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  • 1.
    Brock, Maria
    et al.
    Södertörn University, School of Culture and Education, Media and Communication Studies.
    Persson, Sara
    Södertörn University, School of Social Sciences, Business Studies.
    Female desire in phallocentric industries: A duo-ethnographic interrogation2024In: Organization, ISSN 1350-5084, E-ISSN 1461-7323Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The persistence of workplace inequality requires female subjects to examine their place in exploitative systems of production and consumption, and to identify means for emancipation beyond masculine dominant orders. In this paper we examine our past experiences as young women in the finance and oil industries, the phallocentric and extractive engines of global capitalism. We do this by employing a duo-ethnographic approach and a feminist reading of Jacques Lacan’s ideas on sexual difference, aiming to contribute to the literature on female identification in phallocentric organizations. Our analysis reveals how we oscillated between accepting subordinate feminine subject positions linked to emotional work and striving to access ‘universal’ masculine subject positions linked to success and achievement. At the same time, we both engaged with imaginaries of uniqueness and critique, control and success in order to keep functioning in our roles. Both our stories feature moments of rupture experienced as affective embodied responses, when our organizations placed ourselves or others at risk. We analyse these as moments when cracks were exposed in our fantasmatic survival strategies, leading to our eventual exit from these industries. We conclude that while a feminist Lacanian framework provides a useful lens for understanding processes of female identification in phallocentric organizations, the quest for female desire and subjectivity outside the masculine dominant order requires other (feminist) frameworks.

  • 2.
    Brock, Maria
    et al.
    School of Arts and Communication, Malmö University, Sweden.
    Askanius, Tina
    School of Arts and Communication, Malmö University, Sweden.
    Raping turtles and kidnapping children: Fantasmatic logics of Scandinavia in Russian and German anti-gender discourse2023In: Nordic Journal of Media Studies, E-ISSN 2003-184X, Vol. 5, no 1, p. 95-114Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This study examines the social, political, and fantasmatic logics involved in the production of contemporary discourses about Scandinavia as a symbolic site and imagined place of sexual and moral decay and as a gender dysphoric dystopia by actors in the global anti-gender movement. Empirically, we draw on a rich digital archive of multi-modal media texts from an ongoing research project on anti-gender movements in Russia and Germany – two countries which provide particularly poignant examples of sites in which this mode of anti-gender propaganda is currently on the rise. In the analysis, we explore the discursive workings of a particularly prominent node in the material – that of the vulnerable child – and show how this figure is construed and instrumentalised to add urgency and fuel outrage among domestic audiences in Russia and Germany.

  • 3.
    Brock, Maria
    et al.
    Malmö University, Sweden.
    Gunnarsson Payne, Jenny
    Södertörn University, School of Historical and Contemporary Studies, Ethnology.
    “That's Disgusting!”: The Shifting Politics of Affect in Right-Wing Populist Mobilization2023In: Populism and The People in Contemporary Critical Thought: Politics, Philosophy, and Aesthetics / [ed] David Payne; Alexander Stagnell; Gustav Strandberg, London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2023, p. 107-121Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 4.
    Brock, Maria
    Malmö University, Sweden.
    The Necropolitics of Russia’s Traditional Family Values2023In: Lambda Nordica, ISSN 1100-2573, E-ISSN 2001-7286, Vol. 27, no 3-4, p. 173-178Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article argues that child protection rhetoric rarely applies to all children and that it, in fact, often contains decisions over whose lives are worthy of protection, and whose are not. In Russia, “traditional (family) values” have effectively become state policy, the 2013 federal law “for the Purpose of Protecting Children from Information Advocating for a Denial of Traditional Family Values” being the most prominent example of this. The fixation of such “traditional values” discourses on protecting children from “early sexualization” by barring them from access to LGBTQ-inclusive education and care demonstrates that the child on whose behalf this protection is demanded is deemed to be straight, while further examples of child protection discourses also show that innocence is often viewed as the exlusive property of white, middle-class children. Responding to the recent escalation of Russia’s war on Ukraine, this text discusses how the trauma, displacement and death of children in Ukraine reveals the biopolitical core of traditional values discourses.

  • 5.
    Brock, Maria
    et al.
    Cardiff University, Wales.
    Edenborg, Emil
    Swedish Institute of International Affairs, Sweden.
    “You Cannot Oppress Those Who Do Not Exist”2020In: GLQ - A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, ISSN 1064-2684, E-ISSN 1527-9375, Vol. 26, no 4, p. 673-700Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Reports in April 2017 regarding a state-initiated wave of homophobic persecution in Chechnya attracted worldwide outrage. Numerous witnesses spoke of arrests, abuse, and murders of gay men in the republic. In response, a spokesman of Chechnya’s president, Ramzan Kadyrov, claimed that “you cannot … oppress those who simply do not exist.” In this article, with the antigay purge in Chechnya and in particular the denial of queer existence as their starting point, Brock and Edenborg examine more deeply processes of erasure and disclosure of queer populations in relation to state violence and projects of national belonging. They discuss (1) what the events in Chechnya tell us about visibility and invisibility as sites of queer liberation, in light of recent discussions in LGBT visibility politics; (2) what the episodes tell us about the epistemological value of queer visibility, given widespread media cynicism and disbelief in the authenticity of images as evidence; and (3) what role the (discursive and physical) elimination of queers plays in relation to spectacular performances of nationhood. Taken together, the authors’ findings contribute to a more multifaceted understanding of the workings of visibility and invisibility and their various, sometimes contradictory, functions in both political homophobia and queer liberation.

