness of the %rench
people for psychoanalysis.
- The presence of psychoanalysis in %rench society o!li*ated all the institutions and *roups who had
mared ideolo*ical responsi!ility towards the people adopt a position in relation to psychoanalysis.
As such' the Catholic church was forced to situate itself for or a*ainst it. While the writin*s of
%reud were essentially incompati!le with reli*ion and with the reli*ious do*mas' the catholics
followed the *eneral tendency to transform or reinterpret certain aspects of psychoanalysis that
were more compati!le with reli*ion than others.
(." The !ssimilation and !daptation of Profane 7otions
- an e3haustive e3amination of Catholic pu!lications would demonstrate that they use all forms of
communication: diffusion' propa*ation and propa*anda. The anti-psychoanalitic propa*anda was
made !y the traditionalist catholics. The similitudes of the catholic articles to other articles
pu!lished on psychoanalysis are o!vious. The >/cclesia? ma*a:ine' for instance' when discussin*
the possi!le causes of how the crusades came to pass' e3plained them as a concilliation !etween
manCs taste for violence and the interdiction a*ainst spillin* Christian !lood. The author of this
article resumes his ar*ument in a statement which clearly shows his employment of psychoanalysis
as an e3planatory framewor: >a psychoanalyst would say that the sacred war of the crusades
permitted the unravellin* of repressed passions' morally !etterin* the Occident throu*h the
- another Catholic newspaper e3pained the !urnin* of the witches !y invoin* the culpa!ility
comple3. The masses pro@ected their *uilt for sinin* on a few individuals' and !urnin* them at the
stae was the sym!olic li=uefyin* of that sin.
- /ssentially' the Catholic press taes from psychoanalysis only those elements and notions that can
!e inte*rated with the reli*ious view' and leave aside the other aspects which canCt !e incorporated
into the reli*ious framewor: psychoanalysis and %reudCs philosophy are mentioned only to the
e3tent that they can !e compared or contrasted with the Christian world-view' !ut no attempt is
made at any point to identify a coherent !ody of doctrine.
- invitations to act' either positively or ne*atively' with respect to psychoanalysis are the e3ception
and not the rule in the Catholic press. The use of psychoanalysis is neither recommended nor
for!idden. )t is mentioned as a possi!ility. )t is assumed from the outselt that there are people who
!ehave positively or ne*atively with respect to psychoanalysis. The former are ased to tae into
account the ChurchCs principles' !ecause spiritual *uides and psychoanalysts are not incompati!le.
On the contrary' it is recommended that they should wor to*ether. %or a Christian' the fact that
they can actually do so transforms the meanin* of the recourse to psychoanalysis. The impression
that there is a conflict !etween concrete !ehaviors and their meanin* 9 *iven the widespread !elief
that reli*ion and psychoanalysis are incompati!le 9 is ruled out from the start. )f the psychoanalyst
is a Catholic' these seemin*ly contradictory poles can !e harmoni:ed and a !ehavior that was once
confined to worldly and secular circles can tae on affective and co*nitive connotations that alter its
su!stance. The instrumentality of propa*ation is' in short' defined !oth !y the fact that it can control
their !ehavior !y *ivin* it a meanin* that is in eepin* with the *roupCs !asic norms.
(3" 6n 8earch of a $atholic $onception of Psychoanalysis
- the >ne*ative? aspects of psychoanalysis ;materialism' panse3ualism' and so on< are =uicly
dismissed' and the stereotypical use that is made of them plays a positive role. )ndeed' main*
theoretical sacrifices or su!scri!in* to a few common pre@udices is Catholic thinersC and Catholic
psychoanalystsC way of dissociatin* or distancin* themselves from a psychoanalysis that is
surrounded !y an unsympathetic aura. Althou*h Catholic fundamentalists are not willin* to accept
this compromise' the other cate*ories of Catholics perform this separation amon* the
psychoanalytical elements they can accept and those they canCt in order to !e a!le to accept it. This
separation has a reassurin* effect 9 it maes it possi!le for priests to play a therapeutic role: the
Church is present and vouches for them.
- Whereas the *oal of diffusion is not really !ehavior as a whole' the primary *oal of prpa*anda is
to *et all the mem!ers of the *roup to !ehave in the same way. Catholics mae repeated appeals for
caution and consider the possi!ility of other therapies.
