Commentary on Robin Wooffitt’s Paper “Poetic Confluence: A Sociological Analysis of an Enigmatic Moment”

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The author, who is a sociologist and psychoanalyst, comments upon Wooffitt’s analysis of poetic confluence. Using conversation analysis of moments of interaction where one interlocutor says something that bears a strong resemblance to what has just been in the mind of the other interlocutor, Wooffitt suggests that this form of communication has its function in the neutralization of the mental contents of this other interlocutor. In light of material presented by Schegloff in his earlier work, this appears to be a partial function of poetic confluence but not something that is there in all instances. On a conceptual level, psychoanalysis and sociology have had several moments of rapprochement in history. Wooffitt’s plea for dialogue is different: rather than focusing on conceptual linkages between the two disciplines, he proposes meeting through empirical studies of the intersubjective and interactional basis of mental phenomena.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPsychoanalytic Dialogues
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)355-360
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 4 May 2019
MoE publication typeB1 Journal article

Fields of Science

  • 5141 Sociology
  • psychoanalysis
  • conversation analysis
  • poetics

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