  • 6.
    Brock, Maria
    Södertörn University, Centre for Baltic and East European Studies (CBEES). Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK.
    East German museums of everyday history as depots for the nostalgic object2019In: Journal for the Psychoanalysis of Culture & Society, ISSN 1088-0763, E-ISSN 1543-3390, Vol. 24, no 2, p. 151-174Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article centres on two East German museums exclusively dedicated to the storage and display of everyday items produced in the German Democratic Republic between 1949 and 1989, locating both in the context of similar ‘memory museums’ of East German history, as well as history museums more generally. Examining these sites, the text investigates the types of relationships established with these artefacts of the past, analysing their function as mediators between the inner and outer world, and between memory and history. Taking nostalgia theory and specifically Ostalgie as a starting point for the analysis, it reflects on how the museums serve as containers for a multitude of objects both fantasmatic and material. The aim is to inject nostalgia theory, especially in its focus on materiality, with more distinctly psychosocial ideas and concepts. In order to understand whether there is a finality to the psychic and political transitions that took place after 1989, nostalgia’s link to a utopian politics of the future, rather than to a contested past, is addressed throughout. 

  • 7.
    Brock, Maria
    Södertörn University, School of Culture and Education, Media and Communication Studies. Södertörn University, Centre for Baltic and East European Studies (CBEES).
    Cultural Diversity in the Former Eastern Bloc: The Wende Museum of the Cold War in Los Angeles2018In: Baltic Worlds, ISSN 2000-2955, E-ISSN 2001-7308, Vol. XI, no 1, p. 77-79Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • 8.
    Brock, Maria
    Södertörn University, School of Culture and Education, Media and Communication Studies. Södertörn University, Centre for Baltic and East European Studies (CBEES).
    Political satire and its disruptive potential: irony and cynicism in Russia and the US2018In: Culture, Theory and Critique, ISSN 1473-5784, E-ISSN 1473-5776, Vol. 59, no 3, p. 281-298Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    When cynical distance and ironic posturing have become the prevalent means of relating to public life, political humour is no longer considered subversive. It has been argued that both in Russia and the United States, ideology has co-opted satire, meaning that citizens can consume outrage passively through various satirical media products, thereby displacing outrage and abstaining from more active forms of resistance. This articles explores the twenty-first century potential of irony and cynicism to disrupt and subvert through parody, be it in the form of political satire or ironic protest, examining how similar paradigms are expressed across different geographical contexts.

  • 9.
    Brock, Maria
    University of London, London, UK.
    A psychosocial analysis of reactions to Pussy Riot: Velvet Revolution or Frenzied Uteri2016In: Subjectivity, ISSN 1755-6341, E-ISSN 1755-635X, Vol. 9, no 2, p. 126-144Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Russian reactions to Pussy Riot’s performance in Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in 2012 indicated that a collective nerve had been hit. This article seeks to explain the surge of public outrage following Pussy Riot’s ‘punk prayer’ through a psychosocial analysis of Russian media debates surrounding the case. By focusing on the negative responses, the following discussion investigates what such a ‘resistance to resistance’ might signify, and how it can point to latent forms of identification. It examines the public’s fixation with the group’s name, as well as the prevalence of fantasmatic enactments of violence in media discussions. Results suggest that in their rejection of the group’s performance, participants in the debate found ways of both shifting the threat Pussy Riot represents, and of once again ‘enjoying the nation’.

  • 10.
    Brock, Maria
    University of London, London, England.
    Reading Formations of Subjectivity: From Discourse to Psyche2016In: Social and Personality Psychology Compass, E-ISSN 1751-9004, Vol. 10, no 3, p. 125-135Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article represents a critical overview of strategies to examine subjectivity in discourse, highlighting a series of methodological approaches, which seek to manage the tension between discourse studies' focus on social and cultural structures, and psychoanalysis' interest in unconscious motivations. One aim is to trouble the supposed opposition between discourse analysis and the psychosocial approach and to regard the latter as a possible extension of insights established by the former. It is argued here that psychosocial readings in general, and Lacanian approaches more specifically, offer a cautious, nuanced way of introducing psychoanalytic ideas into the analysis of texts. The first part of this article offers examples of discourse analytic approaches, which have explicitly sought to incorporate psychoanalytic notions, followed by a discussion of Lacanian discourse analysis - a method shaped directly by this psychoanalytic school's concern with language. The article concludes with a series of methodological injunctions for conducting a psychosocial form of textual analysis.