- )n the Catholic press' authority is em!odied !y priests and psychoanalysts who openly state the
choices they have made and e3plain the reli*ious reasons or principles that inspire them. 1on-
involvement appears to !e the rule in diffusion 9 the senderCs de*ree of involvement is therefore
o!vious' and his dependency is not upon readers' !ut upon principles.
$%!PT&' 3 ) The $ommunist Party meets a science that is very popular and
(2 Theoretical Perspectives
- the trust in its efficacy has turned propa*anda into a priviled*ed instrument of communication'
which the politicians' the people who mae social reforms' the revolutionary party' and so on have
used in order to attain their purposes8
- -enin' who was the first to theori:e propa*anda as a form of communication' said the functions of
propa*anda were:
1. to form a certain world vision of a *roup8
#. to ela!orate an individual conscience of the *roup and at the same time to mae the *oup aware
of its inte*ration in society8
&. to act in complementarity with other means of communication and social action.
- /ssentially' all the e3istin* wors that have !een pu!lished on the topic of propa*anda hi*hli*hted
a fair num!er of its properties ;the symptomatolo*y<: stereotypicality' simplification' effects of the
presti*e of the transmitter' false identifications' etc8 also' propa*anda must !e approached !y tain*
into account !oth the *roup who emits it and the *roup who receives the messa*e.
.2 +hat $an +e &9pect to 'ead in a $ommunist or Progressive Publication-
- The communist pu!lications which have !een analy:ed were: -Chumanite dimanche' -es cahiers
du Communisme' +emocratie nouvelle' Ce soir' -a nouvelle criti=ue' -es lettres francaises' las
pu!licationes pro*resistas: /urope' Action' etc. There were 1E# articles a!out psychoanalysis
within the time frame e3amined. Amon* all the newspapers and ma*a:ines' four *roups have !een
1. The central *roup' made up of the communist press or*ans ;-C7umanite' -es Cahiers du
Communisme' -a nouvelle criti=ue<8
#. The political *roup' which included: -Chumanite-dimanche' +emocratie 1ouvelle' Ce Soir' etc8
&. The cultural *roup 9 -es lettres %rancaises8
.. The pro*resist *roup ;-i!eration' -a Pensee' etc<.
The attitude each of these *roups lar*ely display toward psychoanalysis is is as follows:
1GGF of the articles pu!lished in the central and political or*ans and JJF of the articles pu!lished
in cultural newspapers are unfavoura!le' while in the pro*ressist press only #GF display an
unfavoura!le attitude toward it' 4&F favoura!le and #IF reserved and ironical.
%or the communist press pu!lished !etween 1E.E and 1E4&' psychoanalysis constitutes a
symptom of the invasion of the Knited States in their nation' and of the !ur*eois culture' in the
national internal stru**le !etween social classes.
1. T7/ +/SC,)PT)O1 O% PS5C7OA1A-5S)S
- Psychoanalysis is' the the first place' an ideolo*y 9 >in 1E.E' psychoanalysis appears as an
ideolo*y that tries to penetrate the social arena throu*h various means of propa*anda?8
- >we hi*hli*ht once more that the success of psychoanalysis is owed to its occultist content' its
theory of uncontrolla!le drives' and it wonderfully serves to >ideolo*ically arm? with ar*uments the
american imperialism?8
- >no merit whatsoever must !e *ranted to psychoanalysis' !ecause it is a science only in
#. T7/ ACT)O1 SP/CT/, O% PS5C7OA1A-5S)S
a<. psychoanalysis is a tool that serves to advance certain political a*endas8
!<. Psychoanalysis deceives and paraly:es people in their stru**le for a !etter future8
c<. Psychoanalysis diminishes the an3iety of the middle class8
d<. psychoanalysis is a techni=ue that evades and perverts8
e<. at its ori*ins' psychoanalysis was an ideolo*ical reflection of a decadent !ur*oise class' and at
present' it is an offensive weapon in the service of the federal american *overnment.
&. ,A1(/ O% ACT)O1 O% PS5C7OA1A-5S)S
a<. psychoanalysis penetrates all the levels of the human psyche 9 psychoanalysis is the ma3imal
e3pression of psycholo*y.
!<. Psychoanalysis ne*atively influences the socio-political plan.
