Reflexivity, Austerity, and the Value of the Useless

  • Angie Voela University of East London
Keywords: reflexivity, austerity, foodbanks, neoliberalism, value, Lacan, Baudrillard


In this article reflexivity is defined as a neoliberal mode of thought, often evident in our research data as a circular pattern which fails to comprehend contemporary modernity. This type of reflexivity is illustrated with reference to austerity and food poverty. The article argues that while it might be relatively easy to observe this kind of reflexivity in others, it is much more difficult to gauge its effects on the researcher's own epistemological perspective. When attempting to do so, the premises upon which we construct academic knowledge and the importance of certain data that might, at first sight, appear to be “useless” come under scrutiny. Lacanian psychoanalysis and the works of Jean Baudrillard are used in order to explore alternatives.


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How to Cite
Voela, A. (2016). Reflexivity, Austerity, and the Value of the Useless. Psychotherapy & Politics International, 14(1). Retrieved from