  • 11.
    Brock, Maria
    Södertörn University, School of Culture and Education, Media and Communication Studies. Södertörn University, Centre for Baltic and East European Studies (CBEES).
    Riso Enlatado, Crença Diferida. Ironia e Cinismo na Rússia e no Ocidente2016In: Imprópia, ISSN 2182-3367, no 5, p. 15-23Article in journal (Other academic)
  • 12.
    Brock, Maria
    Södertörn University, School of Culture and Education, Media and Communication Studies. Södertörn University, Centre for Baltic and East European Studies (CBEES).
    The Hyperrealities of Putin and Trump: Why it is worth paying attention to the public personas of political leaders2016In: Baltic Worlds, ISSN 2000-2955, E-ISSN 2001-7308, Vol. IX, no 4, p. 83-87Article in journal (Other academic)
  • 13.
    Brock, Maria
    University of London, London, England.
    Mr Putin: Operative in the Kremlin2014In: Cold War History, ISSN 1468-2745, E-ISSN 1743-7962, Vol. 14, no 2, p. 289-291Article, book review (Other academic)
  • 14.
    Brock, Maria
    University of London, London, UK.
    Review of Lacanian ethics and the assumption of subjectivity2012In: Journal for the Psychoanalysis of Culture & Society, ISSN 1088-0763, E-ISSN 1543-3390, Vol. 17, no 1, p. 102-104Article, book review (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Reviews the book, Lacanian Ethics and the Assumption of Subjectivity by Calum Neill (2011). This book aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the French psychoanalyst’s ideas on subjectivity and ethics to academics and students at the postgraduate level. It represents a useful starting point for an exploration of the central Lacanian notion of the split subject, along with some related ideas such as fantasy, desire and the drive. The author is consistently thorough in his interpretations, and in his clear style he follows every argument through to its conclusion. The author is consistently thorough in his interpretations, and in his clear style he follows every argument through to its conclusion. It could be said that, while this book is largely about impossibilities, it is by no means an impossible book. The author's erudition and rigor make it a brilliant evocation of both Lacanian and traditional ethical thought. Whether the book’s conclusion proves to be satisfactory to readers depends largely on their interest in, and commitment to, Lacanian theory.

  • 15.
    Brock, Maria
    et al.
    University of London, London, United Kingdom.
    Truscott, R.
    University of Fort Hare, East London, South Africa.
    "What's the difference between a melancholic apartheid moustache and a nostalgic GDR telephone?"2012In: Peace and Conflict: The Journal of Peace Psychology, ISSN 1078-1919, E-ISSN 1532-7949, Vol. 18, no 3, p. 318-328Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Both nostalgia and melancholia have been portrayed as psychological inabilities or refusals to mourn, coming to denote a common failure to having adapted to situations of social and political change. Both concepts have been used to either condemn the conditions they diagnose, or, alternatively, to hail them for their emancipatory potential. In this regard, both nostalgia and melancholia have been used effectively, separately and alongside one another, as instruments for political critique. However, with this mutual opposition to mourning, melancholia and nostalgia have also been used in ways that make them almost interchangeable. In the absence of a detailed and direct comparison of these two concepts, this article explores the differences and overlaps between melancholia and nostalgia, as well as the different kinds of analyses of posttransition societies they enable. This is achieved through the juxtaposition of a particular regularity in post-apartheid South African popular culture, Afrikaner self-parody, which is characterized as melancholic, with what has frequently been called Ostalgie, nostalgia for the former German Democratic Republic.

  • 16.
    Brock, Maria
    London School of Economics, London, UK.
    Review of Psychoanalysis outside the clinic: Interventions in psychosocial studies2011In: Journal for the Psychoanalysis of Culture & Society, ISSN 1088-0763, E-ISSN 1543-3390, Vol. 16, no 1, p. 107-109Article, book review (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Reviews the book, Psychoanalysis outside the clinic: Interventions in pychosocial studies by Stephen Frosh (2011). Through a detailed exposition of existing scholarly endeavors, the book illustrates how these concepts can be applied to issues of a transindividual nature. At the same time, the book tries to rein in those enthusiasts who believe that psychoanalytic knowledge, with its emphasis on affect and the unconscious, holds the missing elements to a Grand Theory of the Social. One way of reading this book is therefore as a review of previous efforts to transcend the original analyst-analysand dyad. Each chapter looks at a different area and sub discipline that has experienced an influx of psychoanalytic ideas, including literary studies, social psychology and ethics. The author always remains critical of the dogmatic tendencies of psychoanalytic thinking, which at times appears to want to install its mode of viewing the social world as a new 'Master Discourse'. This development effects a domestication of its ideas, a 'blunting of the subversive edge of psychoanalysis'. This book is not likely to convert those sceptical of the discipline's tenets; and, though it might disappoint those searching for an impassioned argument for the explanatory potency of psychoanalysis, it nevertheless provides an indispensable guide to existing interdisciplinary efforts.

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