(3"2 +hat !nti/Psychoanalytic Propaganda !re +e Tal,ing !bout-
- The first =uestion we have to as is this: has the %rench Communist Party !een wa*in* a
propa*anda campai*n a*ainst psychoanalysis" We can answer this =uestion !y demonstratin* that
we find in articles dealin* in one way or another with psychoanalysis a series of manifestations of
this form of communication 9 !oth psychosociolo*ists and political writers have amply descri!ed
them as !ein* specific to propa*anda.
- One such propa*anda techni=ue employed was >appellation?' which consists of usin* favoura!le
or pe@orative ad@ectives that help to denounce or construct a social personality alon* the desired
lines. The e3pressions >!oudoir philosophy?' >mistifyin* doctrine?' >American psychoanalysis?'
and so on are used in place of >psychoanalysis?' a word which is rarely used without pe@orative
- Also' very many of the thin*s written a!out psychoanalysis are distortions and simplifications'
meant to discredit it to the pu!lic.
- $oreover' >pseudoscience? and >scientific mystification? are the most common descriptions of
psychoanalysis ;&6F<' >American?' >perverted? and >decadent? are used more rarely ;&GF' 1#F'
- What reasons led the Communist Party to wa*e a systematic propa*anda campain a*ainst
psychoanalysis" Communism has a lon* standin* hostility towards psychoanalysis' which was true
even !efore the war. Psychoanalysis and psycho-techni=ues were not practiced in the Soviet Knion.
After the #nd World War' psychoanalytic notions penetrated every social millieu in %rance. They
provided the !asis or interpretations that were used in an attempt to understand and resolve a
num!er of pro!lems affectin* individuals and society alie. Psychoanalysis !ecame the si*n of
renewals and appeared as one of the #Gth centuriyCs *reat discoveries. At the same time' AmericaCs
influence over /urope was *rowin*' and the country was re*arded not only as a sym!ol of
technolo*ical efficiency' !ut also as the homeland of psychoanalysis. The pro!lem is that many
scientific theories' amon* which psychoanalysis' seemed to *o a*ainst the principles of the
Communist Party. What is more' the Communist party slowly !e*an to lose its inte*rity and was
!ecomin* divided into communists and non-communists ;inside the communist party<' and
psychonalysis had !ecome a sym!ol of this division' which meant it posed a threat to *roup identity.
$%!PT&' : ) ! P8;$%484$6!0 !7!0;868 4F P'4P!<!71!

((" The functions of propaganda
- Propaganda = double function* re*ulation and or*ani:ation.
- The 'egulatory Function A it taes the form of an assertion of the *roupCs identity and an
attempt to re-esta!lish it !y e3pressin* a status as a su!@ect that has !een freed from contradictions
that threatened its e=uilli!rium and action. We have seen repeated references to the dan*ers that
support for psychoanalytic notions poses for the >peace movement?' women on the proletariat. The
Americans are tryin* to use them to su!@u*ate the %rench people' and to prevent it from seein* what
its pro!lems really are. To the e3tent that the contradiction *enerated !y psychoanalysis can !e the
wor of communists or an o!stacle to their activity' any ne*ation of what it represents is also a
ne*ation of the party' the *roup or %rench values. The *oal of the re*ulation operated !y
propa*anda is the elimination of the o!@ect thast is causin* the conflict' and it is determined !y the
fact that the e3ternal opposition and the internal contradiction are strictly dependent on one another.
As the contradiction comes to !e e3ternali:ed' the *roup comes to define itself in terms of the
enemy 9 )n definin* psychoanalysis so clearly and critici:in* all theories emanatin* from the
Knited States or en@oyin* the support of other social classes' and replacin* them with its own
conceptions' the %rench communist party asserts its ori*inality and identity as a *roup. Propa*anda
directed a*ainst psychoanalysis and !ur*eois science in *eneral reinforces this self-assertion.
- The 4rganizational Function of propa*anda implies an appropriate ela!oration of the content of
communications and a transformation of the social field 9 of its representation 9 within a *iven
situation. Old relations are revised' and new content relates them to various aspects of everyday life.
The close association of psychoanalysis with the American way of life' of social e3ploitation of
psychoanalysis' of psychoanalysis with the action of the police' and then the systematic inte*ration
of all these themes eventually *ive all of them a meanin* that they did not previously have. At the
same time' the pro3imity of the threat posed !y psychoanalysis !ecomes tan*i!le and concrete
when it is seen as a tool !ein* used to lower the status of women' to fi*ht the trade union
movement' and to su!vert the peace movement. )n the conte3t of a propa*anda campai*n' the
messa*es that are communicated are so or*ani:ed as to construct a representation of the o!@ect that
conforms to the demand for a unified social field and to Party activities. The formation of a
representation is one of the !asic techni=ues of propa*anda.
