Dr Derek Hook


News : I have been awarded an LSE Teaching prize for outstanding performance. Read comments from the head of institute
derek hook
© Institute of Social Psychology, 2007
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Précis of research interests

The over-arching objective of my research is to develop an ‘analytics of power’ sufficiently able to grapple with the unconscious and psychological dimensions of racism and ideological subjectivity. Three lines of analysis have proved particularly valuable to me in this respect, namely psychoanalytic, Foucauldian, and postcolonial modes of critique. My objective has not been to devise a meta-theoretical model, but rather to investigate the efficacy of strategic rapprochements between these distinctive lines of thought.

My recent work has taken up a series of psychoanalytic conceptualizations (the dreamwork, the 'real' of embodiment, the disavowal of desire, the stereotype-as-fetish, and the ‘ideological uncanny’) and experimented with their usefulness, as irrational factors of power, within a Foucauldian register of ‘technologies of subjectivity’.

The aim thus is not to isolate a series of natural psychologies, but rather to identify a variety of ‘psychological technologies that might play their part in the ‘psychic’ life of power. Some recent publications include: 'Affecting whiteness: Racism as technology of affect'; 'Postcolonial psychoanalysis'; ''Pre-discursive' racism'; The racial stereotype, colonial discourse, fetishism’; 'Fanon and the psychoanalysis of racism' and 'Racializing embodiment and the 'real' of the social subject'.

New Publication

Foucault, Psychology & the Analytics of Power

* Derek Hook (Palgrave, 2007)

Despite that many of the later writings of Michel Foucault speak directly to the subject of psychology, the discipline has yet to absorb the full impact of his critical analyses. Foucault's importance in this respect is at least twofold: he develops a powerful critique of the uses of psychological knowledge and practice in modern disciplinary society, and he offers a trenchant series of methodological injunctions, an 'analytics of power', that makes a reformulation of 'the psychological' possible.

Aware of this double priority - of the critical and methodological import of these ideas - Foucauldian Analytics and Psychology introduces and applies Foucault's most important concepts and procedures, and does so specifically for a psychology readership. Drawing on the recently published Collège de France lectures Abnormal (2003) and Psychiatric Power (2006), Foucauldian Analytics and Psychology is as useful to those concerned with Foucault's engagement with the 'psy-disciplines' as it is to those interested in the practical application of Foucault's critical research methods.


'This groundbreaking book provides an impassioned argument for Foucault that also locates the work in current debates in social and political theory. Hook's lucid writing has an urgency that draws the reader into a journey through theoretical debates that also makes them come alive as it addresses key political questions. This book combines elaboration and application in measures that will leave the reader with a thirst for more of the real critical-political Michel Foucault and admiration for an author who has at last shown us how to find him.'
- Ian Parker, Professor of Psychology, Discourse Unit, Manchester, UK

Click here to purchase the book from the Palgrave site