(." $ognitive aspects and representation in Psychoanalysis
Psychoanalysis was perceived as !ein* so opposed to communism !ecause it was so far outside the
realm of its principles' and as such' if somethin* doesnCt pertain to the cate*ory' it is automatically
placed in the opposite one. This way' for instance' in the !e*innin* the communist press cosidered
that althou*h psychoanalysis was e3terior to their vision over the real' they did admit a possi!ility
of concilliation !etween them. 7owever' when the situation !ecame more tense' everythin* that was
not communist' pro*ressist or soviet was considered automatically as capitalist' retro*rade and
american. Simplification in propa*anda is a conse=uence of this !inary structure of the
The psycholo*ical analysis of representations has insisted on # characteristic aspects:
1. The e3tension and transformation of the co*nitive field8
#. The realisation of an intention !y transposin* a si*nification from one lavel to another !y
creatin* an alternative of the perceived real - The transposin* usually occurred throu*h distorsions
and simplification' which !oth play a very important part in propa*anda.
(3"2 'epresentation !s a Tool for !ction

Propa*anda is done with the aim of !ein* conducive to certain actions from the pu!lic 9
!asically' it aims at o!tainin* a chan*e in !ehavior. 0asically' the purposes of propa*anda are
to: 1. incite to social participation and endorsement of what is !ein* advocated8 #. Producin*
stereotypicity' &. )ndicatin* the proper action to !e taen.
To these purposes' repetition is very much employed in propa*anda.
(3"2 0anguage and action
- Communication throu*h lan*ua*e is possi!le !ecause words' !oth in their present form and
throu*h their evolution' are the fruit of many other e3periences encased over the course of social
life !y people who !elon* to the same collectivity8 !ecause of this' the system of si*ns' such as it is
found !y any *roup in society' has' in its own' a normative character. )n propa*anda' as in other
forms of communication' the *roup strives to transform the *eneral lan*ua*e into a particular
lan*ua*e. This particulari:ation follows the same lines of polari:ation as the ones of the
representation and of the *lo!al situation of that *roup within society.
(:" Final observations
- a few criticisms were formulated concernin* the investi*ation on propa*anda' and it was shown
that it is essential to su!mit this phenomenon to an o!@ective study' while also tain* into account
the social conditions and the relations amon* these social conditions and the psycholo*ical and
lin*uistic content.
- there is a connection !etween representations' action modalities and lan*ua*e. On this note' the
e3amination of repetition in propa*anda allowed us to show that it is necessary to pay e=ual
attention to the co*nitive and the affective aspects8
- moreover' $oscovici showed the importance of learnin* processes' conditionin*' not in
themselves' !ut in relation to stereotypicity of the lan*ua*e.
Fifteen years later
- $oscovici says that various parties have ased him to update this chapter on the communist
partyCs anti-psychoanalytic propa*anda' !ut he refused to do this' due to the fact that it seemed to
him his analysis remained valid. Dust !ecause their aprosteriori attitude has chan*ed 9 and that they
have accepted it with considera!le delay' doesnCt mae less true that fact that' for a lon* time' they
have !een pitiless censors' and re@ected many of thr scientific innovations' such as cy!ernetics in
chemistry' cuantic physics' psychoanalysis.
- Psychoanalysis situates itself !etween science and ideolo*y 9 lie every science who was !orn in a
capitalist society' psychoanalysis cumprises a scientific nucleus and an ideolo*ical periphery. The
mar3ist analysis allows for a separation !etween the nucleus and the periphery. Psychoanalysis' as a
science' has a specific o!@ective: the unconscious' which is its point of ma3imum interest.
- a lot of the voices speain* a*ainst psychoanalyis had as a main dissatisfaction the fact that
childhood pro!lems are too emphasi:ed in e3plainin* phychic functionin*' and the essential
determinations which drive adults were mainly left out: >we donCt reproach to psychoanalysis the
fact that it doesnCt concern itself with the productive ener*ies and with production relationships'
!ecause it is not its o!@ect. What inclines us to !e a*ainst it is the fact that it presumes to e3plain
cultural facts and social movements !asin* its e3planations on the pulsions and li!idinal ener*ies'
which leads it to i*nore the very many necessary mediations in clarifyin* the pro!lems which are
situated at a specific level of human e3istence?.
- 0 $uldworf was tried to esta!lish the connection !etween pychoanalysis and mar3ism8
$%!PT&' > ) ! %ypothesis
7avin* distin*uished and descri!ed separately each system of communication 9 propa*anda'
propa*ation and diffusion 9 we need to review them from a comparative perspective. The autonomy
postulated for them is certainly not complete. Completion is not' however' everythin*. The
disctinctions we have made remain thereore valid.
- The parralel !etween these forms of communication and certain aspects of social representations'
namely those who are closely !ound up with the *eneration of !ehavior 9 opinions' attitudes and
stereotypes 9 allow us to !rin* our findin*s to*ether. $oscovici doesnCt claim that the
correspondence he is looin* for !etween communication and !ehaviour is any more than tentative'
which is not to say that it is either frivolous or ima*inary. A poet' a man who new the value of
su!@ectivity whose emer*ence scientists are so often =uic to cover up with facts and the austere
colors of laws' once said that >ima*ination is the most scientific of the faculties' !ecause it alone
understands the universal analo*y?. A metaphor is a youn* analo*y8 when it is mature' it !ecomes a
- An e3amination of the similarities and differences !etween diffusion' propa*ation and propa*anda
will help to esta!lish the frame of reference we re=uire. The nature of the ordered lins !etween
messa*es provides the first dividin* line. The structure of diffusion is discontinuous and
disor*ani:ed. )n propa*anda and propa*ation' in contrast' the or*ani:ation of themes and principles
can !e descri!ed as systematic. The a!ove analyses lead us to conclude that' in propa*anda' the
systemati:ation is necessarity dichotomous.
- )n diffusion' the model 9 or in other words the set of themes and lins 9 consists of elements that
are relatively autonomous and mo!ile. The fact that they are com!ined so re*ularly !inds them
to*ether' even thou*h their contours are neither clearly defined nor e3plicitly delineated. The
conver*ence of these elements' which is random' is due to the simultaneous e3istence of a
multitude of frames of reference 9 professional' reli*ious' political and cultural.
- Propa*anda' lie propa*ation' implies models which were constructed while followin* directive
fundamental lines for *roups of people who had sufficient information. The difference !etween
them is one of de*ree. While in propa*anda the main orientations are continuously !rou*ht forth' in
propa*ation' after havin* proposed the model' it is not neccesary to refer to it every instant. %or
instance' the catholics have ela!orated a coherent vision over psychoanalysis: this vision e3ists and
has a clear influence over everythin* they pu!lish' !ut the model isnCt revealed a*ain and a*ain each
time the catholic press pu!lishes somethin* on it. The same thin* doesnCt occur in the case of the
communist press: the positions of the party are !rou*ht up a*ain and a*ain. The e3planation is
autoritharian in propa*anda' and partly persuasive in propa*ation.
- +iffusion inserts itself in a more immediate manner in the pree3istin* social institutions' and the
pu!lic it tar*ets is mo!ile.
- there is a correspondence !etween diffusion and opinion' propa*ation and attitude' and
propa*anda and stereotype.
AAN Opinions are evaluative statements a!out a controversial issue. They insta!ility' plasticity' and
specificity 9 their contradictory character 9 has !een amply proven !y !y D Stoet:el. +iffusion
doesnCt employ models that are unitary and *lo!al' !ut themes that are or*ani:ed in a non-ri*id
manner' insistin* on a certain point without incitin* to specific action. The discontinuity of themes'
the contradictions and variations which accompany them.
B The correspondence !etween attitude and propa*antion can !e seen at various levels 9 Attitudes
are psychic structures which have a ne*ative or positive orientation in relation to a *iven o!@ect.
The concept of attitude and that of structure are close. )t has a re*ulatory function. Conduct is not its
immediate or neccesary possi!ility. The creation of an attitude translated the creation of a relation
with a relevant social o!@ect.
B Stereotipicity desi*ns a simplified model of the dimensions of the stimuli' and it re=uires
immediate action. $any authors have shown there is a *reat conver*ence !etween propa*anda and
stereotypicity' since they are !oth ri*id' reductionist and authoritarian.